A question about varnished wings

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44hutch
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:16 am

A question about varnished wings

Post by 44hutch »

I hope you are all enjoying the season so far; are safe and well. I was furloughed from my job in the courts and I have to say, fly tying has been a real blessing to me on the days that fishing is not possible. I hope you are all coping well. A neighbor who lives three doors down and worked in the city passed from COVID on Friday, so this thing is very real. Be safe and protect others.
A couple of years ago, I received a full pheasant skin as a prize at a AP TU Chapter fundraiser and am looking to tie some trout flies with it. I researched and learned of the Gartside Caddis so I selected some almond heart feathers and put Sally Hanson on them and let them dry. In tying them in, they split on all six attempts. Any any varnished wing tie in suggestions out there? Also, I'd love to hear of any trout patterns you tie using pheasant skin feathers.

ted patlen
Posts: 1995
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Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by ted patlen »

varnishing feathers is possible but major pain in the butt. IF they are not tie-in correctly the fly will twist the tippet. Same goes for fan wings.

But if you wish try using one of the new uv finishes like solar flex formula. Or you may also use thinned down pliobond. BTW if you tie Jack'spatterns without the stiffened feathers they will float better.

Matt Grobert
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Location: Tewksbury, NJ
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Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by Matt Grobert »

ted patlen wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:47 am
BTW if you tie Jack'spatterns without the stiffened feathers they will float better.
Agreed, Ted. I tie them without any coating and they float well and the more they get torn up, the better they work. ;)

Matt

SgtMajUSMC
Posts: 666
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Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by SgtMajUSMC »

Jack Gartside used spar varnish to prepare the pheasant "almonds" that he tied his pheasant hopper and caddis patterns with. They have to be prepared at least a day in advance to allow for proper drying. Put a drop at the base of the feather (after pulling off the fluff). Pull the varnish through to the tip with your fingers, then set them on waxed paper to dry.
They will get banged up and raggedy after casting/catching fish, which just makes them more effective.
His website with photos of his flies is still available. www.jackgartside.com
Tim

ibookje
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Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:10 am

Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by ibookje »

Maybe Dave's Flexament, but really thinned?

Split wings doesn't seem to loose its magic. Here’s picture of an eaten up (split wings) No Hackle dun and a real dun.

Image

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Barleywine
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Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by Barleywine »

ibookje wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:25 am
Maybe Dave's Flexament, but really thinned?

Split wings doesn't seem to loose its magic. Here’s picture of an eaten up (split wings) No Hackle dun and a real dun.

Image

Oh boy...that photo. That's the same great photo that you posted on the Classic Fly Rod Forum, and that image convinced me to try tying No Hackle Duns. I've been going crazy for the past two days trying to get them right. I certainly hope that you're all correct about the split fibers working better, because mine are all split...and I haven't even fished with them.

–Chuck
"The secret to life is honesty and fair dealing. When you can fake that, you've got it made." ---Groucho Marx

Matt Grobert
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Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by Matt Grobert »

Chuck,

For sure they are a tough one to tie, but yes, they work just fine when the wings are split. Even when you tie them in so they aren't split, they get that way quickly once you fish them and the fish don't seem to mind.

Matt

44hutch
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:16 am

Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by 44hutch »

Thanks Tim and all of you. I will not be concerned going forward when a wing splits. Ragged and worn out sounds like the ultimate goal here. The ones I tied look good except for the split in the wing so I will fish them with confidence. Thank you one and all for your feedback.

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Eperous
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Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by Eperous »

So let me get this straight... is this the guy asking these questions about varnished wings? If so--- and I know so--- treat him right, he's a first class gentleman, and not sure why he puts up with me....

Here he is tying flies at FlyFest--- on the right with something funky on his head, and I believe SgtMajUSMC, alas Tim Didas, is sitting with him... I wonder if Tim's tying some Gartside Sparrow's using pheasant feathers Forrest is inquiring about...

160206-Fly Fest-us w-Forrest H.JPG
160206-Fly Fest-us w-Forrest H.JPG (94.62 KiB) Viewed 606 times

And here's Forrest hanging tough on the Esopus one evening, catching wild rainbows while the rest of us TU guys are eating pizza back at the Boiceville Inn...

E-out-day's end, Forrest in Trestle Pool.JPG
E-out-day's end, Forrest in Trestle Pool.JPG (102.83 KiB) Viewed 606 times

Treat Forrest right folks, he's a good guy for sure...

Ed

44hutch
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:16 am

Re: A question about varnished wings

Post by 44hutch »

Thanks for the kind words Ed. And those are magnifiers on my head that I require on anything below a size 18. They say that the legs are the first thing to go, but my eyes came in a close second. That picture was three or four years ago. Now everything hurts and I grunt a lot, but like Glen the Polish Prince tells me, "You gotta keep moving".

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