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Fifty Shades of Olive ....

My old friend Jack Mickievicz used to have a display hanging in his shop with tubes of dubbing in dozens of different shades of olive and a question “which shade of olive?”. Dark olive, pale olive, golden olive, olive brown, brown olive, gray olive, yellowish olive …. you get the point. Back then most shops just didn’t have much more than a selection of basic dubbing colors. If you were particular about these kinds of things and wanted an exact shade of olive or any other color to match a specific bug, there was a good chance you were going to need to mix up your own blend. My dubbing blender (aka coffee mill) shown here is old enough to legally hunt, drink, shoot or drive in every state of the U.S., plus an extra 15 years or so for extra measure. It’s served me well whenever I’ve wanted to blend something special like the Ausable Wulff blend pictured here, and it’s an outright necessity to felt natural furs that I’ve sheared. Times have changed, and you can find nearly any shade of dubbing color and texture you might want today, but there are still times when you have a need to add a pinch of something to get it just right or add a little sparkle. A coffee mill is the quickest way to create a special dubbing blend, or just to felt furs and make them easier to use. Fly tyers are probably more selective about color than the fish we cast our flies to; but after all that’s just another part of the chase, and I wouldn’t want to change it. Till next week ….


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