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View Full Version : Somethings just can't be improved upon.


Fishermansfly
04-19-2009, 09:59 PM
I've been working today on a new split back pattern. I always liked the old split back pattern and it surely has produced plenty of fish for me. While breezing through Jason Neuswanger's site (TroutNut.com) and started looking again at local hatches. One I came upon was the Ephemerella Invaria, or more commonly known as the "bigger" sulphur. Dorothea, or the "smaller" sulphur, is well represented by this bug, the split back pmd. Everyone should know that it is of course a pattern to represent an emerging pale morning dun, or Ephemerella Excrucians. All of which are pretty darn close if you ask me. Colors are very close. However I couldn't find any bugs that had a claret/maroon tinge to them as the original pattern calls for.

One of the other things that really bothered me about the pattern was the overall shape. It's a very conical pattern, whereas the bug has a thin and wide abdomen, with broad shoulders forming a head.

So after looking at a bunch of different images, I decided to sit down at the vice. Here's what I have so far.
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/workinprogress.jpg

I'm not very happy with any of them. But as you can see I've got the overall shape and colors down. Now I just need to figure out a way to get those broad shoulders I'm looking for.

Any Ideas? I've already tried playing around with mono to get the correct shape at the shoulders...I failed miserably with it. I'm interested to hear from the other tiers as to what they'd try.

~Brett

David Knapp
04-20-2009, 12:00 PM
Brett, I like to put a few wraps of thick lead wire and then flatten it with a pair of pliers. This gives the body a wide, flat appearance. I'm not sure how it would work on this pattern but I tie some of my Tellicos that way since stonefly nymphs are wide... Another alternative is to tie something in on the side to bulk up the side...once again, I do this with lead wire...

ttas67
04-20-2009, 02:25 PM
brett, you can tie on one of those lead twistons. they're flat and come in a matchbook. you can cut them to size.

Fishermansfly
04-20-2009, 07:50 PM
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/thenewimprovedsplitback.png

Don't know how much better I can make it than that! The tails are over exaggerated, and the legs aren't taking up that forward position. But I don't suppose they would on there ascent to the surface. They are probably rather still and swept back. The colors are now more accurate using a blend of dubbings and the foam as been customized with a pack of PrismaColor markers I found $50.00 (holy coww). But hey, there already getting some good use. That fire orange/sulphur color foam isn't something you come across while shopping. anywhere! I'm pretty darned pleased with it and I managed the overall shape using a piece of 4mm fly foam..Stupidly thick! The biots really just cover up the square edge of the foam. I also reworked the lead and beefed it up just below the wing case. You'll notice that the edge of the fly stops past the biots. Whereas before the biots touched either side of the fly!

Lemme know what you all think If you all like it I'm gonna do a tutorial on how to tie it up as well as add it to the LRO newsletter!

~Brett

Fishermansfly
04-20-2009, 08:12 PM
A few more...
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/DSC02062.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/DSC02064.jpg

billyspey
04-20-2009, 09:33 PM
slice the foam with a razor blade taking smaller cross section to get the right thickness . the slit needs to be smaller when a split occurs on a natural is much narrower and not as pronounce . and lighter amounts on the tail . you probably didn't want me to critique your tye but i did anyway ha! ha ! did you notice all your tyes face left. will these work for a right hand caster.

milligan trout degree
04-20-2009, 10:39 PM
dadgum that dog'll hunt.

flyman
04-21-2009, 12:15 AM
Brett those are some great looking flies! I agree with you, at some point enough is enough. I think trout are willing to take something close in size and shape even if it doesn't match every little detail. I've been tying just a couple of generic sulphur nymphs and they have been killing them.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y166/flyman1/fishing%20and%20misc%20flies/topview.jpg

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i16/nepal_flyfishing_guru/resizephotobucket17.jpg

I have also been doing well with a generic wet fly. I think it does a passable job as a sulphur and a hendrickson.

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i16/nepal_flyfishing_guru/1d67d519.jpg

I tried some split case BWO using razor foam and just didn't notice much difference in the hook up rate.
http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i16/nepal_flyfishing_guru/GraphicDesign415.jpg

David Knapp
04-21-2009, 12:39 AM
That wet fly is truly beautiful...very well done!

Fishermansfly
04-21-2009, 02:44 AM
Flyman as always, you've outdone yourself! Beautiful ties! Gorgeous across the board. Something to truly aspire too! You got me deeper in thought thinking about matching details. Something I frequently struggle with anymore. I always peer in the fly bins when I visit a shop, hoping to find something that will "catch" me before it catches a fish!

Here's where the hang up is...BYRON YOUR 100% to BLAME! A great fly fisher person/fly shop owner once said "The best forms of imitation are first size and second color." Which is something I frequently hang up on. Then there are flies that I come across that yell "Fish me!", don't look like a single solitary bug, but out fish any and everything in the fly box.

