video - Partridge & Orange

Discussion in 'Fly Tying Step by Step' started by Hans Weilenmann, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. When I was first started tying flies, small heads were not in style. Instead, the idea was to tie a tapered head, even if it was on the large side. The small head thing is relatively new.
  2. Gene, maybe it's because smaller diameter tying threads are now available. When I started tying, threads used were rod wrapping threads, then the tiny little 3/0 was created (or discovered). Neither of which tended towards small heads.

    I now have some 16/0 and 17/0 threads on the table.
  3. Bill, I believe you are correct in your analysis.
  4. So, back to the Partridge and Orange ... ;)

    I've talked with a few skilled and knowledgable tiers that make the case that this fly in particular, and soft hackles tied with Pearsall's in general, should be tied with waxed silk. Waxing the silk changes the color a bit to a more natural shade. I've tied a few using beeswax on the silk and will say that I like the look of the finished fly better.

    I've not seen too many bugs that would blend in with a safety orange vest at any point in their lives.

    Waxing the thread goes back to the typical practices of the time when these patterns were first developed. I know that I am a bit of a sucker for "the traditional way" when it comes to tying.

    Thoughts or comments?

  5. Don't forget the 6A orange either that's actually a primrose.
  6. And 6A turns a burnt amber when cobblers wax is applied.
  7. Many materials darken-down when wet or coated with head cement, silk is one such material. Floss is too, up to some extent.

    As far as the color orange goes in nature, there are some bugs with some manner of vivid orange somewhere. The October Caddis is one. Parts of a Giant Stonefly is another. However, chances are, an orange soft hackle emerger pattern is partly an attractor but I certainly don't tie mine in day-glo orange. I use more of a medium to burnt orange color for both my soft hackles and orange Tied Down Caddis patterns.
  8. Gene,

    Yeah, I was being a little flip there to make a point.

    I remember running into a small cloud of the brightest yellow mayflies over a riffle on the Little Deshutes down by Olympia. Their coloring would have made a yellow highlighter develop some serious self esteem issues. Bright yellow bodies with two big eyes that were black as coal. Kind of creepy looking actually.

    Good point on the changes to some materials when wet. My favorite hook for soft hackles is Alex Jackson's North Country line just for that reason. They have a polished nickle finish that I like to think plays well under a wet silk body. When the silk gets wet and a little translucent I like the idea of a shiny reflective surface underneath it rather than a dark bronze hook shank. Not sure that the fish care, but I like it.


  9. Those mayflies are Megayellous bigeyearspookius. I've seen those myself. :)
    Thom Collins likes this.

Share This Page