Better, Easier Dry Fly Tails
Text and Photos By George E. Emanuel
Archive of Tying Tips
Most of you who read the content of Fly Anglers Online Magazine
each week are already quite familiar with the work of Al Campbell.
For nearly a year now Al has been writing the Fly Tying for Beginners,
and now is into Intermediate Tying
instructions each week. Al has been using many different, and I dare say
very productive patterns to teach us how to tie flies of all sorts. The
techniques which he teaches are absolutely some of the best there are
It is amazing though, in spite of all of Al's very precise explanations on
the operations of his art, that he sometimes leaves out a little jewel
here and there, which are in and of themselves great little tricks that
make better looking flies easier. You can learn a lot just watching
someone of his caliber tie.
Craig Thorp, aka Chub, had the opportunity to do just that a short while
ago at the Fish-In. It seems Al was going about tying some flies and
explaining as he went to those present, when in the process of tying a dry
fly tail, he performed the operation thus:
Instead of cutting off the tag end of his thread after applying a thread base to his hook,
he intentionally left the tag long, placing it out of the way to the rear of his vice, and tied
in his tail. Then, and this is the neat part, he took that un-cut tag and used it to separate
the tail bunch into two distinct entities, tying the tag to the shank after "splitting" the tails.
The next time you have the chance to watch another tier, pay careful attention to the steps
they don't make a big deal out of, as these are often the diamonds and pearls that will
enhance the value of your fly tying in the future.
Thanks Al Campbell for just being the great tier that you are and to Chub for watching so
carefully as you ply your art for the benefit of us all !
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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