Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Archive for the ‘Dry Flies’ Category


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One of the disappointments in North America Fly Tying supplies is Coq De Leon feathers for dry flies. These feathers are famous for tails on dry flies for their “stiff spring” and color-markings.

Yesterday, I receive the best (and good) Coq De Leon feathers from Troutline.ro and with a brief handling, would definitely would order more.

If there was any issue with the order process, was trying to translate the Spanish Hen names to the actual colour-markings.  As such, I order probably more than I needed and for others, post pictures of what I received (still in the package, so the colours are muted with the reflective ziplock bag covering the fly).

From left to right:

  • Tostado
  • Corzuno Oscuro – Nice for dark tails
  • Flor de Escoba – Yes, Sulphurs
  • Aconchado – Yes, for Adams
  • Corzuno Rojito – Yes, for March Browns

700  2 C de Leon_DSC8059.jpg

Closer in


Closer in with Corzuno Oscuro on the left and flor de escoba on the right.


and on the far right Corzuno Rojito.

700 _DSC8064.jpg

Oh yes, their hand tied flies are excellent too and much better than most volume tied flies available today in the fly fishing shop.

700 2_DSC8060.jpg

I would be more than happy to use their flies exclusively for the few times, I do nymph.

The only reason to tie, for to enable an infinite variety, but they offer a fine selection to start a trout fisherman out with.





Written by raspberryfisher

2016/09/09 at 19:10

Posted in Dry Flies, Fly-Tying, Nymphs

Last (planned) dry tie fly for the year – Sulphur Dun

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To complete my collection of suphur flies that are very yellow and “can” tend towards chartreuse, here is my yellow sulphur dun. Key notes that distinguishes from a production fly:

  • The body is Danville yellow thread and varnish – 3 coats and wait a week. It is simple but requires patience.
  • The hackle and dyed mallard is dyed by me to suit my expectation – a brighter yellow than any production fly.  I do not dye a complete cape, but select the feathers I want from a white cape, and dye accordingly.
  • I note that I changed thread at the head to Veevus to minimize bulk, but it does have the same saturation as Danville. I do not like applying “cement” to the head once done to reduce bleeding back to the had, so I just tie a nice whip finish knot with wax.

sulphur DWW_4587


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/08/29 at 20:18

Dry Fly Hooks Sizes

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Return to an old theme, manufacturer’s hook sizes are really useless.  What you need to know, one you select your hook, is how long is the body. I publish my reference for nymphs six years ago, but not for the dry fly. Given I an updating my dry fly hook standard to the TMC 103BL, so I thought it was time to publish my standard with the associated body length.

  • TMC 103BL – Size 11 – 10.3mm
  • TMC 103BL – Size 13 – 9.1mm
  • TMC 103BL – Size 15 – 8.4mm
  • TMC 103BL – Size 17 – 7.2mm
  • TMC 103BL – Size 19 – 5.7mm

If I am looking for smaller, for small BWO or Tricos, where I am also thinking about an extended body, I move to the Daiichi 1640 with the Straight Eye.

  • Daiichi 1640 – Size 16 – 5.0mm
  • Daiichi 1640 – Size 18 – 4.5mm
  • Daiichi 1640 – Size 20 – 3.8mm

The body length is define as the from eye (last wrap of thread) to the point where the shank has dropped ~0.66 diameter of the wire. I am not using an optical tool, but measurement by hand with old eyes of one hook with a nice machinist vernier. As such, I would predict the margin of error is about 3%.  (Yes, I am an engineer)

So as illustrated below, yes, I identify the hook, but I look and select the hook by the intended body size.

H2 IMG_1667

H2 IMG_1668

And what happens to the hooks that fall out of favour (or samples to try). I either:

  • Put in a bag in a slot that corresponds to its equivalent. When I tied in the size, I will decide if I will use them up.
  • Occasionally sell them or give them away.  This idea of Pay it forward seems like a new way to pass on good karma..


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/08/18 at 23:48

Posted in Dry Flies, Fly-Tying

Yellow Sally – Tan

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I have two more dry flies left to tie for next year – Yellow Sally White and Traditional Sulphur.  This is my Yellow Sally reflecting my observation that many of the early stoneflies have a green head.

YS 1 DWW_4515

ys 4 DWW_4520

ys 3 DWW_4519

ys 2 DWW_4516

ys 5 DWW_4522


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/08/16 at 00:29

small (16) – Sulphur Klinkhamers

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While I wait for an order of fly line tips for my new rod to come in, I finished up some small (size 16) Sulphur Klinkhamers.

