tisdag 22 april 2014

ACCORDING TO "JIM"

The BLACK GNAT
According to "Big Jim" Leisenring
Well, Almost ;-)


COPYRIGHT MATS OLSSON - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
           
          Here above is a picture of the finished Black Gnat according to the instructions of Jim in his book "The Art of Tying The Wet Fly". Tying wet flies according to Jim makes them durable and neat. Those were the things he stressed: durability and neatness. Let's "wind the tape back" and see how it's done "According to Jim!"

COPYRIGHT MATS OLSSON - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
           
          Use a well waxed Gossamer silk color crimson or claret and fasten it on the hook with a couple of turns. Take a starling feather and tie it down facing forward over the eye of the hook and the glossy side facing down towards the hook. Here I use a greenish starling feather while the pattern requires a purplish feather. The reason is that I can't find any feathers of that color of the right size, for a #14 hook which this is, on the skins I've taken feathers of already. I have one unused but I'll save this for when I master this technique better. I've just tied a handfull of flies this way at present. A little precaution here: as you see in the photo above, the thread windings holding the feather aren't in contact with the first wraps. Make sure they are and that the feather is pointing straight forward otherwise you most probably will run into some problems later on like I did.

COPYRIGHT MATS OLSSON - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
        
          Here we arrive at the end of the hook shank (could have made a wrap or two more perhaps). Along the way the end of the tying thread is cut off and also the stem of the feather. Just after that three herls from a secondary wing feather from a crow is tied in. (In the book there are pictures of a bird and a bird wing naming all the different feathers on them.) The cut off stubs show where they have been tied in. This is also a little deviation from the original instructions but I like to tie in the stump of tying thread and the stem of the hackle a little further on to make it more even and also get a little taper on the body. The herls are then twisted a few times counterclockwise and then grabbed at their end together with the tying thread and wound along the body almost up to the hackle. Secure the herl with a couple of tight turns with the tying silk.

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COPYRIGHT MATS OLSSON - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
           
          Now it's time for the hackle. As seen in the picture above two or three fibers more are taken off at the far side of the hackle. It's just to make it easier to wind the hackle. If the hackle would have been tied in a little better that would also make it easier to wind the hackle on neatly. The pattern calls for two turns of the hackle made backwards towards the tail of the fly. Just lift the hackle feather straight up with the hackle pliars and wind backwards. Since I tied the hackle on a little sloppy I had to wind three turns to get the tip in a place easy to secure on the left side of the hackle. So it pays off paying attention at the beginning of the fly.

COPYRIGHT MATS OLSSON - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
           
          Then wind the tying thread one or two turns through the hackle towards the eye of the hook. Keep on winding to the eye and back to the hackle to make a head and gently pushing the fibers backwards.

COPYRIGHT MATS OLSSON - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
           
          Carefully make a whip finish. "The invisible knot" as Jim (or James) calls it in the book. I use a Tiemco Midge Whip Finisher that makes it easy to get close to the fly.

COPYRIGHT MATS OLSSON - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
        
          Then cut the thread and the fly is finished. Leisenring encourages varnishing the head of the fly even if he wasn't to picky about that tying his own flies.
          I like this pattern, which goes without saying. It looks used with hints of the tying thread showing through the herl body. I haven't tested it yet but I think it's as durable as this kind of pattern of a soft hackle fly can be.

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4 kommentarer:

Brk Trt sa...

It's incredible that a fly like such looks to represent so many of the actual insects that trout consume.

Why do we still tie and fish others?

The Jassid Man sa...

Thanks, Alan! I couldn't agree more. I will not be able to go stream fishing so much this season which means that I will not be able to try this pattern to the full. Would you like to try it out in your waters? I would gladly send you some Black Gnats if you e-mail me your address to meo@spray.se (sadly I've lost your address, sorry). Hope to hear from you!
Tight lines,
Mats Olsson

Mark sa...

Great little classic wet fly. Bet it would be great for ants and beetles!

The Jassid Man sa...

Thanks for your comment Mark! Yes, I was thinking the same since the ants have started migrating, flying, in our neighbour country Norway about three weeks ahead of time. I'm hoping to get a chanse to try'em out this week.