Shannon, Summer No.2.

wingman

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Jul 28, 2009
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5,312
Location
Cumbria beside the field with the sheep in it.
Here's something you don't see everyday and the second of my recent topping winged flies the Shannon, Summer No.2 from Edward Fitzgibbon (AKA Ephemera). It's tied on a Nicholay out barb hook, a design that never really took off thankfully. This is a copy that was sent to me by Italian hook maker Cosimo Raia and is a size 8/0 which translates to nearly 7 cms long and is about the limit that my crests will reach. I was intending to keep it as an addition to my hook collection but decided to tie on it being curious as to how a fly would look tied on one. One more topping wing to go.






Tag - oval silver tinsel & black floss.
Tail - GP topping.
Body - light green floss.
Ribs - flat gold tinsel.
Hackle - ginger cock hackle.
Throat - Jay (subbed with Guinea Fowl on larger flies).
Wings - nine GP toppings and Kingfisher over butts but tied as cheeks here.
Horns - red Macaw.
Head - Ostrich herl.

Thanks for looking.

cheers

mark
 

baca157

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Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
596
Location
Glasgow
Nine GP toppings:oops::eek:o_O

Mark, just when I thought your flies can’t get any better you produce something like this. How long did it take you to get those toppings on the hook? Be honest🤔

That hook is a real monster. And a monstrosity at the same time. That barb looks so wrong.

How do I get Cosimo to send me some hooks? I hoped to see him at BFFI but sadly he didn’t come this year...

Cheers,
Sebastian

P.S. are you in need of some longer red Macaw? 🤔
 

wingman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
5,312
Location
Cumbria beside the field with the sheep in it.
Nine GP toppings:oops::eek:o_O

Mark, just when I thought your flies can’t get any better you produce something like this. How long did it take you to get those toppings on the hook? Be honest🤔

That hook is a real monster. And a monstrosity at the same time. That barb looks so wrong.

How do I get Cosimo to send me some hooks? I hoped to see him at BFFI but sadly he didn’t come this year...

Cheers,
Sebastian

P.S. are you in need of some longer red Macaw? 🤔


Thanks Sebastian I'll be honest the Goldfinch I did before this I found fairly tricky but I worked out a few things with that fly that would make the next one (this one) easier. Things like use as much of the topping crest as possible if not all of it, pick numerous different sized toppings (off same GP head if pos or of a similar shade of yellow as different GP heads go from pale to strong yellow) soak them and shape them while still wet on flat surface so they have a similar shape, leave to dry then roughly pick the toppings you think will work best together to give the wing that uniformity and each one increasing in size slightly and the last one meeting the tail (although that was my choice for this and my last fly and not mandatory but just my preference). I must add that I'd tied the tail in beforehand so I could judge the longest topping size making sure I had toppings long enough, if not I'd have had to make the tail shorter or perhaps just a flat tail if I didn't want toppings to meet with tail. So the preparation would take maybe half an hour (without drying & soaking time) on this fly and tying them in about an hour but that doesn't include time allowed for setting some of the stems in cellire and leaving to set to help avoid movement which obviously would add another few hours. You also have this thing called overlap because each time you tie in a stem the space forward of the stem decreases with each stem tied in so you have to allow enough head space so to speak which is why you see the head angled at a similar orientation to the ribs which I quite like if I'm honest but there is a way of getting round this which I haven't tried as yet.
I've never actually bought hooks from Cosimo, either I exchanged for flies or he just sent me some out of generosity. He's very passionate about his work and I know he puts at least six coats of paint on his hooks and that means six times in a kiln for up to 45 mins a time to japan them and uses traditional hand filing methods, needless to say these won't be cheaper hooks like those of John Saxton, Byron Bjerke, Ronn Lucas etc who employ the electrolysis method (as far as I know) for japanning and use just one or two coats of paint at the most which cuts the time down significantly. They are still good hook makers don't get me wrong but just produce more hooks quicker and so keep their prices down. If you're friends with him on Facebook drop him a pm he'a always very accommodating and helpful and his knowledge on hooks is second to none. :) Yes the hook is expertly crafted but I wouldn't be taking it out if I was a fine Playfair Limerick that's for sure...
 

arkle

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Feb 18, 2007
Messages
9,012
Seb, I've been "friends" with Cosimo for several years, we even share the same birthday & year. He's only ever done the BFFI once & that was last year, so we finally got to meet up & I photo'd him with Lynda Blanchard & met up with Piero Systino (his scissors are more than a bit good !) so if you want a bit of an intro, let me know.
 

baca157

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Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
596
Location
Glasgow
Thanks Mark. Thought the Topping selection will be critical here. I must try one of these flies one day, once I get much much better.

I had a pleasure to watch Cosimo at work at last year’s BFFI. He’s an amazing craftsman and a really nice man too. I know he’s using very traditional methods and his hooks look amazing.
 

baca157

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
596
Location
Glasgow
Seb, I've been "friends" with Cosimo for several years, we even share the same birthday & year. He's only ever done the BFFI once & that was last year, so we finally got to meet up & I photo'd him with Lynda Blanchard & met up with Piero Systino (his scissors are more than a bit good !) so if you want a bit of an intro, let me know.

Thanks John. I just sent him a friend request on LifeInvader. A bit of intro won’t hurt though;)

Cheers,
Sebastian
 
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