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I'm pretty sure I'm getting the bronze mallard wings tied on correctly, at least they look right. The don't seem to durable though after a day of fishing or even one steelie. Just wondering if this is normal or do I need to re-evaluate how I'm tying them in?
 

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Mallard durability

If you are getting them tied in correctly ,they should be fairly durable. I have some spey flies in my box that have been swimming around for ten years. I also have had good luck adding durability , by adding a little underwing of brown hackle tips,married,or a small bunch of ringneck pheasant tail fibers ,with the bronz mallard tented over. This adds a little more bulk and silouet to the wing. My flies are for fishing,and would not be much to show to a good tier. But fish like them , sometimes
 

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10 year old flies!!

.................the buddler,.............that's got to be one of the differences between the PNW,and the Midwest. I have flies that have been in my box for 10 minutes,not 10 years! We have a lot of wood in our rivers,and attached to this wood is a lot of kevlar line,and attached to this line is a lot more line,mostly of very high breaking strength. Attached to this are large treble hooks,and all manner of junk. You may not even get one swing out of a fly,to get a whole day out of one makes you think you're doing something wrong. It can be a challenge,it is a blast when you have one on!
 

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--spey machine-- I reserve my fancy spey flies to near surface presentations,for summer,and late fall fish. I almost always fish simple ties ,for sunk fly presentations. Have fun tying
 

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Buddler,you're right!!

...................I hear you dude,I put on a mallard winged blue ear pheasant last week,it didn't make it one swing! I just kind of laughed to myself...it was better than the alternative!:Eyecrazy: We bring tying supplies on our trips,that and some evening refreshments make the nights almost as enjoyable as the days on the river. It certainly makes for some creatively tied flies. And some of them actually work!:chuckle:
 

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JerD,

I've posted instructions on how to tie in a very durable bronze mallard wing before; however, here they are again.

1) Once you have wrapped your throat (or face) hackle, tie it off with 2-3 turns of thread and cut off the surplus feather stem;

2) Take a left bronze mallard feather and a right bronze mallard feather then cut a section twice as wide as needed for a wing from each feather (make sure you use feathers that allow you to tie in the bronze mallard at the grey portion near the stem without the wing being too long or too short);

3) Place these sections on top of each other with the tips lined up;

4) Put the doubled feathers over the top of the hook and pince them with your forefinger and thumb, thus producing a "tent" with the feathers at the tie in point;

5) Hold the feathers in place against the hook with your forefinger and thumb and tied them in with 2-3 turns of thread;

6) If necessary adjust the wing so it is centered over the hook by using your right thumbnail or right forefingernail to push on them and move them slightly to center the wing;

7) Put 2 more wraps of thead on the wings (you should now have only 4-5 turns of thread holding them in place);

8) Hold the wing with your right thumb and forefinger and clip the butts of the wing very close to the thead (i.e. as close as you can without cutting the thread)-your thumb and forefinger are needed to keep the wing from moving when you cut the butt ends;

9) Place a drop of flexible cement (I use Sportsmen's Goop thinned with toluene; but any flexible cement works, take your pick) on the wing butts;

10) Whip finish over the wing butts and wet flexible cement and cut off the thread.

Steps 9 & 10 are the real secret to having the wings stay put and be durable. This is because the wing butts, thread, and hook are all cemented together.

An added bonus to cementing the butts before whip finishing is you produce a nice, neat, and small head, while producing a fly that will hold up to multiple fish.
 
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