The Champion - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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The Champion

Sometimes I try to see if something is possible. Someone gifted me these wee blind-eye doubles. I had Kelson's "the Champion" on my mind from some recent discussions.These experiments help me understand the management of materials which in turn help provide confidence in tying "normal size" patterns.

I didn't think a Champion could look good at this size but it turned out better than I expected. Of note, the Champion calls for a complex partial veiling of the Summer Duck underwing...that is quite impossible at this size. However, no materials were left out in the fly tied below.

The Champion (Kelson's "The Salmon Fly")



Tag: Silver twist and light yellow silk
Tail: A topping, unbarred summer duck; swan dyed light crimson and light blue
Butt: Black ostrich herl
Body: Two turns of light blue silk, and equal quantities of dark yellow, crimson, dark blue, and black seal's fur
Hackle: Natural black from seal's fur
Throat: Jay
Wing: Two summer duck strips (back to back) partially veiled at bottom with married strands of Amherst pheasant
and golden pheasant tail, blue macaw, swan dyed crimson, teal, unbarred summer duck,
swan dyed dark yellow, peacock wing, mallard and a topping of golden pheasant crest
Sides: Jungle cock
Cheeks: Chatterer
Horns: Blue macaw
Head: Black ostrich herl

Click on image below for video of the wingset














Cheers and Blessings,
Adrian

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 11:52 AM
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I really like this pattern ... a lot !!
Love the body shades ... the wing assembly has massive POP
Crazy mad skillz brother


Mike

Have you Swung a Spey Fly today ??
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 12:53 PM
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Impressive as always Adrian!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 02:14 PM
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I'm a bit curious about razoring the stubs. Do you tie off before cutting the stubs? Having nipped my tying thread at that point a few times, I do now. I might even put a drop of Sally's on the butts before going back and finishing the head. Just curious how you do it.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 02:22 PM
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outstanding again, cameron
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 03:11 PM
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Very nice, Adrian. Always inspiring. Your hand makes Renzetti look bad.
You're like the LAW!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 12:43 PM
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that wing is proper! i can never get em to stand up straight.

“We are born to wander through a chaos field. And yet we do not become hopelessly lost, because each walker who comes before us leaves behind a trace for us to follow.”
― Robert Moor
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 05:46 PM
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The champion...

Great job here Adrian.
That's on the list for spring tying ...
Beautiful little flee.

Cheers,
Tom
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"used to be northspey"...
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GR8LAKES FLYER View Post
I really like this pattern ... a lot !!
Love the body shades ... the wing assembly has massive POP
Crazy mad skillz brother


Mike
Brother, I am indebted to your skills, positivity, and encouragements. Without your gracious suggestions and comments over the years, I would not have tapped into the wonderful universe of flytying



Quote:
Originally Posted by john8 View Post
Impressive as always Adrian!
Thank you, John. Do they allow doubles in Iceland?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelhead23 View Post
I'm a bit curious about razoring the stubs. Do you tie off before cutting the stubs? Having nipped my tying thread at that point a few times, I do now. I might even put a drop of Sally's on the butts before going back and finishing the head. Just curious how you do it.
After tying down the wing, Rich, I will secure with a half-hitch (as you know, the thread is well-coated with proper wax). I will then add sides (half-hitch), cheeks (half-hitch), topping (half-hitch), horns (half-hitch). After the last half-hitch, I will dab some clear thin cement base to the butts (which hopefully will soak into the wing base...then step away and refill my beverage at this time:coffee/beer).

After the capillary-action cement-soaking has been achieved (I do not let it dry out), I will trim the moistened wing butts carefully with a cuticle nipper. This is done a few fibers at a time...patience is key versus the excitement of being really close to finishing the pattern (how many times have we seen a celebration in sports before the final buzzer has sounded/ the end zone has been crossed/ the finish line has been breached, or God-forbid a lifted rod on a steelhead grab only to have a fumble therefore ending in second place?).

