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An Easy Method Of Making A Plain Salmon Fly

Tie on the salmon hook to a length of twisted gut or loop (see the gut

and hook tied on in the Plate of Salmon Hook, No. 1) firmly with strong

marking silk well waxed, and lay on a little varnish; then take two

pieces of turkey tail feather of equal size, or mallard feather,

according to the colour of the wings you intend to make (see the turkey

tail and mallard wings prepared, in the plate of feathers), tie them on

reverse way, a little longer than the bend of the hook where they

are turned up (see the wings tied on the reverse way, Plate VII., on

Salmon Hooks); these are tied on as the trout fly wings just described,

and when turned up appear like the wings of plate No. 1, in an easy

method of making a salmon fly--in this plate may be seen every thing

necessary in making a plain salmon fly--these flies will be found good

killers a great way up rivers from the sea. You hold the hook by the

bend, and tie in the hackle at the head of the fly by the root end, and

the tinsel to rib it in like manner (see the hackle tied on and the

tinsel, Plate II.); about the same place where the hackle is tied on,

tie three or four harls of the peacock's tail, twist them round the

tying silk, and roll it down to the tail, and fasten with a running knot

(see the body of Plate II.) the tying silk is now left hanging at the

tail, where may be seen a small portion of the harl left cut, to shew

where it was fastened; you roll the tinsel over the body to the same

place and tie, three turns of the tinsel is sufficient; you then take

the hackle by the end in your right hand, and roll it sideways in

rotation with the tinsel, twisting it in your finger and thumb as you

turn it over, to keep it slanting from the head, tie it in at the same

place with a running knot, and clip off the ends of the hackle; you may

tie in a short tail at this place, wax your silk, and finish with two or

three running knots, cut off the tying silk, and touch them with a

little varnish, to keep them from slipping--press down the hackle

between your fingers which slants it to the tail--as the hackle is run

over the body from the head to the tail of this fly, it will appear in

the formation of the body (Plate III., on Salmon Hooks); when the fly is

made with the hackle only struck round the shoulder, take two or three

turns of it under the wings, and tie it in there (see Plate III., in an

easy method of making a Salmon Fly). The body may be seen in this fly

with the tinsel rolled over it, and tied in at the tail; a piece of the

harl, tinsel and silk left to shew how it is done. The tinsel and harl

are cut off, and with the tying silk, which is seen hanging, tie on a

tail of topping, or mohair, feather of macaw, mallard, or any other to

suit the taste or colour of the fly; you may tie on an ostrich harl, or

peacock's harl, head like Plate I., where the tying silk may be seen

hanging: the three flies on this plate, which are correctly engraved,

will be found most valuable to the young beginner; and it is an expert

method for the salmon fisher, when in a hurry, to make a fly or two for

immediate use.

When you wish to mix plain wings without dividing, tie them on first at

the end of the shank, and form the head like No. 1 in this plate, which

I think is the neatest of any, and suits best in rivers not very full of

water. If you notice this plate correctly, it will be seen to correspond

with the shape of the natural dragon fly; and as this fly, of various

hues, is reared at the bottom of the water, it must be an alluring bait

for the salmon and large trout; for when it first leaves the element of

its birth, and proceeds to the banks of the river in a very feeble

state, directly it receives strength it commences skimming the surface,

preying upon the insects flying in the air at this time, and, when it

comes weakly out of the water, the fish, no doubt, take it freely.

There is another sort of fly that proceeds from the water, about the

size of the flies on this plate, the body of which is of the colour of

the blue feathers on the peacock's neck exactly, its legs are a dark

brown colour, almost black, hanging long, and few of them; the wings,

which stand upright on its back, or I may say, its head and shoulders,

for the head and wings at the roots, and legs spring all out of the one

lump which is very thick here in comparison to its beautiful slender

body of many joints; the wings, I say, are a bronze brown with a moon in

all the four like the peacock's tail feather, which in the artificial

fly would be just the colour mixed with a little drake feather; there

are some of them all brown, and some with bright green bodies, and blue

green as above; all these beautiful insects must afford food for the

fish. This of course accounts for the artificial representation in use,

and it cannot be denied that they take them for natural ones, which the

fly-fisher, according to fancy, forms most fantastically, varying on

most of the rivers.