Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
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mikevalla
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Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by mikevalla »

So, what wings are you using on your itsy-bitsy dry flies--- size 16-18's----24's? And what hook? Is the hook gap large enough to bite well?

--My wing choice for small dry flies are rooster hock feathers. They're wider than hackle tips; the fly looks like a little sail boat floating along.
The material provides a substantial wing---and easier to tie on than cut wings (which I never really liked). Hackle grower Bill Tobin liked hock feathers---he lived in Cortland, NY, not far from Ithaca.

--Hook? Straight eyes are popular---but need some bite. The Allcock 04991- 1/2--or something equivalent---does the trick.

Hock Wing Sulphur
Image

-Body: Creamy yellow mixture of combined dyed yellow seal and cream red fox fur.


-This particular pattern --experimental at first--worked well for me on Owasco Inlet, in around 1978. Owasco was a favorite haunt back during Cornell U. years. Ithaca is not far from the Owasco Inlet.

Rainbows run up the stream from Owasco Lake during spawning runs, out of Owasco Lake---one of the smaller Finger Lakes . Most migrate back down to the lake by May---but a few fiesty fish always stayed around during the first Sulphur hatches.

-Val and I took a drive along my old favorite stream this past August. Oh how the stream has changed!
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ewpeper
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Re: Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by ewpeper »

On the 18s - 22s I use a small clump of CDC as a single wing and tie them either thorax style or as a sparkle dun. Haven't done any photos of them as I just started my tying for the season and haven't gotten past the 16 PMDs yet. The 22 CDC sparkle dun tied this way was excellent during the trikes last summer, and I could actually see it with that wing.

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
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Eperous
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Re: Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by Eperous »

ewpeper wrote:On the 18s - 22s I use a small clump of CDC as a single wing ...
Yikes Eric, don't say that to Mike... :oops: but I use CDC lots also, on tiny flies headed for Catskill-NYC tailwaters, like the Delaware system... Nice dry fly Mike... :D

Ed

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Bud
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Re: Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by Bud »

I probably will be barred from the Catskills for life for this, but . . .

McFlylon. :twisted:

It's polypropylene treated to be shiny. It floats, is easy to work with on parachutes, which is what I mostly tie, and looks like a mayfly wing when trimmed.

In my defense, I plead that it's well known that I'm a hopeless hack as a tyer and will embrace any newfangled material or technique that I think helps. So have mercy on those of us who, were we to start tying hackle-tip wings on tiny flies, never would get a fishable fly tied.

On the other hand, I recently tied some of Vince Wilcox's Micro Mayflies--extended bodies made of micro tubing with microfibbet tails inserted in the tubing and sealed in with a cautery tool--or supposedly so. The verdict? Too much trouble. Inserting the fibbets in the tubing is no fun at all, and the cautery doesn't always seal them in, so you have to start over. The tiny flies look way cool, but. . . .

Sometime the old ways really are the best ways.

--Bud
Last edited by Bud on Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ewpeper
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Re: Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by ewpeper »

Eperous wrote:
ewpeper wrote:On the 18s - 22s I use a small clump of CDC as a single wing ...
Yikes Eric, don't say that to Mike... :oops: but I use CDC lots also, on tiny flies headed for Catskill-NYC tailwaters, like the Delaware system... Nice dry fly Mike... :D

Ed
CDC is natural material, Ed, and it looks a lot like a natural mayfly wing on the water. If anything is to be objected to it's the "sparkle dun" reference onaccounta that's got a Zelon shuck. I make no apologies howsomever. :D

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

Fatman
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Re: Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by Fatman »

Mike - Is this tie based on any of Tobins "little people" flies?? Terry Hellekson's page had a great article on Bill Tobins "Little People" flies. His page went down after his death but it's being worked on. Somewhere at home I have a printed copy of the article. It's a great read!!!

