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Sunturn Durham

Hook: Mustad 80500NPBL #5/0
Thread: Semperfli Nano Silk 12/0
Tag: Veevus French Tinsel Small, Lagartun French Silk Floss
Tail: GP, Hareline Ringneck Patch Indian Crow Red
Butt: Ostrich
Body: 1/3 Lagartun French Silk Floss, 2/3 Seals fur: black then red
Rib: UNI-Mylar #10, Veevus French Tinsel Medium
Body Hackle: Whiting Rooster Cape
Throat: Heron
Wing: JC, GP tippet dyed black (two pairs), JC, Ringneck Neck Patch Indian Crow Red
Topping: GP
Finish: Loon Hard Head

A year ago I started a new tradition: to have a bottle of Nøgne Ø “Sunturnbrew” on winter solstice and tie a fly inspired by the beer and the fact that we now are going towards brighter days.

Last year it was a “Sunturn Spey“, this year, since I have tied up a few Durham Rangers lately, it had to be a pattern with the base elements of Durham Ranger, but with inspiration from the beer and the time of the year. This is a freestyle creation, I did get some black GP tippets before today (since I anticipated something around this general pattern), but everything else is a result of here and now.

I’ll be back with another one next year!


Durham Ranger – First fly tied in hand

Last winter I got myself a copy of the “Tied in the Hand” book by Sven-Olov Hård and set myself a goal of tying a classic without a vice before the year was over. I got myself some Pearsall’s gossamer silk, tied up some Durham Rangers and other classics, but never got to actually sit down and do it. Yesterday I had a couple of hours with nothing much to do and decided to (at least) get started.

I have read the book, but didn’t sit down to really study it, but thought that enough of it was still remembered to get started! I got one of my biggest hooks; a #5/0 Mustad, picked out the material needed for a Durham Ranger and sat down in the living room with no vice in front of me, and just a cardboard box to keep the clippings.

Why would I do this? I think exploring new patterns and new material is a great way of exploring flytying, and going back to the original way of tying these patterns is a way of learning about the history and how everything connects. I chose a pattern I have tied a lot of lately to keep the distraction of the pattern itself down to a minimum, the approach after that was more or less: Let’s get at it and see how it turns out!

One thing I learned, that I didn’t expect, was the connection you get with the material when tying in hand: you feel the GP, the dubbing, the JC. I learned a lot about setting the wing that I haven’t discovered when tying with a vice and I learned really well that I need some good wax… You can see the GP&JC doesn’t sit perfectly aligned: without a good wax the stem moved and I ended up with some bad alignments, I also ended up with a really big head, but I’ll attach that next time.

I’ll re-read the book, get some vax and more material and sit down during the winter and tie up some more.


Blue spey

Body: 1/3 sealsfur summer duck, 2/3 sealsfur black
Rib: UNI-Mylar #10, UNI-French Large
Hackle: Whiting spey blue, duck flank feather
Wing: Mallard Bronze Shoulder large
Finish: Loon Hard Head
Got my hands on some blue spey hackle from whiting earlier this autumn, I’ve only used them on some blue/black shrimp pattern before, but got inspiration from a pattern that turned up on facebook this morning and had to tie this up.