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RogueratOctober 19th, 2014, 4:31 pm
Posts: 456
I doubt this is a new technique, but throwing it out there anyway-

I couldn't come up with a satisfactory blend of dubbing for an Isonychia Harrop's hair-wing dun pattern I was tying, so just for grins I used a blended-thread body instead.
Using 8/0 mahogany and tan threads, on 2 bobbins, I spun the bobbins around to make a twisted 'rope' of thicker thread- then wound this on to create a tapered abdomen and the thorax for the fly. The 2 colors made for a nicely variegated whole, with dark dun deer-hair for the wing. I gave the thread body a light coat of thinned cement to keep things in place, and the fly was finished.

Like I said, I don't think this is anything radically new- anybody else tying these?

Passin' time on a Sunday afternoon...I just came back from Croton dam on the Muskegon, some salmon in the river but all-in-all pretty slow. No hook-ups, not even a decent 'bump' to speak of.

Roguerat

I Peter 5:7 'Cast your cares upon Him...'
CrepuscularOctober 19th, 2014, 4:50 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
The only thing that would concern me about thread bodies is floatation on larger flies. I tie thread bodies on small flies < size 20. But I like the color possibilities of your technique. And honestly I never tried it with larger flies so I may be off base with my concerns about floatation.
RogueratOctober 19th, 2014, 5:08 pm
Posts: 456
Crepuscular-

You make a good point on flotation, I'm going to do an A-B comparison test on this. One fly with the cement-coated body, the other with no cement and floatant worked into the thread body. I'd anticipate the floatant-treated fly to behave better on the surface, but I'll check both just because.
I just finished a Light Cahill pattern with a thread body, another one of those weird 'fleshy, light- cream, whatever' colors called for. Hendrickson pink is next on the hit-list, one of those hard-to-match with dubbing colors...
Ditto on using thread bodies for the little guys, it's hard to get dubbing on a sz 22 hook without the fly turning into a mini-blimp!

Roguerat


"Less is more'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe

(Old Red Barn should get a kick out of that one, although I'm a 3rd generation Hollander myself!)
OldredbarnOctober 19th, 2014, 7:50 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
"Less is more'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe

(Old Red Barn should get a kick out of that one, although I'm a 3rd generation Hollander myself!)


:) Just got back from a 10-day Fall color tour around the upper lower...Wonderful! The Niederlander side of the family is from the farm country between Clare and Cadillac, north of Evart, give or take...

Visited the old farm on our way home and visited those that have moved on in the local cemetery...Grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins...Even the great grandpa I was named after. This was in Marion...

The Dutch family plot is near Dighton. It was an old logging town that my grandfather swore was a happening place back in the day...Nothing really there now.

Did a ton of hiking/birding...Got to see a Barred Owl among many others. Had dinner in a town with a friend and his wife and we watched some salmon chasing each other around, but I can't say where it was...:)

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
MartinlfOctober 22nd, 2014, 1:34 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3057
You might try Dave's Flexament for the cement, thinned approximately 50/50. It produces a lighter, sort of rubbery coating in comparison to many other head cements. I've used it on dry fly thread bodies and they seem to float OK, though I've mainly used this approach on smaller flies, like Eric. Flexament also doesn't change the color of the thread once it has dried. You get an initial darkening, then the original color comes back. I've blended threads as you mention, and tried ribbing with alternate colors. Though I think I care about color much more than the trout (who seem much more concerned about drift if the size and profile are right), it's fun to experiment.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
RogueratOctober 22nd, 2014, 4:05 pm
Posts: 456
Agreed, I think I'm more concerned with matching color(s) and flattering myself when a fish likes what I've done...

I've got a fresh bottle of Flexament, have to make a trip to Cabela's for the thinner now.

I was going to try a drop of silicone on a thread body, see what effect that has on color and flotation. The ever-haunting 'what if I..' curiosity factor drives a lot of this. And yes, experimenting is a real grin (especially when it works)!