Of note, the bodies are quill with a thread base. To get segmentation, I allow gaps as I wrap and then use 3 coats of varnish (Cellire) to coat the body.  It is important to wait a week to allow the varnish harden thoroughly. The hint – tie the bodies, varnish and let them sit in a box for a week. Add the post, hackle and peacock later.

I am using a variant saddle hackle from Metz that I picked up in the late nineties with a range of tan to red-brown.

sulphur klinkhamerDWW_4451

The foam post is tied in from the front, so as the body is slim, though it has a tendency to lean back (which I am not fond off, but this is the lesser of 2 evils).

I find this is the minimum size of post that will keep the fly in the surface film.

sulphur yellow DWW_4449

If you look into the peacock below, you can detect I counter-wrap the peacock with thread. Id est, I tie in peacock at the post and wrap it forward to the eye (where the thread is).  Tie off the peacock, apply a whip finish knot, and then wrap the thread back to the post.

Last, I wrap the hackle around the post and secure-knot the hackle to the post. You can see the bulk from the thread.  Sometimes I get enough compression from the foam you will not see the thread, but usually the threadat the base of the hackle is visible.

I rarely cement the finish, as it often wicks into the peacock and thus harming the fly. Tie in secure, compress the foam and consider using some wax as you whip finish.

sulphur klinkhamer DWW_4448

Darker hackle.

sulphur klinkhamer DWW_4447

Lighter hackle.

sulphur klinkhamer DWW_4453

Written by raspberryfisher

2015/08/13 at 23:49

foam post

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To build on the previous post, I thought I would illustrate a parachute dry fly with a foam post.  The good news is that the post can be low and very visible to the fisher-person, but it is hard to build a good thin body in a continuous taper when dealing with the hidden (buried) tied in end of foam.

post DWW_4201

post DWW_4203


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/07/27 at 05:00

Posted in Dry Flies, Fly-Tying

sulphur mayfly

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I am more likely to swing a large fly for a trout, but there is no doubt a mayfly in spring on the surface is a lot of fun.  Here is a representative of my sulphur for next spring.

I tied these flies in sizes 14 and 16, 16 is shown. As I prefer the flies in the film of the water, my default form is the parachute post. I use two types of post – foam and poly yarn – where I select the base on the water I expect to fish.  Foam post for pocket and rough water and yarn for the slower slick runs in the river.

sulphur DWW_4195

Oh yes, the foam post is tied at the start, with the tag pulled under the body, which does result in a larger body fly, while yarn is tied on top, a step before I add the hackle.  So the steps are

With foam post:

  1. Tie in Post
  2. Tie in tail
  3. Tie in quill at rear.
  4. Create body shape with thread.
  5. Wrap quill
  6. Secure and cut thread off clean.
  7. 3 coats of varnish and wait a week.
  8. Week later, build front thread head.
  9. Secure hackle.
  10. Wrap hackle on post.
  11. Whip finish hack to post, then trim fly clean.
  12. Invert fly, apply last coat of varnish.

With yarn post:

  1. Tie in tail
  2. Tie in quill at rear.
  3. Create body shape with thread.
  4. Wrap quill
  5. Secure and cut thread off clean.
  6. 3 coats of varnish and wait a week.
  7. Week later, build front thread head.
  8. Add post.
  9. Secure hackle.
  10. Wrap hackle on post.
  11. Whip finish hack to post, then trim fly clean.
  12. Invert fly, apply last coat of varnish.

A key part of this fly – or any quill body fly – is time and patience.  For me, I apply 3 coats of Veniard’s Cellire Varnish over a day and then set aside for a week for the varnish to harden.

For this tie, I am using a large eyed hook, stock given to me by Chris Helm (a Partridge with a large gap and short body). I find the wire large and brittle, showing errors in tempering. Admittedly the large eye will be very nice in tying on the fly on the river, but I rather use a TMC 103BY for a barbless dry – better wire and better point (in my opinion).

sulphur DWW_4200

Veniard is a great finish and protects the quill well, but patience. Apply 3 coats and lets it harden over a week.

Though not done here, the advantage of the break, when you start to finish, you can change the thread colour for the head (upper body), which does exist on many natures.


Written by raspberryfisher

2015/07/26 at 22:47