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DoublespeyJanuary 21st, 2012, 9:58 am
Posts: 61
Those ep fibers are very easy to tie in with no bulk created as you say. I use them on small patterns for a BWO wing, as an underwing on a larger downwing pattern to create the shiny, wet, emerging wing look the fish sees from under, and deer hair over for me to see, and better form created. I used them with very good success on a soft hackle pattern as an emerging wing, then the partridge hackle over, or around it. Good stuff.
EntomanJanuary 21st, 2012, 4:11 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
I don't like poly spinners, and gave up on them many years ago. I still carry a few hen-wings for really picky fish feeding on the lips of very clear pools. Only if they absolutely, positively want them fully spent with nothing visible above the surface, though...

Lately, and for "picky" fish, I have been tying and using a lot of hackle stackers. They have been the best performing spinner imitation for me on flat water the past few seasons. They are way more time consuming, but the results are worth it.

I agree wholeheartedly with Tony on this and was going to say the same thing last night, but he beat me to it. The only thing I'd add is that many examples of this style are shown with grizzly hackle. Excepting Callibaetis, I prefer the palest dun I can get my hands on to imitate spinners for the obvious reason. Probably the best all-around spinner imitation as it works for duns as well. Many times both can be on the water at the same time (especially with baetids). This pattern has been very popular out here with savvy anglers for more than a decade. Once you get the pattern down they aren't any more difficult to tie or time consuming than a parachute.

Another pattern I love is a loop-wing parachute - not all spinnerfalls are spent... I like to tie egg sacks on some of these to simulate the females just landing to lay their eggs. Spent spinner patterns with eggs still attached never made much sense to me.

I also like the comparadun style tyed with Hi-vis or Z-lon. easy to clip out the center fibers if they want it spent.

For tails on all my spinners I use micro-fibbets. The reason is because I like to tie them super long. The flies always float right and the fish seem to like them. The length allows for sparseness while still aiding floatability and balance, which is important.

On larger spinners I've been experimenting with abdomens of clear midge tubing over white thread the last couple of years to simulate the clear abdomens many spinners have, especially some of the larger heptageniids. The results have been very good so far.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WbranchJanuary 21st, 2012, 6:40 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Kurt wrote;

"For tails on all my spinners I use micro-fibbets. The reason is because I like to tie them super long. The flies always float right and the fish seem to like them. The length allows for sparseness while still aiding floatability and balance, which is important"

Yes, I also use microfibbets for my spinner tails. You just can't find hackle fibers that are stiff and long enough to replicate tails on spinners. I used to add that little fur ball that S&R mentioned in their book but found them to be more of a nuisance to apply than for the help in separating the fibers. Now I stack three fibbets, tie them in on top of the hook shank at the length I want. Then just take my dubbing needle and separate them and take my bobbin and come around from underneath and go down between two of them and (looking down onto the fly)and come up on top again then repeat on the fibbet closest to me. This puts a thread wrap on the two outer tails fibers then I just add my body and finish the fly. I think it looks neater than the little ball of fur at the end.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
EntomanJanuary 22nd, 2012, 2:35 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
I agree Matt. Besides, they ruin the silhouette. The only time I use a dubbing ball is when I'm simulating eggs on the loopwing parachutes.

Instead of the dubbing needle (another tool to pick up and lay down) have you tried using your left thumbnail? Just come underneath the tails with it until it touches the shank up against the tie-in. You may have to pivot your thumb up a bit while keeping the nail against the shank (careful, too much and you might fold them up creating a crease). After practicing awhile, you will have it down and they will usually set perfectly. Takes only a second or two and then they are ready for a few quick figure eights to keep them in place. Delicately holding them apart and using thread wraps to move them into place is time consuming and inconsistent. I prefer to use thread wraps to secure materials in place not move it there.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WbranchJanuary 22nd, 2012, 7:56 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Kurt,

"Delicately holding them apart and using thread wraps to move them into place is time consuming and inconsistent. I prefer to use thread wraps to secure materials in place not move it there."

I just don't see how I could use my thumbnail to separate the three microfibbetts. I keep my nails clipped quite short. There is just no length to get in between three very slim tails. Thanks for the advice but I don't pay attention to how long it takes me to tie a fly so efficiency of motion is not really an important factor.