'If you're not tying then you're buying'

borrowed from a yet-to-be-found post somewhere in Troutnut
LastchanceOctober 22nd, 2014, 5:47 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
I tie almost all of my dry flies from size 18 down to 30 with thread or biot bodies and they float fine. I use a very little dubbing on the thoraxes of nearly all of them down to about a size 24 or 26. I started doing that when I realized my flies were all too large. Eric and Tony have them right down to the correct profile. I was a bit red faced showing them my renditions. But, I tied then how I was taught, wrong!
EntomanOctober 27th, 2014, 10:01 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Rogue,

Nothing wrong with tying bodies with thread. Some great imitations have been created doing so for years. Baetid flies are effectively tied this way as it is almost impossible to tie them too thinly for some species. What I do think is a mistake is to use cement as it unnecessarily adds weight and deadens the material by matting the little ends that protrude from the twisted plies. Under magnification, cotton and silk (my favorite) threads actually look quite furry, almost like a tightly dubbed fly. Bodies on most flies contribute little to floatation. Even the no-hackle floats from tails and wing butts trapped in the film. The secret is to keep the bodies as light as possible while providing the proper silhouette. On big flies, you can't do this with big bulky thread bodies full of glue. A proper float is far more important than precisely matching the color as we see it. Your best bet is to stick with blended dubbing or wrap some biots over a doubled back hair tail for bulk and light weight.
"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
OldredbarnOctober 28th, 2014, 2:27 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Besides "tying thread" there are threads and flosses that are normally used in sewing etc that can create some interesting flies. See Alice Conba, from Scotland I think?, on Hans Weilenmann's site. www.flytierspage.com

She started out a seamstress...Nice flies.

While you are there check out our old friend Mark Libertone's flies. When he demonstrates Mark's fly, the "Little Dorothy" he mentions Mark by name.

When my mother-in-law passed away in 2011 I inherited her thread drawer. She had some great stuff from all around the world. When you are tying for yourself, as Louis mentions, and not the fish particularly, you can "dandy" up a fly with these threads.

The colors are great. I use them all the time as ribbing, and for nymph bodies ala Alice mentioned above. If you use clear stretch ribbing like she does on her caddis larvae, wrapping the underbody with these threads can create some realistic looking bugs. At least they look great in my nymph boxes...If I could only talk the "dry-fly-guy" in to tossing them on the water once in a while, he may catch more fish. :)

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
RogueratOctober 28th, 2014, 3:19 pm
Posts: 456
Thanks for the input and wisdom, this is an interesting thread (pun intended...)

Devils advocate here: if a quill bodied fly is 'solid' as far as its body density goes, is a glued thread body any different? Not arguing, this is a 'what is the difference' question.

I do tie the little guys- 18's, 20's, and now 22's (which I'll never see on the water given my advanced middle-aged sight) with thread bodies, only dubbing is a thorax here and there depending on the pattern.

Tight lines, all,

Roguerat

'You can observe a lot just by watching'

C. Stengel
OldredbarnOctober 28th, 2014, 6:57 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
I'm going to tip-toe very quickly through here on this topic in hopes that no one sees me and gets ticked off, or I open the proverbial "can of worms"...Of which we all don't fish with, right?

Fly design discussions here can start an avalanche. :) All I'll say here is this, if you want the fly to float there are things you can do to help with float-ability and not need to worry so much about the body materials used.

You want the thing to look right, but it must function correctly as well. Quill-bodies have been around a long time and the old Catskill ties rode on longish tails of stiff rooster fibers and the wound hackle up front.

I have designed flies in the vice that looked wonderful, but sank like a stone...Much to my chagrin.

In the case of emergers you might want the abdomen to sink below the surface film yet not sink totally.

Good hackle, as in days of old, is of primo importance...Not always easy to find. Some hackle looks great on the wall of the shop but is basically crap in terms of floating your fly. (We could use Tim Neal's two-cents here in terms of what makes for good, quality, hackle).

Split tails can help support a fly. My mentor shunned micro-fibbets for good old spade hackle fibers and he wasn't shy with the number of fibers. He felt that most tyers under used the amount of fibers and it screwed with function.

