Salt flies.

Oldbones

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
952
Location
The Don
All this info is great, I need to get some materials.
I did tie a fly today and discovered that kystral flash is not really useful as the main component in salt flies.
But learning as I go.
Hook,
Cox & Rawll size 4.
Thread,
Robert Maule and son, cream No 178
Body,
Turall Floss White.
Rib,
Turall Floss Black. Then coated with Sally Hansens.
Hackle,
Scarlet Hen.
Wing,
Kystral flash Pearl.
20211030_154001 (2).jpg


Last weeks fly next to this weeks fly.
20211030_154053.jpg
 

Oldbones

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
952
Location
The Don
+1; totally agree

Also, do you already use epoxy in your tying? If not, you will need to do this just to keep the eyes in place (and even with epoxy big eyes are not the most durable - SWFF is hard on all tackle!).

If you have not already gone down the epoxy route (horrible stuff), a better investment would be dumbbell eyes for Clousers: many of these come with the eye already on the dumbell.

PM me your address and I can send you some of each
I don't use epoxy, I do have bug bond and sally hansens and that about that, dumbbell eyes I haven't used I do have beads for trout flies
 

PaulD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
2,882
Location
South Northants
Your latest fly doesn't really have the 'beef' to be an effective saltwater fly - it has a very thin wing and a large, stiff throat hackle which will affect its balance and the way it fishes - don't forget, in the sea you're combating waves and tide, if you thinned out the hackle it would probably make an effective seatrout fly.

In the salt your flies and the materials they're tied with need to be robust, thread for example - monofil thread is very strong and salt resistant.
 

Oldbones

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
952
Location
The Don
Your latest fly doesn't really have the 'beef' to be an effective saltwater fly - it has a very thin wing and a large, stiff throat hackle which will affect its balance and the way it fishes - don't forget, in the sea you're combating waves and tide, if you thinned out the hackle it would probably make an effective seatrout fly.

In the salt your flies and the materials they're tied with need to be robust, thread for example - monofil thread is very strong and salt resistant.
What is the material I need to use for a wing in saltwater flies.
 

running bear

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Messages
723
Location
North County Dublin
Start with a some deceiver style, these take 3 mins to knock up, even expoxying in a couple of eyes. THough they are small slim (for the sea) baitfish patterns, you can see they have quite a bit of bulk at the vice.

These are size 1's, handy for mackeral, pollack and estuary bass and even sea trout, although I use a finer smaller hook for sea trout.

Tying or photography wont win any prizes, but as these are tied to be fished in nasty places i'm not too fussed.
 

Attachments

  • 20211030_200634.jpg
    20211030_200634.jpg
    641.6 KB · Views: 36
  • 20211030_200742.jpg
    20211030_200742.jpg
    687.7 KB · Views: 35

raphael

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
461
Location
France, by the banks of river Loire
Hi Oldbones,

I told you: bucktail, chinese rooster, crystal flash and flashabou, and big thread (uni big fly is OK).
Below flies are simple and efficient (and you do not need the UV resin head with embedded eyes if you want to make it simple).

clousers.JPG

deceivers.JPG



Top: Clousers, only bucktail (not too much!) and crystal flash; hook TMC 811S # 4 and 2.
Bottom : Deceivers, bucktail, calf tail (throat), chinese cock, crytsal flash, flashabou; hook TMC 811S #4-2-1/0 and TMC 600SP #2/0 (for tarpon, but will take big bass and pollock). I would preferably use the ones at the right for European waters where they caught bass but also asp and chubs in freshwater. Caught many species in tropical waters...
 
Last edited:

