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> > Updates on learning the "Gonzo" style nymphs.......

BjanzenNovember 15th, 2006, 4:42 am
Near Chattanooga, TN

Posts: 13

Just wanted to post a follow-up. I have been working with my skills and slowly getting better. Part of the problem was head-crowding. I thought I was leaving room, but then I realized that I was pushing material to make room and "humping" the wing case(poly) and making a bulge. The other thing was I was using too much poly (full width on size 14)so I went to 60-75% and it helped along with more tension on poly and thread when tied off. I also looked at the pictures more and realized that some thread head is necessary and I am doing better now.

I have also struggeled with the legs but things are improving with some mods of my own. I am sure your methods are fine but I just couldn't get them to work. Maybe you can elaborate if I am doing it in a way that will cause problems later.

My method of legs is to add the thread un-coated to the fly. Then I glue it in with Orvis Flex Seal and go a little out on the leg so that it will be sealed out past the dubbing when finished. Then I dub the legs in place. (Do you place dubbing behind the back legs to make them stick out?) Then when the fly is done, I coat the bare thread with CA. The CA seems to harden the un-coated thread better and wick in nicely. I have also had problems getting the bend and the only way I have found is a slightly warmed bodkin to bend the legs. Then I place a little CA on the bend to harden and set the shape.

BTW, I have had more success with the Diving nymph. The antron wing seems easier for me than the wing case but I will keep working and learning. That is the beautiful thing about this hobby.

Thanks again for the help, Barry
MartinlfNovember 18th, 2006, 1:18 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2968
Hi Barry,

Gonzo will have to answer the tying questions, but noticing you live in Chattanooga, I have to ask if you have fished the Little Sequatchie or Lost Cove Creek near Sewanee. I grew up in Winchester, went to college in Sewanee, and did just a little trout fishing in my youth. Instead I spent many a happy hour spin fishing for smallmouth in Elk River near Estill Springs. By the way, an old buddy back home has found some very big browns in Elk below Tims Ford Dam. Tight lines!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
BjanzenNovember 18th, 2006, 5:23 pm
Near Chattanooga, TN

Posts: 13

To answer your question.....I haven't in the Sewanee area. I know of the Elk but haven't fished it either. This is my first year and so far I have just fished in the Smokies and the Hiwassee river. I am wade fishing and like the openess of the Hiwassee. Will venture out when I can find some people to show me around some new rivers.

Have a good one, Barry
GONZONovember 19th, 2006, 9:42 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Hi Barry,

Glad to hear you're finding some solutions to the tying issues you're confronting. It really doesn't matter if your way of solving those problems differs from my own--the book was intended to encourage experimentation, not discourage it.

Your way of producing the thread legs sounds as though it can work. Just remember that the basic idea is to strike the best compromise between a definite leg shape and a high degree of flexibility. If the wicking of the CA glue into the thread core is controllable and does not interfere with the flexibility of the leg near the body, you should have a similar result. The goal is not just to achieve a particular look, but also to address movement and "feel."

Actually, the only "red flag" I can see has to do with the difficulty you encountered bending the legs the way I describe in the book. I suspect that your flexible coating was probably too thick. I use Flexament thinned at least 1:1. Flexament straight from the bottle (and, I suspect, Orvis Flex Seal) produces a coating that, while rubbery, is also too thick and stiff. To function properly, the critical area where the leg meets the body must retain as much of the thread's original flexibility as possible. I apply a thin coating to the entire leg in order to prevent the CA from wicking into places that will inhibit flexibility.

I'll leave it to you (and the trout, of course) to decide if your method achieves a similar result. I'll only caution that it is easy to become enraptured with a "good-looking" fly at the expense of its function. But please keep experimenting. Not all of our experiments are successful, but we do learn lessons from each of them.

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