Salmon Fly Tie Along

duker

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There is absolutely no way I'd participate in this thread--I couldn't put my clumsy attempts up against the beautiful flies you guys tie--but I am loving this thread so far. I have never attempted married wings and think I'm still a ways off from trying them, but this makes it look easier.

Keep up the good work gentlemen.
 

Ard

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I couldn't find any plain mallard so I put some light bronze strips over the wings but they slid when I cinched them on. After 2 trys I said it will work like this.

Hint, there will be no Macro image posted :oops:







The hand make a size 2 look like a midge but I got one done. I guess if I started doing this again I'd get better. I actually forget how I made all those flies with the bronze mallard wings and the duck gave me more trouble than the married wing.......

Now I see one of the yellow fibers of the left side wing came loose, Doh! It never fails. Just to be sporting I'll carry that fly with me along with my tubes and try to catch a salmon on it this spring. If I do you'll see the fly again.
 
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flytie09

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Looking good. The GP underwing may have been best left off the fly. It elevates the wing and makes for a tricky wing set.
 

Ard

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When I was what I would call in better shape for tying this style fly under wings were my nemesis. What I should have done in this reintroduction to tying was to make the GP tippet a whole lot smaller. Once I had a decent set of married wing sections prepared and mounted I had to use my needle to separate the wings placing one on each side of the GP. It was that move that frayed one of the fibers off the bottom of the left side wing, Doh!

Another thing I need to refresh my memory with is, how the heck I used to get bronze mallard flank to provide the roof over the wings. There is a chance that since I have all the stuff on my bench now I may make a second fly and use barred wood duck slips as a topping. If the mallard on this fly were barred woody it would have looked like it belonged where it slipped to. Maybe........

One thing I noticed this morning is the fly looks much better without magnification and bright light ;)
 

flytie09

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And you never show the back side. Ever.

The gp underwing should be a clump or trim top fibers off top to achieve a lower wing set. I say this after I didn’t do that. i did a bit but not enough. I work with bronze mallard with 2 layers per side and the back set and front set separately. With the back set first. Right side fibers on back side and left side fibers on front side. Looks wonky until you get both sets tied in and you stroke wing back. The wing will magically sweep back and hump nicely.

There are many little tricks you can pick up from YouTube and Facebook and books and such that it finally will come together for you one day. This one did it for me.


I’ve also used Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, wood duck and mallard flank all in this manner and it works. Check it out.

Again I used mallard flank which is trickier than bronze mallard but it’s lighter in color and what I was going after.
 

Unknownflyman

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Ok Questions

1- How long for the tail? it seems like I could screw this up right off the bat.
2- Looking at feathers for married wings- and I think this is where disaster struck last time- shoulder- What is left what is right? Tail doesn't matter?
3- I'm going to have to sub and go with cerise barred black spey hackle, Do you trim off the top of the hook?
4- Mallard, is it tented two piece with overlap or no overlap?

I was too tired from my trip last night to hit this- I stared at my feathers for awhile and designed the fly in my mind and came up with these questions.
 

Ard

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1- How long for the tail? it seems like I could screw this up right off the bat.

Typically when they use a crest feather as the tail it arches up to a point where it would meet the tip of a top crest or , to be equal to the height of the wing tips. Perhaps Mike can render a better answer because I'm just telling what I think I know based on memory tying these and classic streamers.

2- Looking at feathers for married wings- and I think this is where disaster struck last time- shoulder- What is left what is right? Tail doesn't matter?

When you lay a selection of goose feathers out you will notice that the fibers are longer on one side of each feather. This is how we know what side of the bird the feathers came from i.e. left or right wing. To build a wing from three different feathers (in this case yellow - red and blue dyed feathers) you need to use strips of fibers that all came from the same feathers of the bird. Make sense?

3- I'm going to have to sub and go with cerise barred black spey hackle, Do you trim off the top of the hook?

Generally no, but if you have a couple fibers that just refuse to be trained to the sides or bottom there are no laws against snipping them off.

4- Mallard, is it tented two piece with overlap or no overlap?

Wait for Mike on this one because that (the mallard) is where my effort went badly.
 

flytie09

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1- How long for the tail? it seems like I could screw this up right off the bat. The tail is two parts, the tail (gp crest) and the veiling (gp tippet). I like to match the curvature of the gp crest similar to that of the hook....so that it looks mirrored. This you can manipulate carefully with your fingernail...or you can find a perfect feather and just pluck a good one off and tie it in. The tail should not extend too much past the end of the hook bend. You have to imagine where your wing and tail will meet (or should). You don't want it too low or too high or too long. This is then topped with the golden pheasant tippets and is the veiling. I cut them and roll the fibers over slightly keeping them aligned. Tie it in where it ends right at the inside of the hook bend. Not too full and not too sparse.
2- Looking at feathers for married wings- and I think this is where disaster struck last time- shoulder- What is left what is right? Tail doesn't matter? I lifted this explanation "We should discuss what is meant by right and left slips. If you hold a feather in front of you, tips up, stem down, with the "good" side of the feather facing you (convex side typically), slips cut from the left side of said feather will be "lefts", and slips cut from the right side of the feather will be "rights".