I'm really digging the "fishable" catch me look that your flies have. I'm also wishing I would have went with my first thoughts when rebuilding that pattern and used foam for the entire wing case. Looks smashing!

Nu-No Hackle Drys, further irritates me when thinking about all this. Recent articles in magazines refer to this method when trout are being finicky. Basically stating that the hackle messes with the overall profile of the fly and doesn't always necessarily imitate legs. It goes on to state that hackle will also play into distorting the fishes view of what's important, the color of the bugs body and more importantly the color of the wing. Something that a finicky fish may pick up on when keying on a freshly hatched bug, the dun blue wing of a most freshly hatched duns, or the clear white wing of most freshly fallen spinners.

Which ultimately leads me back to color. The best part about this is I know the original caught fish, and more than likely the new one will too. But, will one out fish the other? I will probably never know. Darn fly shop owners, darn magazines, darn books! I'm only kidding of course.

Flyman, once again beautiful ties. With Bill's critique and seeing your flies makes me realize that less is sometimes more. I believe I'll ease up on those tail fibers now.. Durability and Mr. Trouts teeth sometimes make me think it's an important factor as well.

Bill, yea I agree. I was looking to get the right positioning of the biots to get that oval appearance this guys wing case takes on. I need a wider biot. or different materail all together. That was one wide piece of foam I stuck in there. The width for two or three of the original pattern. I know your right on the foam though and that comes from personal experience. Anyone who's fished this pattern knows that once the biots come lose or break off the fly isn't fishable any more! I think I'm gonna run buy LRO and pick up some black razor foam today. I'm gonna substitute the biots with foam and cut it wider, closing the gap/split up.

General Idea as to what I was trying to accomplish by using the larger strip of foam.
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/shapes.jpg


Bill, I'm backwards handed I can't help it..You should know that by now! You were also wrong on the critique...I could always use your opinion on the matter. I know for a fact that two heads are better than one. We managed a great pattern for the Watauga that way! I have no problems with anyone's thoughts, that's why it's posted here! Your opinion counts, dad could tell you that. I still want to spend a day in the garage picking through your shoe boxes of materials and messing around on the vice. I also wanna see your Cumberland fly box and start whipping out some patterns for you!

As far as colors are concerned, well I'll just add on more thing, and all I'm saying is....Purple!:confused::cool::confused::rolleyes:

What is your all's take on the matter? Thoughts would be greatly appreciated...Please! Looking forward to your thoughts on the matter!

I'll be adding all of these ties to the fly box.
~Brett

billyspey
04-21-2009, 07:40 AM
my cumberland box is so simple you can't not believe how simple . crapans in sizes from 14 to 18 in 2 colors and big prince's with rubber legs and a caddis collar from a size 6 to a size 12 and 54a midges wiyh a little flash. i 'll talk to you later today.

flyman
04-21-2009, 10:03 AM
Brett,
Your imitations really do look great and by no means was I was trying to say strive for anything less than a realistic imitation. I'm not sure the fish haven't been taking mine for Hendricksons. Your more exact imitations might out fish my generic stuff 4 to 1 on picky tail water fish:smile: Besides I enjoy seeing your work, it's obvious you get "it". Too many people completely dismiss any knowledge of entomology as unimportant.

Fishermansfly
04-21-2009, 10:31 AM
Flyman, I guess that's what I'm getting at..Is it worth striving for a realistic immitation or using something close? Will the extra 3 to 5 minutes at the vice really make that big of a difference. I'm having a hard time anymore believing the hype that's posted in the articles anymore. I have patterns that match closely to whats hatching in size, but are a competely different color all together and the fish will still eat. One in particular is a BWO pattern, comprised mostly of olive ice dubbing. It looks nothing like a BWO nymph yet the fish will eat it on any cloudy rainy day.?? It's close enough in size to resemble a midge but it's hard to believe that's what they are mistaking it for, when there isn't a solitary olive midge in sight.

I guess my frustration is from fishing slower water over the years. I strongly believe the fish have more time to study the fly and the presentation before deciding to eat. I guess that's why I'm putting so much time and effort into getting things right.

The more I think about that quote from Byron the more I think he's right. Right with the addition of a factor or two. More importantly right in the order of things. Size, first and foremost. Additionaly Shape, secondly. Thirdly, color! I think back on some of the older patterns and realize that the new materials that we use, may just not be important. Which brings me to the fourth most important factor, which I'm tending to believe in, PRESENTATION or the final addition.

