Golden olive variant

Jockiescott

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I tried this Golden Olive from Chris Mann's book but used a more claret hackle instead of the colour in the book.

More problems with mallard! :doh:

This side looks ok

IMG_20200406_213711.jpg

However, the other side has not stood as upright and there's a dirty great fold in it.

IMG_20200406_213811.jpg

This is my problem with mallard more often than not.
 

gwelsher

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That will never work. When the salmon compares both sides he will realise the problem :tongue::tongue:
 

ibm59

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Take a pin to the wing.
‘Then both sides will look the same.
 

Invermarnoch

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Bronze mallard can be maddening that way. I do sympathise. It is the natural configuration of the feather which causes the trouble. When you pull the thread down tightly, it does tend to split. Indeed, I have always suspected that that it how the dabbler series came into existence, although saying so out loud is probably heretical! The trick is to get it right first time, so that the feather does not split. But do not be ashamed of how you achieve your success. Good bronzes are not so cheap these days, and none of us can really afford waste. Indeed, I noticed that the great Paul Little, in a recent issue of FF & FT was using some sort of glue, or was it silicone, to hold the base of the cut mallard wing together before tying in the wings on his spey flies. Have you tried tying in the nearside wing first, then reversing the thread, then tying in the far side wing? It may help if you try and tie each wing onto the "shoulder" of the shank, rather than directly on top of the shank. That way, each wing tends to fold over the shank and is less likely to split. Tie it in with a couple of loose wraps in the first place, then slide the wing into position, before tightening up. You could also have a look at Davie McPhail on YouTube. I hope this helps. There is no easy answer, but practice does help.
 

Jockiescott

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Bronze mallard can be maddening that way. I do sympathise. It is the natural configuration of the feather which causes the trouble. When you pull the thread down tightly, it does tend to split. Indeed, I have always suspected that that it how the dabbler series came into existence, although saying so out loud is probably heretical! The trick is to get it right first time, so that the feather does not split. But do not be ashamed of how you achieve your success. Good bronzes are not so cheap these days, and none of us can really afford waste. Indeed, I noticed that the great Paul Little, in a recent issue of FF & FT was using some sort of glue, or was it silicone, to hold the base of the cut mallard wing together before tying in the wings on his spey flies. Have you tried tying in the nearside wing first, then reversing the thread, then tying in the far side wing? It may help if you try and tie each wing onto the "shoulder" of the shank, rather than directly on top of the shank. That way, each wing tends to fold over the shank and is less likely to split. Tie it in with a couple of loose wraps in the first place, then slide the wing into position, before tightening up. You could also have a look at Davie McPhail on YouTube. I hope this helps. There is no easy answer, but practice does help.
Thank you for the very detailed reply. I will take a few runs through that and definitely try a few of your suggestions. I certainly have never tried tying the two sides individually.

Thank you so much for taking the time to make such a detailed response. Very much appreciated! :)
 

gwelsher

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You could also have a look at Davie McPhail on YouTube
Yes I've watched the God McPhail putting his BM wings on just like he does the JC eyes, slide both up the side and tie on, easy peasy dead simple :nod::nod::nod:
It must have cost me a fortune trying both techniques and I still can't do it right more than 50% of the time :eek:hwell::eek:hwell:
 

charlieH

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....Have you tried tying in the nearside wing first, then reversing the thread, then tying in the far side wing? It may help if you try and tie each wing onto the "shoulder" of the shank, rather than directly on top of the shank. That way, each wing tends to fold over the shank and is less likely to split....
I haven't done any feather wing flies for ages, and if I could produce something that looked as good as the fly in the OP I'd be delighted! But just to say that this method seems to produce the least worst BM wings for me. I basically follow Pryce-Tannatt's instructions for tying the wings of spey flies. Reversing the thread seems to be key, so that whichever wing your tying on, you're always pulling the fibres down onto the hook rather than up and away.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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In addition to Davie ‘God’ McPhail’s undoubted skill and experience, he gives himself the best chance by using the right bits of the right feathers for each job.

When tying the Brinze Mallard as a main wing, it is so much easier if the slips are sized correctly for the hook* and you can tie down on the softer fibres which lie close to the stem. See on this video of a Spey fly:


I always find it tempting to take the best coloured pieces of wing, tying down on these areas usually leads to disappointment.

When tying smaller flies, such as the Dunkeld, an element of splitting is inevitable and it really doesn’t matter so much. Simply manipulate the feather once tied and they still look ok.




Obviously 49% of the rest of the time I’m disappointed too, but that’s my poor skills;)

* i.e. The fibres from stem to tip are just a wee bit longer than you need. That way you can tie down on the softest part of the feather, and only end up cutting off 5mm or so of fibres once you tie down.
 