This also helps to explain it - http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/atlantic/marriedwing/index.php

You have to marry lefts with lefts and rights with rights or it aint gonna happen. Imagine these individual fibers on a feather as velcro. You have to have a hook and a latch side. That's how feathers work and how birds fly. Wings, tails, all feathers work this way.

3- I'm going to have to sub and go with cerise barred black spey hackle, Do you trim off the top of the hook? Do not trim off the top of the hackle. Simply pull it down, use alot of spit and do this for a good 10 minutes. Double over the thread a bit to help lock them in so they stay down.
4- Mallard, is it tented two piece with overlap or no overlap? Mallard can be tented several different ways. Check out the link above on setting bronze mallard from Gary Bevers.


This method is how I do it. Until I saw this Youtube video I struggled with it. I think Dillon posted the link.....thanks bud. Now almost every wing falls into place Watch that video. I use double slips and I tie these sets in individually. Rear side set first, then front side set. They can be mounted as a full set at once...but I always struggle with them getting out of control. Davie McPhail does it that way and does so like a magician. I struggle this way.


DO NOT OVERLAP THE JOINT BETWEEN THE TWO! Or try not to. Easier said than done.

Also...there are several alternative methods to setting bronze mallard. One alternative method is to use an extra wide slip from a single feather, fold it in half and tie it in. All of my reference books are at home right now that illustrate it perfectly..... Work slowly, patiently, wax the thread base you're going to mount the wing onto with extra sticky wax and take your time. It will want to roll and fold on you. The trick is in the wrapping of the thread and controlling the tension of it. If you watch the Davie Mcphail video watch how he controls thread tension. He works slowly with a purpose and when he increases tension it is at a precise point.

Once tied in....the sides can be moved around a bit and won't blow apart on you. You can even start over...but be aware after 2x-3x the mallard will blow apart and you will have to cut new slips. It does help to keep a bit of the stem on the slip section...but to me I don't like this as it gets in the way. One thing I always keep a generous supply of is quality bronze mallard. I picked up some mallard flank that was pretty good too.....but it takes 20 feathers to find one good one in the damn bag....so I stick to bronze mallard.
 
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Ard

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I had a meltdown last night. I made a Silver Wilkinson tube fly complete with the GP crest and tippet tail and red butt. Even a tinsel wrapped body with the oval rib just like the one I made on the hook. All the way to the GP underwing followed by the 2 part collar and yellow - red and blue Arctic fox neatly stacked into the classis European style then the perfect finale, guinea fowl front collar and JC eyes and ............................... Wait for it ................ wait .......... I cut the thread dropping the bobbin into my scrap bag and the entire thing came undone. I was using the 'not more than 2 wraps method to keep down the bulk at the head and shoulder area and it sprang apart really quick. This was the cause of great trauma!

I may have a second go tonight but plan to simplify the pattern somewhat.
 

Ard

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That sucks. I thought you said to superglue each step?
Out of the super glue buddy and was working without a net. I've gotten really good at not breaking thread although I tie mostly with 06 or sometimes 08 but I can still screw up with the scissors sometimes especially when I have a lot going on right at the front end. I was pizzed for real when that happened.
 

Unknownflyman

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A couple things, The largest hook I had was #2, The cerise hackle I had was old it was listed as spey chicken, but I like the look of the longer throat as a steelhead fly, I only have so much kingfisher hackle so I wasn't going to burn the best on my first salmon fly. But it is blue, a little slicked down on the pic. My tinsel is old and the x-small French oval slid which drove me nuts. I thought I had the tinsel flat enough but it wasn't after I was done, ha ha. The Berlin wool end was hard to hide so I wrapped the oval around once for a nice seam, not sure I like that look. I had to add a piece of tinsel as filler to match the salmon eye thickness.

I sized the kingfisher to the hook point and the spey hackle longer. It was enjoyable but tough, I have to have a better base, that was a big problem and then every step I would think, should I fix or go on?
 

Ard

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Looks good man, smart not to use your best supplies on this but do carry on.

Are you using white or light beige thread for the start? For tinsel bodies and some floss or silk bodies white is the best base. When you wrap the hook shank keep it tight so there's none of the jappened finish showing through. The white helps you to see that your base is tight.
 
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