mickey finn photos by jksnyders and author

Top 10 Fly tying materials

Everyone has their favourite tying materials. Some because of the way it fishes. Some for the way it looks, and some for the way it ties.  These are some of mine and are showing up more and more in my flies.

# 10-The rump feathers.  They can be used as wings, or collars, or wrapped as a body, or shell backs of prawn flies, or loads of different applications .  The Carey special is a well known lake pattern uses it.  I usually buy it on the skin but they are available in small bags.  The advantage of the skin is you can get lots similar colored/sized feathers off your skin but if you buy the bag you are gonna get a mixed bag and it may only have 2-3 of the ones you are looking for.

#9-Hareline Ice Dub  I just love the stuff. Easy to work with, cheap, flashy. Tons of colors.  Works well using the norvise.  not alot more that can be said about it…..Its just good dubbing.

#8- Medium natural barred rubber legs.  They just look buggy. I have lots of colors of them but usually go back to the natural…creamy tan…. Rubber colored… rubber legs. Medium is my fav a little bit of rigidity but still provide life like motion.  They work on all flies fresh,  salt.

#7- Superhair   Its kinda like fishair but krinkly and a little stiffer.  I use it on mostly salt water and pike stuff but  I am sure it would have great uses for lots of flies.  Its level of rigidity lends itself to alot of applications. I find myself using it on a number of different flies that are weedless.  Also comes under different names from different vendors

#6- Craft fur  Man is it a pain in the ass to work with sometimes but it is cheap and it moves like nothing else in the water.  It comes under a few different names but craft fur is the most recognizable.   It has really annoying short under fur and if you are trying to tie long flies be prepared to go through a bunch of it.  Man does it move tho.  When is someone gonna come up with a genetically modified version of this creature that has longer hair.  Only a matter of time I suppose.

#5- Bucktail  Been around forever……why?……..Duh… Its awesome.  With all the new modern, uniform, durable, easy to use materials  bucktail still remains one of my favourites.  It offers just the right amount of structural integrity to flies that you don’t want to foul yet still has life like motion in the water.  Don’t just pick the first one off the rack pull them all off and find the one with the hair  that suits the flies you like to tie. Take into consideration the length and the amount of the desirable hairs that are on the tail.

#4- Danvilles Flats waxed nylon.   It took me awhile to get onto this wonderful thread. I had always been a cord thread guy.  Although it has a time and place I see myself using it more and more.  Generally speaking I don’t use it on flies smaller than maybe #8  It does bulk up in a hurry.  It comes in the colors you need and a few more they don’t go totally crazy.  flat waxed super strong for its diameter.

– the key to really durable flies is to have tight thread wraps

– the key to tight thread wraps is to crank on it

– The key to cranking on it without breaking is flat waxed.

 #3- Jungle cock.  I am not really into the classics ….The jock scotts and such but there is something about a Mickey Finn with the jungle cock cheeks.  It just sets it off.  Some of the old carey patterns look real nice as well.  Do they matter ……..Who knows but it sure does make em look purdy.  A cape is one of the more expensive items you will buy for tying but one cape goes a long way.  Treat your self to one if you don’t already have one you will not regret it.

#2 DNA-holo fusion- This is one of my favourite materials for making baitfish flies.  Really easy to work with.  Come in the colors you need and a stupid amount of others.  It’s the perfect blend of fiber and flash.  Its mixture creates a small bit of bulk for profiles and does not slim down to absolutely nothing.  Wish I lived somewhere that we used a  lot of baitfish flies.

#1- Rabbit strips.  Ever since I tied my first zonker I have been a huge fan of strips. Hooked my first atlantic salmon on a Black fur strip zonker w a white muddler head.  It moves, it splats, tons of colors, cheap, easy to work with.  They have it all.  Sometimes it’s a pain if it gets airborn and ends up in you eyes, mouth, ears, nose, everywhere. Samll price to pay for awesomeness.  It has got to be my all time Fave.  Standard cut is 1/8′ you can also get magnum 1/4′.  The amount of uses are insane. Generally try to steer away from ones with really thick hide attached they are bulky and harder to work with.

Special thanks to kylie for sending me the pics of the stuff I didn’t have with up at camp.

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