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ANATOMY OF A FULL DRESSED
Hook size and design plays an important role in the design of a classic
Salmon Fly. Starting with a high quality hook can make or break the
final appearance of a Classic Salmon Fly. Classic Atlantic Salmon Flies
of past centuries used blind eye hooks with silk gut eyes. In keeping
with tradition the same techniques and materials are duplicated as
close as possible when constructing Classic Atlantic Salmon Flies
starting with the hook. After laying down a base of thread, the first
step will be tying on the silk gut eye.
The tag is usually aligned with the barb of the hook and
constructed with materials such as silk or tinsel. Tags can be termed
as simple or complex. Any tag that uses more than a single color or
materials are considered complex tags.
BUTT - Most often made with 3 or 4 wraps of ostrich herl, but also can use peacock herl, dubbing, misc...
- Generally 5 wraps the length of the body. Can be constructed with
wire, tinsel, floss, ect... The ribbing is
generally tied in under the
butt and wrapped forward after the body has been completed.
- Starts from the butt of the fly and extends to the wing section. Silk
floss is the most common material used for Classic Salmon Fly bodies,
but seal fur dubbing or other materials are used in many patterns.
BODY HACKLE - Body hackle generally follows behind the ribbing up the length of the body.
veiling will usually cover the length of the body. Limited patterns use
body veiling and would not be used in conjunction with body hackle.
- Under wings are often constructed using tippet feathers and as the
name implies, they are located under the main wing. Usually only the
lower portion of the feather is visible. One of the benefits besides
adding extra color and pattern variation, is that underwings will help
support the main wings.
MAIN WING - The main wing is often the first thing to capture your attention when viewing a Classic Atlantic Salmon Fly. Made with barbs from goose, swan, turkey and a wide variety of feathers that have been married together for a combination of colors.
- Throats are constructed using hackle and stroked downward and towards
the rear of the hook. The term 'Throat' is sometimes interchanged with
'Collars' but collars are used more on dry flies and not swept downward
like throat hackle. Throats are sometimes referred to as the beard
- Golden pheasant crest is most often used. If the tail is also a
golden pheasant crest feather, then the tips should barely be touching
- Barbs from a barred wood duck feather are often used for shoulders.
The term 'shoulder' and 'cheeks' are sometimes interchanged, but
shoulders are longer than the cheek.
- Jungle cock nail feathers are most often used for cheeks. Tippets
could be used or even both. Cheeks are generally 1/2 the length of the
- Almost always constructed with barbs from a macaw tail feather. Horns
are usually tied in position just behind the head.
- Usually made with thread, keeping it small as
possible with a smooth taper and varnished, but
some patterns will use peacock herl, ostrich herl, yarn, ect...
SILK GUT EYE -
The silk gut eye was tied
A CLASSIC STYLE SALMON FLY
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.
ANATOMY AND PROPORTIONS
CLASSIC ATLANTIC SALMON FLY