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Old 06-23-2010, 12:41 AM
gutshot gutshot is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 170

I notice a lot of 'mistakes' in your first few posted flies. Mind you if the fish eat the fly they don't matter one little bit, but they are more syndromic of issues related to inexperience with 'better' ways to construct a fly that lead to better proportions, improved durability, and often more caught fish.

One thing that has helped me a lot is to watch videos of others tying flies. Not because I can't copy a pattern by seeing it or reading a recipe in a book, but because I get to learn about 50 new ways to skin a cat such as ways to attach wire used for ribbing, how to tie in pheasant tail, how to whip finish the head of a fly.

This video off you tube is not the best quality but is rather good for tying a basic pheasant tail nymph. I am sure LRO has some great videos, as does netflicks, and your local library.


Same fly pattern but little different technique:

The quality of herl varies greatly along the length of any one feather. This variation is important to different flies for different reasons, and depending upon how you construct that specific pattern. I like to use two or three pieces tied on at the same time and only make two or three wraps with it to get the 'body' I need from the herl. More wraps often reduces the effectiveness of the herl and wastes herl in some cases.

Good luck,
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:46 AM
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flyman flyman is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hillbilly Hollow, NC
Posts: 1,015

Never have found any synthetic herl that I liked, but I do like to use a couple types of synthetic peacock dubbing. I like the Ice brand in peacock for larger flies, it has a nice sparkle and great highlights. Arizona Synthetic Peacock Natural dubbing makes a nice substitute for smaller flies. It's cut up much finer and you can touch dub it onto the thread.
"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
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