Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Founding Flies by Mike Valla. Reviewed by Friend of the Fly

I often wonder about the origination of certain fly patterns and the reasoning behind their design. I acknowledge that the introduction of certain aspects of a popular fly had their place and time; hence it would be helpful if we could somehow delve into the mind of each flies creator, which might help us understand why they chose a particular material or technique. For instance, some may ponder the significance of the Royal Coachman's uncanny use of red floss or the Prince Nymph's impressionistic  looking white biot wings.

Well, seek no further. Mike Valla presents a profound analogy of 43 of some of the greatest and most influential American fly tiers in his 2013 release of TheFounding Flies: 43 American Masters: Their Patterns and Influences. Valla provides a clear and concise illustration of key fly tiers such as Ray Bergman, Cal Bird and Lee Wolff, covering a period from the mid - 1880s to the late 1960s. This is not only a historic account of fly tying, but a quite interesting depiction of each masters character and how their lives were affected by fly tying. Excellent quality photos of both original and replicated patterns are shown throughout each chapter. The book ends with recipes for 300 of the flies portrayed throughout the book.

Image from Copperfly Web site:
I would highly recommend The Founding Flies to any serious fly tier who is looking to progress in tying both old and new designs. The books historical account provides a solid foundation, which I think is crucial in any skill. Skimming through the book, I think that you will find that certain master tiers will be more relative than others. You will relate to some concepts and perhaps not agree so much on others. Nevertheless, Whether or not the ultimate fly has been produced, ultimately this book will aid in gaining a deep perspective on the evolution of fly tying, which I think will be beneficial in the creative stages of your fly tying. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lil Gold Stone Jig

Added another jig to my arsenal. Euro - inspired, the Lil Gold Stone is my replication of Little Golden Stonefly nymphs that are found in my local tributary throughout the year. I used a subtle, but similar technique for the shell-back that is used in Skip Morris's Brick Back Caddis. Hope you enjoy the unique video tutorial.

Lil Gold Stone


Hook: #8 - #10 Jig Hook
Thread: Black UTC 70
Tail: Dark Brown Pheasant Tail
Body: Amber Scud Dubbin
Shell Back: Brown Antron
Ribbing: 6LB Monofilament
Thorax: Amber Scud Dubbin with Black Hare's Ear
Head: Black Nickel Tungsten Bead

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Polish Woven Nymph

Tied up some Vladi styled Polish Woven nymphs after watching the DVD European Nymphing with Jack Dennis & Vladi. According to Bob Petti at the Global FlyFisher Web site, during the mid 90's, these flies drove the masses to their local craft stores in search of weaving materials, which make these flies so extraordinary. Is it possible that the trend was largely a consequence of Vladi Trzebunia and the Polish World Champion Team origination and utilization of the fly?

Polish Woven Nymphs
The objective of the fly is to reach the stream bottom, as it is primarily used as a point fly in a two to three fly nymphing system. In this regards, the inner guts of the fly are made-up of wrapped wire; beads of tungsted are often used at the head of the fly for additional weight. The magic of the fly seems to come from the segmented and color separated appearance that is the product of the Polish woven technique. For these flies I used DMC Six-Strand Floss, which is cheap and effective. The middle fly was wrapped with burnt orange and brown antron. Essentially, the colors and materials that can be used are endless and I highly recommend watching the aformentioned video to grasp the technique. Thanks Vladi!