Many of our wet flies, as well as nymphs and some dry flies call for wing slips as part
of the pattern. A wing "slip" is basically a section cut from a wing quill.
A wing slip may be mallard, goose, or even turkey, if that is what is required.
The standard for sizing wing slips is to make the slip equal to the gap of the hook.
As the gap varies with the size of the hook, this ensures the proportion of the slip
will be appropriate for the fly. Now for many, many years experienced fly tiers have
been "eye balling" this dimension and have become extremely adept at getting the
size exactly right every time. For the rest of us, who do not work with wing slips
frequently enough to develop their very fine eye, there is a solution to avoiding
marked variances from fly to fly, and maintaining proportion from size to size.
A pair of dividers, set to the gap of the hook we are tying on is our best bet.
By taking the properly set dividers and a using the points to separate the wing
quill barbules, we can get exactly the size slip we need, quickly and easily, and
ith a degree of repeatability we could not attain otherwise.
Done correctly you will wind up with two identical slips, one "right" and one "left."
The above picture of the "slips" mounted is sans all other materials. The wings done
this way are proportional, and almost majestic in their own right.
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this
material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas
too!~ George E. Emanuel
(Chat Room Host Muddler)