Part Twenty-one

Better, Easier Dry Fly Tails
Text and Photos By George E. Emanuel


Most of you who read the content of Fly Anglers Online Magazine each week are already quite familiar with the work of Al Campbell.

For nearly a year now Al has been writing the Fly Tying for Beginners, and now is into Intermediate Tying instructions each week. Al has been using many different, and I dare say very productive patterns to teach us how to tie flies of all sorts. The techniques which he teaches are absolutely some of the best there are anywhere.

It is amazing though, in spite of all of Al's very precise explanations on the operations of his art, that he sometimes leaves out a little jewel here and there, which are in and of themselves great little tricks that make better looking flies easier. You can learn a lot just watching someone of his caliber tie.

Craig Thorp, aka Chub, had the opportunity to do just that a short while ago at the Fish-In. It seems Al was going about tying some flies and explaining as he went to those present, when in the process of tying a dry fly tail, he performed the operation thus:

Instead of cutting off the tag end of his thread after applying a thread base to his hook, he intentionally left the tag long, placing it out of the way to the rear of his vice, and tied in his tail. Then, and this is the neat part, he took that un-cut tag and used it to separate the tail bunch into two distinct entities, tying the tag to the shank after "splitting" the tails.

The next time you have the chance to watch another tier, pay careful attention to the steps they don't make a big deal out of, as these are often the diamonds and pearls that will enhance the value of your fly tying in the future.

Thanks Al Campbell for just being the great tier that you are and to Chub for watching so carefully as you ply your art for the benefit of us all !

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas too!~ George E. Emanuel (Chat Room Host Muddler)

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