Mohair and seal fur
Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:08 PM
Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:32 PM
Hey I just got some mohair dubbing. did seal fur come after to replace mohair? Could I use this mohair dubing in recepies that calls seal fur?
Mohair, basically angora goat hair, is a reasonable sub for Seal. Given the availability of seals fur (LIMITED), i'd say its fair to use it. As for which came first, hard to know. In the classic texts (Blacker, Kelson and such), both are used frequently as far as i can see, so not likely that one preceded of over took the other.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:37 PM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:39 AM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:44 AM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:25 AM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:25 AM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:28 AM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:42 AM
Seal DID come in later, but in terms availability at the time - do you think we don't have seals in the UK? It was purely the case of the 'discovery' of a new material that was already around.
The earliest dubbing used, though largely concurrent with pigs wool was bullock's hair, donkey was also used, as well as polar bear. There's also a bit on fly tying kits in one of the early books (forget which one - think it's probably Francis) that says all you need for dubbing in your fly tying kit is an old piece of multicoloured persian rug.
Not sure what this thing about not fracturing laws in the UK is - our customs are A LOT tighter than your's, same goes for laws on protected species (the only thing that is less protected is heron's which whilst nominally still illegal to shoot, are allowed with permission to be bumped off if they are invading trout fishery stew ponds and become injured - where I got all mine from. Heron's are actually SO common here they are, along with gooseanders and cormorants, seriously damaging fish stocks).
As for jays - they are classified as a pest bird here because of the damage they do to other bird's nests - they are extremely common in some areas. Nowadays pretty much ALL seal on the fly tying market comes from the linings of old Norwegian military coats and has done for a long time - when I buy seal it usually comes from the US so again I'm slightly lost on comments on that one too.
Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:55 AM
From William Blackers' 'The Art of Fly Making'
The wings are mode of six toppings, with a broad strip of wood-duck on each side, a red Hymalaya crest feather at top, a cock of the rock feather, blue kingfisher feather at each side, a black head, and feelers of macaw. The body is made of joints of black, orange floss and a tip of gold tinsel at the tail, tail two small toppings, a tag of puce silk and ostrich (it must be tied with very fine silk so that the body may not be lumpy, to show gradually taper from the tail to the head, and the hackle to be stripped at one side to roll even), and at each joint a scarlet hackle, with a tip of gold tinsel under each joint, to make it lively looking. There is a purple hackle, or very dark blue, struck round the shoulder. The size of the hook is No. 6 or 7. Salmon, B or BB.
The wings are composed of golden pheasant tail feather , mixed with the following: strips of bustard, scarlet macaw, wood duck, mallard, yellow macaw body feather, silver pheasant, and a topping over all, extending a little longer than the other feathers; blue and yellow macaw feelers. The wing, as above, should be laid out on a piece of paper, ready to tie on after the body and legs are formed, the jay rolled over the head in this fly, and the head tied on last, of black ostrich. The tail is a topping, mixed with a strip of wood-duck feather, tipped with silver twist, a tag of gold-colour floss, and black ostrich; the body puce floss to the centre, and the remainder orange pig hair or mohair, ribbed with broad silver tinsel, and a guinea-hen rump feather rolled over the orange beneath the jay hackle. The hook No. 6 or 9, Limerick.
Number 3 (Another Spirit Fly)
This is another of the Spirit Flies that kill so well in the rivers of Ireland and Scotland, particularly the Spey and the Tweed. The wings are made of the following mixtures of feathers, each side of the wings to be alike: Brown mallard, bustard, and wood-duck; a topping, scarlet macaw, teal, golden pheasant neck feather, a strip of yellow macaw, and feelers of blue and yellow tail; a head of black ostrich; the tail to be a topping, mixed with green and red parrot tail; the body is composed of joints, first a tip of silver, a tag of morone floss, a tag of black, a joint of brown, green and brown-red hackle, puce and red, green and yellow, blue and orange, with a tip of gold tinsel at every joint, a very small red hackle, and two red toucan feathers round the shoulder, and blue kingfisher's feather on either side of the wings. The hook No. 6, and No. 10 for grilse.
