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Wings

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2009/9/24 15:02
From Montgomery County
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What's your take on the importance of wings on standard or catskill style dries? Aside from pleasing ourselves, do you think hackle tips on an adams, woodduck wings on a quill, or calftail on a wulff makes the fly fish better?

Aside from calftail making a dry more visible, I haven't noticed much of a difference in a fly's fishability without wings. If anything, I've found wings that stand out can cause leader twist or make a fly to land on it's head...

Posted on: 2011/1/15 20:46


Re: Wings

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2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4299
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I wouldn't tie any mayfly without wings. It just wouldn't look right to me - so why do it?
As for whether or not they make a difference, I think that they do - especially on larger flies.
If you've ever read any of Vince Marinaros books, he thought that wings are quite important.
In fact, he claimed that the first thing a trout sees as a mayfly comes floating into it's "window" is the wing

Posted on: 2011/1/15 23:38


Re: Wings

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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I think it also helps the fly ride on the surface more like the real ones , without wings , mine tend to lean to one side or another , changing the angle of the bend and point of the hook , also , treated with a little floatant the wings grab an air bubble and help the fly float a little longer.

Posted on: 2011/1/16 7:50


Re: Wings

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2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5598
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the first thing a trout see's in its window looking up is the wing tips, then the whole wing, then the body and tail. as for twisting the tippet there are two reasons for that;
1--to light of a tippet or limp
2-- wing is to tall or not tied right.

Posted on: 2011/1/16 8:53
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Re: Wings
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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I've got mixed feeling on this. As one who tends to enjoy tying flies that closely replicate specific bugs/fishes, I often tie wings on my dry flies, including foam terrestrials and small midges. Whether it really enhances the functionality of the fly with regards to catching fish....I'm not sure it's that important.

I think a lot if this depends on how one views the aesthetic properties of a fly as it looks in the vise after tying. To me this is an important aspect of the art of fly tying.

Posted on: 2011/1/16 9:04


Re: Wings

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2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5598
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to me it's what the trout see's...

Posted on: 2011/1/16 9:31
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Re: Wings
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 9060
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IMO, the heavy hackle on many Catskill-tie dry flies serves as a wing. Many times the wing actually gets lost in the hackle and is more important to the fly-fisher than the fish.

Attach file:



jpg  Heavily Hackled Catskill Fly.JPG (144.07 KB)
53_4d3302b0c5add.jpg 640X480 px

jpg  dry-quillgordon.jpg (11.20 KB)
53_4d3302b842c57.jpg 350X271 px

jpg  Catskill LC.jpg (43.88 KB)
53_4d3302c153cc5.jpg 430X415 px

Posted on: 2011/1/16 9:37


Re: Wings

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3625
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I tie with wings.

I also think that too hackle-heavy flies are poorly tied. If you need that much hackle you are fishing the wrong style of fly or probably fish with poor presentation/too much drag that the fly is sinking.

Sadny is right with what trout see.

As a tie I designs my flies around 2 concepts:
1.) Realistic to the natural (oh and they have wings)
2.) Durability.
(One can't sacrifice too much in favor of the other or it will be of poor design)

I will say that midges tied catskill style I don't add wings. Midges in a more realistic style I do.

Posted on: 2011/1/16 10:21
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Re: Wings

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2006/10/26 11:34
From Gunpowder River, MD
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Dryfly,

Vince's approach to the grn drake hatch-Wings for the duns bodies for the spinners..

Posted on: 2011/1/16 10:51


Re: Wings
Moderator
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Quote:

bam wrote:
What's your take on the importance of wings on standard or catskill style dries? Aside from pleasing ourselves, do you think hackle tips on an adams, woodduck wings on a quill, or calftail on a wulff makes the fly fish better?

Aside from calftail making a dry more visible, I haven't noticed much of a difference in a fly's fishability without wings. If anything, I've found wings that stand out can cause leader twist or make a fly to land on it's head...


