Denison

wingman

Well-known member
That's better Kev with respect to going round the bend more, I'd reduce the tag length by about half again though. It's a tendency to tie quite long tags on salmon flies whereas the originals usually had fairly short tags. I'd have made the end of the tippets reach to the hook bend and less shank showing at the blind eye but they're just minor points that can be addressed next time .I'm starting to see confidence in your tying now so you must be getting used to working at this bigger scale, Tie on Sir!
 

m r roid

Well-known member
Points
43
That's better Kev with respect to going round the bend more, I'd reduce the tag length by about half again though. It's a tendency to tie quite long tags on salmon flies whereas the originals usually had fairly short tags. I'd have made the end of the tippets reach to the hook bend and less shank showing at the blind eye but they're just minor points that can be addressed next time .I'm starting to see confidence in your tying now so you must be getting used to working at this bigger scale, Tie on Sir!
Thanks Mark (y) :giggle:
I know what you mean about hook size, give me a Fulling Mill size 16 Ultimate Dry Fly hook every time :eek::eek::eek::eek:
I see what you mean about the tags, I've checked them out in 'Farlow Salmon Flies' and they're much shorter. Some of the heads in there look a bit dodgy too 🤣🤣
I think it will be a Red Rover next weekend
 
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wingman

Well-known member
Thanks Mark (y) :giggle:
I know what you mean about hook size, give me a Fulling Mill size 16 Ultimate Dry Fly hook every time :eek::eek::eek::eek:
I see what you mean about the tags, I've checked them out in 'Farlow Salmon Flies' and they're much shorter. Some of the heads in there look a bit dodgy too 🤣🤣
I think it will be a Red Rover next weekend
Nice to know you got the Farlows book, some good examples in there, notice how a lot of the flies have low sleek wings in contrast to the more modern style which have much deeper wings. Red Rover is a good choice for working on your married wings so we'll see how you get on. ;)
 

m r roid

Well-known member
Points
43
Nice to know you got the Farlows book, some good examples in there, notice how a lot of the flies have low sleek wings in contrast to the more modern style which have much deeper wings. Red Rover is a good choice for working on your married wings so we'll see how you get on. ;)
I'm hankering after the Hardy book too, but it's quite expensive at £80.....
I will probably bite the bullet though. I believe the Hardy book lists the dressings, unlike the Farlows.
 

wingman

Well-known member
I'm hankering after the Hardy book too, but it's quite expensive at £80.....
I will probably bite the bullet though. I believe the Hardy book lists the dressings, unlike the Farlows.
Michael Radencich's 'Classic Salmon Fly patterns' also has a lot of patterns in and photos of flies tied by tiers around the world to go with many of the patterns and comes with a DVD of him showing how to tie the Durham Ranger. Was thinking of getting the Hardy book but like you say a bit hefty in the price department. I had heard reports that it wasn't as good as the Farlows book or maybe meant the flies didn't look as good although by the same author I think.
 

m r roid

Well-known member
Points
43
Michael Radencich's 'Classic Salmon Fly patterns' also has a lot of patterns in and photos of flies tied by tiers around the world to go with many of the patterns and comes with a DVD of him showing how to tie the Durham Ranger. Was thinking of getting the Hardy book but like you say a bit hefty in the price department. I had heard reports that it wasn't as good as the Farlows book or maybe meant the flies didn't look as good although by the same author I think.
I have a couple of Michael Radencich's books, not sure If I have that one......
Just ordered the 'Hardy' book from Paul Morgan.

Is this the book you mean Mark?

 

wingman

Well-known member
Yes that's it Kev someone bought me it as a Xmas present a few year back, very useful as it has a lot of patterns in and as you can see quite a lot of fly pics. It's no longer the most complete collection of classic salmon flies ever compiled though cos the Grewcock & Carne salmon & sea trout fly compendium smashed it with over 3.000 classic salmon fly dressings. It was a limited edition though so no longer available. Still I'd recommend Radencich's book as it has all the popular classics in it with their numerous versions. :)
 

arkle

Well-known member
Points
48
A bit late in the day, for this one a.o. & I have to agree thatit IS your best & by quite a way.

One of the area's that some world class tyers have "issues" with (& more) is herl heads & you are indeed confident to "have a go" at it, & you've made a reasonable job at it as well. Often when people start out tying salmon flies, the ostrich they use (is from their trout kit) which has stem length's of 6-8" & is very "fluffy" with long "frothy" fibres.