A celebrated Claret Fly, of very killing qualities both in Scotland and Ireland, and in the Thames as a trout fly. The wings are composed of two wood-duck feather wanting the white tips, and two strips of the same kind of feather with white tips; the head is made of peacock harl; the tail is two or three strips of hen pheasant tail, with a short tuft of red orange macaw body feather or parrot, tipped with silver, and gold ribbing over the body, which is formed of claret pig hair, over which roll two richly dyed claret hackles, struck in fine proportion from the tail up. The hook No. 6 or 10.
The wings are made of the golden pheasant tail that has the long clouded bar in the feather, rather full, and two rather broad strips of light brown white-tipped turkey tail feather on either side; a good sized peacock harl head, and feelers of scarlet macaw feather; tipped at the tail with gold tinsel - the tail a small bright topping, and a tag of gold colour floss silk; the body is made of cinnamon, or yellow-brown pig hair or mohair, ribbed with double silver twist; over the body roll a real brown red cock's hackle, and round the throttle roll on a bright red-brown small-spotted grouse hackle, or a brown mottled feather of the hen Argus pheasant's neck or back. BB hook, or a No. 8.
The wings are made of golden pheasant tail feather, mixed with mallard, red macaw, blue and yellow body feathers of the macaw, guinea hen, and golden pheasant neck feathers, with feelers of blue and yellow macaw, a black head; tipped at the tail with silver and orange floss tag, the tail a topping mixed with red and blue macaw feather, (those blues that are found under the wings of that bird which are a very light hue) and guinea hen: the body is made of the silver dun monkey if it can be got, light dun fox or squirrel fur, or dyed blue dun mohair mixed with yellow, - all these are good for a body, ribbed with broad silver tinsel, and a hackle of real dun cock that has a yellowish motley shade throughout it, rolled up to the head, and round the shoulder a bright orange dyed hackle, underneath which tie in a little orange mohair. It may be varied with a claret hackle at the head, or a fiery brown one. No. 9 hook.
A large dun palmer with a double hook, which, will be observed, is of a tortuous shape in the body… The shape may be obtained by tying the hooks back to back, the top one to be tied about quarter way down the shank of the end one, and the gut tied lightly on each, (twisted gut of course when you form a loop)… The legs are composed of about six hackles of a real blue dun old cock-saddle feather. having motley yellowish hue, and peacock harl head, rather full; the body is made of orange pig hair and yellow mohair mixed, the former drawn out amongst the fibres of the hackles, which must be struck on tow at a time, commencing at the tail, till it is all built up to the head, where there may be three hackles to make it fuller, - it would be as well to have a small swivel at the head, that it might spin gently round when moved in the water. No. 9 hook, or small grilse size for large trout. It may be varied with gold, old dun cock's hackles, and a red body.
No. 8 is a beautiful specimen of a gaudy fly. The wings, which are finely mixed of rich feathers, are made of the following sorts: - orange, yellow and blue macaw body feathers, three strips of each; teal, bustard and golden pheasant neck feathers broken in strips; silver pheasant tail, light brown golden pheasant tail feather, and a topping over all a little longer; a peacock harl head, and blue and yellow feelers. The body is formed in three joints, a tip of gold twist at the tail, a tag of peacock harl, and a bright small topping for tail; first, a joint of yellow floss, a joint of peacock, and two feathers of the red-tipped feather of the crest of the cock of the rock tied short above the harl and ribbed with gold; the next is a blue floss silk joint ribbed with gold, a peacock harl rolled on close, and two feathers of the crest of the cock of the rock tied close above it; and the third is an orange floss silk joint, a peacock harl tag, and ribbed with gold, two of the red-tipped feathers tied on close as above, and a blue jay round the shoulder. No. 8 hook on B. This is a famous grilse fly.
The wings are made of two jungle-cock feathers , and two shorter feathers of the golden pheasant neck, the white ends of the jungle cock to show well beyond the golden-pheasant neck, two broad strips of wood-duck, one at each side, and a topping or two extending longer than the feathers for feelers, a black ostrich head; a tip of gold at the tail, a tag of yellow-green silk, a tag of black ostrich, and a bright topping for tail, above the ostrich a blue tag, and the body made of claret floss silk, ribbed with gold tinsel, and claret dyed hackle struck over the body, with a blue jay feather at the shoulder. The hook B or BB.
