Monday, January 23, 2012

Dabbling in the dark arts - married wing wet and salmon flies

The last little while I’ve been experimenting with tying some married wing flies.  My inspiration was a memory I had from my youth. My dad has a book called ‘500 Fly Dressings by John Veniard’. On the cover of that book is an illustration of one of the most complex married wing salmon flies, the Jock Scott. So I thought to myself, I’ll have a crack at that as a little challenge. I tied it, it looked liked it had been fished for 10 years and hooked numerous salmon, and that was even before the head cement had dried!

The first Jock Scott

I posted this little gem on numerous forums for critique and feedback, and the overwhelming response was to simplify my efforts. So I looked to classic winged wet flies for some easier patterns to help me learn techniques. My two favorite wet flies are the Alexandra and the Trout Fin, of which there are 6 different variations. So I got to tying some of those. They first one didn’t come out so well, but I persevered and tried to get better, again, posting the pictures on forums for critique and feedback.

First Trout Fin

Since those first two flies, I’ve gotten somewhat better at tying the winged wets, trying a few different patterns of varying complexity. One thing I’ve learned, there’s a lot more that meets the eye with these flies (as with all flies I suppose). Dimensions are key and the standard seems to vary from tyer to tyer. From what I’ve gathered from forum feedback, some folks either like what you’re tying or they don’t. Some go out of their way to help you improve, while others just point out the obvious. All this is well and good, as for me, I want to understand every detail I have missed in order that I can tie the best flies possible.

Here are some of my more recent attempts at wet flies.



Trout Fin

Brookie Fin Variant

Watson's Fancy

 Pellee Island


Parmachene Belle


Brookie Fin


And finally, another Jock Scott.

This one is not perfect either, in fact, while I looks better than the first, it is a very long way from the shadow box quality I hope to achieve

In the coming weeks I’m going to take a step back on the married wing salmon flies and tie what has been suggested to me as a much simpler and less daunting pattern, the Irish Thunder and Lightning, as well as continue with the winged wets. They sure are as much fun to tie as they are to look at!

Watch this space…

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