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Old 08-30-2013, 11:58 AM
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Question On a Wing and a Prayer

I posted this on the Uk forums although having browsed the North American forums I figured there may be more of an audiance here. Im a long time lurker, first time poster on here.
I decided to jump right into the classics after being inspired by the posts of 's fontinalis' and 'Wingman' on the Uk forums. Anyway this is my first attempt, any hints, tips or curse's for ruining a stunning fly please post them up.

Durham Ranger.

Here is a bit of history for anybody interested,

The Durham Ranger was designed by William Henderson in the 1840's. The Durham Ranger was the first of the Ranger series of flies popular in the mid to late 19th century. Many of the Ranger style of flies are associated with the waters of Ireland and one version is called the Irish Ranger.

For anybody who has seen our very own Wingman posting his creations then you should know what one of these is meant to look like.
Here is my version :whistle:

Attempt #1 Size 1/0

Click the image to open in full size.

Dressing.
Hook: 1/0 TG Classic Salmon Iron
Tag: XS oval silver and lemon yellow floss
Tail: GP Crest
Tail Veiling: Indian Crow sub
Butt: Black Ostrich Herl
Body: 4 equal sections of lemon yellow floss, Orange, Fiery Brown, and Black Seals Fur.
Ribs: Large oval tinsel silver and large/wide flat silver tinsel
Body Hackle: Metz Badger saddle dyed yellow
Throat Hackle: Dyed blue hen
Wing: A pair of jungle cock feathers, back to back, covered for 3/4 of their length by a pair of golden pheasant tippets, back to back. These are covered by a shorter pair of tippets reaching to, and covering, the second black bar of the first pair. Jungle cock as a wing veiling.
Cheeks: Blue Chatterer sub
Crest: Golden pheasant crest.
Horns: Blue-and-yellow Macaw.
Head: Black Ostrich Herl and black thread.


Now what a fantastic fly to tie, only sorry, I couldn't do it justice in the photo or the tying. The first one of these I have tied, and I am on a very long road to get it right.

Comparing mine to others seen online, from what I can see there are several things wrong here, for a start, no blind eye hook, this was to cut down on costs, BIG mistake. Having just been told that these are much easier to dress on blind hooks, eyed hooks like this give a far wider profile to the head than necessary, making it harder to mount the wing.

Tag should have been small oval rather than XS also should be silk floss.
Veiling Cock of the rock sub used instead of Indian crow sub
Tail should be a wider loop to meet the wing better
Crushed Herl butt too much with the tail and the veiling.....Tied herl butt in the wrong place, should be after the tail.
The body went great no problems there.....feel free to correct me people.
Although I used Large oval silver rather than the silver twist specified.
Most dressings have the blue hen tied as a throat rather than I have it, but I followed a different recipe. I prefer the look of it this way if I am honest. Although it doesn't help the setting of the wing.
The Chatterer sub cheeks show up better with the blue hackle as a throat.
The GP collar wing slipped while being photographed. It took the rear pairing of JC with it
Front pairing looks ok however the Macaw horns are out of place and take attention away from the JC.
I doubled up the topping and while sitting ok it moved when I tied off the thread to finish the fly.
The herl head is probably a turn or a few too many and the tie in point made the last wrap sit forward a bit.

Other than all that I am damn proud of this as a first attempt.

Last but not least a big thank you to all the shops that helped me get the bits together.
Gareth at Fishing Tackle Supplies Online | Harvey Angling
Steve Cooper at Cookshill Fly Tying Materials
Dr. Paul Davis at Fly Tying Shops | UK Fly Tying Supplies, Fly Tying Flies & More Fly Tying Materials
Toby at http://www.funkyflytying.co.uk/
And of course a big thank you to Wingman, Mark your a legend, love your posts, without them, and your words of encouragement I doubt I would have had the guts to leap into tying these wonderful flies.
Please any comments criticism please feel free. I would love to hear them. I'm sure attempt #2 will be on its way soon.

Cheers
George
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Last edited by shinegrog; 08-31-2013 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: On a Wing and a Prayer

Beautiful fly!
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: On a Wing and a Prayer

Welcome to the western side of the forum......that is a beautiful fly, and I particularly enjoyed reading the history......please post more........
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: On a Wing and a Prayer

Shinegrog....

