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I was kindly invited to dress a classic salmon fly at the North West Branch of the Fly Dressers Guild last week, hosted by my good friend Chris Watson. as usual, I was made very much at home with the banter and intelligent questions asked during the demonstration.  Dressing classic salmon flies in public can have its pitfalls especially if the materials become obstreperous without warning. On this night everything went according to plan. The fly, the Sir Francis Sykes,  from A Book on Angling by Francis Francis is a lovely fly that can, if all goes well be dressed in a couple of hours. The body on the fly is composed of seals fur spun in a dubbing loop in order to give the appearance of a hackle. This is time consuming to perfect. However on this occasion, the effort was worthwhile. The body voluminous in appearance meant that the wing had to be of a size to balance the overall fly. The balance was achieved with the wing being widened with a manly slab of Argus Pheasant on the top of the wing (the original material being Golden Pheasant). The wide section of barred Summer Duck really set the wing off perfectly but a sting still lay in the tail. The head is composed of Berlin wool (Marino sheep, fine and great to dub). The technique is to have the head well waxed and as thin a parallel dubbing rope as possible, the shape of the  head being made from the thread. Work from the eye to the wing for all wool heads, going up the hill is easier than coming down.  Almost forgot, the wing mounted first time (the audience were impressed and so was I); the wing gods were smiling that night.  The fly is dressed on both sides as are all my flies framed or not. And not a single drop of glue in sight or out of sight. As demo flies go, this is as good as I can do.


Im saving my glue for the Jimmie Choos shoes, a real fly dressing project !!

Waxy threads and enjoy the fly.



One Comment

  1. really nice fly, lovely shape to the wing. Cant imagine you in a pair of Jimmie Choos mind you, then again you never know. We might have to ask the opinion of the shop keeper in Kenmore if you would suit those lovely shoes.

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