Sunday, January 26, 2014

Learning to Fly: The Trials and Tribulations of a Rookie Fly Tyer Part 2

Unlike most new years resolutions it is almost a full month into 2014 and I'm still working towards my goal of learning the art of fly tying.. I'm taking it slow and steady attempting not to simply copy what I see but actually learn how to tie..In this installment of Learning to Fly I'll walk you through the last two flies I tied, and what I learned and where I fell down

Fly #2: Stretch Tubing Scud

The scud may not see much time on the end of my fly line, but this great larva imitation may see some time on the ice this season. It has a great fall for a small bait and pan fish will eat it up all winter long

The Good: This was a confidence builder for sure, the scud introduced me to two new techniques or skills.. applying rubber and the use of a head on the fly. Both were extremely easy to work with and held together well on the first attempt. I quickly banged off a few scud not even needing the instructions after the first attempt

The Bad: Not to much to complain about, if I was going to knit pick my work I would say I need work on my finishing. As you can see from the images of the scud it has a few frays and strays. I'm guessing this will come with time, but for now I'm happy with my scud abilities

The Ugly: No uglies to report on this fly, I had fun tying what seemed like a very simple fly, and I cant wait to start using them

Tips & Notes: When tying a new fly don't just tie it once and move on, like when attempting anything new the key is repetition.. tie multiple flys and you will be more likely to remember the techniques when you need them again.. after you tie the first fly "by the book" switch things up and try new colours or add ons you will start to see what material and colors work and which don't

Fly #3: Foam Beetle

This is a fly I was not overly interested in tying when I say it in the book, but the minute I saw the finished product i was sold.. a thing of beauty if I do say so myself.. this is going to drive the sunfish, gills and perch crazy this coming spring

The Good: tying a foam beetle introduced me to adding pieces or parts to the hook of my Flies. Foam was a great material to start out with as it is easy to handle and manipulate. The Foam beetle also requires you to twist and apply peacock hurl, this was a fun technique and looks great on the hook.. this fly shines in the right places

The Bad: It took me a few attempts to get this fly right,  my first attempt was much looser in both the body and the foam back. This unfortunately allows the foam to shift slightly from side to side and will not make for a very durable fly. On Attempt #2 I dramatically improve the overall tie and was very happy with the outcome.. material is snug and it feels much more durable

The Ugly: Again no real "uglies" to this fly, its pretty straight forward and the keys to success are ensuring you apply the right about of pressure to keep things snug

Tips & Notes: I'm starting to learn that the sizes and measurements in the Wapsi manual are only there as a guideline and not as rules. When tying the the Foam Beetle I found that the foam thickness listed was too big for my liking so on attempt #2 I cut back a bit for a thinner profile. When using foam I found it was easier to use an X-acto style knife on a cutting board then it was to cut a straight line with the scissors.

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