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Many fly tiers I talk to find working with turkey and goose biots frustrating. They can be, but once mastered they make a really slick fly body, and they are a key material in many of my mayfly imitations. There are a few tricks that can keep your blood pressure down, your tying fun and your fly bodies smooth. The most important thing to create is a smooth under body. People that tie classic salmon flies and old school streamers and wets know this game better than anyone. If your under body isn’t smooth, there’s no chance to create a smooth fly body when you wrap over that base. A simple way to achieve a smooth base is to work with the finest thread you can get away with, and to make your thread passes run the length of the under body during each step of the process. Pictured here is the start of a Thorax Dun with only the tail fibers and the dubbing ball that divides them. To establish a smooth base, I started the thread tie in a short distance behind the hook eye and wrapped back to the bend in close, touching thread turns. Next a dubbing ball is tied by spinning a short and tight dubbing ball and stacking the wraps to create diameter and end with an abrupt drop-off. The dubbing ball needs to have a steep drop off rather than end on a taper on the forward side. This creates the wedge to divide the tails and keep the remaining area level. Next I wrap forward to the thorax area in close turns and tie in the tail fibers there. As I wrap back to the dubbing ball, the tail fibers start to flatten and spread and I push them into position with an equal number on each side of the dubbing ball. The last turn of thread is immediately in front of the dubbing ball. The result is a smooth foundation that will ensure the body of the fly I wrap over it will be smooth. Next week I’ll talk about the next steps. Till then, keep it smooth ….. www.ramsayflies.com #Regalvise #DaiichiHook #UniThread

 

 

While I seldom take many breaks from tying flies, it happens from time to time especially during the late summer when my customer orders taper off. Sometimes life gets in the way. If I’ve taken a break from tying for a period of time I go through a warmup process which starts out by working with some larger flies and working my way down to smaller versions of the same pattern over time. It’s a great way to get back into practice with good proportions, thread control, the material amounts needed and nailing fly to fly consistency. After giving myself a break for the past month I started getting back into my groove by starting with tying larger sized Thorax Duns like March Browns and Slate Drakes in batches before working my way down to the #20 and 22 Baetis Olive Thorax Duns which are a lot more challenging to tie cleanly. When I move on to another fly style like my DOA Cripples or Half & Half Emergers it will be the same routine. Like so many other activities in life we should take a little time to stretch, warmup, start slow and work your way back into the game to be at your best level. The results will be more consistent, better quality flies, and more fun tying them. This week’s pic is one of my Slate Drake CDC Thorax Duns in-process. Till next week ….. www.ramsayflies.com #TroutHunterCDC #NaturesSpirit #DaiichiHooks #WhitingHebert #RegalVise

 

 

Years ago it was pretty common to find streamer flies in smaller sizes in most shops and fly boxes. They took many forms, from bucktails like the Mickey Finn and Black Nose Dace to the beautiful Lew Oatman and Carrie Stevens feather wing patterns. Pennsylvania’s Sam Slaymaker tied a series of baby trout patterns to imitate brook, brown and rainbow trout. Somewhere along the way the lid blew off and my streamer boxes these days have some pretty nasty and big articulated flies. I really enjoy that moment when a big brown trout runs down one of those monster streamers and crushes it like a truck. On the headwater streams that same predatory behavior exists; but tossing a 4 to 6” long Circus Peanut or D&D will frighten more fish than anything else. This week’s pic is a Mallard Streamer tied with dyed mallard flank and squirrel tail to imitate a brown trout fry. My friend Eric Richard turned me on to these wicked little flies which work some cool mojo on headwater stream fish. Tie a few up on size #10 or12 3XL streamer hooks and tie one on. Till next week ….. www.ramsayflies.com #DaiichiHook #RegalVise #ItsAboutTheFish #PAWild