Jockiescott

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Yes I've watched the God McPhail putting his BM wings on just like he does the JC eyes, slide both up the side and tie on, easy peasy dead simple :nod::nod::nod:
It must have cost me a fortune trying both techniques and I still can't do it right more than 50% of the time :eek:hwell::eek:hwell:
I watched Davie tie a low water Logie and tie in the mallard wings just as easy as he ties in everything else. When I tried it.... Let's just say that mine didn't look like Davie's either!!! :doh:
 

Jockiescott

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Thanks CharlieH!

It just seems like I've been tying so long and generally improving as the years have went on but my mallard wings have not improved much at all.

I know we've discussed that we both like to stick to original patterns as much as possible in the past and there are some of the old Irish winged patterns that I'd really like to tie and feel that I've done justice. I jest feel my poor winging isnt doing them just and I find it frustrating and annoying.

I would hope someday to try some of the nice built wing classics but I feel if I can't get a mall wing to sit right then there is simply no point in even trying.
 

Jockiescott

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In addition to Davie ‘God’ McPhail’s undoubted skill and experience, he gives himself the best chance by using the right bits of the right feathers for each job.

When tying the Brinze Mallard as a main wing, it is so much easier if the slips are sized correctly for the hook* and you can tie down on the softer fibres which lie close to the stem. See on this video of a Spey fly:


I always find it tempting to take the best coloured pieces of wing, tying down on these areas usually leads to disappointment.

When tying smaller flies, such as the Dunkeld, an element of splitting is inevitable and it really doesn’t matter so much. Simply manipulate the feather once tied and they still look ok.




Obviously 49% of the rest of the time I’m disappointed too, but that’s my poor skills;)

* i.e. The fibres from stem to tip are just a wee bit longer than you need. That way you can tie down on the softest part of the feather, and only end up cutting off 5mm or so of fibres once you tie down.
Thanks GK! I'll certainly give those a watch! :)
 

Lamson v10

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I've got a swear jar just for tying mallard, braw looking fly jockiescott 👍🏻
 

Grassy_Knollington

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Jockiescott, here’s a case in point. I can talk the talk, but walking the walk is another matter entirely.

Here, I’m using Small Matched Bronze Mallard from Cookshill. The feathers are good quality and there is zero risk of picking up a bag of 50 ‘left side’ feathers.

If these slips were any thicker they’d fold. However, the wing still doesn’t look quite right anyway. Despite having an overall thin look to it, the underwing of GP tippet and Blue peacock is almost totally covered. Body’s too short, hook is too small & fat etc etc.

Claret & Jay on a #7 Alec Jackson

43A76C06-1505-4CC1-B583-3AFDF339133B.jpeg

4E6D25C2-0DF9-4155-8197-B666D1D7D109.jpeg
 
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Jockiescott

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It's funny GK that I tried the exact same pattern at the weekend...

IMG_20200408_181600.jpg

IMG_20200408_181648.jpg

I think I tried this with two separate wing slips but with the usual results! :doh:

I understand what you are saying about the size of the wing slip and how that can lead to splitting.

I'll just take a pin to that wing and fish away with it.
 
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Grassy_Knollington

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I like that one Jockiescott, much better proportions (than mine).

Sure the fish couldn’t give a hoot either way.
 

Jockiescott

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I took ibm59's advice yesterday and decided to take a pin the wing of the Claret and Jay shown above. Well, I started with a pin and got bored so started combing it with the wire brush that I use for dubbing.

It actually made it look a lot better and it now has the feel of an old timey fishing fly that I used to see in the boxes of the old hands that fished the Faughan years ago...

IMG_20200410_101242.jpg
 
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charlieH

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That is one seriously fishy fly JS! As I've said here before, I was influenced by the writing of Kingsmill Moore at a tender age, and much of what he advocated has stayed with me ever since. In particular, I've always liked his thoughts on blending colours and materials to avoid a fly looking too blocky - he applied this particularly in his Bumble series, but I think the principle carries over to conventional winged flies too. I love the little flashes of tippet and peacock showing through and breaking up the mallard in this.

I can admire a perfect wing like the one on the Silver Blue you linked above, and certainly appreciate the skill in tying it, but my real interest in flies is all about fishing rather than display, and in terms of fishing yours would be first out of the box every time.
 

Jockiescott

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As you mention that Charlie, I saw somewhere online one time that the old Irish way of tying, it could have been Rogan's of Ballyshannon or someone else of that ilk, they did not use the 'blocks', as you mention, but used the materials in strands.

The guy sat and built a beautiful wing then brushed it out into individual strands. I must take another look for it.
 
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