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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Central KY

    Default Wetting maraboo and peacock herl colors

    Hey folks, I've read some literature that suggests wetting maraboo when using it for buggers and the like to make it easier to work with. My question is: wouldn't/couldn't that cause dry rotting and or hooks to rust?

    Second question. I recently did some riffle kicking and have tied some flies to match the march brown nymphs in my area. One thing that stuck out at me was just how pale white their bellies are! My new flies are tailored to have a dark top and white belly (and a nice flat profile, if I could post a pic I would.) The question this experience left me with was this: Why is it that pheasant tail nymphs, which are supposed to be a generic mayfly nymph imitation, use peacock herl as the bottom of the thorax, when many or most nymph undersides are white? Does the herl (which does give off a different color when wet) sufficiently mimic a white underside?

    Thoughts, comments, threats, bribes??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Grand canyon of Pa.

    Default Re: Wetting maraboo and peacock herl colors

    the PT is a match more for the B.W.O.'s and Blue Quill type flies.. a lot of the older flies were tied in the round as to tying them now with a lighter belly and darker back.
    the whiter color could be they have recently shed and are still darkening their exo-skeleton..
    sandfly/ bob
    N.J.B.B.A. #2215

    I did not escape.....they gave me a day pass!
    from the outer edge of nowhere
    fly tying and fishing Gillie..

  3. #3

    Default Re: Wetting maraboo and peacock herl colors

    To answer your first question, just place the flies on a paper towel until they are dry: no rust or rot. Consider that every fly that you have fished gets wet. You put it on a drying patch after using it. Then you put it back in your fly box after it is dry. If wetting flies caused rust or rot, flies would be a one use only product.

    To answer your second question, most of the time fish are feeding opportunistically. So the great majority of fish would not be selective to the point of refusing a fly that does not match the coloration differential of the anterior and posterior of the natural.

    Yes, a dual color fly is a better match than and single color fly, but that is an advantage ONLY WHEN the fish are selective enough to refuse the single color fly and take the dual color fly. The question then becomes, how often will that occur?


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Central KY

    Default Re: Wetting maraboo and peacock herl colors


    Thanks for the reply! What you say does make sense. I suppose that most trout aren't going to be that fussy here in KY since most are stocked. I guess the biologist in me was curious. Upon reflecting on the matter, peacock herl does give some flash to flies and since nymphs tend to tumble as they go through a riffle, the herl could show a lighter bottom. As for the march brown nymphs themselves, they usually do have this white-ish bottom, and they are also about to hatch here soon, but that event withstanding, I still can't imagine the trout here would key on just their coloration over any other hares ear, PT, or Jor Fly special. It did give me the chance to tie a nice new pattern (which I can't wait to try since the streams around here are teaming with those things right now!) Thanks again for all you help Silver.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Wetting maraboo and peacock herl colors

    And just a follow up on the first question. It's been my experience that you don't need to wet them much at all to be much more workable. Just lick your fingers, or dampen them on a sponge if you prefer, and that is all the moisture you will need to make the feather more manageable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Norwich, CT
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Wetting maraboo and peacock herl colors

    as bruce mentions, you are only dampening the marabou to remove the fly away properties of it.

    no need to drench the marabou in a bowl of water.
    Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.


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