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Thread: How to tie a fly.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Cape Town
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    Default How to tie a fly.

    Iím not much of a fly tier. I can do itómy friend calls it ďham and eggs tyingĒóand I tie some cool flies that I canít buy in a fly shop, but other than that, I would no more sit down and tie a dozen hopper patterns than I would do something absolutely insane, like build a rod. A friend at The Oregonian often says that heís going to become a crazy old guy whoís building a robot in his garage, and thatís about what rod building is to meóthe mark of someone who has completely gone around the bend.

    I have read a lot of fly-tying instruction books, and some of them are pretty good. But I have not as yet seen a fly-tying book that honestly breaks the process down, step-by-step, and shows youóhonestlyóhow to do it in a way that truly reflects what you need to know. So I provide here a basic, building-blocks guide to tying a fly.

    1. Select a hook. I like to tie small flies, so I like to use a hook that I canít really see, like a 20.

    2. Drop the hook into the carpet and hope you donít step on it.

    3. Get another hook.

    4. Put the hook in the vise. Make sure you prick your thumb when inserting the hook into the jaws, oth*erwise you wonít have enough blood to hold the fly together.

    5. Carefully wrap size 8/0 black thread around the hook shank. Take care to overwrap the hook shank so that the profile of the fly is way too fat.

    6. Examine your materials and organize them carefully.

    7. Sneeze.

    8. Reexamine materials and reorganize them carefully. Letís try a simple pattern, like an Adams.

    9. Take the tail materials (I canít remember what they are, and I canít find my tying guide, anyway). Brown hackle barbs, I think.

    10. Take the brown hackle barbs off the hackle, and wrap the thread around the bend of the hook.

    11. They should be sticking out .00000009 microns.

    12. Switch reading glasses, again.

    13. Switch reading glasses, again.

    14. Switch reading glasses, again.

    15. Thatís better.

    16. Okay, get the dubbing material and rub wax all over the thread. Too much wax will make the fly body even fatter, so just screw the wax.

    17. Carefully spin the gray dubbing material around the thread until it gets too twisty and the bobbin spins wildly. Six thousand rpms should work.

    18. Now wrap the dubbing material around the hook shank, all the way up to the hook eye. The rear part of the fly will be fatter, even if you donít want it to be. Try squashing that fatter part down between your bleeding thumb and index finger. Good luck.

    19. More blood.

    20. Good.

    21. Now, for the fun part. You need to tie in the wings and wrap the hackle. Clip the wings from the ends of two too-large grizzly hackle feathers.

    22. Tie on the wings.

    23. No, this way.

    24. For the love of Pete. Please.

    25. They have to be like this.

    26. No, they need to be at a 45-degree angle and uprightish. Like this.

    27. NO, DUMBASS. LIKE THAT.

    28. Close enough.

    29. Okay, now tie in your hackle. It should be grizzly and brown.

    30. Get out your hackle guide to make sure that, again, they are simply too long. You will need to have the profile of the fly way too fluffy to be natural, so be careful. You can lightly trim them later in the pro*cess to assure maximum unnaturalness.

    31. Now wrap the hackle around and through the wings.

    32. Okay, now you have mashed the wings in a com*pletely weird and useless position. Take your bloody thumb and forefinger and readjust them.

    33. Oops. You donít need that second wing, anyway. Donít even bother to get on the floor to find it. Keep wrapping.

    34. Now tie off the hackle, making sure that you canít tie off the head without having those little points sticking out.

    35. Wrap even more thread around the head of the fly. More. MORE THREAD.

    36. Now you canít see the points at all, but the head now looks like The Worldís Largest Ball of String Roadside Attraction in Fromage, Wisconsin.

    37. Whatever.

    38. Now do a whip finish. Take your whip finisher and get the little wire thing over the thread, rotate it, hold it up perpendicular to the shank of the hook, turn it again, rotate, twist, twist again, drop, loop, hook, and then GENTLY break the thread.

    39. Good. Now, as fast as you can before the fly unrav*els (usually instantaneously, but sometimes you get a break and it will hold for ten seconds, just before you can get the new thread on), tie on even more thread.

    40. Forget the whip finisher. Use the hollow thingee needle device.

    41. FASTER.

    42. Okay, now open the bottle of head cement and inhale.

    43. Kidding.

    44. Get the needle and dip it in the bottle.

    45. Put one to eight drops of head cement on the head of the fly.

    46. Compulsively stick the dubbing needle into the hook eye so it doesnít get filled in with cement. No matter how many times you do this, it will magically in-fill when you take the fly to the stream and attempt to put your tippet material through.

    47. Now trim the thread.

    48. You must have accidentally cut the thread, again.

    49. Never mind.

    50. Go to fly shop and buy a dozen Adams.

    Excerpted from Angler Management: The Day I Died While Fly Fishing (Headwater Books, September 2009, 214 pages, hardcover). Purchase in the MidCurrent Store.



    Reprinted by permission of Headwater Books. Copyright
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Korrie View Post
    ... and thatís about what rod building is to meóthe mark of someone who has completely gone around the bend...
    Should I keep you from that and keep that blank???
    Mario Geldenhuys
    Smallstream fanatic, plus I do some other things that I can't tell you about

    "All the tips or magical insights in the world can't replace devotion, dedication, commitment, and gumption - and there is not secret in that" - Glenn Brackett

  3. #3

    Default

    Bahaaaaa! Had a good chuckle at that.
    - Warren Prior

    "Never a dull moment!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Tauranga North Island
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    Default

    Ouma was right when she told me "There is a lot more to tying a fly than just tying a fly!" Jax
    A man is only as big as the things that annoy him.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Gauteng
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    Default

    To the t. Good one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Cape Town
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    Default

    The images are so vivid of myself when I started tying flies 18 years ago, mirroring almost all the steps, except for the reading glasses.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Durbanville
    Posts
    5,126

    Default

    Sounds like some of the Thursday evening tying sessions at my place
    Behold the fisherman. he riseth early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household. mighty are his preperations. he goes forth full of hope and when the day is ended, he returneth smelling of strong drink and the truth is not with him. originator unknown.

    my stuff.... http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=824[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    gauteng
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Korrie View Post

    4. Put the hook in the vise. Make sure you prick your thumb when inserting the hook into the jaws, oth*erwise you wonít have enough blood to hold the fly together.
    We all know that feeling, especially when tying a fly that contains white, or should I say white with some red spots.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Those are the very steps I go through just trying to put my Vice together..
    Bubble, Bubble, Bubble and Squeak...I think this mixture is too weak!!!???" (Wrex Tarr)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Western Cape
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    590

    Default

    Korrie
    That is a very cool fly tying verbal demonstration. Well put, we all can relate to a few of those points.
    " Not tonight baby! I gotta fly"

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