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Dye Results

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In continuation of my theme on dying and references, here are some pictures of what the dyes “will” do, with some commentary.

Please note colours do change from camera to reduction into a jpg and lastly on your screen. I suspect procedure and materials also impact the outcome. So the results will change and some subtle elements may have disappeared in this quick study below.  Never-the-less, I long ago learnt colour references are names (from watercolour painting) are not accurate indicators of outcome and very open for misunderstanding. As such, I hope this is a starting point for some.


Starting at one end of spectrum (subtractive), lets begin with

  • Jacquard Hot Fuschia – Intense and saturated
  • Dharma Pink Orchid – Tends to blue and a little dark
  • Superfly Hot Pink – Saturated and strong and a little lighter than J Hot Fuschia
  • Dharma Flamingo Pink – A dirty red.
  • Pro Chemical Hot Pink – Another strong Pink.

If I had to pick one – Pro Chemical Hot Pink, then Jacquard’s Hot Fuschia

Oh yes, this reference was intended for me, so please excuse consistency in labeling and spelling errors. Moving to the Reds …


  • Jacquard New Red – strong and intense
  • Jacquard Olive – Great Mid to Dark Olive Brown with tones to a warm red (Orange)
  • Superfly Red – string and intense –  match (same?) as Jacquard New Red
  • Dharma Flamingo Pink – as previously posted – darker, dirty red
  • Jacquard Salmon Red – muted dirty red, could be used for Claret

Must haves?  Jacquard New Red and Olive.


Took sometime to get an Orange I am happy wit, with reflects in the large sample base.

  • FlyDye Hot Orange – Nice tone when dyed strong and weak – vibrant
  • FlyDye Orange – A good orange, but it is in a strong group of other oranges.
  • Veniard Summer Duck – I find this colour deeper than actual “summer duck” feather, but it is a natural warm tone that is very pleasing
  • Jacquard Gold Ochre -Stronger and more orange than Summer Duck
  • Dharma Blazing Orange – Red and orange-red, with a complex tone
  • Cushing Buttercup Yellow – Complex, natural and great when lightly dyed
  • Veniard Flo Orange – Nice Orange, but not fluorescent
  • FlyDye Fl Orange – Yes, a strong orange that almost glows

The must haves?  FlyDye Fl Orange, Dharma Blazing Orange, Cushing Buttercup Yellow and yes, the Veniard Summer Duck

Having FlyDye Hot Orange and Jacquard Gold Ochre is also a good move.

Oh yes, there are some dye references that I do have, but not picture. I want to focus on the fair to excellent. Those that are absolute failures are not noted.

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With the exception of the Veniard Golden Olive and Ginger, I have noted the other colours above.  I have created this group of natural tomes for general review.

As noted, I would consider buying the Veniard Summer Duck, Jacquard Gold Ochre, Dharma Blazing Orange, Jacquard Olive and Cushing Buttercup Yellow.

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  • Jacquard Silver Grey – use with another colour, as by itself it seems to machine like.
  • Jacquard Ecru – Natural mid-tone that is warm. I prefer this over the Silver Grey.

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  • Jacquard Yellow Sun – Bright and brilliant
  • Jacquard Bright Yellow – Paler and softer than Yellow Sun
  • Cushing Buttercup Yellow – Shows up again, as it natural spans and range is wide
  • Veniard Flo Yellow – Yellow-Green (does not show up on my screen)

What to use? For strong brilliant yellows goto Jacquard Yellow Sun and for natural tone colours, think Cushings’ Buttercup Yellow.

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I do not have a dark green, but what I do have is:

  • Jacquard Emerald – mid to dark green and if it absords, it can be closer to dark.
  • Veniard Chartreuse – dirty yellow-green
  • Jacquard Kelly Green – saturated and brilliant green
  • Jacquard Chartreuse – Yellow green and best when light in tone

I do not dye green often, but when I do I will use Jacquard’s Emerald or Kelly Green. The former if I want a bright in your face green.

