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Discussion Starter #1
I've been tying for a couple years now off an on, mostly during the winter. I started tying some classic Steelhead hairwings this fall and really enjoyed it so I've jumped full scale into it. I've always been intrigued by the classic Salmon flies and I'm working my way there! For now here are some classics and a couple I came up with. Tips, criticism, etc always appreciated.





 

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seaterspey
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First off welcome to the jungle!:Eyecrazy:

It's very addicting but oh so fun to do.

The one thing I would say is to keep tying, the more you tie the better you get. You learn to get the heads a little smaller and neater. The only thing that I saw on the last two were to go a bit sparser, less is better. With all the great tiers on here you have a wealth of information to soak up.

Thanks for sharing I would fish any of those with great confidence!

Just keep tying.

KC
 

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Dedicated Fisherman
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Hello,

First post I've seen from you and I can see you've got the bug. Fly number 2 looks quite familiar and I use them for salmon here. You'll no doubt be able to refine your style just by looking at all the wonderful flies the fellows here post. Welcome to the Hooks feathers & Floss Club :)

Ard
 

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Those will hunt :)
Practice is the best teacher , I think you are doing fine .
Try not to over dress your flies , you did a good job keeping proportions on these .

Welcome to the coolest flytying forum on the internet :)


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, comments much appreciated. This is by far the best fly tying forum I have found on the net, bonus it happens to cater towards classics.

I do tend to throw a lot of material at flies for a "fuller" look, I do probably go overboard. I'll keep that in mind on my upcoming ties. The last two flies both have two hackles. The first one has burnt goose shoulder with guinea of the top. The second has blue rooster hackle followed by green guinea.

I'm amassing a library of reference material this winter, nothing better than getting actual comments though! Just picked up Sheweys "Spey & Dee Flies" in a Hardcover, should be a good read!
 

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welcome! great job on these. keep tying and things come along. i would say to stay away from the classic salmon flies for little bit, get use to thread controll and basic techinqie first. and materails can get crazy out of hand very fast :):):) hehe. lets see the next ties! welcome
 

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The Dude abides
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welcome to the madhouse.

great start! What sticks out to me are the panic wraps at the head. I promise you that a few good wraps work just as well if not better than 100 panic wraps at the head. Minimized your tread wraps, get used to how many wraps you need to hold a material (around 3) and take a few wraps out any time you move forward as whatever it is you do next will add more wraps to what you just did.

I hope this makes sense. Minimizing thread wraps it what separates a clean fly from a fly.
 

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You will get tons of advice

Thread control and size of thread would do you wonders may I ask what size thread try the same ties with 8/0. Don't panic thpugh fish won't care
 

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Discussion Starter #9
welcome! great job on these. keep tying and things come along. i would say to stay away from the classic salmon flies for little bit, get use to thread controll and basic techinqie first. and materails can get crazy out of hand very fast :):):) hehe. lets see the next ties! welcome
Yes thread control and amount of material are learning areas for me. I tend to overwing my hairwings.
welcome to the madhouse.

great start! What sticks out to me are the panic wraps at the head. I promise you that a few good wraps work just as well if not better than 100 panic wraps at the head. Minimized your tread wraps, get used to how many wraps you need to hold a material (around 3) and take a few wraps out any time you move forward as whatever it is you do next will add more wraps to what you just did.

I hope this makes sense. Minimizing thread wraps it what separates a clean fly from a fly.
Good eyes and tips! I use 5 wraps to secure. The panic wraps are poor attempts to cover a poor material trimming job, something I'm getting better at. Thanks for the critical suggestions!
Thread control and size of thread would do you wonders may I ask what size thread try the same ties with 8/0. Don't panic thpugh fish won't care
That is 12/0 Veevus. I need to get some 8/0 and 10/0. I've used 6/0, but I am not quite competent enough to secure all the material without making too bulky a head. The small thread is in essence a crutch for poor thread control.

Thanks again guys!
 

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Welcome to the forum, and the addiction. Your flies are looking good, you'll find that the more you focus on thread control, density of material, and material placement on the hook, the quicker you will learn. Use lots of heavy wax for almost all of your work, I typically leave the thread unwaxed for married and mixed wings.

Try taking one pattern, be it an established pattern, or one of your own, and tying a bunch in a row. Finish each one and really give it a good looking over. Take a photo, go back and examine that photo, then tie the next one and try to make improvements. Lay the bunch out together when your done and you'll be surprised at how much progress you will have made within a few hours.

Don't hesitate to ask question on the forum, or send of PM's. Everyone here is very helpful.

Scott.
 

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Grandpa Howard
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Welcome to the madness. Your work is looking good. With the advice given and a little time you will be at the top of the game. Keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Welcome to the forum, and the addiction. Your flies are looking good, you'll find that the more you focus on thread control, density of material, and material placement on the hook, the quicker you will learn. Use lots of heavy wax for almost all of your work, I typically leave the thread unwaxed for married and mixed wings.