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Bud
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Re: Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by Bud »

The article on Tobin also appeared in the June 2006 issue of the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild Gazette, if anyone still has a copy. The pics back then were still all in grayscale, but I have copies of the the color originals, thanks to Terry.

I can paste the text in here, but it looks like the pics, which are what's most interesting (the flies have really long tails, for example), will have to go through Photobucket. When I knock off work, I'll see what I can do about posting the whole enchilada in some form resembling the original.

--Bud
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
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mikevalla
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Re: Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by mikevalla »

Mike - Is this tie based on any of Tobins "little people" flies??
Bill never tied a fly like this Hock Wing Sulphur---as far as I know and recall. It wasn't based on his little people flies at all.

-Let me share with you a little story about Bill Tobin---his hackle---and Walt's first encounter with a Tobin dun neck.

I never could understand why Walt never heard of Bill Tobin (in the late 70's era) or his flock. I'm almost certain Bill had a friendly relationship with Art Flick. But for some reason knowledge of Bill and his great hackle never made it to Walt.

-A bunch of us from Cornell U. got to know Tobin in the mid-70's. I didn't know him well enough to pay him a visit at his Cortland home until maybe 1978. Hell--either '77 or 78--it's been a long time. Anyway...

I stopped down with a terrific tier named Clayton Maybee---who was very close to Bill---and my ticket into getting to know him better. Clayton lived in Dryden NY only 15 minutes from Bill's place, ---just down the road from the University. I was still living in Ithaca.

It was during that visit that I was able to really rummage through Bill's hackle necks---boxes of them. Clayton was after Bill's "splash duns." I never liked the splash duns---as Bill called them; the pure dun shades---a little rusty, was my favorite. And boy did I find a beaut!! This was all pre-Metz take-off years--not quite into the boom. To get a natural dun neck like that was a BIG find! Natural Dun was about non-existent in that era.

I walked out with just that one neck (Clayton had a pile of splash duns in his hands---he thought I was nuts). So, I tied with it--and great! It wrapped fantastic! So...in all of this excitement for a great source of good dun---I mailed the neck to Walt Dette---but didn't tell him it was from a guy named Bill Tobin. That was probably very late fall of 1978 for sure. I know it was January 1979 when Walt phoned me--because I remember the house we had moved to that month when he called. I was out fishing Milliken Station---on Cayuga Lake ---when he called.Val took the message. "Call Walt----and he said to tell you you're nuts to be out fishing!" Ha! I do remember that!

"Where the hell did you get that Neck!" Walt was pretty impressed. I told him about Bill Tobin. Word spread, and one of the guys in a fly tying class I was teaching asked me about natural dun necks. I told him that the best natural neck I ever had---and again any natural dun neck was a very rare find--was sitting on Walt Dette's table, in Roscoe. My tying student was Professor Bob Kirk---Chairman of the Small Animal Dept at Cornell U. School of Veterinary Medicine. Bob got so worked up about it he ended up driving to Roscoe--and not to my knowledge either---to see that neck!

About the next time we met for fly tying class Kirk walked in with a smile (and, by the way, Kirk allowed us use the big, fancy, well decorated Vet School conference room to serve as our fly tying classroom during evening sessions).

Bob flopped that Dun neck on the table---and proceeded to describe how he drove to Roscoe and kidnapped the dun neck from Walt. Bob, of course, handed it over to me---but plucked a bunch of hackles off in the process. What the hell was I going to do----so all the students plucked some, too!

Ha! Bill Tobin------great necks! (he ended selling his flock to Orvis---who did a stupid thing and tried to raise them in the heat of Florida).
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Bud
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Re: Hock Wing dry flies: the tiny flies

Post by Bud »

OK--Terry Hellekson's piece on Bill Tobin is up in another thread--we seem to have hijacked this one. It took me a bit of putzing to remember how to post photos, so apologies for the look of it while I was reediting it. And I couldn't reproduce a the original layout, but what the heck. . . .

--Bud
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
-- Marx (Groucho)

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