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Ronn Lucas, Sr.
[email protected]


Member Since 29 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Feb 02 2011 08:12 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: a talented tyer

06 December 2010 - 02:00 PM

JPD is a real gentleman, very accessible, and world class at dying feathers and tying. JP, if you read this visit us more!!


In Topic: Silver Canary Variation

06 December 2010 - 01:57 PM

Tinsel is fantastic, shape and proportion of the fly is spot on. I really like what you did here - this is a much more advanced fly than some of your previous, from a "whole fly" perspective. Congratulations and keep up the good work!


In Topic: Mustad Hooks?

04 December 2010 - 03:03 PM

QUOTE (pork @ Dec 3 2010, 04:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you guys just lopping the eyes off the 7111B's or straightening them out? I have a bunch, but I've hesitated to use them because they seem kind of short in the shank with the eye cut off. I have never done any kind of hook modification, so I am not sure how difficult it would be to straighten the eye out.

Ben, I used them when I tied the Irish flies, also a Drum eagle I tied a while back. Just lopped off the eye. A smidge short but still able to make a good looking fly, IMO. I grab the point in a pair of pliers and crank it up toward the shank to give it more of a hollowpoint look, and grind a taper into the shank with a dremel for the gut.


In Topic: I got to thinking...

15 October 2010 - 06:47 PM

Been really busy lately finishing the house, very little time to post and less to tie. However, I want to throw in $.02 on this.

First, great topic, Bill.
I totally agree with you that John has managed to change the landscape of classic tying with the Kori program. And I know the example he sets himself has inspired me, along with many others I know, to "pay it forward" in the same way.

There is no doubt that with Kori in particular, nothing really looks like it in a wing, so it is a real blessing to be able to add to the beauty of our flies by having the "real thing" to put in them. I think there are some subs that look as good, or better, than the real mccoy, but Kori, Banksian, and maybe one or two others are just too hard to replicate in terms of texture and color to ever get a good sub.

When it comes to the other expensive materials, what are we talking about, really? Seems to me the short list is Crow, Cotinga, Western Trag, Quetzal. The prices I have seen for these materials ranges from absurd to ridiculous.

Of the big four, I don't think there is any viable sub for Quetzal, but there is only really one fly that calls for it that I know of and most tyers wouldn't attempt it anyway. same for Western Trag - Ryan in particular has tied some magnificent flies using other Trags as subs and while they aren't Black Argus's, they are stunners. Again, a VERY small minority of classic tyers (which is already a small minority of tyers) will ever attempt the Traherne series, and from what I have seen in our community, if a guy is good enough to put together a frameworthy pair of Ghost Flies or the Traherne series, the quetzal, trag, and Fairy Bluebird (another rare, single fly material) usually find their way to that tier gratis.

That leaves Cotinga and Crow. They are much more ubiquitous in many, many patterns than the other two. However, unless one is really fired up about getting the particular shade of electric blue of C. Maculata (I think that is the subspecies) then Kingfisher provides subs from turquoise to bright blue that are indistiguishable from the real thing on a fly in a frame, although I have been told there is a difference once they are wet. For crow, John now makes a sub that looks as good (and often BETTER) that the real thing when used as a veiling. I say better because there is good crow and bad crow, and bad crow is a muddy orange color and looks like crap. I know, I have some. For main wings, there are what, two flies that use BIG crow and many others that use it as a cheek. I will say that when crow is a primary cheek feather, a GOOD crow feather looks better than John's sub, but only by a little bit. When the crow feather is under another feather, or if you stagger and stack John's sub, then again it looks as good or better than all but the very best crow.

I say all of this to make the point that, from an aesthetic perspective, there is really NO REASON AT ALL to use real Crow or Cotinga on a salmon fly, with a few exceptions that will only matter to a bare handful of tiers with access to the very best stuff. This is not to say that it will not matter emotionally or intellectually, but let's be honest, putting real crow on most of the flies most of us tie is like putting a $10000 paint job on an El Camino (or a Deux Chevaux, for the Europeans smile.gif ). At the end of the day it is still an El Camino.

I will further say that I am guilty of putting feathers I probably don't do justice to on flies I tie. Real crow especially is like a drug to me. Cotinga is a pain in the ass to use but good crow is one of the prettiest and easiest feathers there is to use and I love it. I also can't afford it much, so I have used the same four feathers in about twelve flies I have chopped and tied something else, and generally use what little other I have on flies I send to friends, because it is special. So I will buy a couple here and a couple there, as I can afford it. At no time have I ever, or do I ever anticipate, being able to afford a patch. Wish I could. If I had the funds I probably would. And for the tiers out there that USE the feathers that I know have patches, like Bud and Long and Dave, well, they all tie at a level that makes me believe they SHOULD have them, because they use them that well.

But even if I swore off the use of real crow or cotinga forever, it would not affect the market price. Matt Inman already said it - the collector's market out there will keep the prices high whether we, at the forum, quit buying it or not. I KNOW there are guys with astounding feather collections out there who rarely, if ever, tie a fly. They just like having piles of rare stuff for the sake of having piles of rare stuff. And while I think that is a shame, I won't go so far as to say that those guys have no right to the skins. If they have the cheddar and they want to spend it, too bad for me. The problem is that even if every guy on this forum swears off the stuff, the price will still be what it is. I honestly don't think we can effect it that much. That is not necessarily a reason not to try, but I think it may be a Quixotic attempt.
If and when several South American countries change their export laws, then Crow will be cheap - it is a nuisance bird and there are scads of them in the trees of Argentina, Columbia, Belize, Guyana, etc.. The trick is getting them out of those countries legally. Same to an extent for Cotinga (some subspecies).

I will wind this up buy saying that, yes, I left off BOP, Toucan, COR and a couple of other rare and rarely used feathers. They are either so easy to sub or so little in demand that the prices aren't relevant to the discussion (IMO). Honestly, this is about Crow and Cotinga. I don't think there is anything irresponsible about using them, and I also don't think there is any necessity to use them to tie a world class fly. I just wonder if our action could affect it one way or another?

Promise to get more active and start tying again soon!


In Topic: Sad News

09 October 2010 - 02:27 PM

Bob, my thoughts are with you and Luke. Sorry we will miss you this year. I am sure we will be wetting a line with you and Luke next year!!