I tie 3 - 4 flies a day January through the end of March. At a minimum I'm going to have tied 270 flies which will easily replace all the flies I lost during the previous season as well as complete some new ideas I might have wanted to try.

I've been using the dubbing needle to separate the fibers for thirty-five years and it works well for me. I should of mentioned that I don't just use the needle to separate the three fibers but I use the needle to bend the outer fiber on each side of the middle fiber. I force each outer fiber against the shank of the hook so when I come around with the thread it is securing the fiber in place and not just moving them into position.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
DoublespeyJanuary 22nd, 2012, 8:54 am
Posts: 61
A technique that I use to split the tails is to just use the thread. With the thread at the base of the tail "clump" I use the 4th finger of my left hand to hold the thread against the hook shank freeing up the slack in the thread. Then I separate the tails with my bodkin using the thumb and forefinger of the left hand to hold the bodkin. Bring the thread up between the separated tails and wiggle the thread getting the position you want, and then several firm wraps. I'm too lazy to use the dubbing ball separation.
EntomanJanuary 22nd, 2012, 6:27 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Matt,

I just don't see how I could use my thumbnail to separate the three microfibbetts. I keep my nails clipped quite short. There is just no length to get in between three very slim tails. Thanks for the advice but I don't pay attention to how long it takes me to tie a fly so efficiency of motion is not really an important factor.

It's hard to describe, but nail length has nothing to do with it. Mine are short too. I'm not explaining it well as there is no getting in between the tails with the nail. The nail is pressed against the shank with the tails splayed on top of it. A gentle rock and/or roll will splay them to where they need to be.

I've been using the dubbing needle to separate the fibers for thirty-five years and it works well for me.

Hey, whatever works, right? Though the exchange was between us, I also threw my thoughts out there for others to consider. If I were you, I probably wouldn't change a technique used successfully for thirty five years either.:)

I don't tie in nearly the volume I used to, but that shouldn't be an excuse for me to spend any more time at the vise per fly than necessary.:) Though the techniques I use often seem to have speed and efficiency as the focus over consistency and quality, the reality is these characteristics are connected in many ways. Like a painter with his brush strokes, the more fluid and less fidgity they are, the better the results - at least for me, anyway.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
DoublespeyJanuary 23rd, 2012, 5:34 pm
Posts: 61
YIIIKES again. I screwed that all up. I do as I say with the 4th finger of the left hand, and then use the first finger and the thumb of the left hand to separate the tail fibers (two tasks with one hand), and then bring the thread up between them with the RIGHT hand. I can do that well, just can't find hooks or beads on the floor when I dropped them. Got the flashlight out this morning, moved stuff so I could get down on the floor and find a #16 dry fly hook, but after a lot of searching gave up. Then I looked in my shoe, and there it was in the bottom of my shoe. Tying up some Quigley cripples after Entoman got me thinking about them.
OldredbarnJanuary 25th, 2012, 9:06 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=41281

Take a look at this link for spinner construction with wrapped hackle.

Spence
"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
GutcutterJanuary 26th, 2012, 9:43 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Thanks, Spence, for that link. I never thought to clump the hackle on each side like that.
back to the vise now...
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
OldredbarnJanuary 26th, 2012, 11:12 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Thanks, Spence, for that link. I never thought to clump the hackle on each side like that.
back to the vise now...


You know Tony, the thing I found helpful was the simple idea of a half hitch before you attempt to wrap around the base...As Matt said, either here or in a PM :), that is maybe the hardest part. If you are not careful the thread slips off after a couple wraps...This helps a bit...If I can find where it is I'll send you some more instructions that the guy that posted that sent me...He's in Norway.

http://www.danica.com/flytier/trefsahl/aurivilli_spinner.htm

Spence
"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
OldredbarnJanuary 27th, 2012, 2:10 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Caucci & Nastasi used to just wrap their hackle over a dubbed thorax area and snip the hackle from the top and bottom of the fly. I think that Matt may have done his Brown Drakes this way. If done right it looks pretty good. As you can see.

I have found Syl Nemes book, "Spinners" very interesting and have tied some Baetis using his ideas there. He just uses a couple duck flank feathers for the tail, thread for the abdomen, and a fine wire rib, and hen hackle for the spent wings...They are tied in last near the front of the fly, he separates them in to two equal halves and forces them in to position with dubbing waxed fingers and some force. He does not figure eight between them...They look killer.

