The ‘Reel Wing’ Rusty Spinner

I love these wings!
I love these wings!

My husband loves fishing rusty spinners almost as much as ‘some’ people hate when I leave my dubbing box open..😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

So when I saw that the makers of Reel Wings had revamped a product that I once had trouble using, I had to give them another go! After only a few attempts I was immediately hooked. They give a lifelike appearance like no other material can, and are a breeze to cast. So if you, like me; had been a little nervous in the past, fear no more! Spinners are excellent flies to fish as it gets dark, but as always; adjust the size and tone of colors to suit the needs in your area.

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Materials needed

Reel Wing Rusty Spinner:

Hook: Partridge standard Dry #12

Thread: Tan or black UTC 70

Tails: cream micro fibetts

Body: Rusty spinner turkey Biot

Ribbing: find gold wire

Wings: Veniard Spinner Medium

Dubbing: rusty spinner dry fly

Begin your fly by creating a thread base and securing your mayfly tails.

Begin your fly by securing and splaying your mayfly tails.
Begin your fly by securing and splaying your mayfly tails.

If you have trouble getting them to splay correctly please see a Step-by-step here with a few tricks . It will open in a new window so that you can continue with your pattern.

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Build up the tapered body of your fly

With your tails in place you can begin to build up the body, but keep the shank bare a little more than a hook eye in length in front of the body.

We will be using a turkey biot for the body, not dubbing, which means that any irregularities will show. If you are having trouble creating a uniform underbody, please see the link here.  It will open in a new window so that you can continue with your pattern.

When creating the underbody, Keep in mind that you dont want to build up too much material at the back end of your tapered body, since you still have to attach material there.

Taper the body up to an eye length behind the eye, then bring your thread back across from the hook barb.  Here you will tie in the next two materials.

The turkey biot and fine gold wire.

Tie in your turkey biot and fine gold wire
Tie in your turkey biot and fine gold wire

Tie the turkey biot in so that when you wrap it the body will be rigid and segmented. If you have never worked with turkey biots before, or are having trouble, please see the step-by-step link here, it will open in a new window so that you can continue where you left off.

Using hackle pliers or your fingers, wrap your biot forward and tie it off just before the thread body ends. You can now bring your wire forward, wrapping them into the ruts and tie it off as well in the same place. Trim the waste ends and get ready for the wings.

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Splayed mayfly tails and body complete

Attaching the reel wings:

Now before we go any further, I just want to say, if you were like me and had a terrible time using “reel wings’ when they first came out.. They have revamped the packaging and ease of use and for the sake of being redundant, I have created a separate page for anyone new to using Reel Wings. This will give you some tips and tricks to help you wrangle this material on to your hook. This slide show below is just a brief explanation.

 

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Once your reel wings are in place, you can begin to dub the thorax.

Finish your pattern.
Less is more!

Just be careful! Oh no!😱😱

As you can see here I purposely put on too much dubbing and use too much pressure to demonstrate what happens when you do, and immediately the wings have begun to turn under .
Oh no! This is what happens with too much dubbing and too much pressure, so be careful. If you find that this happens to you simply backtrack, adjust the wings and cut the dubbing down. You’ll get it!
Almost done
Almost done.

By the way, If you happen to rip a wing.. don’t freak out. Just finish the fly, throw it in your box and fish it 🙂 It may produce more takes than you’d think. You can also add a little bit of dry fly floatant to the thorax before fishing, but will take them just fine when they sink.

They can't all be beauty queens.
They can’t all be beauty queens.

 

I hope this tutorial had encouraged you to over come a fear of using a new material, and as with all of my step by steps, feel free to contact me with any questions!

Happy tying and keep those dubbing boxes closed!

Fly tying tips and tricks: “Taking the fear out of working with ‘Reel Wings’ Spinner wings”

I have a new post up on my blog about working with REEL WINGS! A few years ago I picked up a package of Reel Wings at Dette Trout Flies and while I was super excited to use them once arriving home; I had found that I unintentionally broke more than I was able to use properly😢

The Old packaging for Reel Wings

 I tried and tried again, but after becoming frustrated, I put the few that I had left into the cabinet, and like many other materials before them.. they were forgotten about.

Until I saw they had revamped the packaging and material; for ease of use and durability!😍

So If you were like me and others who had trouble getting the hang of this material in the past; have no fear! Take a look at this step by step, and the improvements made, and I’m sure you will be running to the shop to pick some up. You may even give the old ones another try! Pattern pictured is the reel wing rusty spinner. Click here to see the step by step!

Rusty Spinner
Rusty Spinner

Reel wings give a life to your flies wings like no other material can, like this Rusty spinner and they are easy to cast.

“In with the new”

The wings are now secured to the paper with a very light adhesive and are less apt to be crushed in the bottom of a drawer since they are no longer free falling around a bag.

New and Improved!
New and Improved!

How to remove them from the package:

Using a bodkin will help speed up the removal process without damaging them.