The wings are made of two golden pheasant neck feathers, with a broad strip of peacock wing feather on each side, and a strip of scarlet macaw feather, the latter to be a little longer than the other feathers, a black ostrich head with a full blue brilliant jay feather round the shoulder. The body is made thus: a tip of silver twist, a yellow floss silk tag, two small toppings for tail, the body is of golden yellow pig hair or mohair, ribbed with silver twist, with two golden yellow dyed hackles with a black streak up the centre, rolled from the tail to the head. No. 9 hook, B, or BB.
The wings are made of a few fibres each of the following feathers: black and white spotted bustard rump feather, teal, wood-duck, silver hen pheasant tail, and the silver cock pheasant tail black and white spotted feathers, the neck feather of the golden pheasant, and the red spear feather of the same bird, and at each side two small feathers of the black and white jungle cock, a black head, and topping. The body is made of half yellow and half purple pig hair or mohair, the latter colour next to the head, over which roll close up two black heron feathers off the crest; a tip of gold, and a small topping for tail, and over the yellow or purple body roll double gold twist. No. 7 hook, or BB.
Sea Trout Fly
The wings are made of a dark brown grouse hackle that grows on the rump of the bird, just above the tail, mixed with a small quantity of light brown turkey tail, or kite tail, which is the salmon tail glede of the north, and two feelers of blue and yellow macaw; a black head; the body is made with a tip of silver twist at the tail, and a tag of black ostrich; the tail is a mixture of golden pheasant neck feather, and brown mallard, two or three fibres of each; the body is blue floss silk, rather light, with an old black cock's hackle rolled over it, ribbed with fine silver twist. Round the shoulder roll a claret or scarlet hackle. The hook No. 10, or C, double CC, or B, for grilse. There may be three or four varieties of this fly made thus: body blue, with blue jay, same wings, with a little neck feather of the golden pheasant; orange body, same coloured hackle and same wings, blue jay at head; a dun body, with fiery brown hackle at the head; a claret body - a yellow body, and small grouse; blue body, and guinea hen; and a yellow body, with guinea hen; a black body, black hackle, and the same wings and tail; a black fly, with teal wings; a brown body, brown hackle and 'glede' wings, two fibres of the same for tail.
The wings… are made of the small spotted brown Argus tail feather, golden pheasant tail, and the black and white peacock wing feather; scarlet and blue macaw, and in the centre an orange macaw feather whole, those that are tipped with blue and green - they are found on the shoulders of the red macaw and down the back; a tuft of broken neck feather of the golden pheasant at the head, and feelers of blue and yellow macaw; a black head; a tip of gold at the tail, a tag of blue, another of orange floss and black ostrich, a good sized topping in the tail, and at its root a tuft of red spear feather of the golden pheasant rump; there is about half an inch body at the tail end, made of yellow mohair, and yellow hackle over it, ribbed with gold, the remainder of the body is made of puce floss silk, with a dark wine-purple hackle struck over it, ribbed with silver twist and flat gold, and a yellow body feather of the macaw rolled round the shoulder. The hook, No. 2 or 3, large salmon size.
The body is made of sky-blue floss silk, ribbed with broad silver tinsel, tip of silver, and orange tag; a dark blue hackle from the tail up; two toppings in the tail, a large yellow pig hair or mohair head (white seal fur dyed yellow does well), a blue jay round the shoulder; the wings are a large yellow and large blue feather of the macaw, which grows on the back and under the wings of that bird, two orange macaw feathers an inch shorter on either side of them, two toppings, a mixture of argus, bustard, scarlet and blue macaw, good size strip of each. No. 1 hook, full salmon size.
The body is made of black floss silk, tipped with silver, tag of orange, ribbed with broad silver plate up the body, besides which a claret hackle, and the tail two toppings; the wings are made of a large red rump spear feather of the golden pheasant in the centre, four large toppings with a mixture of sprigging at each side of the following: Argus pheasant tail, bustard, blue and yellow macaw, blue jay at the shoulder, and large size head of puce pig hair. Hook No. 1 or 2, spring salmon size.
