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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I add some text. I tie some flies using what could be called 'flat wing' style. This simplifies a mallard wing by selecting a well formed flank feather. Next you strip away some of the herl fibers until you have the size needed. Now you tie the feather on whole, quill and all. If you have it right there should e an equal amount of fiber on either side of the quill.

To allow you to easily place the feather dead center atop the hook I run the quill right through the eye of the hook and then lash the feather down with the thread.

What you end up with is a very durable wing that acts as a planer of sorts. The feather will collapse when in current but does so evenly and I believe this helps keep things hook point down.

That pheasant rump throat is done the same way. One rump feather stripped to proper length and then lashed fast quill and all. Like the wing these throat feathers stay intact until the fly has been well ravaged by a number of fish ;)

Here's a look at a wing on a different fly.
Finger Electrical wiring Engineering Nipper Circuit component

The wing is made from mallard I dyed long ago before I had the internet to aid in finding real bronze flank. The color seems to appeal to fish as the flies still work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you fellows had the patience to watch a video I could make one, it'll be a long winter. I would build the body first and begin the video when the wing and throat were about to be prepared and applied to the hook. I'm quite serious about the durability and the balance that the flat wing provides to a fly when using single hooks as in the pictures.

I've become a tube and double tier but there are times when I still tie on a small single. They make casting seem as if there is nothing attached to the leader. Sometimes if the wind is up and I can't spot the little splat of the fly landing I have to check every few casts to be sure they are still there :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for that bit of information Ard. Mallard wings are something I struggle with, even flat wings, so I'll study that in more detail later. 👍
I learned to make reasonable bronze mallard winged flies like the Lady Caroline years ago but there was an issue.

First off it can be a tedious process achieving what could be considered a good wing by critics. Secondly the wing when set according to custom must be quite low over the body. Almost all the patterns call for hackles of some variety to be wrapped about the front 1/3 of the body work then bound with tinsel wraps. Now this is the definition of tedious!

The issue, the real issue? Once the hackle is wound you are to 'pull it downward' to create the shrimpy look I think. This pulling down of the hackles in my opinion, causes too much material to be located on the underside of the hook / fly. With the low set wings the bulk of materials is actually the hackle on the underside. ...... This seems to want to act as a wing normally would causing the flies I tied to swim / fish on their side or upside down.

While I can't say with positivity that I've never unknowingly caught a fish on an ill swimming fly I don't believe I have. The flat wing solved the problem in more than one way. Gone was the tedious mallard slip sets, gone were the flies fishing on their side and furthermore those beautiful bronze wing slips seem to turn into a sort of mixed wing after some use. Only those wings set so low that they seemed to envelope the body and hook shank seemed to remain as they were when applied.

I discovered the flat wing tie years ago when looking for odd flies to tie. Essentially flies I'd never seen before and found the Western Doctor as one such fly.

Below is an image of a Western Doctor tied circa 1995 or so.

The wing there is quite low and that fly which I still have has some swimming issues as described above.

I don't recall the originators name but he was a fly tier guide type from Wyoming I think and began making that for a client back in the late 1940's.

These were made about twelve years ago.



That ones a dark wing variety and this one with natural mallard. Flat wings can look good :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’ve occasionally tied flies using this method. The main problem I’ve encountered, though, is that it tends to make for a rather lopsided wing, as many feathers aren’t evenly balanced on both sides of the stem. This particularly applies to bronze mallard, which is very definitely ‘sided’ in one direction or other. The fly you’ve shown photographed from above in post #2 uses a dyed feather, which goes some way to getting round this, but I can’t see how you can achieve this with a natural feather. Can you explain further, and do you have any pictures of the ‘wrong’ side of flies tied this way using undyed feathers?
I have a few things to do round home today Charlie but I'll photo some and add to the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've made another fly identical but was sure to preen a genuine bronze mallard feather for this one. I will grant that these flat wings do not have the classic look of slips however I can accept that so long as they look right in the water.

These are larger hooks than I usually employ but the actual hook bend and point aren't exactly huge.


Next the body work which I seldom bother with anymore on my tube flies.......

Tag butt and silk with a fine oval rib, likely hard to tell from my photos which I've also gotten lax with :)

This is the Pheasant rump feather that I'll tie in whole after prepping it for the length.


The rump feather tied right under the body.


This is one of the Bronze Mallard feathers as even as I have.


Feather prepped and ready to lash o. I do put a small bunch of Firey Brown Fox on as an underwing and it helps with the overall wet looks.


Wing ties fast and I've tied on a pair of eyes also.


Wrong side of fly........


Right side


I do realize this messes with some people due to the unorthodox techniques however if it swims correctly it'll probably catch me some unsuspecting fish :)
 
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