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FisherOfMen has attached these 4 pictures. The message is below.
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"Elk Hair Caddis"
"Elk Hair Caddis"
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This is an imitation for the Little Black Sedge Hatch, mixed up a couple different patterns.
This is an imitation for the Little Black Sedge Hatch, mixed up a couple different patterns.
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White Sucker Mickey Finn
White Sucker Mickey Finn
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Hare's Ear.  I had a little trouble with the wingcase, is it alright or does it need to be bigger?  Also I think it's too fat/not long enough, am I right?
Hare's Ear. I had a little trouble with the wingcase, is it alright or does it need to be bigger? Also I think it's too fat/not long enough, am I right?
FisherOfMenFebruary 8th, 2012, 9:08 pm
NY

Posts: 115
I tied my first couple of flies last night, and I'd like a little advice as to how they look and where I need to improve. Don't hesitate to criticize, that's what I'm asking for. An honest opinion will help me tie better which is my goal.

Thanks!
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
WbranchFebruary 8th, 2012, 10:34 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2502
Nick,

The Hare's Ear looks mighty good for a newbie tier! I think your wing case is fine. I like a bulbous, robust wing case especially when the flies are about to emerge. It looks like the wing is fully formed under the wing case causing it to be more prominent. If anything I would suggest shorter, softer, and more lifelike tailing material. You can use the fuzz at the bottom of most hackles, or you can get a couple of hen necks that have soft and webby hackles that are great for tails, collars, and chins.

The Clouser type fly looks good. I love Clousers and prefer sparseness to fullness. The down wing caddis is proportioned quite well. It is really hard (at least for me) to tie in nice duck quill segments for those down wings. Personally they are so fragile that after a few casts the segments are likely going to separate and the fly is going to look pretty rough.

There are a zillion other winging materials you can use that will create a nice wing profile. Try stacked dry fly hackle barbules, or stacked calf tail fibers. You can use those brown and white and grey partridge feathers, you can use z-lon or Antron for a wing too.

Wing material selection is only limited by your imagination and the floatation qualities of the material.

The very first fly you are crowding the head (a common mistake of new, and not so new, tiers) Try leaving between 1/16" and 1/8" of hook shank bare so you can create a nicely tapered head with no material sticking up through the thread wraps or in the eye of the hook. I still sometimes wind up with not enough room on my #20 - #22 flies.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
SmallflyguyFebruary 8th, 2012, 11:59 pm
Posts: 16Although a proper blend of proportion, impressionistic, and imitative qualities may appease our eye, Iíve always asked the fish for the final approval.
Deception is my art
WbranchFebruary 9th, 2012, 12:07 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2502
"Iíve always asked the fish for the final approval."

Now that is really way out there!
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
EntomanFebruary 9th, 2012, 12:35 am
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Nice work, Nick! Keep at it with focus on neat heads and proper proportions and you will improve really fast. Use your fingers to hold everything back as you apply a few head wraps so you don't trap a bunch of material sticking out all over. Then, take the time to trim away the few fibers trapped before you apply the finishing wraps.

Hare's Ear. I had a little trouble with the wingcase, is it alright or does it need to be bigger? Also I think it's too fat/not long enough, am I right?

It's a pretty good imitation "as is" for the clingers (Heptageniidae). Shorten the thorax and tails and it would be serviceable for the crawlers (Ephemerellidae). Thin the thorax and shorten it even more and you will have a good swimmer nymph (Baetidae). Remember, thorax size is determined by two factors, how far from the eye you tie in the quill and how much dubbing you use.

I can't stress this enough, Nick - utilize the hatch pages in the Encyclopedia on Troutnut! Study the excellent photo's and learn their shapes - and use them as models!... Also, don't be easily satisfied. Have a safety blade nearby and clean off the hook to start over if you aren't happy. A little fur, a few hair fibers, a slip of quill and a few inches of thread are cheap, but the hook isn't. No sense filling up your boxes with flies you won't be satisfied with even a few months from now. A good analogy is that you are a duffer at golf and it it's hard to even tabulate a score yet. With a fair amount of practice and average aptitude, you will be surprised how quickly you break a hundred. Improving from there to a scratch golfer is the rub and is where the progress slows with improvements coming more slowly only after a lot of work. You are at the stage where you will see amazing progress fairly quickly if you keep at it. You will be knocking out flies you can be proud of and have confidence in before you know it.:) Next year at this time you will be able to look back and smile with satisfaction.
"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
SmallflyguyFebruary 9th, 2012, 1:32 pm
Posts: 16
"Iíve always asked the fish for the final approval."