Now a days folks are getting creative with incorporating foam into their flies...Some types of foam float better than others.

Traditionally us dry-fly guys lived under the idea that fur/dubbing from animals that lived in or near water helped float flies...Beaver, muskrat, for example...Some man-made fibers used for dubbing can help float a fly as well...

So, I guess what I'm saying is, go ahead and wrap your bodies as you wish, keeping in mind what you want the fly to do, and incorporate other materials elsewhere that may help it float.

Damn! I wanted to hit and split here! :)

Spence

Then there's deer hair...:)
"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
RogueratOctober 28th, 2014, 7:16 pm
Posts: 456
Hey, I tie an occasional San Juan worm! In standard worm-colors, no less...

I like deer hair, too...tied more than a few hair bugs in my day.

Roguerat

EntomanOctober 28th, 2014, 8:21 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Devils advocate here: if a quill bodied fly is 'solid' as far as its body density goes, is a glued thread body any different? Not arguing, this is a 'what is the difference' question.

And a good one, Rogue. Sometimes it's hard to make a point effectively in a few paragraphs, sorry about that... Anyway, the issue is a matter of degree. While true that the difference in weight between a thread body or quill body is insignificant in small flies and even larger thin flies, that's not the case when you start imitating big chunky critters like leadwing coachmen. Biots wrapped over a doubled back tail of hollow hair like elk or moose or even over a foam body is substantially lighter and a far better floater than a bulky glued thread body. You will find the difference to be rather dramatic upon actual testing.
"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
CrepuscularOctober 29th, 2014, 8:58 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
I couldn't come up with a satisfactory blend of dubbing for an Isonychia Harrop's hair-wing dun pattern I was tying, so just for grins I used a blended-thread body instead.


Just another thought here, if what you are really looking for is the perfect match to the coloration of the natural, I am severly obsessive about this, WAY more than I should be, but my issues not withstanding, for mayflies like hendricksons or any that are not uniformly the same color I employ the use of Pantone markers. The color possibilities are endless and for larger flies yoiu can dub the body to the correct proportions, I like razor foam as well. It's thin and can be used a couple different ways and takes a marker very well. Just another option. Like our own Motor City Madman poited out "fly design discussions can start an avalanche here", I just wanted to offer another possible solution to your quest for the perfect color fly bodies. Look out below! The avalanche has been started...
RogueratOctober 29th, 2014, 4:55 pm
Posts: 456
re: Pantone markers- I've used these to add shading to the backs of Drakes and Hexes, sometimes having trouble with the ink 'bleeding' into areas it wasn't needed.
It's likely I had a heavy hand and let the ink soak in; other times I used the small end of the pen very carefully, no issues and a clean application.

If I get up the guts I'll post a series of pictures on the thread-wrapped body, see what the panel of judges says...more rocks for the avalanche!

speaking of the Motor City Madman, I saw T. Nugent in concert way back when...he was still with the Amboy Dukes, I think it was in '74 or so!
CrepuscularOctober 29th, 2014, 5:23 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
re: Pantone markers...
It's likely I had a heavy hand and let the ink soak in; other times I used the small end of the pen very carefully, no issues and a clean application.
yes they take a little practice.

If I get up the guts I'll post a series of pictures on the thread-wrapped body, see what the panel of judges says...more rocks for the avalanche!
ah just post them. I'm always interested in what others are wrapping around a hook!

speaking of the Motor City Madman, I saw T. Nugent in concert way back when...he was still with the Amboy Dukes, I think it was in '74 or so!
well, you have me beat there. I think it was 1982 or 83 when I saw him, sans Amboy Dukes. No journey to the center of my mind...that night.
OldredbarnOctober 30th, 2014, 10:37 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
speaking of the Motor City Madman, I saw T. Nugent in concert way back when...he was still with the Amboy Dukes, I think it was in '74 or so!


You must be as old as me...Amboy Dukes?! Even Terrible Ted doesn't remember being in that band.

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

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