They say a picture's worth a thousand words. So, here's a picture of what I'll be using for materials for the first tie; the grub pattern:
The materials in the picture are listed on the 3rd page of this thread (in my message to Kelkay). As I've said before, you can substitute materials for the ones that I'll be using. As long as you have hooks that are long enough, thread, a body material, an oval tinsel, and a long hackle, you should be OK.
I'll try to post the step-by-step for the grub pattern next weekend.
Nice tie, and very nicely proportioned head. A #2 hook is good sized; a challenge for most hackles if palmered from the back of the fly. I noticed that you started your body well in front of the hook point.
I like the looks of brown hackle against the red body. Is that silver or gold tinsel that you used for the rib (looks like silver, but I'm not sure)?
Allan it is silver wire, with dark ginger hackle (with almost red center), next time I will trim the un wanted feather (I noticed where it had peeled it self off a little where it started on the first wrap)
That is where I normaly start the body, so there is space reserved for the tip and tag I have found the body is a better propotion and easer too form (esp on floss bodys).
OK, here's the step-by-step for the first pattern in Tom's book; the Grub. I'm going to tie it with some variations to what's in the book (Chapter VIII), because I'm in 2010, not in the late 1800's. We have some materials and tools that he didn't have and I plan to make use of them whenever I can, since I think that you all routinely make use of them, too. For example, he tied all of his patterns free-hand; without a vise!
I'm using a Partridge Bartleet CS10/1 hook; #6 and Danville Flymaster 6/0 thread. The rest of the materials are as I listed previously.
1. Mount the hook and thread it using the white thread; take it back to the hook point (don't forget to flatten the thread)
[I'm going to post some helpful hints in a separate entry to this thread; flattening thread will be one of them.]
[Here's an aside: For this fly it really doesn't matter whether or not you use white thread or black. You're going to be switching to black thread after the body's been crafted. The primary reason for using white thread is that for some body materials; silk in particular, the thread color bleeds through the body material when the fly is wet. We're going to be using yarn for the body, so bleed-through isn't an issue for this tie. But, from my standpoint, it's good to get into the habit of using a white thread until the body of the fly is formed. Your choice.]
2. Tie in the folded hackle by the anchor on the underside of the hook; from the back toward the front using no more than 5 flattened wraps (folding hackle and tying it in will be another of the hints).
3. Tie in the silver tinsel by the stripped end on the underside of the hook. Back off 2 of the wraps that you used to tie in the hackle and then tie in the tinsel with 3 wraps toward the tail (you want the tinsel to be right up against the hackle stem; this is the relationship that these two materials will have throughout this pattern, so get a good start at this first step). Then wind the thread forward; each wind butt up against the other, up to the point where the eye doubles back on itself.
4. Tie in the red yarn with 3 flattened wraps
5. Wind the yarn back to the point where the tinsel and hackle are tied in; then pick up both the hackle and the tinsel, hold them slanted towards the eye and take one wrap of yarn behind both of them.
6. Then wind the yarn back toward the front with butt winds. Take it to a place half way up the reversed eye, clip both butts and tie it off with 3 flattened wraps.
7. Next, wind the tinsel up the body in even spiral winds (the spacing of the tinsel winds is up to you; generally, if you have a short hackle, then you use wide spaces, if you have a long hackle, then you can use tighter spaces). Tie off the tinsel with 3 flattened wraps.
8. Change to the black thread (if you started with the white). I use a 3-whip finish to tie off the white thread and then mount the black thread as I did at the start of the tie.
9. Now, wind the folded hackle up towards the eye; placing the stem just behind the tinsel all the way up (you can actually use the tinsel as a guide for wrapping the hackle). When you get to the forward end of the body, you can either tie the hackle off immediately, or if you want a fuller, collar-type look, you can put on 2-3 more wraps, butt to each other, and then tie it off with 3 flattened wraps. I like this pattern dressed more sparsely, so in my tie, I tied it off with a single colar wrap.
10. Form the head with the black thread (head styles differ on different patterns and according to each tyer's preference; but many people will say that the quality of the head is a surrogate for the quality of the entire tie; so take your time and get the look that you want).
[Aside: In many of the other patterns that we'll be tying up, there will be a challenge to keep the head small enough to match the proportions of the fly. This is almost never an issue with a Grub pattern; so enjoy the current situation.]
11. Varnish the head to get a glossy appearance. I use SHHAN (introduce to me by Joni a couple of years ago - great product; it's Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails nail polish in clear). I use 3 coats, the first one heavy (because it sinks in) and the next two light.
And that's it! You've just tied up the first pattern in this tie-along.
Ask any questions that you have and make any comments that you'd like. If you have alternative ways to tie up this pattern; or improvements, then please share them with the other members.
If you have any pics of your fly, like Cicvara and Chris, please feel free to post them.
