peacock herl topping question - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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peacock herl topping question

any tips on how to tie in peacock herl as a topping in strands, have a PT black dose in the vise and i can't get the herl to sit in anyway other than tv rabbit ears or straight up spiky, thanks for any advice, cameron
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 07:44 AM
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After I select the herl, I situate them on the bench in front of me and build the profile and align the tips of the herl.
I pick up the assembly and align to length. I wet the area that will be the tie-in point with saliva applied from my finger.
With heavily waxed thread, I make 2 very loose wraps and slowly tighten in an upwards motion, much like setting a quill wing. Do not apply final tension yet.
Now place your forefinger on the top of the herl and with a little downward pressure, align the herl so they run horizontal as to your preference. Pinch the herl wing between thumb, middle and forefinger (3 sides), now final tension can be applied.

This works for me Cameron. Ultimately, after you swing the fly, the herls will tame into position regardless I have found


Mike
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 08:18 AM
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swords are (ever-so-slightly) easier than strung herls, mate.
helps if you have opposite feathers...


cheers,
shawn

Shawn,

First off Im not your mate.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 08:46 AM
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Shawn is right, swords are easier and also offer more of a colour palate. Hard to beat the shine of swords
However, real bronzed peacock herl is amazing as well !! My Black Emperor Peacock tail had been perfectly bronzed. There is no better wing material for a Snowfly than bronzed herl (as per original call out).


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 08:57 AM
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I recall watching it accomplished and I believe it was Davie Mcphail. He ran the soft edge of his scissors on the hurls underside which slowly caused it to lay back.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys for the ideas, i was going to go with swords but all i have at the moment are to short, so i was using eyed sticks so i could have a left and right instead of using strung herl, cameron
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbontrager View Post
I recall watching it accomplished and I believe it was Davie Mcphail. He ran the soft edge of his scissors on the hurls underside which slowly caused it to lay back.
Thx for the reminder!!! Kinda like what my wife does with the small-thin ribbon wrapping Christmas presents.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 08:09 PM
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Mike has given you some great hints....

I find it easier to use herl that is cut from each side of a peacock "eye". It's herl, but still on the feather (and not strung). I find this herl MUCH more pleasant to work with than strung herl.

A peacock "eye" is different than a sword. The sword provides amazing fibres for tails and underwings, but for wings on snow flies, and for toppings I find the eye feather provides the nicest herl to work with....
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Duck View Post

I find it easier to use herl that is cut from each side of a peacock "eye". It's herl, but still on the feather (and not strung). I find this herl MUCH more pleasant to work with than strung herl.

.
this is what i am using, thanks cameron
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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well here is the attempt at a PT black dose variation tied on a 1/0 PT gaelic supreme, subbed out the light blue seal for floss because it was the lightest blue material i had, and its a little long but seemed to fit better, also subbed the mottled turkey and GP tail(which i just hate to work with) with feathersmc kori and florican subs, cameron
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 07:20 AM
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Cameron, outstanding fly
We share the same feelings about GP tail (for one, I can never seem to find any decent GP tail !!), I'd rather use Kori.


Not trying to hijack your thread, I just want to share a little more, if that's okay ??

Here's the "bronzed" peacock that I use:



Results, a Snowfly variation:



A wet shot:



Hopefully you can see the "red" in the herl. I try to carefully select the herl, taking from close to the eye and in the eye section. I just find the eye fibers on their own thin right out once wet and do not reflect colour back as much as the herl just on the outside of the eye. I do put a good mixture of both and often add long swords into the mix. I find these mixed herl wings to be the best fishing flies, like the one shown above.


Mike
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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thanks, and thanks for the eye picture Mike, i always love pics of feathers, good learning tool, and that beaully is a beauty, thanks for sharing, cameron
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