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The new wings also have a tiny bit of adhesive on them. This is just enough to keep them stuck to your bodkin for the time it takes to tie them to your hook.
The new wings also have a tiny bit of adhesive on them. This is just enough to keep them stuck to your bodkin for the time it takes to tie them to your hook.
They will just hang out on your bodkin tip until you're ready.
They will just hang out on your bodkin tip until you’re ready.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL STEP BY STEP POST ON MY TIPS AND TRICKS PAGE 🙂

Idle Hands: “My contribution to a mini quilt swap”

My inspiration!

 A Quilters guild that I had been a member of before I moved, had a large number of quilters who live all across the United States. During one of our meetings I found out that we had a sign up sheet for a mini quilt swap. I decided to participate and see what I could come up with. It was then that I realized that it was a secret swap, in which you had no contact with your recipient until you were finished and it was received. We were all given the Instagram name of our partner and had to go off of clues they left you or just come up with your own idea.

Everyone was asked to fill out a survey of likes and dislikes, then we were all given someones survey at random a few days later. When it came to my quilt swap partner, her information said that she was a big fan of bright colors and disliked the use of a batiks. If you aren’t sure what a batik is, take a look here at the buck quilt I had made for my husband. A batik is a type of fabric that is used frequently when putting together landscape or photo quilts since it gives an illusion of solid colors without being solid. Something in which my recipient.. hates!

I did a quick outline sketch of her two dogs

After some brain storming I decided that it would be pretty cool to make a mini quilt of her two dogs, but when I went back to my reference papers and saw that she doesn’t like batiks or dark colors such as Brown or black… that pretty much changed my entire plan.

I didn’t give up, I was determined to make this work.

Choosing bright colors for the cuts

While searching for fabrics this also proved to be an extremely fun challenge since I was incorporating everything she liked and disregarding the ‘norm’ when it came to picture quilts.

Adjusting placement

I finished up my project and sent it to her by the deadline, and I’m happy to say that she was ecstatic!

My finished mini photo quilt of her two puppies

Not long after that I received one in the mail for myself! It was sent by a woman in another state who went by my survey that said “I like to fish, and hate neon colors” hahahhaha

This is the quilt that was made for me by my mystery quilt member. I love the fish, blues and greens, the lakes and the suggestion of tree branches. This is going to look awesome in our new cabin

On My Vise: “The Bass Agitator”

The Bass Agitator

The Bass Agitator

Hook: Partridge Attitude Streamer #2

Thread: Black 3/0

Body: Black, Olive, Red ostrich herl tied in halfway up the shank, waste ends pushed back

Body:  Black, Olive and red Marabou tied in by the tip and palmered

Head: Red and Black Laser dubbing

Eyes: Living Eyes, or any holographic eyes

“Spinning Gear” that disgusting curse word”

Before I began fly fishing I had been an avid spinfisher gal since the age of 3. With that being said, I’m not ashamed to say that sometimes I still do.  That’s right! I dared to utter those disgusting words 😂

I am a bass fisher-woman at heart, and old habits die hard. I only started fishing for the ‘other’😂species; meaning trout, about a year after I had switched over to fly fishing. I had this lull in between ice fishing and bass fishing, a void that needed to be filled. As much as I love this new chapter in my life of learning what goes on in the world of trout, my heart still lives within the confines of those lily pad laden lakes and ponds.

When I fell in love with fly tying and began to come up with flies for bass, I couldn’t just forget everything I had taught myself with that spinning reel, so instead; I incorporated my old techniques into how I tied and fished my flies. I tried to imitate my favorite go-to lures, with one of them being a very lightweight 4″ suspending jerkbait. Those lures are excellent at agitating bass who are sunning themselves in the shallows, weary fish hanging out under docks and also in cold water when they are still sluggish. The Bass Agitator is the fly I use in replace of a suspending jerkbait, and it produces well when stripped and paused veryyy slowly.

I’m guessing thats the last time I used a baitcaster.. or  wore pink pants.. hahhaha

The Bass Agitator is a combination of a lot of things, including improving that first streamer I tied (Which will be included in a post with the first flies I ever tied-here)

Fly tying Is a mixture of retained knowledge and learned skills. A room full of tyers is a creative mixing bowl of information and you will find this to be true anytime you attend a show. We are self taught, we learn through trial and error, we learn from others, we are beginners through experts, enjoy reading different topics, we attend and teach classes, we give and watch presentations, and we learn and share tips and tricks along the way.

Once during a streamer class at the Housatonic River Outfitters my first year of tying, I was taught that if you want to keep the body of your fly a little bit bulky without adding weight, don’t snip off the excess material. Push it back.  Then one afternoon at the Anglers Den; I was surprised to be shown that the simplest way to transfer eyes to your fly, was by using the end of the bodkin. Then one evening while watching Rich Strolis tie on a live video I found out that Loctite is a  better option for keeping the eyes on your fly than normal crazy glue. These are all things that I have incorporated into this fly, with the knowledge passed on to me from others at different times. I also hope that as you move along your journey behind the vise, you continue to keep and open mind and absorb what skills work for you, and then pass them on to others.