Wbranch, unless Iíve totally misconstrued the following:

Now that is really way out there!

which is entirely possible, my take is that you find my ability to talk to the fish a rather far fetched proposition. Let me tell you, nothing could be farther from the truth. I can assure you that you, in fact, also have that ability, which is proven in the many fine photographs of large fish you have downloaded on this site. My quote "Iíve always asked the fish for the final approval." was meant more in a poetic sense than literal. However, I think a literal sense may be fitting if we understand the language used to communicate with the fish. I will admit that we are limited in the language used because it is always in the form of a question asked. But I assure you that the fish understand the language because, in a sense, it is a matter of survival. That language is the language of the ďFlyĒ. I think we can all agree that the trout has a thorough understanding of which the fly speaks. It behooves the fly fisherman to learn that language in order to communicate and connect with the trout. As with any foreign language some will become more fluent than others and thus will be better able to connect and hold a conversation with the trout than others. Every fly that we cast is in the form of a question to the trout and is thus asked: Is my ability to imitate the language of the fly sufficient enough to draw the trout into a conversation? If the answer is yes, now we are talking.

So FisherOf Men, continue to improve on your language skills but always remember to ask the fish how you are doing. For it is the fish that will determine the final approval.
Deception is my art
WbranchFebruary 9th, 2012, 8:18 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2502
Hello smallfly guy,

"Now that is really way out there!"

I know what you meant - ur a trout whisperer!

I was just fooling with you - I know the definition of a "good" fly isn't so much in how it looks but in how it catches fish. However for my own personal satisfaction I want my flies to be able to pass my fastidious inspection - which means no errant hackle fibers sticking out helter skelter, well proportioned components to the relative hook size, small neat heads. When I've met those standards I feel better about whether the fly will be effective.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
EntomanFebruary 9th, 2012, 10:22 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Ditto, Matt. Well said...
"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
OldredbarnFebruary 10th, 2012, 11:53 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
http://www.danica.com/flytier/fthompson/elk_hair_caddis.htm
http://www.danica.com/flytier/ccraven/elk_hair_caddis.htm
http://www.danica.com/flytier/ttrexler/mickey_finn.htm
http://www.danica.com/flytier/cpennington/uv_hares_ear.htm
http://www.danica.com/flytier/rharrop/cdc_standard_dry_fly.htm
http://www.danica.com/flytier/tbefus/clouser_minnow.htm

Fisherofmen,

I have supplied you here with some links to flies that are in the same neighborhood of the ones you have shared with us. Maybe they can serve you as models...There are a ton of good beginner books out there...Google Dick Talleur and beginning fly tying for starters...

Each style of fly, dry, wet, nymph, streamer, etc. have guidelines for proper porportions for tail length, body length, wing height, wrapped hackle length and so on...These are in relationship to the hook size being used. These starter books have diagrams that spell this out. The Hare's Ear above in my links is a standard nymph and Renee's Dry Fly is a standard dry.

My mentor used to tell me it's all about practise...Your second dozen will look better than your first. Deconstruct your first dozen (take a razor blade to them and clean the hook up) and do them again...This third dozen, if not better than the second, should start to look identical to each other...

Find a fly you like in a shop or from a tyer you respect and slowly take it apart working from the eye backwards...Take notes...See if you can then re-build it...After you have done this enough, have tied enough, you will be able to look at a fly and pretty much be able to recreate it on your own...

So get cracking! Welcome to the club! If you turn out to be half as obsessed as some of us here...Well I'm sorry for you, mister. :)

By-the-way...Where did you find those hooks?

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
FisherOfMenFebruary 11th, 2012, 3:38 pm
NY

Posts: 115
Thanks for the feedback, guys! I've been trying to reply for a few days, but the internet has been kaplooie!

Over the past two days, most of my flies have actually gotten worse! I think I know the problem, though. I start tying around 9:30pm, and finish between 10:30 and 1am. I'm just too tired. I need to tie earlier in the day!

Not sure why you're asking about the hooks, Spence, but some are from Matt Hanist(Wbranch) and some are my own. I smashed the barbs, and they're not really rusty, it just looks like that in the photos.


Nick

P.S. That's a Clouser, not a Mickey Finn. Not sure why I labeled it wrong, guess I really wanted to tie a Mickey Finn!
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
EntomanFebruary 11th, 2012, 3:54 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Smallflyguy -

Although a proper blend of proportion, impressionistic, and imitative qualities may appease our eye, Iíve always asked the fish for the final approval

Where do you think the benchmarks for what construes "a proper blend of proportion, impressionistic, and imitative qualities" came from? Could it be that oft-expressed cliche sets up a false dichotomy?

Best regards,
"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
MotroutFebruary 11th, 2012, 4:02 pm
Posts: 319
Very good! Takes a lot of people awhile to be able to tie flies that well. Those will catch fish. Now it's just a matter of getting a little warm weather here so you can get out and use 'em!
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
WbranchFebruary 11th, 2012, 5:56 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2502
Fisherofmen wrote;

"but some are from Matt Hanist(Wbranch)"

I sent the kid some good hooks, some Tiemco's and a bunch of Mustad 3906 and some other freebies.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Shawnny3February 12th, 2012, 9:37 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Nice first flies, Nick, certainly much better than my own first attempts. I haven't read through the whole thread, but from what I've read, you're being steered well. Glean from these esteemed gentlemen whatever you can.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
SmallflyguyFebruary 13th, 2012, 5:39 pm
Posts: 16
Smallflyguy -
Although a proper blend of proportion, impressionistic, and imitative qualities may appease our eye, Iíve always asked the fish for the final approval


Where do you think the benchmarks for what construes "a proper blend of proportion, impressionistic, and imitative qualities" came from? Could it be that oft-expressed cliche sets up a false dichotomy?


