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Blue Charm

2014.12.19.dryfly.me.blue_charm_rabbitHook: TMC 7999 #2
Thread: UNI 6/0
Tag: UTC French Tinsel Medium, Lagartun Silk Floss
Tail: GP
Body: Lagartun French Silk Floss
Rib: UTC French Tinsel Medium
Throat: Keough Hen Saddle Blue
Wing: Wapsi Squirrel Tail Blue/Tan

The blue charm with squirrel tail is one that shows up a lot of places when you start looking at salmon patterns, I have done some of them earlier, but then with a rather stiff cock hackle. This week I got some hen saddle and two different colors of squirrel tail, so I tied up these to go in my salmon box.

The blue charm is a great pattern that can work for both salmon and seatrout,  it is not a very hard pattern to tackle, but make sure that the squirrel is tied in well: it has quite the slick surface on the hairs – use a waxed thread or ensure that it is well locked in before tying off!

Two Blue Doubles

2014.12.09.dryfly.me.blue_double

Hook: Kamasan B280 #6
Thread: Sheer 14/0
Tag: UNI-French, Lagartun French Silk
Tail: GP
Butt: Black Ostrich
Body: UNI-Floss
Rib: UNI-French
Underwing: Black fox
Wing: Mallard Duck, 2 toppings

A quick one this afternoon: Two doubles that started with the blue charm as inspiration and a little bit of google image search where I found the wing and GP layout that I thought would work good together.

Durham Ranger

2014.12.62.kvitre.no.durham_ranger_single

Hook: TMC7999 #1/0
Thread: Sheer 14/0
Tag: Lagartun Oval X-Strong Fine, Lagartun French Silk Floss
Tail: GP, Veniard Red Crow Substitute
Butt: Black Ostrich
Body: Yellow/Claret/Black Seals Fur
Rib: UNI-Mylar #10, Lagartun Oval X-Strong Large
Hackle: The Fly. Co Rooster Neck
Throat: Veniard Chinese Cock Doctor Blue
Wing:Pair of Jungle Cock, 2 pair of GP tippets, 2 GP toppings
Sides: Jungle Cock
Head: Black Ostrich

Another classic salmon for my fishing box: the Durham Ranger. I have a JC that really isn’t that good for display flies, but for these fishing flies they are great! The durham ranger is one that I haven’t tied before but is in almost every book about the classics, and it shows up on many sites describing this pattern that was made by William Henderson in the 1840’s. I didn’t have all the material to be true to the original pattern, but I made due with what I had.

I always tie up a couple of each when I start a pattern to get a feel on how the pattern is, this time the second time around did come out better:

2014.12.62.kvitre.no.durham_ranger

The seals fur body in three different colors:

2014.12.62.kvitre.no.durham_ranger_close

Black Goldfinch

2014.12.02.kvitre.no.black_goldfinch

Hook: TMC 7999 #1/0
Thread: Sheer 14/0
Tag: UTC Oval Silver Medium, UNI-Floss Red
Tail: GP, Veniard Red Crow Substitute
Butt: Black Ostrich
Body: UNI-Floss Black
Rib: UNI-Mylar #10
Hackle: Whiting Black Rooster Cape
Throat: Harline Strung Guinea Natural
Wing: Turkey Yellow/Red, 3 GP toppings

The “Classic Salmon Fly Patterns” by Michael D. Radencich lists 5 variants of the Black Goldfinch. What I had closest material for was the Black Goldfinch No.1 and tied these two up for my salmon box. Still have some issues with mounting, but the real interesting exercise here was the mounting of 3 toppings over the wing. The GP toppings needed to sit correctly together and not flare out to the sides, to tell you: I spent some toppings to get these to sit ok, but a good exercise indeed!

 

Green Highlander- #3/0

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh

Hook: Partridge Bartleet Blind-Eye #3/0
Thread: UNI 17/0 Trico White, Sheer 14/0 Black
Tag: Lagartun Oval X-Strong Fine French Tinsel, Lagartun French Silk Floss
Tail: GP topping, Wood Duck
Butt: Black Ostrich
Body: Lagartun French Silk Floss, Seals fur Green Highlander
Rib: Lagartun French Tinsel
Hackle: Green Highlander Cock Saddle
Underwing: GP tippet
Wing: Dyed Turkey Yellow/Orange/Green, Wood Duck, Mallard Duck
Throat: Rooster Neck Yellow
Cheek: Red Crow Substitute

This one has been a long time in the making: I started last year with some married wings but it went on and off for a while and I didn’t have material that I needed for this pattern. I still don’t have everything I would like to have: the wing should have some GP/Bustard/Mottled turkey, a good JC and horns. But: step by step I’ll add more to this pattern, this time it was all about getting the 18 strands of wing to stay together and tie them in without the fibers going in every direction, and I did! Next time I’ll increase the wing to 21/24 strands and manage to tie that in properly, but I don’t mind doing more variants on this pattern (as long as I get some more silk gut soon….).

There are some adjustments on this (there always is!), but the parts I’m happy with on this fly: the GP that meets up in the back, the GP underwing that aligns (and the fact that I figured out how to do it), the fact that the wing stayed in one place when I tied it in (“Tying the classic salmon fly” helped me out there) and the mallard duck roof.

I’m also quite happy with the start of the fly: the silk was nice and (almost) even, together with the tinsel it was a good starting point:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_tail

The underbody of white UNI-Floss before I started to add silk and seals fur. This makes for a better profile on the final fly:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_body

Up until this point the fly is flowing nicely: the hackle could be better and the yellow throat should be thicker:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_body_done

The colors of the green highlander is what pulled me in the first time:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_close

Rear-view of the green highlander:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_rear

The topping is forming a nice veil on top of the fly and packs it in:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_front

 

If I were to save one fly I have ever created it must be this! I know that if I come back to this in a couple of years time I will find a lot of things to point out, but this is the process: tie up, learn, repeat. And for me part of that process is to put these patterns out here, together with a macro shot that shows all the little flaws it have, but that is one of the things that drive me to become better!

To give you a idea of how big this fly is:

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