Impatience has reared its ugly head in some past builds of mine (resulting in cut threads). Fortunately, the well-waxed thread has enough stickiness to hold everything together should this mishap occur.

P.S. I do not use a razor on the stubs (although I have tried razoring before in the past and it shaped a nice head). I prefer the idea of using less tools to tie an in-hand pattern (I want to maintain the ideals of tying in hand: minimal tools and the ability to tie anywhere you would like to...i.e. a razor blade in my shirt pocket is detrimental to the useless nipple).

Side note: With the recent resurgence of in-hand tying, I have seen specialized tools such as battery-operated cauterizers/ custom crest shapers/ magnifiers/ weighted bobbins/ etc. in the kit of the latest in-hand tyers (Someday, I may require these tools to continue tying). However... to me it is a departure from the soul of tying in hand. Why not just tie with a vise? They have more "tying in hand" tools than is required to tie a fly with a vise. Again, we all start somewhere and I am not here to discourage in-hand tying (I started with bobbins and swearing). And if I recall, Hardy Bros. required tyers to intern for 4/5years under the expert before they could tie flies on their own. But for me, once the basics are mastered it is time to move up or move on. Reminds me of the bankside convo we had about that local "speyfisher" that caught a ridiculous number of steelhead swinging a "fly" with a spinner blade (why not just use a spinning rod)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwodun View Post
outstanding again, cameron
Cheers, Cameron. Looking forward to your latest after-work creations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Read1t48 View Post
Very nice, Adrian. Always inspiring. Your .hand makes Renzetti look bad.
You're like the LAW!
Thanks! Funny story: I had a fly shop owner contact me after doing a demo at his shop. He said that Renzetti saw some of my flies and were inquiring if I would be on their "pro-staff".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChubLord View Post
that wing is proper! i can never get em to stand up straight.
Cheers! Practice with decent materials will help your journey.

This forum has been terrific and I post for the camaraderie, but also to encourage. As a newbie, I tied some cringe-worthy patterns. But with practice and patience, my attempts have improved. These challenging patterns are to push the envelope a little more in hopes that other tyers will push themselves in their tying from where they are currently at (it's what this forum did for me).

Cheers,
Adrian
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a macro shot of the head of this fly.

I have dabbed some thin cement to the butts at this stage (*on small patterns, I will await to trim the butts after the herl head is complete). I half-hitch the butt of the herl near the front of the head. I wrap back my tying thread to the base of the wing. The herl is then wrapped back to the wing base (making sure the herl fibers are facing forward) and then tied down with a half-hitch ner the wing base.

*larger patterns: the wing butt fibers can be trimmed beforehand.

Well-waxed tying thread is your friend.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 09:03 PM
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Your skills never cease to amaze me, brother!!! Keep up the good work!!!

Tony
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 03:31 PM
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Thanks a ton for the tying instructions. Never heard of cuticle nippers and now, I need to get a pair for this task. BTW - taking your advice(?), I tied up a fly-weight spinner with a willow-leaf blade. Fished just fine when I could get it out there. Sadly, I quickly lost it to the rocks, but it's just as well. Casting it was comical/dangerous. If the blade spun when making the lift, it would load the road and shoot at you. If it caught during the forward cast I could throw the line halfway across the river while the spin-fly went ten feet - the exact opposite of a blown anchor. Casting it reminding me of Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks. Very silly indeed. But I had to do it.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 08:50 PM
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Adrian
Doubles are allowed as well as trebles. Maybe frowned upon but I use some very small trebles 12 & 14, very effective.

Here are a few double gut eyes that I have.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 09:07 PM
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A few?!!

For cryin' out loud, how many do you plan to lose?

If it's worth doing, it's worth over-doing, eh?

Nice work John! I'm jealous of your skills and perseverance! That's quite a squadron of flees you've amassed!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 11:29 PM
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Great tying Adrian. That is a complex fly condensed on such a small hook. You killed it!

Nate
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Bring the swing.
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