The first time I thought about tying something with an extended body I tried to cut the ends off of my hooks, and after a few sticks to my fingers, not to mention the waste of money.. I gave up.
So when I came across these small articulated shanks I was thrilled and began using them for flies that I wanted to give a little more movement to.
Articulated Wiggle Shanks to put it simply, are a long shanked hook without a point that can be used to give a lifelike movement to your flies without having to sacrifice a hook. They can be used to tie a variety of patterns, such as the Pompadour Iso Emerger and the Wiggle frenchie. The only limit is your imagination! They can also be used for bigger nymphs such as stone flies and hellgrammites.
A few years ago I picked up a package of Reel Wings at Dette Trout Flies and while I was super excited to use them once arriving home; I found that I broke more of them than I was able to use properly.
I tried and tried again, but after becoming frustrated, I put the few that I had left in the drawer, and honestly.. like many other materials before them.. I they were forgotten about.
Until I was made aware that they had revamped the packaging and material; for ease of use and durability!
So If you were like me, and had a little bit of trouble getting the hang of this material in the past; have no fear! Take a look at this step by step and the improvements made and I’m sure you will be running to the shop to pick some up, and wont be afraid to use up the old ones as well.
I tie flies on jigs a lot, so much so that it’s become almost automatic when reaching for a hook. They are great for nymphing, will sink deep with a tungsten bead and extra weight under the body and ride with the hook point up on a tight line; meaning less hangups as you are high sticking through the riffles.
Not to say that I dont still use standard nymph hooks with brass beads when I am going to be fishing skinnier water, and need to opt for something lighter that wont barrel straight down through the water column; It’s just that I cant seem to keep myself away from them.
While I may never really know what it is that makes them so attractive to look at, what I do know, is that one question I am asked the most when demonstrating or tying At a show, is:
“How do I get those slotted beads to sit right?!? It doesn’t work. What am I doing wrong?”
Floss is used to create bodies on many different patterns and once you get the hang of it it is a lot of fun to use.
And while it may be fun to use, it doesn’t mean it is always easy to handle at first.
Let’s take a look at how to make a body with floss, then we will get into some trouble shooting and some of your questions and answers.
Biots are a great material to use but some of the issues you can have when trying to acheive the segmentation may not be due to tying it in wrong, its a matter of different techniques.
Tthis is where you are once again going to find out if you are a “flat around the hook Tyer” or a “wrap over your material Tyer.”
I’ll be honest with you it doesn’t mean either way is right or wrong, a lot of it is just the technique you have been taught, whether you are self taught or were taught from someone else. But if you cant correct it you just adjust your tie in.
By paying attention to that dark line when you tie in and wrap forward, you will have a clear segmentation or you will have a more of a one colored quill body.
Some flies you tie may require a more solid body with very minimal segmentation. If that’s the case then just tye in the “wrong” way it’s all up to you and what you’re wishing to achieve.But I use the term “wrong” very loosely since your right- may be someone elses wrong. Which is why I am making this tutorial to help you reach the results that you are looking for when it comes to tying quill bodies.
Now The other thing you will notice is the taper of the quill and how there’s a piece of peacock herl at the small end. That will be your tie in point.
Tying them on a heavier hook and then dousing them with a little floatant, will allow them to ride higher in the column and work well on a swing during a hatch. Thats another effective way to fish these since Many mayflies are taken before ever reaching the waters surface, and swinging them is a good way to get a trouts attention when they are targeting emergers.
The Blue Wing Olive Senyo Dub Spider Hook: 18-22 wet fly hook Thread: Olive 8/0 Hackle: Black starling Dubbing: Olive Senyo Laser dub (change the color for BWO in your area) While many of us use Senyos laser dub for different patterns, I hear more often than not people telling me that when they think of using laser… Continue reading On My Vise: “The BWO Senyo Dub Spider”
I had a question from Vicky who I met last year while doing a soft hackle presentation at the Anglers Den, about where to find the wild type brown and what to use as a substitute The Whiting Wild type brown is one of my favorite all around dark brown hackles but its mostly reserved… Continue reading On The Vise:Q & A “Substitute material for wild type brown/Iso Soft Hackle”
Fly patterns such as the Partridge and Orange, Starling and Herl or Isonychia soft hackle, are soft hackle patterns. They can be deadly flies when swung through the water column and are highly effective fish catchers even through rising fish. While soft hackled flies considered to be “simple flies” and “staples” that demand a spot… Continue reading “Fly Tying 101″How to wrap a soft hackle