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Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2013/2/13 9:42
From Mercer, Pa
Posts: 70
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I've been tying for about a year and a half now, but I have never really been able to become proficient at tying dries. I spent a vacation in Maine focusing on tying dries, mostly EHC and Griffith's Gnats in various sizes and color combos. The Griffith's Gnats turned out fine, but my EHC will not float properly. Im not sure if my materials are inferior or if my proportions are off, but the fly floats on its side, or doesn't float at all. I was using a hackle gauge and the flies don't look much different from google images of the flies... I'm sort of stumped, and frustrated to say the least. I consulted the step-by-step instruction from Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying, and I still can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Can anyone offer any suggestions? I would love to fill this hole in my fly tying game. It's really bothering me. I'd like to move on to other patterns, but there is no use if they won't float!

Posted on: 2014/7/6 13:12


Re: Dry flies....on their side

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2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2845
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If you could offer a picture and a list of kind/type of materials I think that would help with solutions.

Posted on: 2014/7/6 14:38
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Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2013/2/13 9:42
From Mercer, Pa
Posts: 70
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Here are some pictures.... I apologize for the bad quality all I had handy was my cell phone.

[img align=left width=300] photo B802C060-A205-473B-9ACF-6282E262EFBF_zpspud0gsfa.jpg[/img]

[img align=left width=300] photo EB153E61-6C7E-4946-8682-03136E2C4B55_zpskvbbtdr5.jpg[/img]

[img align=left width=300]http://s1056.photobucket.com/user/chanderhan/media/Mobile%20Uploads/B6F8E3DA-8AEB-4C52-B284-BD5C115314E3_zpsvjnkmhjd.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2[/img]

[img align=left width=300] photo BE5139A2-D77C-48AC-9D10-FEC54CE50864_zpsjg9x5mgf.jpg[/img]

[img align=left width=300]http://s1056.photobucket.com/user/chanderhan/media/Mobile%20Uploads/CACDD5B2-8FA2-4EDE-962A-1FCDFA6CE61D_zpsv3gidvrc.jpg.html?sort=3&o=4[/img]

[img align=left width=300] photo 55BB3FC1-D853-4548-B236-B8B314F64A6D_zpsywbl6hzn.jpg[/img]


sorry for the picture heavy post, I just wanted to include multiple ties since they are not always perfectly consistent (yet).

Also, I think some of the hackle was a little flattened from the micro-slit foam, i tried to brush it out as best i could.

Posted on: 2014/7/8 16:34


Re: Dry flies....on their side
Moderator
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 9697
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Try shorter hackle tied front to back with the shiny side facing forward. Check out these pics.

EHC

Posted on: 2014/7/8 16:49


Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2845
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Do yourself a favor and get a compartment box for your dries, your hackle will thank you. When you tie in the wing have it stop at the bend of the hook the last one seems a bit too long. When you take your wraps to tie down the hair pinch wrap it on, you want the hair to wrap or lay a little past the top of the hook on both sides, not all on top. This distributes the weight or balance of the fly. The hackle does look a good bit too large. I pluck the feather and bend it over the hook while in the vise to check size, and remember the hackle will be larger when you dub on the body and then wrap over the dubbing. So I typically undersize the hackle a bit to make up for that, also it depends on how big you make the body too. I'm sure I've missed something but the pics are a huge help to try and figure it out.

Posted on: 2014/7/8 19:43
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There is a need to fish, to be in the water. It soothes the soul...


Re: Dry flies....on their side

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2009/4/11 18:51
From State College
Posts: 1096
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Hackle length would for sure be the biggest issue. Like Jack pointed out, on EHC the dubbing makes the hackle stick out longer…I would air toward the hackle being the width of the gap.

Posted on: 2014/7/8 19:48
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Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2011/9/24 16:37
From Clearfield
Posts: 189
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from the last picture I would have to say that the reason that fly lands on its side is that the deer/elk hair seems to be tied on the side. Looks to me like the hook eye has a lot of hair trapped behind it rather than on top of it. It might just be the picture but if you have the hair wing positioned more on one side than the other it will tip the fly over. lv2nymph gave you the technique on how to correct it.

