Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 72 - The Fly Tying Bug

I looked at my fly box the other day and noticed that I have a few holes in my fly box. I'd also like to fill the holes in my wife's fly box. Therefore, I've been wanting to sit down at the vise and crank out a few patterns. Therein lies the problem, I don't know what pattern to tie up.

After reading up the other day on the Polish woven nymph, I thought I might be onto something. Thanks to a bug exhibit a few years ago at the Midwest Fly Expo, I realized that many of the nymph patterns that I tie, are wrong. They don't include that wonderful gill pattern on the underside of the fly. The Polish woven nymph pattern could be improved upon if it included gills that stuck out between the wraps. Hmmm... my mind started to churn some gears.

Hoping to get those gears moving even more, I decided I'd try the woven nymph pattern. Ugh! It was ugly, and I don't understand how people can weave without tying their hands into knots. It could be the fact that I was working with two different materials (wire and embroidery thread), or that my hands are inexperienced with that style. Either way, it's one for the crap jar.

The crap jar, is really no more than a cup full of flies that I've attempted with little or no success. The idea is that someday in the future I'll take a razor blade and cut off all the "stuff" to salvage the hook (and possibly bead). Reality is that I've been adding to this pile pretty regularly for the past few years, and not once thought about salvaging the hook. Instead, it stands as a testament to my crappy tying skills, a history lesson of failures (or one could say experience).

I did learn from my experience at weaving. I won't share because they are super top secret and none of you have clearance. OK, that's not true. I learned that when you do this technique, great care should be given that your top wraps have to touch, or you'll have an ugly fly. Seriously, I was going to take a picture of it and post here, but I was too embarrassed by the outcome.

Since this outcome, I've been thinking more about this pattern and how I want to tie it. I may have to take another trip to the Art & Craft store to pick up some more thread. At a whopping $.97, I don't think I'll have to fight this battle too hard with my wife. I'm sure I could upturn some couch cushions or look in the console of my Trout-mobile to find the money. Also, I'll have to search through my materials chest for the pheasant skin that I think I still have (unless my dad has it in his chest).

Years ago, one of the fly magazines that I read talked about using filo-plumes from a pheasant skin. Filo-plumes are the secondary under feathers hidden below the main feathers. They are webby and under water give a lot of movement. The downside is that they are very fragile and short. However, my mind thinks that these little feathers could be tied to the underside of a hook. When using the Polish woven nymph technique, if these little feathers were left to stick out a little bit between the wraps they could look like gills.

I may have to take a trip to the store tomorrow. I'm liking this idea more and more. If this turns into success I'll post pictures tomorrow. If not, you can just believe that I've added one more pattern to the crap jar.

1 comment:

  1. Someday, when we all achieve clearance, you'll have to show us a picture of the crap jar.

    You know, I keep reading your articles about tying and it's caused something inside of me to rekindle, the 'lets try fly tying again' thoughts are creeping out....
    I should curse you for such influence, but that would probably knock me off the potential clearance list~