Part Twenty

Sizing Wing Slips
Text and Photos By George E. Emanuel


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)

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