Driftless Trout Anglers

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OTC_MN  
#211 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 7:02:48 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
Posts: 234
Location: St Paul MN

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 33 time(s) in 25 post(s)
Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: OTC_MN Go to Quoted Post


Nancy P



Those look great!

Nice tight heads and a smooth transition to the collar. Getting a smooth curved head when trimming with a razor blade is difficult for my fat fingers. I tried mixing some yellow and red deer hair for the head paired with orange and brown rabbit strips on a couple of mine, but the results were less than stellar. I think natural to darker colored deer hair just looks better a for crayfish imitation.


-Bill


Thanks... The middle fly I kind of messed up the head. Honestly, I was on the phone while I was trimming it and not really paying attention. Got done with it and realized I'd put a Dungeon style head on a Nancy P. Blink

It'll fish fine though.

When I tied flies as a kid, I didn't have much for materials. I'd agonize over what to tie with the tiny pack of saddle hackles I'd get once in a while.

There were two notable exceptions: deer hair and calf tail/body hair. We hunted deer, and I'd cut belly strips and take the tails. We also raised cattle, and I'd go down to the calf barn with a scissors and a ziploc bag, wrestle a calf and give him a haircut when I needed hair.

I'm crap at a lot of tying techniques, but I can spin deer hair and set hair wings like a boss. LOL

Edited by user Monday, January 28, 2019 7:08:29 PM(UTC)  | Reason: I can't spell.

"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
William Schlafer  
#212 Posted : Sunday, February 10, 2019 6:53:59 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,269
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 76 times
Was thanked: 112 time(s) in 95 post(s)
Still tying to master this Crawfish pattern. Not getting any easier or quicker to to tie, but I have learned some good lessons for the future. This batch turned out a bit better than the previous ones.
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Someone asked me for tips on how these are tied, so here you go.

The typical materials you will need.
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And some handy tools.
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Deer hair can vary in color depending on what you desire. I went with natural, dark olive green and crawfish orange. You can mix the hair or use them straight. A small wooden dowel comes in handy to mix the hair in the stacker. Gold variant, tan, olive or crawfish orange rabbit strips form the "claws."

I stripped an old BIC pen of it's innards which makes a great little hair packer.
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I switched to Gamakatsu B10s hooks after I had a couple of hooks snap off right at the end of the tie when applying too much pressure.
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It is really frustrating to put all that effort into tying the fly and carving the hair, only to have the hook break at the end. I decided to toss out all the cheapo hooks and will only work with quality stuff from now on. Lesson learned: you only pay for quality once. The Gamakatsu hooks are stronger and have an extended hook gap which I think will provide for better hook ups with this pattern.

Holding back the hair around the head when whip finishing can be frustrating while fumbling with the whip finish tool and trying to position your fingers properly. I found a small piece of leather with a hole punched in it and applied to the bobbin works great to hold back the stacked hair from the hook eye to finish it off cleanly. A cheap and easy tool, one of my favorite things.
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According to Kelly Galloup's video the shape of the Chenille on the back part of the fly is the most important feature of this pattern. It's critical to getting the rabbit strip "claws" to form this curved shape on the rear of the fly, which is supposed to seduce Trout. Well, we'll see.
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I used red thread to form the head which looks great when coated with UV Clear Finish.
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The moment of truth: time to carve the head.
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An old school safety razor blade does a good job of whittling away the bulk of the stacked hair. You can bend and flex it to shape the head. Finish the trim carefully with a good pair of sharp, small fly tying scissors. Go slow and take your time. It's super easy to accidentally lob off the rubber legs, or a chunk of your fingers. A rotating vise helps too when working around the head.
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The finished product. Getting the hair stacked and packed properly determines how well the head will look. Practice and patience pays off in the end.
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This collection should get me though the season. Although I bet many of these will never see the water. I found the green and tan hair with the gold variant rabbit fur produces a better looking fly than orange fur and rabbit hair. The learning curve on this patter is fairly steep. But, like fly fishing itself, tying a complex pattern like this one is part of the voyage.
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Just don't ask me how much money I've spent recently on fly tying supplies...
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(Eddie Rivard ladies and gentlemen!!!)


-Bill




“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
OTC_MN  
#213 Posted : Sunday, February 10, 2019 2:26:04 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
Posts: 234
Location: St Paul MN

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 33 time(s) in 25 post(s)
Hey -

Nice batch of Nancys! They're kind of a fun bug to tie.

Pretty neat trick with the leather. I've used a piece of heavy plastic bag with a slit cut in it, but I like your leather piece better.

One thought. for what it's worth... Whether it's a Nancy, Dungeon, Zoo Cougar or any other deer hear streamer (other than a Drunk and Disorderly or Sid), I don't pack them at all, and actually tie them fairly loose. So the heads on mine are actually pretty squishy. I want the profile and the water push, but other than that I want them to soak up water so they sink better.

You'll have fun fishing the Nancys though. Fish just clobber them when they hit them. They're a killer smallie fly too.
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
William Schlafer  
#214 Posted : Sunday, February 10, 2019 8:00:22 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,269
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 76 times
Was thanked: 112 time(s) in 95 post(s)
Thanks!

I tried putting one in a sink of water to see how it moves. Seemed to sink OK after getting it wet and the head seemed to soak in the water. I didn't really pack the hair tight. I mostly used the BIC pen to reposition the hair, fill in any voids and move the mass back to make room for the next stack. The trick is to make sure you leave enough space between the dumbbell head and the hook eye and apply the right amount of hair to surround the dumbbell properly. It's pretty easy to overdo it.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
William Schlafer  
#215 Posted : Tuesday, February 19, 2019 10:45:33 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,269
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 76 times
Was thanked: 112 time(s) in 95 post(s)
I found a generic Mayfly pattern online that I decided to try. A simple pattern that uses just a few materials.

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I tied two variants, one with black and white hackle, and the other using deer hair for a caddis type wing. All were tied with size 14 curved scud style hooks. The overall size of the fly is dictated by the size of the Mallard Feather used for the tail and the body. Some came out long, others a bit stubby. I also tied some using Lemon Wood Duck feathers. These contrast nicely with the Wood Duck colored thread I used.
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The cupped shape of the feather gives the body and tail that upright curve. Simple and effective. Should ride nice and high on the water.
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The darker Mallard Feathers look better to me than the lighter ones. Will be curious to see how they fish.
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The wings came out a little too long on some of these. I tried trimming a few of them down, but I liked the natural look better.
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-Bill

Edited by user Tuesday, February 19, 2019 10:47:04 PM(UTC)  | Reason: damned typos!

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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