I will keep the thread rolling by posting my Grub. I broke rank (already) in the way I wound the ribbing, I have a habit of winding the feathers first and then covering the shaft with the foil to help avoid a torn shaft when a fish takes hold. My palmered feather seems a bit thick but will probably catch a fish. I almost stripped one side as opposed to folding because my Schlappen is some really big stuff and plenty webby but since I had already strayed once I folded it. At any rate I am keeping up with the assignments and am wondering, will there be a quiz at some point? Could be fun..............:shades:
That's a really interesting point about the effects of fish taking the fly. I noticed that you used flat tinsel, as opposed to oval tinsel; which makes a lot of sense for the purpose that you're using it, since oval tinsel wouldn't give you the ability to cover the wounds stem. In that configuration, you'll have a natural slant to the rib; somewhat "up" facing back where it's over the stem and somewhat "down" facing front where it meets the body material (with a yarn body, you won't see it because of the softness of the body material, but I would expect that you would see it with a floss or tinsel body).
I like the effect with the schlappen. In the water; which is where we all really care about the fly's effectiveness; how attractive it is to the fish, it's going to give a mobile dark body with flashes of red and silver.
Here's some additional points on tying up the Grub pattern. I tried to make these part of the step-by-step post, but I ran out of picture capacity. So, here they are now:
1. Flattening thread
Most feathered Salmon flies have a lot of materials tied onto the hook (not the case with the Grub pattern), so in many cases "bulk" becomes a problem, since it takes a consideable amount of thread to tie in all of these materials. The use of flattened thread is one way to mitigate this problem.
Suffice it to say that for each wrap of thread around the hook, you introduce 1/4 turn of twist into the thread. So, with every 4 turns, you add one turn of twist. You can take this thread twist out by turning the bobbin countercolckwise one turn. Don't just spin the bobbin counterclockwise; all that does is twist the thead in the opposite direction. Think 4 wraps of thread, 1 counterclockwise twist of the bobbin and you should be fine.
Here's a link to an article that talks about thread twist and gives some examples:
Another article that talks about flattening thread and how to keep the heads of your flies small using flattened thread and the "shoulder" concept is below. It's written for winged wet flies, but it's applicable to Salmon flies, too:
Oval tinsel is, geneally, metal or a metal-like material would around a thread-like core material. When you cut off a piece of oval tinsel, it looks like this; with a blunt end:
But, what you want is to tie in tinsel as flatly as you can, so what you want to do is to tie in the core (which is flattenable). To do this, pinch the last 1/8" of the blunt end with the fingernails of your left thumb and index finger. Then take the fingernails of your right thumb and index finger; butt them right up against the left fingers and pull quickly to the right. That will give you a stripped end that looks something like this:
Now, using the stripped tinsel core, tie in your tinsel.
3. Folding hackle
Folding hackle is something that you'll need to do for most feather wing Salmon flies. There are, essentially, two ways to do it: 1. off the hook, and 2. on the hook.
Tom takes you through how to fold hackle off the hook in pages 105-108 of his book (Chapter VIII). I've tried this method and, frankly, I'm not very good at it.
For a good example of how to fold hackle on the hook, see the below video from YouTube that was previously posted to this forum by another member on a thread that describes how to fold hackle. It uses scissors to achieve the folding and, in my hands, it works pretty well.
I use a combinaion of the two. I fold the hackle off the hook, but I use the scissors fooding technique in the video. Here's how I do it.
Start with a good hackle:
Then brush the barbs backwards, leaving a very small tip. Attach your hackle pliers to this tip:
I then mount the hackle to my vise:
Then I hold the other end of the hackle in my left hand and with the scissors held in the position shown in the video, I brush the blade against each side of the hackle 10 or so times; until I get the folded effect that I'm looking for. If you snap your hackle, then you're bearing down too hard with the scissors. If you see hackle fibers accumulating under the hackle as you use the scissors, then you're bearing down too hard. If the hackle isn't folded after 10 or so strokes on each side, you're not bearing down hard enough. It takes some practice, but once you have it down, it's relatively easy and it's an essential technique for tying feather wing Salmon flies. Here's how it looks on the vise after folding:
And, viewed from the side:
When you're ready to mount the hackle, remove the hackle pliers and cut the tip off horizontally, giving you what looks like an upside down pyramid. This is what is generally referred to as an "anchor" and this is what you use to tie the folded hackle onto the hook. Here's an example:
There is another technique for folding hackle off the hook. It sounds interesting, but I haven't tried it yet. It was developed by Joe Ayres and uses a styrofoam block. If you're an experimentalist, the link is below:
I dubbed my grub. I also sometimes get lazy when it's time to switch thread colors. When Using white or cream thread I sometimes run a sharpie marker down the thread to finish the head in the color I want. The marker does not bleed and cut's down on bulk for the head I usually do this just before I tie down the last part of the fly, The hackle in this case.
That's looking good Joni, if you stay the course through all of the learning steps that Allan is going to show us your last tie will no doubt not be in need of an explanation. I've seen how well you can wrap a hook!
Just got home from a trip to the eastern Sierras so I'm playing catch-up. I've read all the posts. Good work everyone (with pictures as well as your flies). I'll apologize in advance for my pictures. I'm using a Sony point and shoot and have zero skills. Here it is:
Had no materials so I used a TMC200R, bent the eye up (cheater, my bad). Actually looks good in person. OH, the black rear tag. Someone must have tied the hackle back in at the rear while I was away from the vise.
One thing I use on my heads now is (sally hansons strengthening top coat) dries in like 30 seconds to a hard shiney finnish. I like it better than the standard sally hansons hard as nails for finishing a fly