However, I'm tending to believe that they only come in one particular order as it applies to finiky trout. Order as follows; Size, Shape, Presentation, Color! Keeping in mind that this doesn't apply to your average, really hungry, GSMNP trout, and would refer to that 24"+ bruiser that refuses to take on every drift while in the park. I'm further believing that if you had to stick to three it would more than likely be; Size, Shape, & Presentation. Making color a moot point!

I dunno, and Flyman keep posting some of your goods! I'm loving seeing what you got. They are beautiful!

~Brett

billyspey
04-21-2009, 08:27 PM
brent a new product that will cover that split and keep it all together exo flex is a great clear glue for wing cases and for coating streamer bodys ask lro if they stock, if not they should, great product no need for epoxy any more , clear build and stays flexable. try it you will like it.

billj
04-21-2009, 09:31 PM
Brett, you ought to check out the book "Fly-fishing Pressured water by Lloyd Gonzales. One of the best fly tying books I have ever read and has some great material pertaining to your thoughts in this post. I really like his techniques, they look intimidating but are actually quite easy to reproduce. I am very fond of his technique for tying nymph legs using thread. I have been tying some sulphur nymphs after looking at Troutnut. I have had some success getting the profile by using Quick Descent dubbing as an underbody in the thorax and flattening it. I am attempting to replicate the light patch on the back of the abdomen using markers, it seems to be a pretty significant feature on these nymphs. I don't know how much any of this stuff matters when fishing, I just enjoy messing around with it!
Good luck hope this gives you some ideas. Bill

Fishermansfly
04-21-2009, 10:34 PM
Here's the latest in this saga. I visited my second home (LRO, Paula and Byron are set to adopt any day now) and picked up some black and white razor foam along with a few other odds and ends. I used the black razor foam coupled with white 4mm fly foam colored to match. The results were rather unpleasing, and I have to hand it to flyman, he's just plain wicked at the vise! Anywho, I snapped a few shots of the fly underwater with a thinned out tail and the new foam. Profile and colors are dead on, the split back portion still needs work.
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/DSC02069.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/DSC02073.jpg

I then decided to take a break from it, regain my sense and tie something over the top. Using the latest in fly tying the copper john look, with an ice dubbed thorax, with an appropriately matched thorax! It's just silly looking! The colors are off in the pictures but I photoshoped them as best I could. The abdomen is olive and brown ultra wire, all wrapped on a TMC 100 size 18.
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/DSC02084.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/DSC02090.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/DSC02091.jpg

~Brett

Fishermansfly
04-21-2009, 10:49 PM
Bill, I have three books on the way as we speak. Hatches, Hatches II, and Caddisflies. May just be picking up a fourth now! This author you speak of sounds like Oliver Edwards. I'm becoming a big big fan of Mr. Edwards!

I'm also admiring your usage of quick decent! Smart idea! I'm trying to remember if they sell it in yellow? I'm now rethinking this whole spit back idea, thinking about using one solid piece of white foam, coloring a yellow strip inbetween black stripes. I'm all about making any tie a 5 minute one! Simplifying it, and if it can't be simplified I like to make it more believable.

Bill, I see this is your first post to the forum and though I don't usually welcome people(never seem to make it that far, stuck in general fly tying), even though I should, I wish you welcome to the forum! There's lotsa feesh educated folks around here! I look forward to future post from you, including some of those sulphurs! Questions get answered pretty quikly around here, and everyone is friendly!

Thanks again my friend,
~Brett

billj
04-22-2009, 12:06 AM
Sorry I didn't get this info to you sooner, there was a copy of his book at LRO on my last couple of visits. Lloyd posts quite frequently on the fly tying forum at troutnut under the name Gonzo. His flies can be seen at Hacklehead.com. I also like Edward's tying and have been using elements of his tying in my imitations, primarily the use of flexi-body and thin skin. I have added thread legs to my split case patterns on a few but find them so effective with the standard wood duck legs that I usually don't bother. That pattern can really be magic on the SoHo! I usually use a dark brown biot body instead of dubbing.
I've never tried to post any photos of my tying, maybe I'll get around to it sometime. Your tutorials are great by the way. Dont think they had quick descent in yellow but I usually dub over it anyway. I have tried to simplify the split back thing but havent been pleased with the results. That pattern really seems to nail it. You might be able to get results with a dark brown marker over yellow foam, I think the yellow really needs to jump out. I am using markers on most of the flies I tie these days.

Fishermansfly
04-22-2009, 12:24 AM
Yes yes, Gonzo, Taxon, and the rest of the lot! I frequently lurk TroutNut's forum! Entomologist, I aspire to be a self taught one! I'm on that site more than any other. Viewing and re-viewing all of our local hatches and thinking about new patterns to better imitate what we have hatching locally.

