A few posts ago I talked of a new to me silk thread that was available. The name of that thread is Ephemera. It's a fine thread and it's colors are deep. The thread works quite nicely and it's diameter is thin but it has strength and does not break when some muscle is applied. I have also found it to be break resistant when it accidentally hits the hook point. I have three spools of thread pictured above. The one on the right is YLI silk, the center is Ephemera silk and on the left Uni thread.
Here are some Partridge and Green soft hackle flies. These are all tied with Ephemera silk. In Sylvester Nemes book "The Soft-Hackled Fly" he lists two recipes of this fly, one with a thorax and one without. These are tied with a thorax of hares ear dubbing.
Hi Alan, the Partridge and Green is a favorite here and yours are beautifully tied. Are you familiar with Robert Smith of England? I found his youtube page a few weeks ago. He specializes in traditional North Country spiders and makes every effort to tie them as close as possible to the originals. If you enjoy the history of the classic method of tying like I do I would encourage you to check out his videos or web page. A google search for Robert Smith Flys will get you there. Stay well!ReplyDelete
Dean I'm familiar with Mr. Smith. I have had his book now for years and it is quite the book. I think he also has a web site called The Sliding Stream...
Some issues I have with tying the old patterns is the fact that many of the materials are not available and some that are they are quite difficult to obtain...close is good most times.
These flies are wonderful to tie as well as very effective.
So far, the ephemera is wonderful stuff; I like it better than the YLI. Beautiful ties, Alan. The Partridge and Green is a staple in my box; never leave home without a handful.ReplyDelete
Mike I to prefer it to YLI..."never leave home without a handful", I like that. The other day I was fishing one of these flies and a brookie bolted from and undercut to grab the fly, he missed but came back for it two casts later.
As always lovely tying and even lovelier flies. Talk about the sum of the parts. The Boss wants me to cut a box of spiders to go with the float box so I'm brooding on that! All the best, JohnReplyDelete
The Two TerriersDelete
John I have always tried to grant the boss what she wants. This seems to make for a pleasant breakfast.
Once again those spider are beautiful simplicity personified......
I tie a similar pattern with Pearsalls olive silk and Coot under covert to match the colour of the egg laying female BWOs on the little river Leven.
Always keep the busy happy, who knows what favours may be returned ;-)
Thanks for sharing
Alistair, Coot now there's one feather I have not seen in fly tying. Is that your idea or is a common feather used in the UK?
Coot isn't a regular material in North Country Spiders, but it is a useful one! It is similar in hue to Waterhen, but is more of a steely slate gray (as opposed to waterhen which is more olive grey). I have recently found it a good match for our BWOs (Serratella Ignita), which have been hatching in good numbers in the last few weeks, and I have also had some success with it for trout and grayling on a fly with an ash coloured body (not sure what they take it for???).
Alistair I myself find substitute feathers for certain classics. Most of these are hen feathers that have been dyed. For me the issue has always been hen feathers are not uniform. Some wind on the hook rather nicely and others are a mess. I have found that game bird feathers to be easier to work with.Delete
Absolutely delicious looking patterns Alan! I have to agree that the patterns (all soft-hackled patterns) are better looking with a small fur thorax underneath! We tend to fish them with more confidence....at least I do!ReplyDelete
Doug the concept of using a thorax is coming into more use in the soft hackles I tie. And to be honest I see that they are better fish takers. Now that maybe attributed to the fact that I use them more= gaining confidence.
Could the thorax be holding up the hackle a bit?ReplyDelete
What colors are you using for the Ephemera?
Bill the thorax does help in keeping the hackle from collapsing on the hook.
#2126 green...#633 burnt orange...#3336 violet
Anytime color is added to a fly pattern, it will get the attention of the trout. The green on those hackles flies gives them a bold look---thanks for sharing
Bill and it does not take a lot color to bring that strike. I know a fly tyer that uses a few turns of holographic tinsel on his soft hackles and he claims it can make all the difference.
Hi Allan, a little while back I sent you some links to Morus Silk over here in the U.K.ReplyDelete
This is the re-incarnation of what was once Pearsalls. I have today received my order of 5 reels of what they label up and market as Superfine Silk, formerly Pearsalls Gossamer. I do have a number of reels of original to do some comparisons against. I will take some photos if you would be interested, and will also see how it compares in the hand at the vice, what I can say for now is that it looks ‘right’.
John I checked those links. It looks like a fine product. Now that you have some I hope you'll tie a few flies with it and send them to me. I would love to see your work.
Hi Alan, I will do that.Delete
I will put in a couple of Welsh patterns for you to try on the brookies and see how well, or even if they ‘travel’.
John, I'm looking forward to it....Delete
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