Saturday, April 28, 2012

Just spent last night setting the wings on this fly. It took me two hours to set the under wings and over wing to a stage that I really liked. I ended up doing each side of the over wing separately as I could not get it right at the same time.


Hook: 0/2
Thread: 70 denier white
Wax: Bill Bailey's white wax
Butt: small oval tinsel, green floss, natural golden pheasant crest, and peacock herl
Lower body: Red floss and green floss rib
Upper body: Yellow dubbing, barred hen hackle, and yellow dyed guinea throat hackle
Under wing: Lady Amherst and golden pheasant
Over wing: Kori Bustard
Head: Peacock herl and then 70 denier black to cover the white thread

Almost all my supplies are from a great site for getting exotic feathers and tools for traditional salmon flies.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Salmon Flies

I finally got around to putting all the salmon flies that I have tied into boxes.

Top - My first salmon fly "rusty rat", this was tied with what I had at the time so it was not really a rusty rat.

Middle - This was my second try at tying the "rusty rat", this time I had most of the material that I needed except the peacock was standard herl not from the a peacock sword or body or head feathers which makes it look very straight. However, I really liked the look of this fly and the body was very smooth.

Bottom - This fly was practice for tying on golden pheasant crests, as you can see I did not have any natural coloured crests (but I do now, thanks to I should have put a throat on this fly to balance the fly, but when I remembered I had already super glued the head.

This a set of Lady Amherst feather wing flys. They are not a true Lady Amherst, but still they look nice. From the top to the bottom I was changing the body sections from 1 to 3 sections with different coloured floss so that I would improve my floss wrapping to get a smooth looking body.

I finally got my order from so I could make some Dee flies (Top) and then some mated wing flies. I have not started to make mated wings as I am still in the process of trying to get just a standard wing to sit properly.

Top - This is my attempt at a Dee fly, but I did not have any spey feathers so I just used pheasant tail, problem with the pheasant tail is it is very stiff and also mates very easily. The Mallard wing was pretty easy to tie on.

Middle, Bottom - These two flies were my practice for trying to get wings to sit properly. They are tied with Kori Bustard, which I was not expected to get but was in the package from Both flies are not perfect, but were a lot of fun to tie.

Hopefully, I will get around to trying to do mated wings this week.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lessons learnt

This is my 6th attempt at tying a fully dressed salmon fly and there were so many lessons learnt with this one fly. Firstly to get the golden pheasant crests to the desired shape they need to be soaked in water for about 30 mins and then you can create the curve by placing the fly on a flat surface with lots of water and then let the crests dry slowly as the water evaporates. To improve my butt section smoothness the tinsel needs to be stripped before tying to reduce the bump caused by the tinsel and also it is better to snip the tinsel at the end of the butt as to not cause issues in the main body. I am using uni-tread floss which is actually two twisted threads together and it is best to untwist these treads and use only one thread to get the best smoothness. To bulk up the body waxed dental floss is the best. Not only does it allow you to bulk up the body quickly and cheaply, the wax makes a really tight body and it can be easily smoothed to get the lumps out. I am still having issues with getting the wings to sit right, but they still look good, and the head is still too big. So far this is my best attempt at getting a fully dressed Salmon fly. I have ordered feathers for making mated wings, wax for improving the grip of the thread even though I am using pre waxed tying thread.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Lady Amherst

Still waiting on my jungle cock eyes, but this is a very basic The Lady Amherst. Main thing with this fly that I was trying to improve on was the smoothness of the body and the topping. Still having a lot of issues with getting the curve of the topping right and also the stems keep snapping. All my attempts at salmon flies are on 0/2 hooks, but I might get some 2/0 hooks instead. Still trying to find some turkey tail feathers that I would buy to start mating wings.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Salmon Flies

Well I have started to get use to tying such large flies, but photos of them just made them super ugly. Really need to work on making a smoother body and also the mounting of the wings. Still trying to get some feathers to mated wings but they might have to wait until I really can make a smooth body.