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An Easy Method To Make The Trout Fly

(See Plate.)

The tyro will provide himself with a dubbing book, containing numerous

compartments, to hold feathers, furs, pig hair, mohair, hackles, wing

feathers, silk, tinsel, scissars, pliers, knife, and every other

article necessary for fly-making--all of which may be procured at my


ARTIFICIAL BAITS, and every denomination
of FISHING TACKLE, of the most

superior quality in LONDON.

Having laid out your materials on the table, seat yourself by a good

light, and proceed as follows:--Take a piece of fine silk, and pin one

end of it on your knee, take the other end between your left fore-finger

and thumb, and with the right, take a small piece of shoemaker's wax,

well tempered, and rub it all over the silk, keeping it tight in your

left till it is all covered with the wax, rub it well on the end you are

about to tie on the hook with, to keep it firm, for it will be found a

very great object to use the wax throughout the making of the fly, as

with the working of the tying silk it rubs off with the hand. There is a

very beautiful silk of all colours to be had on spools, which ribbons

are made of, that works very finely on the hook; when you wax it, take

two or three folds of it, and pin it evenly on your knee, as before (or

hold it between your teeth and twist it), twist it gently between your

fingers a little so that you can wax it well, provide a piece of leather

about an inch wide and an inch and a half long, double it, and lay a

piece of nicely tempered wax between the folds, flatten it, and when you

wax the silk, take the leather between your fingers, open the edge of

it, and rub the wax on the tying silk in the same way as before, and you

will not break the silk so easily, or dirty your fingers with the wax.

You now take the hook by the bend in the left fore-finger and thumb,

give two or three turns of the silk round the shank, flatten the end of

the gut a little, which keeps it from drawing off, and tie it on

underneath about half way down the hook firmly, this done, lay on a

little varnish with your pencil. Take a piece of finer silk to make the

fly with, and fasten it near the end of the shank, do not bring the silk

to the extreme end of the shank to leave room for the wings, as they are

apt to slip over on the gut if tied on too near. You strip off two

pieces from the woodcock or starling wing, and lay them together evenly

at the points, that the wings may be double when tied on (see the

Trout-fly wing cut out of the woodcock feather, in the Plate), see that

you do not make the wings too long when tying them on, let them be a

little longer than the bend; press them tightly with your nails on the

hook where you tie them on, and do not clip the ends of the wings with

your nails, which gives them an unnatural appearance, but whether you

lay them on first, or tie them on the reverse way and turn them back,

make a judgment of the proper length; you now tie the wings on the

reverse way at the end of the shank, with two or three rolls of the

silk, give a running knot over it, and clip off the refuse ends of the

roots of the feather; now before you form the body or tie on the hackle,

turn the wings up in their place with the thumb nail of the right, and

divide them in equal parts with a needle, draw the silk in and out

between them, take a turn or two over the roots to keep them firmly in

their place, and fasten with a running knot behind them next your left;

then tie on the hackle, to suit the size, by the root (the soft flue

previously picked off), close to the wings on its back, and give a knot

over it, take the hackle by the point in your pliers, and roll it over

the shank close under the wings two or three times on its side, keeping

the outside of it next the wings, then draw it (the hackle) right

through them, let the pliers hang with the point of the hackle in them

at the head, and take two turns of the tying silk over it, fasten on the

end of the shank which was left a little bare, cut off the silk and

hackle points, give another knot or so to secure it before so doing, and

lay on a little varnish at the head; now tie on a piece of fine tying

silk opposite the barb on the shank, take two fibres of a mallard

feather and tie them on about three-eighths of an inch long for tail, to

extend over the bend of the hook, and with one knot tie on a piece of

fine floss silk about three inches long to rib the fly; mix a little of

the hare fur with yellow mohair, and draw a small quantity of it out of

the lump with the right hand, take the hook by the bend in your left,

lay the silk and hair over the end of the third finger, the hook being

held in, twist the silk and hair together and roll it finely to the

shoulder, give a running knot or two with the silk close to the hackle,

take care to have a little more of the fur next the shoulder to make the

body nicely tapered; you may continue to make the body from where you

rolled on the hackle first, and fasten at the tail, and roll the hackle

over it if the fly is to be of a long description; tail your fly, and

tip it with tinsel, and with two running knots finish opposite the barb,

at this point before you finish, wax your silk well, and touch with your

varnish pencil: if there are any fibres of the hackle or of the wing, or

the hair standing in a wrong direction, clip it off with your scissars,

and your fly is completed. You may tie on floss silk or peacock's harl

for the body the same as the mohair; and you can perceive that you may

finish at the tail or at the shoulder, according to fancy--do not lose

sight of this plan.