To Make The Trout Fly In The Best And Most Approved Method

The reader will lay out his materials before him on the table, which

consist of hook, gut, wings, hackle, feather for tail, body of fur,

floss silk, or peacock harl, silk to rib it, wax, tying silk, &c., all

things now ready, proceed as follows:--Wax a piece of fine China silk,

about a foot in length; if it is spool or ribbon silk, twist two pieces

together, and take one end between your teeth, twisting with your

s and thumbs, not too much; take the other end in the left, and

wax it up and down till it is covered with the wax all over; you may pin

it on your knee as in the first plan, and wax it; take the hook by the

bend in the left hand, say a No. 6 or 7 to begin with, placing your silk

just waxed on the shank under your left thumb nail, and give two or

three turns of the silk towards you, flatten the end of the gut a

little, and tie it on to the hook about half way down the shank, at the

same time hold the gut and hook tightly between your nails, and shift it

as you go up or down, on the hook shank with the tying silk; the hook

firmly tied on, take out one of the wing feathers of the hen pheasant,

and cut out of the centre of it two equal pieces to compose the wings,

(see the piece cut out for the trout fly wing in the plate of Feathers),

you lay these two pieces together even at the points, take them between

the nails of the right hand, place them on the end of the shank between

the finger and thumb of the left, and give two or three turns of the

silk over them tightly, winding the silk towards you, cut off the roots

of the feather slantingly with your scissars, as this swells the fly at

the shoulder when forming the body; the wings are now tied the reverse

way, (see No. 7 Plate, at the sign of the "picker.") The three flies at

top of this plate I will explain, when I show how the wings are turned

back in their place. You now turn the hook in your fingers and hold it

by the head, and of course you roll the tying silk from you; form the

tail, body, and hackle, while holding your hook by the shank shift it in

your hand till the nails are opposite the barb, where you tie on a tail

(see Plate VII) You now draw a little mohair or fur out of the piece

lying on the table, and lay it along the tying silk sparingly, twist it

round the silk, and roll it up to the shoulder, or nearly so, and give a

running knot; take a small hackle and cut it at the point (see hackle at

the bottom of this plate), or, instead of cutting it, draw it back a

little with the fingers, as you may see the grouse hackle prepared in

the plate of feathers, or hackle cut at point in the plate of feathers;

tie the hackle on at the centre of the body at the point where it is

cut, and give a running knot, and to fill up the space between that and

the shoulder, roll on a little more fur, and give a knot with the silk;

wax your silk occasionally, as it wears off; you now turn the hook round

in the fingers and hold it by the bend; this turning of the hook is the

most curious and convenient part of it; the hackle appears standing on

the fly, as in Plate II., or V. You take the hackle by the end in your

right hand, and roll it up to the shoulder in a slanting direction,

giving it an extra turn or two at the head, as you see Plate VII., tie

it down, and cut off the stem of the hackle; take the fly between your

finger and thumb, keeping the fibres of the hackle under them out of the

way while you turn up the wings; you now divide them in two with a

needle or "picker," turn up the off side one first and tie it down, then

the one next you, and turn the silk in and out between them, to keep

them asunder; you then draw all under your finger and thumb, and with

the tying silk, give two turns over the ends, which forms a head, and

finish on the small bit of hook left at the head, take a turn or two of

the silk round the gut to guard it, and take two running knots; the fly

now appears as Plate IV., press the fly between the fingers which slants

the hackle towards the tail.

As this is a valuable plate of flies to work upon, I will here commence

with Numbers 1, 2, 3, and then 5 and 4, these two latter flies are

bodies of gaudy sea-trout ones, or grilse flies. The wings are tied on

last of the three first flies--you hold the hook by the bend in the

left, and tie on the hook, gut, and tail, as you see in Plate I.; you

then place on a little mohair to form the body, as in Plate II.; before

you reach the shoulder you tie in the hackle, as No. 2, and leave a

little of the end of the hook to receive the wings, and let the silk

hang at the head; you now take the hackle by the end in your right, and

roll it slantingly on its side or partly on its back, placing the third

finger of the hand, the fly being held in against the hackle at each

roll till you come to the shoulder, take a turn of the silk over it cut

off the stem, and give a knot; let the silk hang at the place you are

about to tie on the wings, the fly now appears as Plate III., and in

this plate you may perceive the right length the hackle ought to be for

the size of the hook; you then cut off two pieces from the starling or

woodcock wings, and lay them together to make the wings of the fly full,

and to appear double when finished, or a piece of mallard feather, like

the wings of Plate IV.; you now hold the fly between the fore-finger and

thumb nails of the left hand, close to where you see the silk hanging

(Plate III.), tie on the off side wing first, holding tight by the nails

to keep it on the top of the shank so that it will not turn round with

the silk, wax your silk here, keep the middle finger of the left against

it while you take up the other wing, and tie it on in like manner on the

near side; this plan makes a division in the wings. You must endeavour

to keep them tight on the end of the shank, or they will fall over on

the gut, but by holding tight with the nails, and drawing tightly with

the tying silk, you may soon prevent mistakes, and use every thing

sparingly to prevent clumsiness or you will never get on. Now cut off

the ends of the wings closely, and finish with a turn or two, and a

running knot or two at the very head, and the fly will appear like the

finished fly, Plate IV., lay on a little spirit-varnish at the head,

which keeps it firm--(this varnish you may procure at the oil and colour

warehouses, or at doctor's shops, that which is used for rods is best.)

Now for the two Plates V. and VI.:--

When the hook and gut is neatly tied on, as Plate I., you take a hook,

size of the above two, and a hackle to suit; you hold the hook by the

bend in the left, and opposite the barb where you see the silk hanging

at No. 1, you take a piece of tinsel, tie it on, and give two or three

turns just immediately below where you tie in the tail (see the tip of

tinsel below the tail, Plate V.), take an ostrich harl and roll it on

for tag, which you will see just above the tip of tinsel, then tie on a

topping above that, as you may see, then the piece of tinsel to rib the

body, which you may see extending longer than the tail; you now take a

piece of floss silk, fine, and form the body of it from the tail to the

shoulder, as you see the taper body of Plate V., and during the interval

tie in the hackle on the centre of the body, at the point where the silk

is hanging to receive the wings; take the end of the hackle in your

right (first roll the tinsel as the body of Plate VI.) finger and thumb,

and roll it slantingly over the body in rotation with the tinsel, as you

see in this latter plate, and tie it down at the end of the shank, leave

the silk hanging as in this plate, touch it at this place with varnish;

you may wing it with turkey or "glede" (kite's) tail feather, mallard,

&c., like the plate of the plain fly, opposite No. 7, or like the wing

of the gaudy Irish salmon fly immediately under that number at the

bottom of the plate, (I mention these two flies in this manner to

distinguish them from the plate on Salmon Hooks). These two are models

of a plain, and gaudy Irish fly; the delicacy of the body of the gaudy

one, as the silk and tinsel is so finely wrought between each joint of

harl and hackles, is beyond compare; and the wing is finely mixed,

although not so perfect as the beautiful engravings of the twelve

salmon flies.

Before I begin the gaudy salmon fly, I will here show how the palmer is

made, in two or three ways.