raphael

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
461
Location
France, by the banks of river Loire
Some tips for deceivers:
- start close to the eye with the thread and go to the end of the shank (it will provide some grip to avoid the material to turn around the hook;
- tie a short and small bunch of bucktail straight at the end of the shank (not on the round!), about 1.5 the length of the hook.; it is aimed at preventing the feather to entangle with the hook and to separate left and right so the fly gets volume and movement (otherwise the feather may stick together);
- add a bit of flashabou (half dozen fiber is enough).
- cover with two pairs of rooster feathers; they must be twice the length of the bucktail and well paired, the underface must be facing the inside of the fly; caution, they must be as perfectly aligned as possible, and shall not point to the outside, top or bottom of the fly if you want it to swim correctly; for this, your bucktail must be really aligned along the shank, if not you will never manage to get something straight; I recommend to secure the tip of the shaft first, and then go aft while holding the feathers with your left hand in their final position;
- trim the flashabou so it is just a few millimeters more than the feathers;
- wrap some thread till the middle of the shank;
- tie in a small bunch of bucktail, it shall reach the end of the first bucktail, not less, not more; there is IMO only one good way to tie in this bucktail in order to have a light fly with big volume and good transparency: hold the thread perpendicular to the shank, horizontally towards you; put the bucktail on the thread very close to the shank and turn the thread slowly, keeping the bobin holder far from the hook without tightening: the bucktail shall turn gently around the hook and then be arranged equally; it is surprisingly working by itself and naturally (but may need a few blank tests and attempts); then, make two other turns with the thread and at this moment only you can tighten.
- install some crystal flash as a roof, must be as long as the fly;
- (for big flies only - install another bunch of bucktail, same way and add again crystal flash;
- turn your fly upside down if your vice allows and tie in a small throat (ideal is calf tail but you can use bucktail), reaching the curve of the hook;
- put back the fly in its normal position, and complete the "wing" with a pinch of darker bucktail on the top (normal/usual tying that time);
- add a few crystal flash on the top (likely black to imitate the back of small baitfish); take care about dividing correctly the fibers left and top and right otherwise they will aggregate when fishing;
- complete the head and if you fancy add eyes and UV cement.
- I strongly suggest to put some glue at each step...

For TMC 811S size 4 the fly is about 8cm long, size 2 is 10cm, size 1/0 is 12cm

No need to have something perfect, fish don't care and saltwater is heavy duty: robust is best than perfect!

Some colors I'm using successfully:
- white, pearl, chartreuse upperwing, red throat and black back;
- white+grizzly, pearl, chartreuse upperwing, red throat and black back (the goto I think, seabass, tarpons, jacks, asp, chubs...);
- white, pearl, grey upperwing, pink throat and black back;
- white, pearl, brownish upperwing, orange throat and black back;
- orange+ grizzly, orange pearl, red upperwing, red throat (very good for barracudas... but usually single use fly);
- purple, purple pearl, black upperwing and black back.

R
 
Last edited:

Whinging pom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
1,135
Location
Northants
Your fly really reminds me of something you'd see In a Hugh Faulkus book for sea trout... as I no longer have any of his books I cant check this. Your techniques lovely its just your proportions ... which is probably why you've got lots of comments, people can see your not far off!

Re eyes .I do see the value of them if you use lead dumbells at the front and paint them, it really adds to the erratic movement and brings life to the materials, they also help get the fly down into the zone.
 

Oldbones

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
952
Location
The Don
I can do a reasonable job when I am tying trout flies, and now I have had time to watch some tying videos for sea fishing flies.
It feels like some of these flies are tied backwards, tying on at the back of the hook and working towards the front if you know what i mean.
So after tying trout flies is is a hard habit to break tying on at the eye of the hook and working towards the bend.
Just feels a bit awkward at the moment.
Some materials are on the way so hopefully have something better to show soon enough.
I do have a couple of squirrel fox tails one a natural and one a tan, wondering if I could produce a fly with these.
When I see stick on eyes I have a feeling that they wont last too long while fishing.
So dumbbells would work for me.
Also I realize that sea fly fishing is still a reasonably modern way to catch but I am looking for instructions to tie sea files using feathers, (not mackerel) as I have quite a few of them sitting around.
 

original cormorant

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
1,840
It feels like some of these flies are tied backwards, tying on at the back of the hook and working towards the front if you know what i mean.
So after tying trout flies is is a hard habit to break tying on at the eye of the hook and working towards the bend.
Just feels a bit awkward at the moment.
Just now I can't think of any freshwater or saltwater flies that aren't tied by winding on thread at the head end, laying down a bed of thread to the bend then attaching material back towards the head' so I'm not sure what you mean.

