Over the past year or so I have been playing with wire for bodies. The many colours of UTC wire now available open all kinds ofpossibilities.
One thing to point out at this stage is that in my tying Inever cut wire. UTC and other coloured wires are copper wire with a colourcoating. Copper work hardens, that is as you bend it, it gets harder. If youwaggle the wire around when it is anchored it will soon break at the anchorpoint. Doing it this way gives you two advantages.
1, It saves your scissors.The simplest way is just to wind a strand of wire to formthe body. This is great for a lot of spider type patterns where you want alittle weight. You can dub onto wire if you understand dubbing (Many don't sothink wax is needed). My most successful buzzer pattern last season was justblack copper wire wound on a size 16 grub hook, one layer for the body two forthe thorax.
2, When the wire breaks it leaves a small burr that helpslock the wire in place.
Taking this on a stage if you want a ribbed body tie in twostrands of the body colour and one of the ribbing colour, and wind together.
If you want to palmer this kind of body tie down the twostrands of body colour, and unwind the rib. Wind the hackle in the grove leftwhere the rib was. Then rewind the rib over the hackle stem.
The next stage moves things on a lot further, weaving thebody from 2 strands of wire. Don't worry weaving with wire is the easiest wayto weave I have found. This is because of the stiffness of the wire. It staysput when you let go so there is no need to maintain a balance between thetension on the strands. This is the thing that most people have problems withwhen learning to weave.
You can adapt almost any wet fly by giving it a body wovenfrom the right coloured wire. Here I?ve taken the pattern for a Peter Ross andmade the body from read and silver wire in place of silver tinsel and red seal?sfur.
Czech nymphs can also be tied this way. Using wire for thebody makes a slim but heavy fly. You can weave with one strand or twist acouple of strands together. Some very interesting effects can be made using twostrands of different coloured wire. An underbody of hollo tinsel gives the fly an inner glint.
Imitative flies are best tied with single woven strands, forexample:
and Ryacophilia pupa.
It doesn't end there. Salmon flies also benefit from thisapproach.
Giving the fly a little extra weight can make a bigdifference. Again it is easy to adapt many traditional and modern patternsusing this technique.
These are the possibilities of just one material we oftenignore. Another use that tiers often miss, is that you can take a piece of wire,double it over and use it as a bobbin threader.
There you go not only some new patterns to play with but amoney saving tip as well.