I can already tell because of your own self criticism the next Ranger will be much better and your first is not all that bad.

Tie on!


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Old 08-30-2013, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: On a Wing and a Prayer

Hi George,

You shouldn't be too critical of your work there, I think it a fine job of fly tying. When you think of it once a critical eye or a good macro lens is focused on a salmon or steelhead fly there are very few that can meet the 'nothing wrong' criteria. I've tied that pattern and am not so sure I did such a good job as you have. The real question is............. will you tie it on and cast it to the waters?

Welcome to our forum,

Ard
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: On a Wing and a Prayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by mridenour View Post
Beautiful fly!
Thanks for all the kind comments guys. Thanks for the warm welcome to the forum too, as I said 'long time lurker, first time poster'

Quote:
Originally Posted by calftail View Post
I can already tell because of your own self criticism the next Ranger will be much better and your first is not all that bad.
I shouldn't be too critical for a first timer, I have been told this before. Unfortunately I can't help it its in my blood, Its that pessimistic British trait that runs ever soo deep. Hopefully it will aid me in tying the next one ( which Im doing as I type), the theory being if I can see whats wrong I should be able to set it right. Theory into reality on the other hand is another thing entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yonder View Post
that is a beautiful fly, and I particularly enjoyed reading the history......please post more
Thank you, To be honest I cannot take credit its just what I have found online, while researching these wonderful flies. I will try and find out more about the ranger series and post it up for you. I found these websites very useful, Lots of great stuff on these pages.

Classic Salmon and Trout Flies of Europe and the Americas
THE CLASSICS
Married and Wedded Feather Wings
Welcome to the Salmon Flyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
You shouldn't be too critical of your work there, I think it a fine job of fly tying. When you think of it once a critical eye or a good macro lens is focused on a salmon or steelhead fly there are very few that can meet the 'nothing wrong' criteria. I've tied that pattern and am not so sure I did such a good job as you have. The real question is............. will you tie it on and cast it to the waters?
Very kind of you to say, Thank you.
Just wait until I get a really good macro camera then I can pick out every detail and really go to work obsessing over what I did wrong.

As I said Im working on this one for a while until I can get it as good as Im ever going to, I will have a side project of trying to tie a married wing on a 'Red Rover'. Then I will start on the rest of the 'Ranger' series. Im going to aquire some blind eye hooks and silk gut, as I am told I will find things alot easier trying to mount the wing without the hook eye to contend with. Also going to go to a 3/0 size as Im told this will also help.

Not sure this will ever get fished. I had in my mind to frame it, keep it forever to remind me of the start of my journey. Whether any of my creations of this sort will ever be fished for salmon, Im not sure, living around 200 odd miles away from the nearest decent salmon river, they may never get wet. If I am honest considering it took nearly 8 hours to tie this, unless I get alot faster, Im not sure I would ever want to cast it at a fish
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: On a Wing and a Prayer

Aw, 200 miles isn't that far When I first tied an Atlantic Salmon fly I lived 900 miles from the Margaree & Miramichi Rivers but I made the trip anyway. I've managed fish on Silver Doctors and Jock Scotts on the east coast and I use the Jock O' Dee here every year for salmon and trout. You should always set some aside for that trip you think you'll never make. And when you go remember that it's not about whether the flies land a salmon, it's about keeping the traditions alive.

Glad to have you posting with us here, do you do any trout fishing there in the UK?

Ard
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: On a Wing and a Prayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
Glad to have you posting with us here, do you do any trout fishing there in the UK?
I will have that trip one day, maybe cast a few of these flies, I agree keeping tradition alive is very important and I confess it is one of the main reasons I wish to learn about these flies.

As far as trout fishinh in the UK, I get about a bit, Im pretty much stillwater exclusive, however I fish the odd river, nothing like you have in the states ofcourse. I target pike and course fish on the fly aswell as trout. Im also getting back into Salt water fly fishing, had a few bass, but its been a bad year near where I live, so hope for better next year.

I had a look at your website, a trip like that has just been added to the bucket list
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: On a Wing and a Prayer

George
Welcome to the forum! That was an awesome fly, congrats on the the patience that it takes to craft such a beautiful work of art!

Larry
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