Not a Hair Out of Place Fly Tying Presents…

Friday Night Flies!!!

A lot has happened in the past few weeks and we’re still struggling with the loss of our President. But he would want us to continue and ‘fight the good fight’ I am sure of it.

So… I’ve been tying some, reflecting on my interactions with Joe over the past several years. It’s my way to deal with, to cope and to heal. I hope everyone who knew Joe is dealing with his loss in their own way. But we must remember to get through this, to persevere, and continue to protect this area that we all love, Slate Run and the surrounding area.

I’ve moved past tying the dry stone flies and am trying to tie what I think may represent the early mayflies – the Quill Gordon’s. I’ll need to do some Hendrickson’s too, but I just haven’t been too satisfied with the QG’s quite yet so I’ll probably dwell on them a bit till I am… satisfied that is (hopefully soon!).

Well, I’ve got 2 versions so far. One is a Compara Dun, a variation for a Quill Gordon that will hopefully work – as in fool a trout or two.

Quill Gordon Compara Dun Variant – March 2023

This is tied on a size 12 Tiemco 101 dry fly hook. Couple of moose mane hairs for tails, split, and then I used a dubbing loop to dub two different colors of dubbing, one a light grey and the other a dark gray. Twisted up and wound around the hook shank this should display two different colors in the abdomen. Don’t know if this shows up so well in the picture, but that is how it was tied. Typical deer hair compara winging technique. I tend to pull about a third of it back and make a loop, cinch down with a bit of force, then the next third, and then the last. Build up a thread dam in front of it and then dubbing some of the darker dubbing of the body in front of the wing. Whip finish a head and done.

But I must admit that I like to tie parachute style flies, they seem easier to tie to me. This next one is such and is a Quill Gordon variant in a parachute style.

Quill Gordon Parachute Variant – March 2023

I did use some peacock eye stripped for the body here. It’s pretty clear that I didn’t smooth down the under-body with thread too well and thus the outcome is a bit bumpy. Maybe this is perfect for ‘Not A Hair Outta Place’ fly tying but I wouldn’t want to submit any of these in a fly tying contest. Trailing shuck – obviously, on the same Tiemco 101 hook. The hackle is tied off onto the post. I’ve really gotten used to that technique and it feels somewhat natural at this point. It goes a lot easier when using a thinner thread though.

Both these were tied with Danville waxed thread – I think either an 8/0 or maybe a 6/0. I usually use a really thin Veevus but don’t have my ‘Gray’ selection here and so had to compromise and use the Danville. Found I needed to make sure to not wind too many times (in other words use as few turns of thread as possible – just enough to hold things in place) as it bulked up a lot quicker than a thinner thread. No biggie.

Next I saw someone tying a Kryptonite Caddis on YouTube and thought I’d like to give them a go. I thought they didn’t look too difficult to tie so I went in with a lot of confidence. Well, I was humbled almost immediately. But that didn’t stop me from trying.

Left – too much CDC I think! And on the right too much ‘collar’. Hopefully some unsuspecting trout won’t let that stop them. I now know what particular characteristics I need in the CDC that I want to use on this tie. It’s just unfortunate I didn’t have any on hand and didn’t compensate very well with what I did have.

Lastly, I thought I could try a variant and use some soft hackle instead of the CDC.

Ok, I’m not completely ok with the length of the soft hackle in relationship to the overall size of the fly (I could see trying to go a little smaller with the soft hackle) but in this instance… too much collar in my opinion. I’ll fish it but I need to tie many more before I’m satisfied with my output. Luckily I’m not tying these for someone else.

The bodies of all these are mono called Amnesia – and I used 20 pound here where the YT video calls for 15 pound. I got some 15 pound now and will try it but I don’t think the 20 pound is objectionable. The difference between the 15 & 20 pound is only a few thousandths in diameter. To make the abdomen – it’s just an ‘over-hand’ knot looped through about 11 times. The video calls for 14 times but I think that length body, with that many turns, looks too long. So adjust it to however long YOU want it to be I say.

The first SRS Membership meeting for 2023 is tomorrow, 10:30AM when the meeting will come to order, Brown Township Fire Hall, Cedar Run, PA. We all will need to push through it and keep going. Time will help, but it’s time to grieve right now. In more time we can start to heal.

Live and reporting from Slate Run, I’m an Unintentional Blogger…. aka UB.

4 thoughts on “Not a Hair Out of Place Fly Tying Presents…

    • Sorry about the long delay in responding (have a few health issues atm) YouTube is your friend in this case.You can learn a lot from searching for tying techniques form YT I think. I knew one beginner and he really advanced quickly but YT’ing on patterns to tie. I’d start there and if you can tie with an experienced tyer, that’d help also. Take care and good luck.

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