As a way of breaking any ingrained habits try tying something that completely goes against anything you've tied before like a crab fly. There are excellent videos at https://www.intheriffle.com/fly-tying
 

raphael

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
461
Location
France, by the banks of river Loire
About stick on eyes, that's what I use and they are covered with a good layer of UV cement... then they won't go!
Basically they are very easy flies to tie, first because we are using large hooks, second because the materials are simple to use.
Squirrel? Why not? But you know, bucktail is cheap and with half dozen of tails (white, chartreuse, yellow, black, red, orange), you'll dress many, many flies, which are proven efficient. Tying salt water flies is also a good way to use the bottom feathers of your cock necks or capes that are too large and useless for trout flies.

Do not bother too much and stick to what I and some others told you: deceivers and clousers. Then if you like a bit of difficulties go to shrimps and crabs. You can have a look to that blog:

Many patterns are described there, step by step tutos or videos...

R
 

Oldbones

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
952
Location
The Don
Some tips for deceivers:
- start close to the eye with the thread and go to the end of the shank (it will provide some grip to avoid the material to turn around the hook;
- tie a short and small bunch of bucktail straight at the end of the shank (not on the round!), about 1.5 the length of the hook.; it is aimed at preventing the feather to entangle with the hook and to separate left and right so the fly gets volume and movement (otherwise the feather may stick together);
- add a bit of flashabou (half dozen fiber is enough).
- cover with two pairs of rooster feathers; they must be twice the length of the bucktail and well paired, the underface must be facing the inside of the fly; caution, they must be as perfectly aligned as possible, and shall not point to the outside, top or bottom of the fly if you want it to swim correctly; for this, your bucktail must be really aligned along the shank, if not you will never manage to get something straight; I recommend to secure the tip of the shaft first, and then go aft while holding the feathers with your left hand in their final position;
- trim the flashabou so it is just a few millimeters more than the feathers;
- wrap some thread till the middle of the shank;
- tie in a small bunch of bucktail, it shall reach the end of the first bucktail, not less, not more; there is IMO only one good way to tie in this bucktail in order to have a light fly with big volume and good transparency: hold the thread perpendicular to the shank, horizontally towards you; put the bucktail on the thread very close to the shank and turn the thread slowly, keeping the bobin holder far from the hook without tightening: the bucktail shall turn gently around the hook and then be arranged equally; it is surprisingly working by itself and naturally (but may need a few blank tests and attempts); then, make two other turns with the thread and at this moment only you can tighten.
- install some crystal flash as a roof, must be as long as the fly;
- (for big flies only - install another bunch of bucktail, same way and add again crystal flash;
- turn your fly upside down if your vice allows and tie in a small throat (ideal is calf tail but you can use bucktail), reaching the curve of the hook;
- put back the fly in its normal position, and complete the "wing" with a pinch of darker bucktail on the top (normal/usual tying that time);
- add a few crystal flash on the top (likely black to imitate the back of small baitfish); take care about dividing correctly the fibers left and top and right otherwise they will aggregate when fishing;
- complete the head and if you fancy add eyes and UV cement.
- I strongly suggest to put some glue at each step...

For TMC 811S size 4 the fly is about 8cm long, size 2 is 10cm, size 1/0 is 12cm

No need to have something perfect, fish don't care and saltwater is heavy duty: robust is best than perfect!

Some colors I'm using successfully:
- white, pearl, chartreuse upperwing, red throat and black back;
- white+grizzly, pearl, chartreuse upperwing, red throat and black back (the goto I think, seabass, tarpons, jacks, asp, chubs...);
- white, pearl, grey upperwing, pink throat and black back;
- white, pearl, brownish upperwing, orange throat and black back;
- orange+ grizzly, orange pearl, red upperwing, red throat (very good for barracudas... but usually single use fly);
- purple, purple pearl, black upperwing and black back.

R
This is a brilliant post and so very helpful.
I want to thank you properly with this post.
Amazing and thank you very much sir.
 

Oldbones

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
952
Location
The Don
Well the fly tying that is happening, the catching we will have to wait and see.
 

Oldbones

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
952
Location
The Don
I managed to get hold of some bait fish fiber and this is what I tied with it.
Hook, Cox and Rawle #4.
Thread, Cream Thread.
Eyes, Chain.
Body, Bait Fish Fiber, white grey and blue.
Laterel Line, Turall silver Tinsel.
Body Flash, Veniards Kystral Flash, 4 strands.
Head, Black Ink and Varnish.
20211107_181135 (2).jpg
 
Top