One of my projects this winter will be dig deeper into materials, and first out is a project to dye skins and material to see how that is done and to get more familiar with creating things from scratch. First out is rabbit skins: I got some skins the other day that I will start using for my tying. I ordered a natural brown to create the Kutling, a white to experiment with dying and a black for general zonker strips.
I tested out some different ways of cutting zonkers, but ended up with a method of creating your own zonker cutter on youtube. This has proven to work and I get consistent strips to work with. The natural brown rabbit I got had some long hairs and some good spiky tips that is perfect for the Kutling.
Here is a version where I used silver fox for the tail (instead of spey hackle) and a white salt-water dubbing from A. Jensen
Another version, but this time with a orange salt-water dubbing from A-Jensen
I have tied up a set of these and will test them out later on, but I’m quite happy with the material so far and the next thing to do is to order color to start dying that white skin. I also plan to look into bleaching and maybe buing a whole Roe skin to color and use for tying. But first things first: more rabbit!
Got this green Guinea Fowl Skin for a nice price today, I got it for tying the classic atlantic salmon fly, but what other patterns would you use the feathers for?
Looking at the skin I would use it for tails on dryflies, hackles and thorax on larger patterns in addition to the classic atlantic salmon fly. I was looking for a black one, but the green eyes on this skin will be very good for some ideas I have for this winter.
The UTC Ultra Wire SM is a wire for building Copper John Nymphs, rib on czech nymphs, emergers, fully dressed salmon flies and a lot more. Wire in general is good to have available for a variety of patterns: I would keep a gold and a silver if I could only have two colors. I have tied up on a couple of different size hooks to show how it compares to the thickness of the hook.
Mustad 94840 #18Dai-Riki 135 #16
Wrapping two different colors makes a good segmented body for small nymphs
TMC 100 #22
Partridge Klinkhamer X-treme #14
This is one for the Czech nymps: long strands with lots of shine to it makes this a good dubbing for both small and large nymphs. I don’t keep too many Czech nymphs with me, but I always have them ready, both for fresh and saltwater fishing. My personal best for browntrout: 1.25kg, was on a Czech nymph in purple and red.
The long fibers will give a lot of movement to the nymph:
Applied to a UNI 6/0 thread and a TMC 2457 #8 hook
Two colors applied to the hook
Drag the fibers out with a toothbrush gives you long legs:
Since the fibers are so long you can also use it to form a tail, here on a Mustad 94840 #12:
Layer two different colors to form the tail:
The Hends Musk-Rat dubbing is the other from Hends that I have, but compared with the superfine this one has some more longer fibers that stick out. These you can remove before applying to the thread, or keep them on to get a more dynamic body. Usage would be fore dry-flies or emergers.
There are not too many long fibers as you can see, and they are easily removable if you want to do that before adding to the thread
Dubbs nicely on the thread
And can be applied quite thin on the hook, here a Mustad 94840 #14. The long fibers are really long and on small hooks like this they really stand out.