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Green Highlander x 7

2016-10-18-gh

Green Highlander is one of those patterns that I keep tying, it’s the one that caught my attention when I started out, and I have tied it in different versions the last couple of years (mostly hairwings/polarbear). This winter I have a project to tie up a box of classics for fishing and started gathering material this autumn when the season was over. The final piece that landed in my mailbox was florican and swan, so I set out to tie up 10 GH to get a feel for the pattern.

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I tied up 3 first, then sat down to do the 7 other in stages; learning a pattern for me means breaking it down into sections: tail & butt, then body with hackle & throat and finally the wing. This way I can focus on one part at the time and repeat it within short timespan to become familiar with that part of the fly.

Here I have completed the body and started laying out the parts to start marrying the wing.

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Married wing done, then the sides:

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and finally setting the wing, sides, topping and horns:

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With this process I also wanted to try out how different tails made for slightly different expressions (short tail vs. long tail) and how floss body vs. dubbed front-part worked out in the final fly. This is a good exercise if you want to get familiar with a pattern and how it turns out with small differences.

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This set was tied on Mustad 80500 #1/0, so the next part will be to tie up on #2/0 and #1 to vary in size when the season starts up again.

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Green Highlander – spey-ish version

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I had some yellow and green whiting rooster saddle that I bought earlier this year, but hadn’t gotten around to use yet, and since I’m on a GH spree these days I thought about a spey version of the GH that was really buggy and would make a lot of movement. The hackel is of great quality, but I’ll cut down a bit for the next version and create something that is something more sparse than this.

Green Highlander with a twist

dryfly.me.2015.10.25.green

Here is a GH I did this morning (on a Mustad 80500BL #2/0: http://flyhooks.org/mustad/80500bl ), but with a twist: I used polar bear in the wing instead of the normal married wings. I did some small GH earlier this year with PB, but not following the pattern as strict. I wanted to have a fly that would be easy to tie, didn’t take too much time, and at the same time gave me that composition of colours and flare that a fully dressed GH have. Going to tie up some more of this in different sizes (from #1 to #5/0)

Green Highlander for fishing

2014.11.29.dryfly.me.gh_fishing

One of the things to do this winter is to tie up some classics for fishing next year: since I have been tying up Green Highlander lately I thought I’d give it a go on a #1/0 hook, not just for display and practice but for practical use. The pattern is the same as I have visited before, but I did omit a couple of small things, and I might not be that exact when tying them in, but it is a very good practice since I have to marry the wings and mount them on the hook and get everything together. The one thing I did experiment a bit with was the length of the wing, so I have a idea on what I want this pattern to look like when I’m ready to swing it in front of a salmon next year!

To give you a idea of size:

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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:

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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:

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

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

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Rear-view of the green highlander:

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

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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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