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Simple answer for me is Jacquard Turquoise, but the short observations are:

  • Jacquard Turquoise – Is my interpretation of Turquoise and a goto
  • Pro Chemical Turquoise – Nice, but not seen is a metallic look – see note below
  • Dharma True Turquoise – like Pro Chemical
  • Dharma Bright Aqua – Very much between blue-green (actual sample is more green)
  • Cushing Turquoise – Similar to Dharma’s Bright Aqua, but darker and duller

Phthalo Blue and Green is a synthetic metallic pigment that has a tone I have never liked and always shunned. My wife thinks I am hyper-sensitive (crazy) to this colour, but I openly noted I have a bias, but when I detect it, I shy away from it.

In the many raw pigments that you can get, this is these are the one set of pigments I find distasteful. I clearly see this pigment within the Pro Chemical and Dharma Turquoise when dyed deep.



And closing the reference pictures are the deep blues-violets.

  • Jacquard New Blue – Nice clean mid-blue
  • Jacquard Sky Blue – Pure with a large working tonal range.
  • Dharma Lilac – Again a pure color with a  wide working range.
  • Dharma Electric Blue – Deep and strong purple
  • Veniard Purple – Nice mid range purple
  • Veniard Lt Blue – Wants to dye dark

So which dyes do I reach for? Jacquard Sky Blue, Dharma Lilac, Dharma Electric Violat and yes, will use the Veniard Purple.


I hope his helps others.





Written by raspberryfisher

2017/02/02 at 02:00

Posted in Fly-Tying

Dyes – Notes and Tips

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First a shout out to Gary Tanner, who details how to dye fur and feathers for fly-tying on his blog “The Rivers Course“.

Like Gary and most other serious fly-tying enthusiasts, I bought many of my acid dyes from Dharma Trading, and use Dharma’s Brand, as well as those produce by Jacquard.

Harder to find, but can produce vibrant oranges is Fly Dye, which I bought from Anglers Workshop and believe is rebranded from Orco.  I also use dyes from Pro Chemicals.

I have found Veniards’s inconsistent, so though I can highly recommend Veniard’s head cement, I cannot fully recommend their dye. There are some coloura, I may rebuy.

Similar to Veniard’s, SuperFly also repackages dye to the fly fishing community. To date, I have been happy with SuperFly, but unfortunately SuperFly is not easy to find.

Last, as reported a few months ago, I have picked up my Mother’s Cushing’s Perfection Dye stock, and very happy so far what I have used.  These Cushing Dyes are more subtle and natural (versus saturated brilliant colours from Jacquard, Dharma, et cetera that I have acquired).

What is my tip? Keep with the dyes a white hen cape (feathers) and with each batch dye a couple of feathers, dry, identify and bag them for reference. In this way, you will have a record of what the dye will do, as names are so inaccurate when describing what is produce.

Oh yes, include a feather that was in the dye bath briefly and then over an extended period, which should be near complete absorption.

My collection to date, in a container with my dye kit.


And some blues …



And my notation is to list manufacturer and their identification for the dye …



Written by raspberryfisher

2017/02/01 at 04:30

Posted in Fly-Tying

Light Bonefish Flies

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Using my recent learning and developed opinions, I tied some light flies (0.025 to 0.035g) for shallow tailing bonefish. I used wolf (white flies) and fox (tan) for the top case, and found the flies to provide a sense of translucence when in the water.

I tied one fly with small bead-chain eye,  but tests indicted that this was not necessary, as long as the fly was heavier than 0.025g.

As the style and testing progressed, what I like the best was:

  • Use the fur (smaller crinkly hair) to develop a wide case (carapace), and then overlay the hairs on top. This may require some manipulation of the hairs before hand, such that they do not trail the fly to long.
  • Use of the mono bead-talks help the fly ride hook up.
  • Use of ultra chenille (pink or orange) to suggest an egg sac.

Following images are presented to reflect details of the construction, as well as how a fish chasing the fly may see it.

First up is a fly using wolf and blue bead eyes to suggest crabs.


