Archive for October, 2016

Tighten Your Seat Belts (this will be short and sweet)

Well that’s what the title says, lets hope for your sake that it is – short and sweet, that is.  To start with let me apologise for the long lapse since last I put “pen to paper”, for starters I have been busy trying to meet standards for the Fly Dressers Guild Silver Award, only to find that the standards are (understandably) slightly more ‘up market’ than I was expecting, anyway I have now had my entry assessed and now know what is expected of me, I can now go forward with a bit more confidence.  The stumbling block seems to be though we can produce flies to the required standard each example of each fly must be exactly the same as the other three.  We are asked to produce six flies with four examples of each and as I said they must be of the same standard, which I might add is of a considerably higher standard than commercial flies.  I always try to make mine last at least two seasons, not two casts, which was why I went down the road of tying my own in the first place, I got really fed up of flies falling apart on me.  Commercials are tied (I think anyway) by underpaid slave workers who know little or nothing about the product they are working on, I am well aware that there are exceptions to this, but you will have to pay considerably more for them, mainly because more time is put into the dressing, more care is taken over the tying and consequently a better fly is produced and usually by a Fly Angler who has a far experience and knows exactly what is required.  Some of the techniques I use are as follows.  If peacock hurl is required for the body of a fly (say the Red Tag) I always twist two or three strands of hurl with the tying thread to form a ‘rope’ this makes the peacock hurl considerably stronger than if it was turned up the body on its own.  Peacock hurl is as you know rather ‘delicate’ to say the least and will snap just by breathing on it if you are not careful.  Another concerns peacock hurl yet again, and I mentioned this in my last blog, stripped hurl is very brittle and is easier to use and more pliable if it is soaked in water for a while before you use it.  Another technique I employ is the type of head cement I use – Fly Rite – this is a rather watery varnish but as such soaks in very well, the down side is the time it takes to complete, you need at least two or preferably three coats, letting each coat soak well in before the next coat is applied.  Then finish off with a coat of “Hard as Nails” or your UV sensitive lacquer. Using either of the last two on their own gives a modicum of protection to the head of the fly but is not impervious the old Trouts teeth, it tends to shatter, whereas with our method the head is well protected even after the other coating is cracked off (thanks have to go to Louis Noble [APGAI in everything but the kitchen sink} for pointing out this method).  There are other members of the GAIA that I have to thank for my tying, non less than Chris Aldred, who was banging his head on the living room walls over my clumsy fingers, which I might add are not so clumsy anymore but have arthritis creeping into the knuckles now and that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.  That will do for the time being and I will let you know when the desired Silver Certificate is hanging from a nail on my wall.

Take care, and enjoy the banks of the Commercials for the next few months.

Ni (The Fly)