Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Creating volume

If there is one country who’s fly tiers have probably been the most inventive and innovative in the design and development in pike fly tying then it has to be the Dutch. I always check to see who are the featured tiers at up and coming fly-fishing fairs, and if I see a couple of Dutch names listed you can guarantee I will be there. One of the best Dutch pike fly tiers is Herman Broers and have been privileged to have watched him a few times while I was working in the Netherlands. His whole ethos behind tying pike flies is to create the illusion of bulk without having to tie lots of materials onto your hook. The method to his madness was to tie two collars of bucktail and make them stand out like a cone around the hook. I’ve never been one for tying flies that have the appearance of a fish, I just don’t have the patience myself, but if that’s how you tie your flies, and like to present them to “Mike” then who’s to argue with you and you shouldn’t stop what’s been working for you.

What I thought I would do though, is show you in a small image by image tutorial, How you can create volume and size in a fly with minimal materials and especially with materials you might not have looked at using before.

Party wig bought from a toy shop

Here I have taken a small clump of the green hair strands from the wig + - 50mm worth and added a few strands of gold and silver flash.Tie onto the end of the shaft with everything facing towards the hooks eye.Make sure that the materials are equally spread around the hook shaft.I always start with shorter sections from the back increasing the length as I move forward along the shaft.

Pull back the materials and tie in directly behind the clump. Don't tie over these materials - just build up behind it.

Once you think you have enough cotton build up, release materials it should look something like this

Now add a slightly larger clump of the black hairs from the wig approx 55mm long and tie in just in front of the first Collar,making sure it is evenly spaced around the hook..Tie in tight.....

Pull back the black hair and build up again with your cotton behind the clump remembering not to tie over the hair.

Release the materials and you can see the second collar spring back

Repeat this method as many times as you you can see the fly is starting to take form and has considerable size to it already with minimal materials

Every so often I like to mix in other colours with some flash. Always remember to make sure that you add a slightly longer collar than the last

This is just a killer fly as it just pulses through the water between rests and retrieve and weighs practically nothing.Once you've done these a few times you can probably knock one out in around 20 min.

Here is the end product.As you can see this fly has loads of volume to it.This works well at all depths and I sometimes tie them with dumb bell eyes to get them down deep. I also finished it off with 3 different coloured green Maribu hackles tied in on the front.

One can tie this in bucktail off course, but I prefer using hair from party wigs as it has more of a wavy action when in the water and fluffs out a lot more when the retrieval has stopped.


Party wig- Black and lumo green

Red cotton - Any colour will do

Hook - Mustad long shank 6/0

Flash - Silver & Gold + Crystal mirror flash/Blue

Maribu feathers - greens