 There is no shame in saying that we are always learning, but for some people that comes with a little bit of difficulty. Don’t become someone who is afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to improve at what you enjoy. Remember, the minute you think that you know it all and close your mind to expanding your knowledge, you will immediately stop learning.

Onto the tying!

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The Bass Agitator

The Bass Agitator

Hook: Partridge Attitude Streamer #2

Thread: Black 3/0

Body: Black, Olive, Red ostrich herl tied in halfway up the shank, waste ends pushed back

Body: Marabou tied in by the tip and palmered

Head: Red and Black Laser dubbing

Eyes: Living Eyes, or any holographic eyes

Ostrich Herl is a great material that adds movement with almost no weight to your fly.

Creating the flared out body:

First start by running your thread down the hook shank, stopping at about the halfway point.

Next you want to layer your ostrich herl at the halfway point and tie it in with a few wraps, but dont cut the waste ends off yet.
Next you want to layer your ostrich herl at the halfway point and tie it in with a few wraps, but dont cut the waste ends off yet.
Pull your waste ends back and take a few thread wraps in front of them.

Don’t cut the waste ends yet, right now you want to pull them back and take a few thread wraps.

In order to keep this fly shapely, when you cut the waste ends be sure to leave about and inch of material still extended over the hook eye. You can now take those ends, flare them backwards and add a few more wraps in front of the material to keep them flared back.

Creating the upper body on your fly:

When creating the upper body on this fly you dont want it to be too heavily hackled so go easy. Here I used three feathers in different three colors, but with only a few turns of each.

Tie in your marabou by the tip, then just take a few turns while brushing the fibers back like a soft hackle.
Tie in your marabou by the tip, then just take a few turns while brushing the fibers back like a soft hackle.
Start with one color, just a few turns of marabou
Start with one color, just a few turns of marabou.
Once you have added all 3 colors you can snip the waste ends and wrap over them.
Once you have added all 3 colors you can snip the waste ends and wrap over them.

Creating the head of your fly:

Use black and red laser dubbing  on a “slide loop” to create your head. You can now brush it out, whip finish and snip off your thread.

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Dont forget to brush it out with velcro before applying your eyes.

Laser dub is a magical material! If you haven’t used it before, take a look at the step by step here with some tips on how it works.

Adding the eyes:

Grab your eyes.. grab a bodkin..

Use your bodkin to lift the eye off the paper and add a dab of loctite to the back of it.
Use your bodkin to lift the eye off the paper and add a dab of loctite to the back of it.
Finally use the bodkin to position your eye over the area in which you want to place it. Slide it off the bodkin and repeat on the other side. Then push firmly on both together, basically just squeeze them at the same time to lock them down.
Finally use the bodkin to position your eye over the area in which you want to place it. Slide it off the bodkin and  repeat on the other side. Then push firmly on both together, basically just squeeze them at the same time to lock them down.

Whip finish and get to fishing!

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The Bass Agitator

Fishing tips for the bass agitator in lakes:

This is a great fly in lakes for bass or trout who are cruising the shallows, as It will suspend after each strip. If you are targeting the shallows for largemouth bass, this fly will agitate them immediately. Fish it on a floating line, Cast it up against the bank loudly, and pull in the slack while slowly lifting your rod up to glide this across the bed. They will slam it out of the way. When fishing it in deeper water, use a full sinking line/sink tip and after the first cast cast, drop the rod tip about a foot down INTO the water and start stripping. This will bring that fly down farther without added weight and keep constant contact with it so you can feel any strikes.

Fishing tips for the Bass Agitator in Rivers:

Don’t limit this fly to bass fishing, because trout love it as well. I fish this streamer in rivers with a full sink or a versa leader, and when I want to get this down in the water column to the bottom of a pool I will cast it out, then drop my rod tip in the water just like I do on the lake, and strip it back as you would normally when you fish streamers. Dropping the rod tip in the water a few inches will help bring it down where you want it without being so heavy that it gets snagged.

I hope everyone’s had sometime out on the water these days! Happy Tying!

PHWFF April 26, 2017 Meeting Recap – Michael takes over the evening with an Adams! ..or Gray Wulff..? or.. comparaduns..? or..”

I couldn’t make it to our April 26th meeting but our newest volunteer Michael Signorelli took over for me and the guys had an awesome time!

Photo and fly by Michael Signorelli

“We had a full house at the April 26th meeting, which took place a few days before our trip up to the Upper Delaware system. The guides told us to tie up some Adams in preparation. But, guess what, we tied some Gray Wulff variations instead. It was perhaps a fitting choice, since Lee Wulff created the fly in the Catskills almost 90 years ago. The group learned a few tricks when it comes to tying wings on a Wulff. [As we progressed through the steps, some of the tyers morphed the pattern into Comparaduns, Bombers, and even a Neversink Skater.] It was a very productive session that turned out a few very decent flies. Spirits were high at the end of the night. And the trip up to the Catskills promises to be a classic. ” -Michael Signorelli

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