The Borger organza spinners that Matt tied I have always wanted to try, but haven't found the material. My wife laughs at me and says that any fabric store probably has scrap lying around enough to tie for the rest of my life.

I am rather fond of fishing spinner falls. I think that they are somewhat over looked by some anglers. Trout see spinners all the time and if properly presented and of a size expected, for the time of the season the angler is on the stream, they will catch fish.

I don't want to give away the farm, but a spinner fished while others are in having breakfast is not a bad idea. If you are the first out there and wade carefully you may catch a nice fish before he heads for cover for the day. Cruisers from the night before's hunt.

I must admit that sometimes in the evening spinner falls, size-does-matter. I have been in situations where it appears that every fish in the stream is feeding but not on your fly. I'm usually being chewed apart by mosquitoes & no-see-ums that only adds to the frustration...Don't hesitate to change flies! Once you find the right one the fun begins! :)

It is difficult sometimes to separate yourself from the tension of the moment. These spinner falls seem intense, if only to the angler. You feel like a clock is ticking and there is only so much time before its over for the night...Relax! Once you are catching fish you can continue to use this fly and prospect for quite some time post the action. Keep an eye out for feeders (head-hunting we call it), don't disturb the water, and put your fly in the pockets where you might expect Mr. Big would feed...He just may be interested...;)

Spence

I have sat on the banks, in the middle of the day, and watched as solo females deposit their eggs on the downstream side of over hanging trees. I have even seen them about on the windiest of days where they seem to be blown away by the wind only to reappear over the riffle between gusts...

Trout see spinners 24/7.


"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
PaulRobertsJanuary 27th, 2012, 2:44 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I've not used a hackle-wing spinner. What's the advantage?

I've seen organsa winged spinners that were quite realistic. Anyone used these? I can't imagine they float well.
OldredbarnJanuary 27th, 2012, 3:38 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
I've not used a hackle-wing spinner. What's the advantage?


What do you use then? I have also used hen hackle tip spinners etc...One of the advantages of the wrapped hackle as opposed to hen hackle tips is that sometimes the hen tips can spin and twist your tippet all up.

The wrapped hackle appears fairly realistic. To me antron fiber is too opaque...Is that the word...They float ok but most spinner wings, as you know, are clear.

Unless you do something to change this, wrapped hackle spinners can be rather difficult to see in the dark...The antron wings are a bit easier...Using a parachute with a light post in this situation works well.

Though it isn't an advantage really, there is a bit of tradition involved...:) At least back here in the midwest and eastern streams.

I guess thats about it...Oh! There is only two materials involved, dubbing and quality rooster hackle. For what that is worth, eh!? :)

Spence
"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
PaulRobertsJanuary 27th, 2012, 4:00 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Ah! Tradition! I forget.. so quickly. I've always used poly.
OldredbarnJanuary 27th, 2012, 5:01 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Ah! Tradition! I forget.. so quickly. I've always used poly.


Oh! Speaking of tradition and spinners...Does anyone, say other than the "PA Boys", remember how Chauncey Lively tied spinners?

I can't give you the blow-by-blow, but he shows it in "Chauncey's Fly Box"...He takes a knotted and looped bit of mono and ties it in where a standard post would go. So you end up with this loop and he winds the hackle to the mono below the knot like one would wrap a parachute fly...This was way ahead of the "Hackler Stacker" style or "Para-Loop" as the Euro's might say, but maybe a predecessor to the newer styles (?).

He then somehow pulled the loop forward and over the eye of the hook with one piece of the loop now on each side of the hook shank. This would separate the two halves of the wound hackle on the top and once you continued underneath you ended up with equal amounts of hackle out, on each side, like the wings of a spinner...

You have to see the photos...:)

Spence
"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
EntomanJanuary 27th, 2012, 9:24 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Spence -

... there is a bit of tradition involved...:) At least back here in the midwest and eastern streams... Oh! Speaking of tradition and spinners...Does anyone, say other than the "PA Boys", remember how Chauncey Lively tied spinners?

Well, some of us out West manage to have a fair understanding of and appreciation for angling tradition, though perhaps not as much as you Easterners because we have to spend so much time dodging arrows and cleaning steer manure off our boots. Of course, there's a couple of ways you could take that.:) LOL

Actually, Mr. Lively tied his smaller hackle spinners by laying on clumps of hackle perpendicular to the shank. The "hackle stacker" method was reserved for larger (14 and up) spinners, probably because his application presented a "knotty" problem in the smaller sizes. His concern about hackle slippage isn't born out by the facts and severely limited the techniques versatility for him. BTW - he used his fingers to separate the hackle and then used dubbing wraps to lock them in place. The loop had nothing to do with it.

