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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Fissemand19
Posts: 3
Fissemand19 on Nov 4, 2015November 4th, 2015, 1:00 am EST
I'm a new flytying guy and after watching a lot of video on tying I tried to roll the dubbing on my thread to make a body. The videos make it look a mite simple, but, ol fumble fingers here isn't getting it done , so I'd like to know any tricks to getting it done right so I can make a fly I'm not ashamed of. thank you
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 4, 2015November 4th, 2015, 4:10 am EST
Apply some very sticky wax (there are waxes made expressly for fly tiers) to the thread. That should help with creating the dubbing noodle. Also roll your fingers in only one direction. Rolling back and forth wants to untwist the noodle you are creating.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Nov 4, 2015November 4th, 2015, 4:45 am EST
Keep tying! That effortless look on the video is called repetition. The skill comes with practice. You can do it, buddy. We all had the same problem when we began tying. Have fun!
Fissemand19
Posts: 3
Fissemand19 on Nov 4, 2015November 4th, 2015, 5:37 am EST
Thanks guy, I figured it was a lot in the way of practice, I don't mind that in the least. Been having a ball learning to ty flies.
Thanks to both of you gentlemen
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Nov 5, 2015November 5th, 2015, 11:02 am EST
most of the videos I've seen don't incorporate on simple adjustment that will improve both the integrity and speed of your dubbing: use your thumb and forefinger backed up with your middle finger. Much more pressure making it tighter and quicker.
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Nov 5, 2015November 5th, 2015, 11:11 am EST
Use a LOT less dubbing per twist than you think you'll need...pull a wisp out of the dispenser then a wisp off that to actually use...and the greatest dubbing advice I ever heard was 'just paint the thread' with material. You can always wind more on to get results.

Roguerat

'less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Nov 5, 2015November 5th, 2015, 1:05 pm EST
Roguerat's advice about using only a wisp of a wisp is good stuff. You'll be surprised at how quickly it can build up on the body and as suggested, it is easier to add some more than to try and take some off the thread.

One other thing comes to mind...

Whenever I was teaching new tiers how to dub, it never ceased to amaze me at how many got hung up on trying to apply an absolutely uniform amount of dubbing everywhere on the thread. To achieve this every time you dub a body is way, way too much to ask of yourself. What matters is to get the material on the thread and it isn't any big deal if it is a bit lumpy here and there. You can address this when you wind the material onto the hook by making more or fewer wraps where needed. Routinely even coverage of the thread will come with time. For now, just have fun...
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Nov 5, 2015November 5th, 2015, 1:25 pm EST
Roguerat's advice about using only a wisp of a wisp is good stuff.


Lee. I second that advicce, or is it I third that advice :) As Rogue is saying...There are no fat mayflies...

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Nov 5, 2015November 5th, 2015, 4:51 pm EST
There are no fat mayflies.


One is best to avoid absolutes. :-)

Fat mayfly.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 5, 2015November 5th, 2015, 5:01 pm EST
Good one Roger!! What would one expect from a Baetisca nymph, some slender Pale Watery Dun??

Jonathon

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 6:15 am EST
There are no fat mayflies.


One is best to avoid absolutes. :-)

Fat mayfly.



nice!
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 6:34 am EST
[...there are no fat mayflies]...hey, I didn't say that!

Seriously, I've never seen the Batfly...only pictures of this beast of a bug.

The Obesa in its taxonomy does it justice, this thing is downright rotund.

Ann Millers excellent book Hatch Guide to Upper Midwest Streams lists the Batfly, so there must be a hatch of these somewhere in Michigan- I need to see one up close.

Roguerat
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 7:28 am EST
There's not one ounce of fat on that bug...He's just built like a fire-plug. :) He is the Jake LaMotta of mayflies...

My point was that folks over dub the ab-dough-men on mayflies...Syl Nemes actually took a micrometer to the abdomen of mayflies for his book, "Spinners". He found that, for the most part, they were barely wider around than the actual hook...A common beginner issue resulting in "fat" mayfly bodies.

Nemes decided to use only the tying thread for his spinner imitations.

I have seen only one tyer dub thin mayfly bodies and he was the guy that taught me...If we looked at all the dubbing we each own, in a zillion colors and hues, some bland, and some sparkly, we might realize we each have enough to support a hundred lifetimes of commercial tiers.

Then there's the issue of whether color even matters in dry fly bodies...

If trout were like humans and had the slightest capacity to rational thought they would eat the fat ones thinking they were more nutritious...But...After watching two trillion float by their pea-brained heads and eating several million of the same damn species, the "chubby" one looks like the frauds they are. :)

Their obsessive side demands they make hay while the sun shines and gobble up the the species that happens to have the highest numbers at the time.

The only good thing about tying "fat" mayflies, for us humans, is it helps to put a dent in the pounds of dubbing we have lying around the house...

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 11:42 am EST
Spence-

my first couple month's worth of flies were downright scary, lumps and tufts of material that still somehow hooked trout on occasion...I'm inclined to believe the fish took them out of pity since something that misshapen deserved a mercy killing. I wholeheartedly agree with the slender abdomen thing, since flies I've tied with attention to proportion just plain look better- and catch trout. Too much dubbing?! I've got baggies of the stuff that will likely never be used up- shades of rust and green, Antron and bunny, mixed on a whim to try and match 'that certain color'.

It's all fun...!!

Roguerat
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 12:59 pm EST
There's not one ounce of fat on that bug...He's just built like a fire-plug. :) He is the Jake LaMotta of mayflies...

:-)
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Bnorikane
Bnorikane's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 15
Bnorikane on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 2:54 pm EST
Here's a very detailed guide to dubbing from Dennis Shaw:
http://thelimpcobra.com/2013/01/08/fly-tying-2/

and a good video from In the Riffle:

http://www.intheriffle.com/fishing-videos/fly-tying-tips-tricks/apply-dubbing-video/

Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Nov 7, 2015November 7th, 2015, 1:36 pm EST
Speaking of those fat Baetisca mayflies, sometimes you need to tie fat flies to imitate them, too. On the Bois Brule in Wisconsin when Baetisca laurentina spinners are falling and trout are going wild, a thick fly body can be the difference between getting skunked and a fish on every cast.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Vprinceii
Vprinceii's profile picture
Providence, RI.

Posts: 10
Vprinceii on Feb 18, 2016February 18th, 2016, 6:22 pm EST
Im just learning how to dub also. I saw that if you dont have dubbing wax to make the thread sticky, you can use lip balm. It's not as good though. I found, you should start thin, twist it on in one direction. It helps to hold the thread as you are twisting it on.
VJPrincipe
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Feb 19, 2016February 19th, 2016, 8:40 am EST
Place your middle finger tight against your forefinger when you are twisting the dubbing on. That will give you far greater force to apply it and speed up the operation at the same time. I'm pretty sure you'll also need less or no wax; esp. if using prewaxed thread.

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