Posted on: 2014/7/8 19:58


Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2013/2/13 9:42
From Mercer, Pa
Posts: 70
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Thanks guys all of this is really appreciated. Besides making the hackle equal to the hook gap, is it generally safe to say that with a dubbed body you would want to go down a hook size on the gauge to compensate? For the future to apply to other patterns as well.


lv2nymph- I usually put my dries in a compartment box, however these ties went in to the "day trip" box when i want to pack light. I guess I'll try moving the hackled dries to a magnet section of the box. Does anyone know if this affects the hackle in a negative way? I'd like to be able to keep them in this day tripper box.

Posted on: 2014/7/9 1:06


Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2845
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Quote:

guppieguy wrote:
is it generally safe to say that with a dubbed body you would want to go down a hook size on the gauge to compensate?

Yes, depending on how large you make the body.



I guess I'll try moving the hackled dries to a magnet section of the box. Does anyone know if this affects the hackle in a negative way?

At the time I was looking to get one I'd been told that the hackle will flatten on the side the fly is laying on and never got one. I got some of those little skinny boxes from orvis and put magnet sheets in the box & I can tell you they work great for spinners, & cdc patterns.(especially trics & midges




Posted on: 2014/7/9 6:28
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Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2014/5/30 15:05
Posts: 23
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I have the same problem. An expert fly tyer told me today to make sure to use dry fly dubbing like superfine or antron. I was using beaver dubbing and he said the beaver dubbing will attract water and could make the fly float sideways. He also said to make sure the tail is not too long or pointed down since this will also make the fly roll on its side.

Posted on: 3/15 19:14


Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2013/5/28 14:36
From Carbon County
Posts: 235
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The only thing I can add to this is, if you use a fly floatant on these just put it on the elk hair wing and make sure you don't get any on the hook bend/point. The bend and point of the hook needs to be able to break the surface and act like a keel.

Posted on: 3/15 19:23


Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1887
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Maybe not the by-the-book answer, but on EHC's you can trim the hackle off the bottom so the fly lies flush against the water. Just take you scissors and snip a line of hackle off along the body. The fly will have a wide v shape opening in the hackle along the bottom.

The other thing would be to use smaller hackle. Using a hackle gauge can get you sized consistently and then you just need to find what size hackle you need to get the flies to behave the way you want.

As for the dubbing advice, I don't see an issue there and just about any dubbing can be used if you are fishing your flies with floatant.

Posted on: 3/15 22:53


Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 530
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Good advice above. I have had this problem as well, and I think that the issue is mostly hackle length.

But honestly I've used store bought EHC that looked well proportioned, and when I fished them they often turned on their side. I think that unless you trim the hackle on the bottom this fly will always tend to land sideways more often than a fly that doesn't have the palmered hackle. Well tied versions land upright more frequently, but still not all the time every cast. Lately I've been tying a "skittering caddis" more often than true EHC. The skittering caddis is just an EHC but with all the hackle wrapped at the front rather than palmered. It seems to float and catch fish just as well as the traditional EHC, and has the added advantage that it lands upright every time, and you can skitter it across the water pretty well without it going under.

Posted on: 3/16 8:52


Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2013/3/7 12:27
From Sintrul Pinnsiveenya
Posts: 502
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I haven't put hackle on EHC in years. The elk hair floats fine by itself. Peacock body, tan dubbing, or foam body. I don't use head cement either. I'm too old school I suppose. Never use 3 turns of thread if two will do. Keep it sparse and as stated earlier - apply the elk (or deer) hair on top of hook when drawing down the main wraps behind the eye. FWIW some Caddis will crash land on their sides anyway.

Posted on: 3/16 9:02
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Re: Dry flies....on their side

Joined:
2013/1/15 12:02
From Pipersville Pa.
Posts: 938
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Quote:

JG63 wrote:
I haven't put hackle on EHC in years. The elk hair floats fine by itself. Peacock body, tan dubbing, or foam body. I don't use head cement either. I'm too old school I suppose. Never use 3 turns of thread if two will do. Keep it sparse and as stated earlier - apply the elk (or deer) hair on top of hook when drawing down the main wraps behind the eye. FWIW some Caddis will crash land on their sides anyway.


I agree. I don't put hackle on either. Does not seem to make any difference.

GenCon

Posted on: 3/17 15:54
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