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Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
Posts: 997
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I am just getting into tying my own dry flies and the wings are the greatest challange. I was reading a book George Harvey narrated where he says the wings don't matter. Wondered if that really is true?

Posted on: 2007/12/17 7:46


Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5500
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I disagree, The first thing a trout see's in his window is the tips of the wings, then the whole wing, body and tail last...lay in the water sometime and watch from below, the tips are first to be seen...

Posted on: 2007/12/17 8:07
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sandfly

So many Fish, So little time !!!
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Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
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I think if you heavily hackled a fly you might be able to get away with it. Try using different materials. Try just tying the tail and the wings on a bunch of hooks and then as you get better at it, finish the fly. Since wings can be difficult I usually tie them in right after tying in the tail. The If I don;t like them, its easy to restart tying the wings again...then you can go ahead and dub and hackle and finish.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 9:40


Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/10/25 12:30
From York
Posts: 448
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I don't think the wings matter on anything smaller than a size 18. Anything I tie that small I leave the wings off. Besides, even if the trout could make out the tiny edge of the wing against a tangle background of trees, etc., the trout would have to be keying in on that particular trait which is IMO at the bottom of the list.

Steve

Posted on: 2007/12/17 10:02
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Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/23 0:52
From Lock Haven, PA
Posts: 478
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On dries up to a size 18 I tie in burnt hen hackle wings on most of my dries and a few I use various died mallard flank. For #20 and smaller I usually use mallard wing feathers on my BWOs and Blue Quills. I find using burnt hen hackle to be fairly easy to tie in and makes a really nice looking wing. Find a burner set for around $10 at a good fly shop.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 10:39


Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2007/5/10 14:53
From Carlisle
Posts: 633
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I don't think the wings are as important as they're made out to be. My favorite sulphur pattern on the SCPA limestoners is wingless and I do just fine on it. Up until about 2 years ago I never even tied wings on any of my dries and I caught just as many then as I do now on my winged flies. I think the hackle being there is enough for the trout. I think the trout are more worried about shape and size.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 11:14


Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3612
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I think it relates to the water yuo are fishing.
Riffles: probably not, you are going to get more instint/reaction strikes, and an extra turn of hackle would probably benefit you more than wings.
Slow water or slower water: I'd fish less hackle and wings (less hatck because mayflies only have six legs not 56 that stick out in all directions)
Brookie water: not needed.
Biggest factor: your preferance - you decide what you like, not a book, or other people for that matter.
(Personally I tie with wings, I like the asthetics and I think the flies look more classy)
However, wings are tricky to a new tier, especially length/proportion.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 11:26
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Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
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I think it has to do with whether I wore my red skivies or my white ones...Whether I strung up before or after walking to the water...I tie little stuff without because its easier. I always put wings on my bigger stuff because they look better. Well, to me they look better. To the fish...? I have no idea...I'll throw a chewed up pattern because I saw something similar in the air and get fish. I'll throw a brand new one another time because I saw the same bug and get refused. I'd rather be lucky than good any day.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 12:40


Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2259
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You can leave off the wings to start. It is a lot easier to tye without them. However, properly portioned wings hvae some benefits. In slack water, the trout might be keying in on them. They can keep the tippet from twisting (IF they are properly proportioned!). And they can ensure the fly lands right side up... again if they are properly proportioned. If you can get the proportions right, though, leave 'em off. IMHO a well tied fly w/o wings is a B+. A well tied fly with wings is just busting the curve for the rest of us. And being a flyfishing nerd is just redundant.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 13:32
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Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2007/1/23 20:26
From Emigrant, Mt
Posts: 620
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If you tie and fish campara duns then you will not have to worry about the wings. You do not need hackles, they are basically easier to tie and imho most of the time are just as or more effective than traditional hackled flies.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 18:43
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Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2007/8/10 22:09
Posts: 67
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Joe I took a tying class with George a few years back, he put wings on all the dry's. Any dry you see that he tyed has wings. I'm sure in certain situations the wings may not matter, fast moving pocket water and such, where they don't have a lot of time to check things out. But when I'm tying my own flies thats just something I want to do, it just dosen't look complete without them. It may be the wrong way to do it but when tying I have to satisfy my own taste before what the fish may like. I'll say this when the fish are hitting drys the wings never botered them. Not trying to pic on you with this next comment, but this has come up a lot and its always by someone who has diffculty tying the wings. They really aren't hard to do, have to hook up somewhere to show you how. Don't let that Lou guy tell ya you don't need wings all he ties are nymphs.LOL

Posted on: 2007/12/17 19:18


Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5500
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Wings should be tird in first, then the tail, body and hackle..when doing the wings first you can adjust them easier to fit...I also use a gauge for the wing sizes, so does plumbob and he wins alot of compitions...its a tool for porportioning your fies..

Posted on: 2007/12/17 19:21
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sandfly

So many Fish, So little time !!!
from the outer edge of nowhere
fly tying and fishing ghillie..
https://www.facebook.com/BigMeadowsFlyShop




Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3612
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Sandfly,
I tie my tails in first, then wings, hackle, and finally dub the body.

Keep in mind I don't tie for speed though, and 90% of the time tie nymphs.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 19:25
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Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5500
Offline
Matt, where did you learn to tie.just curious...in 90% of books they will say to tie in the wing first that way you get a nice tapered shank for the body..plus you can play with wing till its right..I dont for speed either, quality for here..getting the wing porportions right is the main thing of fly balance..this is how flick, wulff and darbees taught me..

not that you are wrong or anything just how I learned..and teach

Posted on: 2007/12/17 19:33
_________________
sandfly

So many Fish, So little time !!!
from the outer edge of nowhere
fly tying and fishing ghillie..
https://www.facebook.com/BigMeadowsFlyShop




Re: Importance of wings on dry flies?

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3612
Offline
Bob,
I actually taught myself, with a pamphlet for a reference, not a good one at that.
I always start my dries by wrapping thread to the bend, tie in tails, and as I wrap teh butts of the tail fibers, I'm now near where the wings need to go. Then I tie in the wing and attach the hackle at the base of the wing. Wrap to the backand dubb the whole body in one step. Wrap hackle and finish.
It's just the way I taught myself, and I kinda works for me. Altough, I do think a book I have now, Trout Flies - David Hughes, teaches the tail first method. I'll have to check.
BTW, not saying your wrong, cause your probably traditional, I was just stating what I do.
Just goes to show there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 19:54
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