I love seeing all the different versions of Hendricksons that fly tyers are posting on social media lately. Last week I went traditional with a Catskill style Hendrickson using vintage materials, this week I’ll go a different direction. The spinner stage can be an exciting part of fishing any mayfly hatch; and Hendrickson spinners are no exception. When I see them starting to collect over the riffles in the evening, I’ll drop down toward the middle of the pool and knot one of
Two weeks ago I talked about the need for creating a level, smooth under body when making a fly body from goose or turkey biots. Last week I talked about how to tie a biot in to ensure that you will get the result you want (raised rib vs. smooth segmentation) and pre-moistening the biot to help wrap it smoothly. This week I want to talk about wrapping the biot. The most important part of this is a gooooood pair of hackle pliers that are tuned up to prevent slipping (notice I
Biots can be used to make a segmented fly body that imitates a mayfly’s abdomen better than many other materials. The challenge is keeping them smooth and getting consistent results. Last week I talked about the need to create a smooth underbody. This week is part II which will talk about prepping and tying in the biot. To give yourself the most useable length, pull the biot from the feather stem rather than cut it off. That little extra gives you a good base to grip the biot
Many fly tiers I talk to find working with turkey and goose biots frustrating. They can be, but once mastered they make a really slick fly body, and they are a key material in many of my mayfly imitations. There are a few tricks that can keep your blood pressure down, your tying fun and your fly bodies smooth. The most important thing to create is a smooth under body. People that tie classic salmon flies and old school streamers and wets know this game better than anyone. If
Years ago it was pretty common to find streamer flies in smaller sizes in most shops and fly boxes. They took many forms, from bucktails like the Mickey Finn and Black Nose Dace to the beautiful Lew Oatman and Carrie Stevens feather wing patterns. Pennsylvania’s Sam Slaymaker tied a series of baby trout patterns to imitate brook, brown and rainbow trout. Somewhere along the way the lid blew off and my streamer boxes these days have some pretty nasty and big articulated flies.
We can all trace our paths back to the beginning of something, back to the roots. I was an 11 year-old kid that was always drawn to the water and inquisitive about what happens in that mysterious world below the waterline. I decided at that ripe age that I wanted to be a fly tyer and set off on a journey that continues to this day. The first flies I attempted to learn back then were traditional wet flies and “The Knoll Guide to Trout Flies”, Helen Shaw’s “Fly Tying” and Ray B