tying wings

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #6361

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Hey guys, when it comes to tying wings on a fly, NOT like an Adams, but more like a flying ant, how do you find it the easiest way. When I first started tying wings on ants I would criss cross the wings on top in front of the abdomen only to have them be pulled over to one side. I know what you’re thinking, and that’s position the wings so the thread pulls them on top. Been there, done that, and it don’t work for me. They just keep working themselves on over to the far side.

    So I now pinch them on the sides opposite of each other and that seems to work o.k..

    Is there another way that you may know that I don’t that may work out better for me?

    #6363

    Creek
    Participant

    Can’t help you Scotty. I have a hard time seeing ants on the water, so I always use a parachute post.

    #6364

    wheezeburnt
    Participant

    I’m going to assume you tie your ants with an abdomen, a thorax and a head, and that you tie your hackle in between the thorax and head? Give this a try: Dub in the abdomen and thorax. build up several wraps of thread between the thorax and the head so you have a bit of a surface to work on. Tie in your hackle so it sticks out over the eye, but don’t wrap it yet. Then tie the far wing on at the angle you like with a few tight wraps. Then tie in the near wing and THEN wrap your hackle over top of the wing wraps. Then dub in your head.
    One other hint: before you tie on the wing feathers, make a bend with your thumbnail right at the tie-in point. helps to get the wing sticking out at a good angle and gives the thread a point to ‘lock’ into.
    brent

    #6365

    Grsdlnr
    Participant

    What are you using for wings on your ants?

    I prefer a product called Celo-Z Wing from Spirit River. It’s similar to Betts Z-Wing. For ants I use a single piece and cut a notch in the rear end. It ties in without spinning around the hook shank, at least for me.

    This video is a midge pattern but he shows how to tie wings using a similar product called Medallion sheeting. The relevant part is about six minutes in.

    #6366

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    I just use hackle, small hackle, for my wings that are appropriate for the size. I tie the abdomen first, then wrap thread around the shank for the thorax. It is here I tie my wings in. I then tie in a hackle collar and in front of that I tie in the head. Killer fly in Aug. and early Sept.

    I tie my ants similar to how this man does it. He criss crosses his wings, which is hard for me to keep in place, or they join in and look like one wing. At the 3:20 mark.
    https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=fly+tying+a+winged+ant#id=30&vid=b17e140d818a02c9d7661a84bab3bbe9&action=view

    Now I tie them like Davie McPhail does, with better results, and for my wngs, I use what he uses in this clip at the 4:00 minute mark.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Scotty MacFly.
    #6368

    Grsdlnr
    Participant

    Yeah, Davy makes it look easy all right.

    Agree completely about always having some flying ant patterns on hand – when the fish want them, they want nothing else. My go-to has a foam body, Celo-Z wing, and a strand of black Krystal flash on either side to suggest legs. Maybe a tuft of bright Antron on top for visibility. I have a friend who rails against foam flies and insists on using only fur and feathers. He calls my foam terrestrials “lures”. I just smile and catch another fish. :)

    #6369

    Creek
    Participant

    Of course. Lures catch lots of fish. It’s a big industry.

    #6370

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    ” Of course. Lures catch lots of fish. It’s a big industry. ”

    That’s funny!

    #6371

    wheezeburnt
    Participant

    This evening, I had supper with my fishing buddy. He’s in the middle of tying an order for the local fly fishing shop. He’s been a production tier for a long time now (I’ve done a bit, but I find it soul-destroying; plus, I’m not even remotely in his league), and we got discussing the time it takes per fly. He pointed out that he can tie, for example, a #12 Adams that the trout will love in about 4 minutes. He can tie a #12 Adams that a fly fisherman will love in about 6 minutes. Doesn’t seem like much till you look at it in terms of a 30 dozen order, for example. It represents a 50% increase in production time.
    Unfortunately, trout don’t buy flies.
    brent

    #6372

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    I could never tie a fly that fast. It takes me like 30 min., and that’s just for a fly that the fish would like. It’s a good thing I only tie for myself, and I find it to be a very relaxing hobby.

    It beats working any day, but it doesn’t pay the bills.

    #6374

    wheezeburnt
    Participant

    Well, Scotty, if you enjoy the tying, the longer it takes, the more enjoyment you get. Here’s what I’ve discovered (at least for me): if you want to stop enjoying a much loved hobby, start doing it for money. I will tie for friends, local charities and Project Healing Waters and stuff like that, but my fly tying is going to stay a hobby. My lack of talent pretty much guarantees that.
    This same guy ties presentation-quality feather-wing atlantic salmon flies. Google ‘jock scott salmon fly’ in Google Images. He can spend 5 hours on one fly and discard it if he doesn’t like the results. but in his case, he enjoys the time. loads up the disk player with some John Mayall, Etta James and Keb Mo, pours himself a glass of red wine, and the time and the feathers fly.
    brent

    #6375

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    Thanks Brent! You just showed me where I was going wrong.

    I have been drinking scotch & listening to Anne Murray & Gordon Lightfoot when tying. 😄

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Scotty MacFly.
    #6377

    Creek
    Participant

    I tied for a shop for 3 years. Now, I don’t like tying anymore. I just tie what I need and it probably why I use few flies now in my fishing. The year that I just fished Adams was great. I had a years supply done in one day.

    #6378

    Scotty MacFly
    Participant

    That’s a very logical way to look at it if a person wants to only use one or two flies. I know I don’t use more than maybe 10 flies. But they are all tried and true many years ago & still work today.

    #6380

    Creek
    Participant

    Even when I use a lot of flies I won’t spend more than a week out of the year tying. Almost always in the winter.

    One thing tying for a shop will teach you is how to tie fast with no loss of quality. I never wanted to get into tying for a shop. My buddy owned a shop here in BV and couldn’t keep up with the demand he was getting for flies. He asked me to help out and I was trapped. I’d probably still be doing it if he didn’t pass away suddenly.

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