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MartinlfJuly 20th, 2008, 9:17 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
This may prove helpful to anyone who dyes biots. For years I've struggled to get an even dye job on goose or turkey biots, typically tying a stem in a loose overhand knot to get them to fan out. Today I used a rubber band to bind one end of a stem of biots to the middle of a pencil, wrapped the biot stem up the shaft, fanning out the biots parachute style, then used a rubber band to secure the other end of the stem to the top of the pencil. The fanned out biots took the dye evenly and were easy to rinse. The pencil provided a nice handle to avoid fishing around in the dye bath with hemostats to find the biot stem. To dry the stem straight for easy storage, I undid the spiral, smoothed the biots down into their original configuration, stretched out the stem straight, and again rubber banded the ends to the pencil and left it to dry.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchJuly 20th, 2008, 10:58 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733

Why do you bother dying biots when so many colors are readily available alreadty dyed? Rumpf lists sixteen different color turkey biots.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfJuly 20th, 2008, 5:33 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233

Sometimes when I'm tying I don't have exactly what I want, so I keep some white biots on hand and some Rit and dye them myself rather than ordering or running to a fly shop. It puts the materials I want at hand quickly, and with shipping or gas prices what they are it may also be cost effective. I also enjoy messing with it. Sometimes I want an odd color such as a teal green for the Tully's emerald caddis hatch, so I'll dye biots that color. Last year I dyed some biots a brighter yellow than I had on hand for sulphur emergers. What I had would probably have worked, but I get obsessive at times, I must admit.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchJuly 20th, 2008, 11:26 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
"but I get obsessive at times, I must admit."

Ya think? Borger mentions in his "Color System" that as long as you are within one or two shades of the ideal color you are in good shape.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JADJuly 21st, 2008, 4:38 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362

We fisherman are a odd breed, confidence is sometimes as important as color. Keep up the good work,I might need some teal green .

I like the pencil trick

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
MartinlfJuly 21st, 2008, 6:02 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233

Guilty as charged, but John makes a good point. We do what we must to believe, then success follows. Sometimes. I had dyed biots for that emerger pattern that worked on the West Branch, and without it (and your guidance) I would possibly have gotten beat up that evening. As it turned out it was my best fishing ever on the upper West Branch. It's a mysterious process by which each of us finds the right fly, the right drift, and the right fish.

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PAmikeApril 29th, 2011, 12:22 am
N East PA

Posts: 5
Ever try to bleach and dye wild ones?
TaxonApril 29th, 2011, 1:10 am
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350

What do you mean by "wild" ones?
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
PAmikeApril 29th, 2011, 7:38 am
N East PA

Posts: 5
Well wild turkeys are bi colored. Farm raised turkeys are all white. If I were to dye the feathers from a wild turkey would I not have to bleach them first,then dye them?
DrMartinMay 1st, 2011, 12:40 am
Posts: 6I've tried bleaching and dying wild turkey feathers. Not for tying but for fletching on arrows. The barring will still be visable even after bleaching.
David Martin
PAmikeMay 1st, 2011, 1:05 am
N East PA

Posts: 5
That's what I thought. Thanks, Mike
OldredbarnMay 2nd, 2011, 12:37 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
but I get obsessive at times


No, no, no! Lets you and I just call it play...I still have, passed on to me from an old fishing buddy, his recipes for hand mixed dubbing for each bug we may run in to up on the Au Sable...I have a pile of beaver in rainbow colors and in the middle of winter I'm hand blending dubbing...50% color "A", 20% color "B" etc...It feels good to do somehow and therefore just part of the deal. Once I've picked out all the guard hairs it's a beautiful fluff of soft dubbing...When I first started tying my mentor and I sat in his basement with the hockey game on and if there were any errant guard hairs remaining in my batch or it wasn't fluffed up to perfection I didn't pass the test.

Its only appears obsessional to an outside observer...It's all relative...Right?! :)

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
SayfuOctober 17th, 2011, 11:16 am
Posts: 560
I avoid dying, but sure wish goose biots would take a Pantone pen!!!!! Darn plastic non accepting things! I use the naturals a lot, and really like the abdomen effect you get. Had the naturals work super for BWO's when the color was anything but what I wanted.

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