In any event, I believe he is the first to describe the technique in print. The fact that he pulls the loop forward before the thorax is applied and uses a knot is only nuance and certainly not enough to deprive him of the invention. His book came out in 1980, but it is really a compilation of articles that appeared in the "Pennsylvania Angler" many years earlier. It is certainly reasonable to assume he was experimenting with them at least as far back as the early 70's, perhaps even earlier. He was a very creative tier whose influence went far beyond his region. Even some of us western barbarians with little sense of tradition are fans.:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WbranchJanuary 28th, 2012, 7:16 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
"Chauncey Lively"

Seriously who the heck is he? I admit I have heard of him but have no idea how he was involved in fly fishing or where he was from. Maybe way back in the day before I came to PA in 1984. Was his claim to fame based on local PA limestone streams? BTW the Cumberland Valley streams of lore like the Letort, Big Spring, and Falling Springs may have been great at one time but IMO I would never recommend them as a fly fishing destination trip unless you are going to be in the area for other reasons or you are a glutton for punishment - because they just don't have the trout population, or sizes, of so many other fisheries that I come to mind.

I'm sure there are a number of PA locals, and regulars, who fish those hallowed waters who are going to jump all over me for the defamation of their cherished waters. Whatever guys! I'd rather stay home and tie flies than waste the gas money to go to any of those creeks.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
DoublespeyJanuary 30th, 2012, 8:04 pm
Posts: 61
On the color of spinners from my Mike Lawson reading. Mike states in regards to the "Pale Duns" combining the likeness of Eastern and Western species just calling them Pale Duns. Mike says almost all the females return to the water, and are a pale yellow. Mike says very few of the males make it back to the water, and they are rusty colored. So why would you tie a rusty colored spinner when 90 plus % of those on the water are pale yellow in color? Mike chooses the two colors based on visibility. When spinner falls occur during the daylight hours he fishes a pale colored spinner. When they occur in the evening, he fishes the rusty spinner that is more visible against the darkening sky. I've added his commonsense to my fly boxes. Not only that observation, but others as well.
GutcutterJanuary 30th, 2012, 9:51 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
"Chauncey Lively"
Seriously who the heck is he? I admit I have heard of him but have no idea how he was involved in fly fishing or where he was from. Maybe way back in the day before I came to PA in 1984.



"It is hard to describe a man who has given so vastly, so deeply to the sport of fly fishing—all for the sheer hobby-love that it was, for the man that many fly fishing professionals call the best trout fly tyer ever.

Beginning his flyfishing odyssey in the late 1940s, Chauncy first came to the Au Sable region at the invitation of esteemed rod maker Paul Young. Chauncy and Paul had corresponded frequently after Chauncy purchased several rods from the Michigan craftsman.

Trips to the Au Sable increased throughout the '60s and early '70s. When Chauncy retired as a mortgage officer in 1974, he and his wife Marion purchased property on a bluff overlooking prime lower North Branch water and built their retirement home.

Chauncy wrote frequently about his exploits along the Au Sable for publications such as Pennsylvania Angler, American Fly Tyer and the Angler's The RIVERWATCH. His prose was informative, lucid and full of rich anecdotes. He was the author of the acclaimed Chauncy Lively's Flybox, a study of Chauncy's proven fly patterns that is in its third printing from Stackpole Books. Flybox highlights another of Chauncy's creations: his floating fly macro-photography.

Chauncy's fly patterns were featured in prized collections and museums around the world. In 1992, he graciously volunteered four of his artisinal creations for the Dry Flies plate of the Anglers of the Au Sable Commemorative Fishing Flies of the Au Sable.

Though it is hard for anyone who didn't know Chauncy intimately to grasp the forthcoming notion, Chauncy owned a unique ability to marry his passions—his wife, his children, his granddaughter, his music, his rivers, his fishing, his photography, his fly crafting—into a continuum of joy that he gently let rain down upon all who were part of his life.
He was a giant of a man who walked in a gentleman's shoes and who spoke with dignity and grace.
Sadly, there are not many like Chauncy Lively left in this world."
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
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