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wings on dries.

Joined:
2012/8/24 16:03
From Philly
Posts: 152
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Hey all. I started tying over the winter, and while I enjoy it I always find myself wondering how what I end up with looks so much different than what I was trying to copy.

Here are a couple shots of some flies I've tied. It feels like my wings are always either too short or too long. What do you think?

Resized Image
(too much dubbing ... wings are too long and too forward, tail too long?).

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this one looks good to me, but it begs the question ... are the wings for the fish or for me?

Posted on: 2013/3/13 20:30


Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 1034
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Don't be too hard on yourself. Dries are not the easiest flies to tie. I think your ties look decent. I agree, the wings on the first picture look a bit long to me, but depending who you talk to they will tell you longer wings are more effective because the fish can pick up the tips of the longer wings up quicker within their cone of vision. I never really liked to tie dries because to me they were always more difficult. Keep up the good work, your doing fine!

Posted on: 2013/3/13 20:53


Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2009/12/17 20:43
From Souderton PA
Posts: 885
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Wings are important. They are the first thing the fish sees. You can catch fish on wingless dry flys and worms if you want. But if your going to spend the time tying the fly you might as well do it right.
I make my wings the length of the hook (the whole hook, not the shank) which is consistent with most Catskill tyers. To help with the forward tipping, take the time to set them and be sure to leave room between the body and the wing to wrap the rear hackle. It takes time, biut it's not rocket science, and your wings look pretty good already. Just keep practicing.
Mike.

Posted on: 2013/3/13 21:23
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Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2012/8/24 16:03
From Philly
Posts: 152
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Thanks for the feedback. One of the things I like about tying is that I feel like I'm fishing the whole time I'm doing it. The thing I don't like is that I cant try them out right away :)

Posted on: 2013/3/13 21:52


Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2010/5/13 23:48
From Altoona
Posts: 331
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Put them in a glass of water! If it floats well, you're good to go!

Posted on: 2013/3/13 21:56


Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5636
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FrequentTyer
Quote:
I make my wings the length of the hook (the whole hook, not the shank) which is consistent with most Catskill tyers.


I grew up in the catskills tying with the masters and not one ever tied the whole hook length. always the hook shank. if the wings are to long the fly will tip.

Posted on: 2013/3/14 7:25
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Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7884
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Wings on mayflies should be the length of the hook shank, I try to make them a bit shorter, when they are toolong the fly will tip over on the side.

Posted on: 2013/3/14 13:56
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Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2010/11/24 13:19
From Perkasie PA
Posts: 964
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Screw hackle and wings. CDC Comparaduns :)

Posted on: 2013/3/14 17:44
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Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2009/12/17 20:43
From Souderton PA
Posts: 885
Offline
Quote:

sandfly wrote:
FrequentTyer
Quote:
I make my wings the length of the hook (the whole hook, not the shank) which is consistent with most Catskill tyers.


I grew up in the catskills tying with the masters and not one ever tied the whole hook length. always the hook shank. if the wings are to long the fly will tip.


Thanks for the correction Sandfly. I should have been more careful when I wrote that. There is a great deal of variety in the Catskill style, and you can find examples from wings that are buried in the hackle to wings that extend well above the hackle collar. Eric Leiser in his book "The Dettes, a Catskill Legend" describes the wings measured the length of the shank or a bit longer. Mike Valla, who describes learning from the Dettes in his book "Tying Catskill Style Dry Flies" suggests measuring from just behind the eye to just inside the bend. Now this is not the full hook length, but is just slightly less. He also describes the need to leave a bit extra for tying in. I just use the hook length and assume that I'm within tying error at getting the right length. Looking at examples of Gordon's drys, this all seems consistent, but there are certainly plenty of examples of classic Catskill drys where the wing length is closer to the shank than hook length.
On the tipping point, I think this is avoided (to a point) by setting the wing back a bit further than normal which shifts the center of mass. this again is seen in many classic Catskill flies, but certainly not all. Really this is more of an esoteric historical point than a practical one. As you suggest, measuring the length of the shaft will produce a fine wing consistent with the style which safely balances the fly.
Mike.

Posted on: 2013/3/14 21:44
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Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2010/1/2 15:17
From PA and NH
Posts: 775
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I'm not sure how a marginally longer wing would make the fly tip over. I started off tying strict catskill dries but to better match the naturals and for personal preference I use biot bodies or other lean styles , long microfibbet splayed tails, lots of forehackle and wooduck or hen tip wings , longer than the hook shank. The splayed tail more than anything stops it from tipping. The beauty of tying your own flies is the chance to adjust patterns for specific applications and presentations as you see fit.

Posted on: 2013/3/14 22:29


Re: wings on dries.

Joined:
2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4469
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Those flies in the pics are FINE , that first one might flop over but once it gets a little wet , it will stop. THOSE WILL WORK!!!!

Posted on: 2013/3/15 5:46






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