The type that is best for salmon work, is shorter in overall length, much finer with fibres so close they look solid & so dense you cannot see through them. The overall length of the main quill is near to 12", sort of a juvenille feather, with the very best fibres near the tip, a bit like peacock. These are THE ones to go for, for both butts/jo8int's & heads. I prefer to tie the lower end in (only) at this stage, do a whip finish leaving the thread still attached, ensure that the (smooth) head is well waxed with a tacky type wax, & then wind the ostrich forward, ensuring it has no gaps showing.

Then hold it in place with the finger & thumb pads of the left hand, whilst giving it about 3 turns of thread & another whip finish before trimming it away & applying the 1st coat of clear cellire, which should be given several hours to dry, before applying the black varnish & if needed a further coat (after a similar drying time), of clear gloss yacht varnish.
 

m r roid

Well-known member
Points
43
Thanks John,
I've heard of Barbary Ostrich herl, but it seems impossible to get hold of....
 

arkle

Well-known member
Points
48
I've never seen anyone stock it, or even mention it in any books etc in my 50-odd years of tying either.
 

wingman

Well-known member
Quite interesting about the different methods that are used for tying in herl and what to use etc, there seems a lot of variation. I myself varnish the whole head with one coat of cellire then another coat of black and clear again over the part of the head that will be seen after the herl head has been wrapped and leave to set for a good eight hours then I tie in and wrap my herl wrapping back towards head. Prior to that I run a coat of cellire over area to wrap and let tack for a minute or so. Some tie the herl in near the end of it and some tie it in at the opposite end where it's cut from the stem (I do the latter). You want the area of the head you're wrapping over as flat as possible with no ridges in the thread bed which is why it helps to put a preliminary coat of varnish down as it smooths the surface slightly, a bit like laying plaster over a rough wall. Also if it's bushy herl you can trim it carefully with some fine pointed scissors after you've wrapped it onto the head preferably under magnification. Most of the herl I get is bushy (the last stuff I got was Veniards) so I usually trim both the butt and head as it improves the look of the fly immensely and a lot of tiers do it because you can make it look like the old antique herl stuff which is just about impossible to get hold of.
 

m r roid

Well-known member
Points
43
I've done a little experiment with the peacock herl as a substitute for ostrich as a butt. It's been bleached prior to being dyed. It doesn't look too bad...... IMG_20200224_151844.jpg
 

arkle

Well-known member
Points
48
Hmm, it will look denser if you tie it in by the butt end as the fibres don't distort so much when being wound,. It looks like you might have doubled it, as the majority of the fibres are pointing in one direction - with the key word being "majority". Where some of them are not pointing the same way, this will detract from the density you are trying to achieve, especially so with ostrich.

Watch out for minute gaps, between the tip & butt. The butt should run smoothly & taper slightly from the tie in point under the shank, where the tip ends. Then start your ostrich, with about 5 turns (on this size/guage of hook. before tying off & following the above.
 

m r roid

Well-known member
Points
43
Hmm, it will look denser if you tie it in by the butt end as the fibres don't distort so much when being wound,. It looks like you might have doubled it, as the majority of the fibres are pointing in one direction - with the key word being "majority". Where some of them are not pointing the same way, this will detract from the density you are trying to achieve, especially so with ostrich.

Watch out for minute gaps, between the tip & butt. The butt should run smoothly & taper slightly from the tie in point under the shank, where the tip ends. Then start your ostrich, with about 5 turns (on this size/guage of hook. before tying off & following the above.
I threw it together in a couple of mi utrs John, just to see if there was any 'mileage' in using it on a 'proper' fly. Do you see any potential in it?
 

arkle

Well-known member
Points
48
Not really, though for a "fisher" then no real problem. The best ostrich I've bought , sort of recently was from Hareline with quills just 0ver 9" long, got it at the BFFI last year & bought 6 of them to get a couple of decent stems, the rest got sold/ given away/swapped etc. Most H'line stockists are worth a try (the ideal fibre length is 2.5 to 3mm)
 
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wingman

Well-known member
I think with classics it's only really worth substituting materials that are hard to come by and Ostrich herl being in pretty good supply doesn't really need to be subbed. But there's nothing to stop anyone from using Peacock herl and if they have a preference for it then fair dos. There's also a few patterns that actually use it for the butts and heads and also over some of the body like the Green Parson. Personally I think it looks ok but doesn't have the full look of Ostrich herl. Maxwell went for the sensible approach and used black chenille as an alternative to Ostrich for both butts and heads and being more robust than herl was more suitable for fishing purposes as well.
 
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