Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Silky Smooth...

I like silk.  Apparently.

For years I've enjoyed fishing spiders... those super simple, ancient, flies from the British Isles which are so elegant.  I always used to tie spiders with floss, and some newer varieties with things like wrapped crystal flash bodies or opal tinsel bodies.  Some times I use starling, some times a variety of grouse or hen back feathers.  I've never been one to fully follow fly tying "rules"...

For whatever reason - well, I guess for similar reasons to traditional Rangely style streamers - working with fairly "traditional" materials on some flies.  But, on spiders, silk is a bit expensive and thus, I've always stuck to those other, more modern body's on my flies.  They work fine, but I always wondered: "what would silk be like".

Then Brk Trt over at Small Stream Reflections posted this: http://smallstreamreflections.blogspot.com/2015/01/february-red-soft-hackle.html only a few days prior to my trip to The Fly Fishing Show.  I decided - well, Brk Trt's motivation influenced :) - me to go for it and buy some silk and give it a go.

So I did... And I'm glad!

It's a really nice material.  An interesting amount of stretch and translucence, yet it compacts great with a little pull so that you can keep the heads on flies really tidy.

The other good thing about the show, is that there are vendors with lots of great stuff - and I found some great Partridge of Reddich spider hooks.  They have nice wide gapes and large eye's which is great when trying to minimize head size and settling the whip finish.  Very happy with those!

Did up a few orange and grouse and green and grouse last night.  Looking forward to doing more!


  1. I saw the post from Brk Trt last week, he did a fine job and you have as well. While fishing the Little Red over the weekend I remembered the Red A$$. SH's are sure fun to fish. I tend to get a little excited on the set and broke a few off. Need to replace, think I'll attempt the silk version...seems popular!!

  2. Will, very nice ties. Silk is not the only thread. Although not traditional the old reliable Danville flat waxed is a good alternative, and less costly.
    Those English hooks are wonderful.

    1. Thanks Brk Trt. Flat waxed is awesome! I love grey flat waxed to make a body on a fast sinking caddis nymph. it's a really cool material! Thanks for the thoughts there. have an excellent week. It's funny how different threads make things easier or harder. When I started tying midge's I'd use 8/0. Over the past few years I've tried 12/0 and smaller and what a difference in the ease of getting good bodies/heads on #20-30 flies... Amazing the impact thread selection can have.

  3. Those will get some interest when caddis are around. Nice job!

    1. Green is great on the Millers up here come mid - late spring and early summer Mark :)