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A Questionable Specimen of a Gaudy Fly, Blackers no.8 (Popham)


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#1 Slarssen

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:07 PM

Sorry for the low-down title, I thought the name was more fun than anything else. I am actually quite happy with this one!

 

Had a blast yesterday doing some more flytying with Robert again. Before he left last time I just got handed a small plastic bag with six nice IC subs, only accompanied by a silent stare. Later in the week I got a simple text from him; "Tuesday? Popham." And I was like "Yes. Yes indeed." 

 

So we both did the Popham. Or, I did the Blacker No.8. Thought it would be cool with the peacock herls and the wing colors matching the body colors. The peackock herls I had to give up due to major problems with my material just breaking. 

 

And doing Blue Jay hackles properly? My list of difficult tasks that needs training just got longer. I have two jay hackles in there just to get some volume. Annoying stuff to work with. Also the lighting on the pictures does not really make the colors in the hackle pop so much.

 

Veilings was difficult too. I tried to preen them quite a bit but this was the best I could get out of them. I guess the salmon does not care, though.

 

The Teal ended up more as sides then as anything else, and the wing is slightly crooked seen from above. 

 

But even despite all these I like it! My first Popham. A beautifull pattern.

 

Thanks for watching .

 

 - Stig

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#2 Classic Salmon Fly Tyer

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:33 PM

Stig,

 

I like the tie...I mean you're progressing at an amazing pace. One thing I learned a while back. When I start preening feathers I keep it to a minimum. For me at least...the more I did the worse things got. The veilings aren't all that bad...they just look a little overworked. As Ronn commented about a Black Ranger I posted some time ago..."it really looks like you forced that topping"...and he was so right and the meaning of that phrase stuck with me ever since.

 

Keep them coming!!!

Cheers,

George


Petri Heil,

George

 

"I've spent many days on the golf course and said I should have gone fishing.

But I've NEVER been on a trout stream or Atlantic Salmon river and said I should have played golf." - Me


#3 Barkworth

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 08:34 PM

Stig, that is one great fly. You achieved a wonderful shape and excellent proportions. As a small pointer, I would like to say that the wing is perhaps a bit too colourful. The natural materials should always dominate, unless specifically stated otherwise. Just look at some of the antiques on eBay, or the ones I have collected in the gallery on my website. Other than that, I'd say that your wing is better than mine. You got some skills, mate. And you have a knack for writing too. What a pheasant surprise! But really, you mentioned last week, that you wanted to do a Popham. That is what the silent look was about, when I gave you the subs. You said you were waiting for some had ordered, while I have too many to fit in my kit... I remember Bud pushing Jim and myself to try a fly beyond our ability, a few years back. He said that doing so would force us to progress. I had never tied it before, and have been dreaming to use the crow that way for quite some time. So yeah, wednessday, Pophams!

 

I'm looking forward to the next session. Something with a topping wing? Again, great fly!

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#4 jgogg

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 10:02 PM

Breaking peacock herls is not a problem I have had, even though I use feathers that have no doubt been off the bird for a long while.  But, several writers say that it is best to use peacock feathers that are from a recent corpse.  Maybe try that?  I can tell you it is not a good plan to soak peacock.  They never seem to fluff back out again.  That is a bit odd, as I have no doubt the feathers got wet on the birds....


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#5 Ronn Lucas

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 12:42 AM

Excellent fly!! The body and head shine. The only bits are the veils and Lord knows that veils can have a mind of their own and some feathers are more prone than others. Penguin feathers are made to lay flat and impossible to stand on their sides. I don't know if you use pliers but smooth face pliers can help manipulate troublesome feathers. The only other thing I see are a couple stray barbs below the tail and that is really no big deal on the scale of things. Just shows how good the rest of the fly is. 


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#6 Barkworth

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 05:59 AM

Excellent fly!! The body and head shine. The only bits are the veils and Lord knows that veils can have a mind of their own and some feathers are more prone than others. Penguin feathers are made to lay flat and impossible to stand on their sides. I don't know if you use pliers but smooth face pliers can help manipulate troublesome feathers. The only other thing I see are a couple stray barbs below the tail and that is really no big deal on the scale of things. Just shows how good the rest of the fly is. 

 

On the topic of stray fibres - and I won't argue if it matters or not, because that is for everybody personally to decide - Stig and I were studying an old Black Doctor on an Aaro hook that I have in my collection. It is a size 6, the size for which toppings for the tail are becoming a pain to locate. We noticed that the tail was in fact a longer topping, tied in over the fibres, probably somewhere in the middle of the topping. You could see them laying side by side, trapped under the butt. Remarkably, you can see Davie McPhail demonstrate the exact same thing in that video that John Arkle Horsefall shared, just a few days ago.

 

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#7 Matt Inman

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 12:56 PM

Stig,  I don't post much here anymore as I tend to lurk without even signing in but this one spoke to me enough to get me to post.  I love the look you have created here.  You are in great company here and has been mentioned above seem to be progressing rapidly.  Can't wait to see what you post next!


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#8 Slarssen

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 05:29 PM

George; Thank you! What you say really feels true. I hate to end up feeling something needing a lot of preening, makes me feel I did something wrong. And probably I did. So yes, overdoing it makes it worse more often than not. I don't want to go to saliva-town either, just to get things to stick. Then I'll either have to redo it or accept it and try to learn to do better next time. 

 

Robert; thank you. It is truly great to have someone to ask direct questions and get true and honest feedback and help. I've been thinking a bit on proportions of colors in wings like these and I see your point. Natural materials on top of the wing would create more a contrast to the top-edge of the wing and the topping. Personally I like it like this, though. I did not fully realize that the Popham was such a colorful pattern until i did the wing. New session next week yes. Topping wing? Sure. I like patterns like My Queen, The Fairy or perhaps a Mystery no.2? Some pattern with a good glow. 

 

Goggans; Yes, I was picking the herls from way low down the stem. Robert also pointed out I should use from the eye, but I switched to osterich also partly to get some progress! 

 

Ron; Thanks! I tried too make a hump on the stem to make the tail go flatter out from the tie-in point, like we discussed previously, but I think I was to gentle as the tail had bent back at the end of the day, just leaving some strands left pointing out alone. Good spot! I also now see that the yellow part is ever so slightly longer than the other two parts. Also, I think I'm going to start tying in the tinsels for body ribs lower to the bottom instead of a little up on the side like that. Looks a little weird from that one side. On the blue section some of the issue with the IC is that the rib end gets so close under the IC that it push it with an angle, creating some of my problems with the IC.

 

Matt; Oh this is nice to hear. Thank you!

 

 - Stig