It is the dead of winter and that's when these things happen. I have no critique to offer and know from my own fly tying that we have a way of bringing things into proper proportions over time. I've dabbled with about every type of pattern and can say that for a first try you didn't do too bad. The best way to improve is to look at images of what are accepted as proper ties. By the way I got Boss a 3 pack of Flippies for Christmas.
Boss will have flippies wherever he goes! One in the truck, one in the boat, and one in the house. What a good guy, Ard!
Went out on the S. Umpqua with Josh and Matt the other day, and all it took was one look at their flies boxes, and it was all over!! Those classic ties are so cool! The answer to your next question is 'no, we didn't'.
It's like being a kid again, waiting to catch my first steelie on one of my own classics! Can't wait. Gonna start tying some buggier looking speys now.
1) the herl head is way too long. It should be about 6-7 turns of herl.
2) the eye is crowded.
3) the wing is too long. The jungle cock sets to wing length on the Ranger series of flies and it should end just inside (i.e. not quite touching) the tail. Once its length is set, the tippets take care of themselves. Something to keep in mind with whole tippet wings is the second black bar (the innermost one) is normally positioned right over the butt. Also, don't use jungle cock or tippets that are too long for the hook size. And once the jungle cock is set at the right length, not only the tippets in the wing, but the sides, cheeks, and horns all become the right length too since they are dependent on the inner jungle cock for their length.
4) the tip is too long. The tip should only be 4-5 (maybe 6) turns of extra small oval or round tinsel.
this was one of my first classic flies and a still love the pattern. these types of patterns ARE a good place to start.
to add to the above advice, keep in mind these flies were designed on straight shank hooks were the bend didnt start untill the hook point. on aj's you should start the tag AT the hook point instead of at the barb to compensate for the different hook shape. but after all its up to you to decide what looks good, so experiment.
the best advice you will get will be from looking at drawings in old books, and being sure your fly is EXACTLY the same as those in every possible way. wing length, hook style (most important IMO), body proportions, wing height etc.
I admire your attempt at the DR, not an easy tie. I've attempted one myself and I too should have used a straight shank hook. You've gotten lots of great advice already. I'll add this, Davie McPhail has a YouTube video tying the Ranger. If it doesn't put you to sleep, it was very helpful to me. Can't wait to see your next.
I watched his videos a lot when I started, I think it made for more frustration than help. Like you said everything just falls where it should be and he is so good the techniques he uses IMO are not usually the best way to learn. What I would suggest is look at his proportions and thinvs like that but if you try to mount feathers the way he does it will most likely lead to pulling out every last hair on your head!
Again, this is all my opinion and experience, there is lots of tricks someone can use that he just doesn't have the need for because he has the talent to do without
great first attempt, and it will fish in the summer. we can work out some kinks. stare at flies like crazy and get a knack for proportions. I would recommend trying some of Marty's SBS flies. Like the strip wing he just put up, that would get you into good habits and Marty lays it out so nice. Also the Skagit Mist is another place to start developing skills while tying a really pretty fly that catches fish.
I got the house to myself this weekend, maybe have you gents over for a bit of tying? I have Blacker's ghost fly #2 in the vice scaring the crap out of me right now. way out of my league.
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