The body is made of black floss silk, ribbed with silver, orange tag, tip of silver, tail a topping with a little red; the wings are made of the whole yellow feathers of the macaw which grow under the wings of the bird, two tipped feathers mixed with bustard, Argus, blue and scarlet macaw, and a blue head of pig hair or mohair. No. 1 or 2 hook.
The body is made of light puce floss silk, ribbed with silver plate and gold twist, a claret hackle over it, tipped with silver, a topping for tail, and orange tag; the wings are made of yellow macaw, a red spear feather, four toppings, a mixture of bustard, golden pheasant tail, kingfisher's each side, and a large blue head of mohair. (It cannot be too large for the Shannon). No. 1 hook, large salmon size.
The body is made of puce floss, ribbed with broad silver and gold twist, purple hackle over it, orange tag, tip of silver, and tail of a topping; the wings are made of two body feathers of the yellow macaw, mixed with blue macaw tail and Argus, two large toppings, and a dark blue pig hair head. Salmon hook No. 2, spring size.
The wings are like the last named fly; a black floss body, ribbed with silver, and yellow hackle over it; a large blue head, picked out to hang down like a hackle. No. 3 hook. This is a fly of 'The Ogormans,' of Ennis, see his Work on Angling.
Blacker and other early patterns
A few flies from William Blacker from two 1846 articles published in Bell's Life, similar to the patterns in the 1842 Art of Angling.
No. 1. Body, cinnamon brown pig hair, ribbed with strong gold twist and legs of the same coloured hackle, or natural brown red, with a piece of scarlet pig hair roll’d on at the shoulder; wings, the cream colored brown spotted turkey tail feather; hook large, No. 6 or 7, Limerick.
No. 2. Body, golden orange pig hair, gold twist, and hackle bright olive, rolled up from the tail, and black hair at the shoulders; wings, the spotted peacock wing feather; hook No. 7.
No. 3. Body, fiery brown pig hair, gold twist, the hair picked well out, legs brown red hackle rolled up from the tail, and the never-failing brown mallard’s wing. This fly may be varied with claret hackle and orange body; hook No 6 or 7.
These flies will be improved by tailing them with two short golden pheasant toppings in each.
First, the invincible coch-y-bondu, or the Irish black-red, which is the gamest fly that ever sailed—body fiery brown, with yellow tag at tail, ribbed with fine gold twist, and a black-red cock hackle struck from the tail to the shoulder, where you may give two or three rolls of the black end of the hackle, and wing it with brown mallard and spotted bustard feathers; hook BB. Tail it with a small golden pheasant topping or three fibres of brown mallard feather.
The second is almost as good a fly in my estimation—body orange pig wool or mohair (white Spanish goat hair dyed) ribbed with gold twist, and hackled from the tail up with a blood-red or claret dyed hackle, wings brown mallard mixed with bustard feather, the hair to be picked through the fibres of the hackle; hook B or BB, Phillip’s.
Third fly—body brown mohair, with a little yellow at the tail, a blackcock hackle rolled up the body with gold, and winged with the spotted wing or tail feather of the hen argus pheasant; divide the wings, and tie in a topping underneath them, as this enlivens the appearance of the fly in the water.
The fourth fly may be a gaudy one, to be fished with when the river is clearing off after a flood, made of various foreign and golden pheasant feathers.
You may also use a jet black fly with mallard wing, slightly ribbed with twist, gold or silver.
Also, a fly from Bell's Life from 1832 (no attribution).
The best general colour for salmon flies is red & blue. The following is a description of one I have found very killing:—body made of hog’s down, if a large fly; mohair, if a small one; deep blood red four parts, dark golden olive three parts, deep blue two, and golden yellow one part; a golden pheasant’s top-knot for the tail, a cock’s hackle dyed a deep blood red for legs, & mallard’s feather (brown), golden pheasant, peacock’s wing, or turkey’s tail, mixed together, with two long strips from a macao’s tail, for wings. If the water be high and thick, gold twist or tinsel will render the fly more conspicuous and attractive. The best hooks are either Dublin or Limerick; but I now begin to like the former.
Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:49 AM