Mayfly tails

ScottPScottP Senior MemberPosts: 480 Senior Member
Seems that if I've been away from the vise for a while, I often don't get the tilt and spread that I like on my mayfly tails. Found a way to overcome my tying deficiencies, training wheels if you will, until I get the feel back.

Wrap the thread back to a point above the barb:

IMG_9697.jpg

spin the bobbin (20-30 times?) and then make a couple wraps at that spot, right on top of each other to form a small thread bump (too big a bump and I can't get the fibers to splay properly), then wrap forward a bit; A.K. Best just leaves the thread there and then ties in the tailing fibers perfectly, every time, but I'm not A.K. Best and I need to ramp up to it

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measure a bunch of tailing fibers from a spade hackle or equivalent (I love the bag 'o scapular feathers I got from Charlie Collins; great stuff), length of the hook shank

IMG_9706.jpg

slide your fingers with the fibers back to the tie-in point, transfer to your off hand, pinch on the shank and apply a few wraps (sorry, no pics here, I don't have enough hands to manage this and the camera; imagination will suffice)

IMG_9709.jpg

continue wrapping back to the thread bump (don't trim the butts, I'll explain in a minute), when you get to the point where you're one wrap width from the bump, make that wrap with a firm downward "snap"; if you do it right, the fibers spread out and tilt up just right

IMG_9710.jpg

actually turned out okay this time but to get a bit more tilt and spread and lock the fibers in, grab and lift the butts and take a turn of thread in front (sorry for the focus; 10 shots and the thumb won every time)

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then, take the thread to the back of the hook on the far side, bring it under the tail towards you (keep it firm but not too tight)
overhead view
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continue forward

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and go back under the butts

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then start wrapping again back towards the tail, it'll lock them in

IMG_9717.jpg

then you can trim the butts and continue on with the rest of the fly

Proper thread tension and management is always preferred, but my muscle memory needs a bit of help some times

ps - I tie almost all of my mayfly duns with biot bodies so I like to keep the bump as unobtrusive as possible (no dubbing ball)
They say the times are changing but I just don't know

Replies

  • FlykuniFlykuni Senior Member Posts: 799 Senior Member
    good technique, like it.
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    Thanks, A guy in my fly tying group taught me how to do that on the head end of a caddis fly making it easier to get the tippet into the eye.
  • WetdogWetdog Senior Member Posts: 5,075 Senior Member
    Nice, but you need to use some skin moisturizer. :D
    I find the assault on free thought disturbing,
    I find the willingness to give it up frightening.
  • magallowaymagalloway Senior Member Posts: 834 Senior Member
    Wetdog wrote: »
    Nice, but you need to use some skin moisturizer. :D

    I've been tying a large order of Hornbergs and Mickey Finns and the constant abrasion of the tinsel edges was eating my fingertips alive. I looked all over the house for something that didn't smell of rosewater or lavender, and was really striking out. Anyway, in the back of one cupboard, I found a bottle of Cornhuskers' Lotion that was so old it had turned yellow and nearly solidified. I decided to toss it, so I opened it up and tried to squirt it into the sink; the bottle cracked into about twenty pieces and I, the sink, and the floor got a goodly bath of nastiness. Well-aged Cornhuskers' is way, way worse than rosewater, believe me.

    I really like the tie, but wonder about the exposed thread wraps under the tail--are they left that way? Seems a bit unfinished, but I'm silly-picky about that sort of thing.


    Jim
  • ScottPScottP Senior Member Posts: 480 Senior Member
    magalloway wrote: »
    I really like the tie, but wonder about the exposed thread wraps under the tail--are they left that way? Seems a bit unfinished, but I'm silly-picky about that sort of thing.

    I'm more concerned about getting the angle of the tail set so the fly sits in the water the way I like; fish don't seem to care and it doesn't effect durability, so I'm good with it. I also try to match the thread to the body, so it's usually not all that noticeable.



    IMG_1105.jpg

    IMG_1099.jpg



    Regards,
    Scott
    They say the times are changing but I just don't know
  • flytrapflytrap Banned Posts: 1,659 Senior Member
    Nice. I will have to try that.
    There are worse things in life than being a born cynic.
  • Long ShankLong Shank Junior Member Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Very nice, will try it


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