The original question above pertains to Catskill type of flies. The original Catskill flies were tied with long and heavy hackle, and again, the wings were lost in all that hackle, IMO. (see link below).

http://www.terryhellekson.com/catskill_dry_flies.htm

I tie mostly parachute and comparadun flies to match the hatch, and with those patterns, the wing is an essential part of the fly.


Note: Given the superior quality of hackle today, I would venture a guess that if the tyers of yesteryear had the hackle we had today, the flies would be a lot less bushy.

Posted on: 2011/1/16 11:21


Re: Wings

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2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4299
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Sundrunk-

"wings for the duns bodies for the spinners"?

I'm not really sure what you're asking

Posted on: 2011/1/16 11:30


Re: Wings

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 837
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Of all the fishing books I own, the one I am least likely to part with is George Harvey: Memories, Patterns and Tactics, which was organized and published by Dan Shields.

Of the many fascinating comments Harvey makes in that book, a few regarding hackle and wings are relevant here. He was perfectly willing to clip the hackle from underneath a nice, traditional winged dry fly in order to get fish to take. He mentions how selfish (I looked it up, his word) he was about this and didn't tell his fishing buddies about it even though they were struggling to catch fish. Of course, no one on this forum would ever do THAT!

He looked upon the hackle as spent wings, not legs.

He experimented with pulling the wings off of a traditional dry fly and claimed the ones without wings caught just as many fish as those with. He nevertheless liked to put wings on.

I look at the duns of the blue quill and bwo (caddis are a whole different ball game) hackled dry without "wings" as a cross between what Harvey describes and what afishinado mentions. I think if the fish is looking for spinner wings, it works for that, but if it wants upright wings, it works for that too, and like Harvey I usually clip the hackle underneath. On larger flies and on light colored flies, the jury isn't in for me regarding imitating duns this way, even though the example that Harvey gives was in regard to sulphurs.

Harvey plays down parachute hackle because he thinks that silhouette is inadequate to imitate spinner wings. However, I suspect if he had fished them more, he would have caught just fine because, as we all know, presentation trumps pattern, and the man was a master at that. I know I like parachutes and use them often. Comparaduns, too, in # 14 and #12 especially.

There is one aspect of traditional wings that I ponder occasionally. You know how a winged fly can lean over to one side and then right itself, perhaps especially if you are casting sidearm (or you didn't tie the wings right), which in real world situations can be fairly often. This righting of the fly may mimmick a natural that is collecting itself a bit before takeoff, adding the desideratum of drag-free movement to an otherwise fairly static fly. I used to assume this "righting" of attitude was a turnoff, but maybe it can be a trigger just as well. Someone has probably written about this somewhere, but I can't remember it if it has.

Posted on: 2011/1/16 11:35


Re: Wings

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2009/9/24 15:02
From Montgomery County
Posts: 1585
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I typically fish parachutes or compraduns myself and like afish suggested, wings are an essential part of the fly. At the same time, silhouette probably plays a bigger factor over color since I take many fish with bright green or orange posts.

Back to standard hackled flies. I can see where wings on a very lightly dressed fly could be a factor, but in my experience, they don't mean anything when it comes to fishability. Most of our subsurface flies are impressionistic rather than specific and the same can be argued about hackle representing both wings, legs and appendages on a dry. Logically, a transparent, upright wing would be the last deciding factor on whether a trout would decide to eat or refuse a fly following footprint, size and color.

Posted on: 2011/1/16 12:35


Re: Wings

Joined:
2006/10/26 11:34
From Gunpowder River, MD
Posts: 1704
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dryfly,

It's not a question, rather a confirmation. When you are tying the dun pattern think wing, and when tying spinners think body..(greendrake)

Posted on: 2011/1/16 13:01


Re: Wings

Joined:
2010/6/19 16:43
From Clinton County, Pa.
Posts: 1811
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I put wings on all my mayfly patterns. I may put different styles on some but always put some form of wing on them.

Posted on: 2011/1/16 15:24
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