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Continuing with wolf, a narrow fly using hackle tips and pink egg-sac.

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And then the use of Red Fox.


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Written by raspberryfisher

2016/12/31 at 03:06

Posted in Fly-Tying, Saltwater

Bonefish Eyes – my solution

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image 2IMG_5216.jpg

So I prefer small eyes with black pupils, and my making my own, as I have better control of colour. If you have the material, then the actual cost is a fraction of buying premade eyes.

Materials and Equipment, see picture below.

  • Monofilament Tippet from 0.024″ to 0.28″
  • Small Bead Seed Beads
  • UV Resin (Solarex is my choice) and a bright UV light
  • Cutters
  • Lighter
  • Permanent Black Marker
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Thread
  • Loop
  • Scissors


  • For efficiency, I will work in batches.
  • Pull out 60+cm of mono and straighten.
    • You can leave some curl, as it will help place the eyes out from the hook.
  • Put a angle cut on mono.
  • Thread 10 beads in the colour(s) of your choosing.
  • Moving to a one eye stalk at a time
  • Burn a small end-stub on the mono, which traps the eye.
  • Pull down a bead to the end.
  • Cut off 6cm – stalk, with burnt end and one bead.
  • Repeat until all beads on the mono length is consumed.
  • With the batch, paint end of stalk (burnt end) with black marker.
    • You want to avoid placing your marker on a hot mono end, tp preserve your marker.
  • Pour UV Resin into a small pool.
    • I use a measuring spoon so I can submerge the eye completely.
  • Dip and drag eye in resin, such that bead is completely submerged in resin.
    • You are trying to pull the heavy resin around the bead.
  • Pull out and let resin settle into a shape you want – I keep the eye pointed down, so as I form a tear drop shape (ideally)
    • Alternative is to place it on a drying wheel and go for a more uniform ball.
  • When shape is formed, hit it with the UV light.
  • Repeat for batch.
  • Most of my eyes are tack-free, but I like to place them in a sunny window for a day. The sun is so much more stronger than my 3W LED UV flashlight!
  • I bind the eyes together into a bundle with thread, and using a loop to create a whip finish knot to secure the thread.
  • Use.

Q: Is there anything unique in this message versus the various YouTube instructional videos I have seen?

A: One, the size of the mono that nicely fits (my seed beads), allowing for a quick and easy small burnt eye stalk.   do find it is easier to straighten the RIO Saltwater material, so I prefer this, but the Mason’s is just fine.

Oh yes, using my machinist Mitutoyo Micrometer, the actual thickness measured should the Mason’s was true to the labeling, while the RIO was slightly thicker (0.025″ versus the label 0.024″).

eye 1 IMG_5212.jpg

Picture with an iphone, so optical clarity, grain and sharpness is fair.


Update – I have found some seed beads of the same size with smaller holes, so sometimes, I need to downsize to 12 or 16b tippet.

Written by raspberryfisher

2016/12/27 at 20:02

Bonefish Flies – Acklins, Bahamas

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The following comments reflect what I learnt about the specific conditions on Acklins we found.

  1. Sand and Tan is the dominant colour, and add a splash of orange or pink to the fly.
    1. The need for green, brown, orange and olive is limited.
  2. For DIY – focus on ightly weighted or no weight.
    1. On the boat have weighted flies.
  3. Focus on shrimp and then small crabs patterns.
  4. Despite its wide historical use for Bonefish flies, forgo synthetic craft hair, for it has no life. I would consider it as a body in a streamer for its shape, but for small flies, move to natural hairs from rabbit, squirrel, deer, fox or other!
  5. Bonefish are easily spooked, but they are more receptive to flies than trout, so selection of a fly is simple ….
    1. Minimize the splash down.
      1. Lightest weight fly that will get to the bottom in a seconds,.
    2. Then select a fly the colour of surroundings.
    3. Sharp debarb fly.
    4. If Bonefish refuses, change colour of fly.
  6. Sharp hooks!  The mouth of this fish is tough and will not spit out a fly quickly, like a trout, so the hook set is done after it has started its run, but the hook must be sharp to penetrate their hard mouth.