Entoman, IMHO the benchmark is established in an ever evolving culmination combining scientific study (aquatic entomology) with the fly fishing community, and has been lead by many visionaries too numerous to list, but with whom many of us are familiar. And, I would be remiss not to mention the efforts in genetic manipulation for the feathers we so long for and the development and applications in the use of synthetic materials. Personally my fly tying ability falls well short of some of the many excellent examples posted here on Troutnut. That being said it never ceases to amaze how often my hacked hackling performs its trickery. Oh Iíll be the first to admit that improvement would most likely result in an improved catch to cast ratio, but those danged trout are constantly reminding me of how little they notice the errantness [sic] of my ways. Perfection is certainly a worthy goal but that thing called a hook, that unnatural appendage, how do we explain that while at the same time splitting hairs? And that damned indicator, I swear Iím going to add a hook. In short, maybe just a little humor inflicted on our perfectionist preferences.
Deception is my art
EntomanFebruary 14th, 2012, 7:08 am
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Smallflyguy -

Thank you for such an erudite response. However, angling and scientific luminaries aside, I'm having difficulty finding answers in it to the questions posed. I have a dull mind, so perhaps they were obfuscated by your rhetorical prowess?
"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
FalsiflyFebruary 14th, 2012, 7:55 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 656
Sorry FisherOfMen, I donít mean to jump in and highjack your topic, but knowing Smallflyguy as well as I do I just couldnít resist.

Smallflyguy -

Thank you for such an erudite response. However, angling and scientific luminaries aside, I'm having difficulty finding answers in it to the questions posed. I have a dull mind, so perhaps they were obfuscated by your rhetorical prowess?


Kurt, Iím telling you that got me rolling on the floor laughing my a$$ off ďobfuscated by your rhetorical prowessĒ that one liner is such a zinger I bet it went right over his head. Smallflyguy is a guide, or rather claims to be. Iíve had the pleasure, or should I say the misfortune to fish with the guy. Thank God I never had to pay the bill. The closest heís ever gotten to tying a fly is tying one to a clientís tippet, but only if he has to. Oh donít get me wrong, his fly boxes are full of impressive flies, loaded daily from the shelves of the fly shop and charged to the client at an astronomical mark-up pocketing the difference Iím sure. Have you guys ever heard of an aluminum hatch? I heard about it first from Smallflyguy. Every morning the fly shop takes an inventory of the flies the guide takes on the water, an aluminum fly box filled to the max with the flies all neatly placed side by side. At the end of the day a tally is taken and the client is charged for the flies used. Well one day my all thumbs friend dropped a box into the Frying Pan and damn near drowned giving chase, and for good reason, he ended up paying for the countless dozens of flies. :)
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
EntomanFebruary 14th, 2012, 10:01 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Yeah well, I must admit to a chuckle or two as I wrote it. The things we'll do to entertain ourselves on a long Winter evening. Sorry for being so obtuse Smallflyguy. For penance, I'll stick my head in the river the next time I'm out to practice my Flyish on the trout.:)
"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
SmallflyguyFebruary 15th, 2012, 12:51 am
Posts: 16
Sorry for being so obtuse Smallflyguy.

Nope, none needed now that the jerk (Falsifly) has me filled in. I have to admit though that your use of the term ďeruditeĒ in referring to my response was well received.

I should warn you all to take everything that Falsifly has to say with a grain of salt. Yes I did lose a box of flies, but at least I had the foresight to fill it with the cheap Chinese made stuff, which I prefer to use when fishing with the likes of him. It would be just like Falsifly to claim that heís never lost a fly, and anybody but me might believe him. If youíve ever watched him fish youíd swear he hasnít spent a single day on the water. Iíll never forget the day I tied on a hook-less fly to his tippet. It was the first time I ever fished with him that I wasnít continuously plagued with releasing his snags and untangling tree branches. He never even complained about not catching fish because heís so use to it. Yeah heís right when he says that he never paid me for a days worth of guiding, the leach always brings his highfalutin friends and some how always squeaks out of even paying for his fair share. :)

For penance, I'll stick my head in the river the next time I'm out to practice my Flyish on the trout.:)

If you get the fish to talking take some pictures and send them to Falsifly. I wouldnít put it past him to post the pictures here and claim them for his own. :)
Deception is my art
FisherOfMenFebruary 15th, 2012, 9:55 pm
NY

Posts: 115
YES! I've gotten back in the groove, and I blasted out four cinnamon elk hair caddis. I'm back to improving again!
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
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