Fly Of The Week

Golden Furnace Streamer
By Helen Shaw
Excerpt from: Art Flick's Master Fly-Tying Guide
Published by Crown Publishers, Inc. 1972

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms
Golden Furnace Streamer

The patterns for flies designated as "streamers" are usually tied with wings comprised of feathers, while those with hairwings have been called "bucktails." Both of these terms have been accepted to indicate flies of a type devised for wet fishing below the surface, and which have the common characteristic, when wet, of assuming the streamlined appearance of the minnows they are thought to represent. Rightfully, they can both be called "streamers."

For those who may be confused by finding that a hairwing fly called a "bucktail" may not contain any deer hair at all, or may contain both hair and feathers, I shall refer to the streamer flies illustrated as "feather-wing" and "hairwing," which they unquestionably are.

In both the accepted categories there is a wealth of patterns, ranging from simple construction to elaborate multimaterial and multicolor designs, yet all of them will, in the water, appear to have a sleek and minnowlike form. All have long wings, and while the proportion of wing to hook may vary greatly with different patterns, the undulating motion of hair-or feather-wing, as the fly is worked in the water by rod action or water current, has proved the undeniable worth and attractiveness of this fly form for underwater fishing.

. . .Bodies of the streamer-type flies may be weighted or not, depending on the circumstances under which they will be used, and on the preference of an individual fisherman. Some western patterns have all-metal bodies made by winding fairly soft wire, of a desired dimension, arund the hook, tapering the cut ends and binding them with lacquered windings. Other bodies may have soft lead-wire wound on the hook before an outer cover of floss or tinsel is applied. These methods can be applied to any pattern popular in any locality.

The principal difference between the western and eastern streamer is found in the angle at which the wing is tied. To cope with the bigger, swifter water of the western streams, the wing may be raised as much as 45 degrees to achieve maximum wing action. Eastern preference is for a wing that lies close to the hook - which may even cover the hook. There are exceptions to this, of course, in both cases. Throughout the country the angle of the wing may vary anywhere between those two extremes. All have been found sucessful under various circumstances.

Materials List:

Hook:  TDE 3xL size 1/0 through 10. Mustad 9672 or Mustad 389441.

Thread:  Danville 6 black unithread.

Tag:  Gold flat tinsel.

Tail:  Golden-pheasant tail feather (or dark mottled turkey).

Body:  Bright orange floss.

Rib:  Gold flat tinsel.

Throat:   Light golden-brown furnace hackle.

Wing:  Two pairs of red-gold furnace hackles.

Shoulders:  Juncle-cock eyed cape feathers.

Tying Instructions:

1. Tying thread, attached at "wing position," has been wound evenly back along the hook to just above the barb. The tinsel is attached here and wound down the bend a few turns and back, to form the "tag," leaving an ample amount hanging for the tinsel rib. The tail, a narrow strip of golden-pheasant tail feather, or dark mottled turkey, has been added and the floss is being tied on last.

2. Evenly spaced winding of tying thread binds down the cut ends of floss and feather tail together, forming a smooth foundation for floss body.

3. Floss is wound on toward the eye, the strands carefully kept smooth and not permitted to twist. (Twisting the floss strands would ridge the body.)

4. If enough floss for a well-shaped body was not estimated correctly, another length is tied in at wing position and excess trimmed away.

5. This second strand, kept as flat and wide-spread as possible, is wound back toward the tail. The angle at which floss is held will enable it to merge smoothly with the layer of floss beneath.

6. When the second layer of floss has been woud on a little beyond the hook point, the direction of winding is then reversed and continued toward the hook eye. This third layer of floss gives the body a better contour - slim, but more oval in shape than before. The floss is then secured at "wing position" and the excess clipped away.

7. The tinsel rib is wound on, the first turn being made at the base of the tail, and successive turns evenly spaced along the body.

8. A light-golden furnace hackle has been wound on (covering the area where floss and tinsel ended), divided evenly, and drawn down from both sides of the hook to form the throat beneath. (In another method, a small bunch of hackle wisps is tied directly below the hook to form the throat; the resulting appearance is the same.)

9. Two pairs of red-gold furnace hackle are matched for color, marking, shape, and size. Two "left" feather in left hand, dull side toward tyer, have had the quills stripped of fluff. Two "rights" in right hand will also have quills freed of webby material and laid with their dull sides against the left pair, to form the wing.

10. All four feathers match perfectly and are measured for lenngth against the hook. Wing tips will extend about twice the length of tail beyond the hook. This pair will have a little more of the web removed from the quills (an amount equal to the space between the throat and the outer end of the eye) preparatory to being tied on.

11. Held firmly in the left hand, stripped quills extending beyond the eye, all four feathers comprising the wing have been tied on together in front of the throat.

12. Wings, firmly attached, appear as one, but all four feathers are there.

13. The extending quills have been laid back on each side of the hook, toward the throat, and caught there with the tying thread, securely locking the wings in place. Small eye feathers from jungle-flowl cape have been added, one of each side. If one of these feathers does not lie flat against the wing, it can be coaxed into position by gripping its quill with a hackle plier and twisting gently.

14. The quill is then tied back, as the wing quills were, and the ends of all carefully clipped away. The fly is now ready for the wrap knot, to complete the tying.

Helen Shaw

15. A drop of clear, waterproof lacquer applied to the head has a twofold purpose - to protect the tying thread and to give the fly a "finished" appearance. A second coat of lacquer applied after the first has thoroughly dried will make the head practically indestructible. ~ Helen Shaw


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