I'm stuck on this thread leg idea. Are you twisting the thread and allowing it to bind on itself? I've heard of this method being used for other things like yarn on a abdomen of a caddis or on a salmonfly. I'm gonna have to go see this gents work. I believe he/Gonzo has posted a few patterns on Troutnut's fly pattern section. He's an excellent tier, now that I seem to recall it. That's the kinda stuff I'm looking for.

Your snatching things right out of my head! "I think the yellow really needs to jump out. I am using markers on most of the flies I tie these days." Couldn't agree with you more!

You mentioned the right things and now I'm gonna have to go grab that book and visit a website...Thanks again!

~Brett

billj
04-25-2009, 09:57 AM
I've been working today on a new split back pattern. I always liked the old split back pattern and it surely has produced plenty of fish for me. While breezing through Jason Neuswanger's site (TroutNut.com) and started looking again at local hatches. One I came upon was the Ephemerella Invaria, or more commonly known as the "bigger" sulphur. Dorothea, or the "smaller" sulphur, is well represented by this bug, the split back pmd. Everyone should know that it is of course a pattern to represent an emerging pale morning dun, or Ephemerella Excrucians. All of which are pretty darn close if you ask me. Colors are very close. However I couldn't find any bugs that had a claret/maroon tinge to them as the original pattern calls for.

One of the other things that really bothered me about the pattern was the overall shape. It's a very conical pattern, whereas the bug has a thin and wide abdomen, with broad shoulders forming a head.

So after looking at a bunch of different images, I decided to sit down at the vice. Here's what I have so far.
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/workinprogress.jpg

I'm not very happy with any of them. But as you can see I've got the overall shape and colors down. Now I just need to figure out a way to get those broad shoulders I'm looking for.

Any Ideas? I've already tried playing around with mono to get the correct shape at the shoulders...I failed miserably with it. I'm interested to hear from the other tiers as to what they'd try.

~Brett
Brett, I have some more thoughts but I am struggling w/ my photography and posting skills! Here is a picture of my latest tie, the picture is terrible but I am quite pleased with the fly....

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/picture.php?pictureid=156&albumid=29&dl=1240544821&thumb=1 (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/album.php?albumid=29&pictureid=156)

I think the split back works so well because it is a trigger... I have seen an emergence when it looked like little yellow dots floating down the SoHo... and the split back worked great!
I still struggle with this hatch on the SoHo....been blanked too many times with fish rising all around me. Sometimes it seems like the fish are keying in on the movement of the insect, if them legs aint wrigglin they ain't bitin!
I have some dun patterns that I have hopes for, my internettin skills are so bad that it will take me some time to get photos up!
any way....thread legs I use Coats and Clark thread in kind of a sulpher color, coat the thread with Softex, let it dry and cut three strands for legs and tie them in....separate w/ dubbing, wipe a thin coat of Super glue down the outer 3/4 of each leg with a needle, let it dry for a few moments and heat kink the legs w a heated needle or heated tweezers, then mark with a prismacolor. I use bleached moose body for the tails, but have also used thread.(6/0) treated the same way. I have experimented with thread legs on dries ( caught my largest brown (22 inches) on one as well as hooked and lost one of those 30 inch monsters on the SoHo with one) but am still working on it. I have a few pictures of these in my album.
Hope this is of interest, more later.... Bill

Fishermansfly
04-25-2009, 01:08 PM
"I still struggle with this hatch on the SoHo....been blanked too many times with fish rising all around me. Sometimes it seems like the fish are keying in on the movement of the insect, if them legs aint wrigglin they ain't bitin!"

Please send me an email, I think I can help! Fishermansfly@gmail.com

Or at least put you on something that will!

~Brett

Fishermansfly
04-27-2009, 11:10 PM
So if anyone is learning anything from this, it's that Mr. Brett is wasting alotta expensive hooks and other materials on creating this silly thing! What I'm loving even more about this thread is the original title!

I went back to the vise today and began using a method a fellow fly fisherman/author, uses for his ties. Lloyd Gonzales author of "Fly Fishing Pressured Water" has a technique for his legs using thread...As discussed earlier in this thread. I haven't got his book just yet but it is on the way. I wanted to see if I could duplicate what I was seeing in his ties.

I used Danville's 210 Denier for the legs, knotted and then dipped into Softex. 210 Denier made for some pretty thin legs. Which wasn't what I was expecting. Trail and error baby! I'm learning a tremendous amount about a load of different things by attempting to perfect this bug. Techniques, materials, fishing methods, history of the invaria family, etc., etc., etc.

Finally and on a brighter note, I'm filling my fly box with junk sulphur flies! No doubt they'll all get eaten sooner or later, I'm just gonna have a hard time throwing them when I get the right pattern down!

Here's the latest!
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n209/fishermansfly/GonzalesAttempt.png

~Brett