Try taking one pattern, be it an established pattern, or one of your own, and tying a bunch in a row. Finish each one and really give it a good looking over. Take a photo, go back and examine that photo, then tie the next one and try to make improvements. Lay the bunch out together when your done and you'll be surprised at how much progress you will have made within a few hours.

Don't hesitate to ask question on the forum, or send of PM's. Everyone here is very helpful.

Scott.
Thanks for the input! Most of these are #2's or #3's of the same pattern, the firsts are generally not worthy of the internet (except the Kalama Special, it was the first I tied).

Whats the deal with the wax? I dont wax any of my thread unless it is already pre-waxed. I used to use a little wax when dubbing, but after some practice could dub just as good without it (albeit still terrible).
 

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I think you're doing alright so far, and would agree with all the advice you've been given thus far. The two big ones that hit me first when I saw the pics were: go a bit sparser on some of the material, and paying a bit more attention to your thread control for a tidier looking fly. Not to say that any one of those flies needs anything different, I'd bet that all of them would fish quite well.

I might suggest getting John Shewey's Steelhead flies and how to tie them as well. I have both his Steelhead flies, and Spey and Dee flies; while both are great books, for an instructional tool his Steelhead flies is a far more helpful resource. A lot more technique is covered and has a lot more step by step instruction. Can't recommend it highly enough if you're looking for more input.

About the wax, it helps to grab materials more securely with less wraps. Depending on what you're tying I'd say that wax varies from "not needed" to "kind of helpful" to "MUST HAVE!!!" I pretty much use it for all dubbing loops, almost always for mounting JC (or any other cheeks, sides, or shoulders), and have almost never been able to mount GP crest straight and true without wax. I'd say to play around with it, and see how few wraps you can lock materials down with it.

Definitely keep tying and keep posting, I'm looking forward to seeing what you start producing soon :)
JB
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think you're doing alright so far, and would agree with all the advice you've been given thus far. The two big ones that hit me first when I saw the pics were: go a bit sparser on some of the material, and paying a bit more attention to your thread control for a tidier looking fly. Not to say that any one of those flies needs anything different, I'd bet that all of them would fish quite well.

I might suggest getting John Shewey's Steelhead flies and how to tie them as well. I have both his Steelhead flies, and Spey and Dee flies; while both are great books, for an instructional tool his Steelhead flies is a far more helpful resource. A lot more technique is covered and has a lot more step by step instruction. Can't recommend it highly enough if you're looking for more input.

About the wax, it helps to grab materials more securely with less wraps. Depending on what you're tying I'd say that wax varies from "not needed" to "kind of helpful" to "MUST HAVE!!!" I pretty much use it for all dubbing loops, almost always for mounting JC (or any other cheeks, sides, or shoulders), and have almost never been able to mount GP crest straight and true without wax. I'd say to play around with it, and see how few wraps you can lock materials down with it.

Definitely keep tying and keep posting, I'm looking forward to seeing what you start producing soon :)
JB
Do I need to be sparser on the wing as well, kind of like the Alaska Mary Ann? After looking back the Thor is way overdressed in the hackle department.

Sheweys Steelhead Flies book is on order as well as his new one on pre-order and Spey and Dee is on the way. I also plan on getting Dick Stewarts Flies for Steelhead. I just got Trey Combs Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies which is a great book for patterns and lore.

I'll have to give the wax a try on the JC, I do have trouble with material slipping when tying, but generally use a dry bodkin and my fingers to hold position as well as some shifty thread tension.
 

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I use wax on almost everything besides mounting a feather wing... One thing I wanted to clear up is the type of wax. Dubbing wax won't help, you need a good cobblers wax aofeathers.com sells some great stuff at a really good price or if you are a DIY type of guy there is a website somewhere (just Google it) that will tell you how to make your own with rosin and beeswax, personally I prefer the stuff I made.

Keep tying and stick with it, you found a good place. Never be embarrassed to post a fly or ask a question, we all want to pass on the help we have been given
 

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Do I need to be sparser on the wing as well, kind of like the Alaska Mary Ann? After looking back the Thor is way overdressed in the hackle department.

Sheweys Steelhead Flies book is on order as well as his new one on pre-order and Spey and Dee is on the way. I also plan on getting Dick Stewarts Flies for Steelhead. I just got Trey Combs Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies which is a great book for patterns and lore.

I'll have to give the wax a try on the JC, I do have trouble with material slipping when tying, but generally use a dry bodkin and my fingers to hold position as well as some shifty thread tension.
First off, there are only opinions so there is no need to change anything. There are obviously some distinct advantages to tying a sparser fly, but this is just a general idea and is somewhat variable depending on the pattern and how it will be fished. From my perspective, the wings weren't really an issue in terms of sparseness. Mostly the Thor, as you mentioned, was what caught my eye in the that respect. I think you're on the right path though, keep at it and I'm sure in no time I'll be asking you for adivice...
JB
 
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