The Flies

First up, the only pattern I fished that I did not tie.  A fantastic tie by Rudy at Hidden Hook Fly, and do recommend it, but place your order early, as he may be out some adventure fishing. (Oh yes, in the video from Rudy, this is also Fedel (our guide and teacher)).

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A fly that shall a lot of action is this Wilson variant of the spawning shrimp. I would consider a few notes …

  • Replace the craft hair with a natural hair (see next fly).
  • Reduce the dark mouth band, id est few darker hairs mixed with white hairs.
  • Eyes are perfect .. created using 12b hard mono with a burnt end, plus amber bead and over-coated with epoxy.

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Another spawning shrimp is below with the above pattern, adapted from my crawfish pattern for smallmouth bass. I had one hook-up with this pattern, but lost the fish about 30 seconds in the fight on his first run.  Was this a poor hook-up on my part or a function using the jig hook?

Other than the lost fish, I like the feather front with polar bear hairs and the deer hair wing.  In this case, the deer hair also provides a mild weed guard, as it is pushed up by the “bushy” chennile body.

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And a darker variant showing the fish’s view, with a clear illustration of the feather front.  The chennile is finer, so the wing (squirrel tail) rides lower and provides less weed-fouling protection to the hook.

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Though, I am mentioning weeds, Acklins does not have many weed or turtle grass beds.

Another spawning shrimp variant – Petersen’s – showing the larger weight variant with the light small shrimp, but using fox.  Typically tied with rabbit, but here I am using fox.

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and then another successful fly, Petersen’s tied with Rabbit.  I will be tying more.

Now a shout-out to Henrik Larsson who took a few flies and hope they brought him good luck, but as a good fisherman – he does not need luck!  Henrik of Göteborg also stayed with Fidel Johnson on the Acklins, so we enjoyed dinner, conversation on fishing and my home away from home – Sweden.

large tan DSC_7969

As noted, I was not thrilled with synthetics, for wings, but there was one exception – EP Saltwater brushes that become a fine veil, like a grass shrimp, when wet. Below is a picture of the fly dry and wet, and also teaches a lesson when tying with this material, pay attention to how the body will look when wet.

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The only crab pattern we fished was the Pop Bitters.

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And a pattern I had and liked, but never fished as it was too dark was my pheasant top crab fly. So I like to create additional flies using this recipe, but I must find a light top shell feather with the right marking, maybe from a silver pheasant or a hen.

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And what was missing in my box? Answer, I needed some small light flies. These size 8 flies would have been fine if they had light bead-chain eyes. So next trip, I would tie 9 of these flies with light eyes and a lighter tan body.

Blog 4 DSC8295.jpg

Writing these lessons learnt help me, and may some one else to.



Written by raspberryfisher

2016/12/20 at 02:21


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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.

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

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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

Root Beer Gotacha s

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Over the past 3 months, tied over 200 flies for Judy and I, in preparation for our trip to the Bahamas this December; and it is time to stop.  We have enough, and ideally, what we have will work, but I doubt tying more will make us any better fisher-people or improve the fishing.

I have  mixture of light and heavy, from small to large, in many colours.

In general bonefish flies are the simplest to tie.  You do not need many different threads, but Danville 6/0 thread is excellent.

The old standard hooks from Mustad (34007) are dull, but with a good Japanese Feather Edge Saw File, you can make this hooks sharp!  I got my files from Lee Valley, which I will state are better than any hook sharpening file you are going to get at a fishing store.  Otherwise, I would suggest Daiichi 2546 hook (in silver) or Gamakatsu SL45 (black).  For long shank hooks, I still have not made my mind up what is best for the salt.

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Since, I took a picture of these flies, I completed tying brown gotachas and light olive spawning shrimp – EP style.

So, time to work on some other endeavors.





Written by raspberryfisher

2016/08/14 at 23:37