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Process Of Making The Gaudy Salmon Fly

You commence by tying the hook and gut firmly together, and that it may

be more easy and convenient to the reader to accomplish this process of

making the Gaudy Salmon Fly, I will tell how it is done in my own

favourite way.--Take the hook in the left hand and hold by the shank

immediately opposite the barb, here fasten on a piece of fine tying

silk, finer than you tied the hook and gut on with, tie on a piece of

, and roll it over the hook three or four times to tip the fly;

place the nail of the left thumb on it, and tie with one knot (see the

tip on the first fly in the plate, just below the ostrich tag); take a

middling size golden pheasant topping, and tie it on just below the

ostrich tag with a piece of tinsel, about a finger length, to rib the

body (see the tinsel); take a hackle to suit the size of the hook, draw

it a little back from the point, that is the fibres (see the hackle

ready to tie in at tail in the first fly); take a fibre of ostrich, tie

it on, and give two or three rolls of it from you, and as you turn it

over keep the soft pile of the feather towards the tail, as this will

make the tag appear even, and give a running knot, the less knots the

better at this point to prevent clumsiness; now take a piece of pig

hair, and twist it round the tying silk (see the pig hair round the

silk, and the hackle tied on just above it), roll the pig hair over the

body, giving it a turn or two between the ostrich tag and the hackle,

that when the hackle is struck it may appear from the centre of the fly

to the shoulder; the pig hair is now on, roll the tinsel over it

slopingly till you come within the eighth of an inch of the loop; take

hold of the end of the hackle in the right hand, and roll it up on its

edge, or partly on its back, in rotation with the tinsel, and tie it

down with two knots, clip off the end of the hackle and tinsel.

If the fly is to be made with the hackle struck only round the shoulder

(see hackle tied in at shoulder, on the second fly in this plate. I have

not numbered the three flies on this plate, to distinguish it from the

plate of AN EASY METHOD OF MAKING A SALMON FLY.) See pig hair body and

tinsel rolled on; shift your hand up the hook in the left, and hold by

the middle, take the hackle in the right, and roll it from you closely

round the shoulder, (see hackle tied in at shoulder), leaving at the

same time enough of the hook bare at the end of the shank to tie on the

wings, and to roll on the jay feather (see jay hackle ready), the hackle

supposed to be rolled round the shoulder, cut off the tinsel and pig

hair which you see on the piece of silk, leaving another piece attached

in the same place to tie on the wings (see the piece of tinsel and pig

hair left at the head ready to be cut off, and the silk hanging to tie

on the wings--second fly).

The first fly, which we made above, is now no other in appearance than

the third fly at the bottom of the plate, which shows hook, body, and

tinsel. We now come to the most critical part of tying on the gaudy

wings firmly, (see mixed gaudy wing ready to tie on). You take a

neck-feather of the golden pheasant with a piece of silver pheasant

tail, a piece of peacock wing, a teal feather, and a piece of wood-duck,

&c., lay them all evenly together, and break the fibres between your

nails, when you tie them on the hook to make the whole small, as you may

see done at the root of the wing in the plate; take another golden

pheasant neck feather, and prepare it exactly like the last, that the

wing may be the same at each side when tied on; you now take hold of the

fly in the left, the fibres of the hackle remaining under your finger

and thumb, cut away the bit of tinsel and hackle-stem first, take the

wing in your right, and lay it on the best side next you, and hold it

tight with the left finger and thumb nails; give two laps of the silk

over it, press it down tightly with the thumb nail, and take another

turn of the silk, place the third finger against it to keep it on, till

you lay on the off side wing; take it up as you did the other, and tie

it down at the small part of the end, on the off side, hold it tight

between the left finger and thumb, pressing it at the same time well

down with the thumb nail of the right, take two rolls of the silk firmly

over it, hold on manfully with the left, and give it another nail or two

with the right thumb, make a running knot, lay it down awhile to rest

your fingers; clip off the roots left hanging or projecting at the head

closely (be careful always to leave enough of the hook bare to receive

the wings, or you cannot manage it easily), now take two or three turns

more over the head to make it tighter and even, leaving a little bit of

the point to stand out; you then take a strip of macaw, and tie it on

each side, clip off the ends, take an ostrich harl and tie it on about

the centre of the head, and roll it over from you two or three times,

the downy part of the stem next the loop to keep it all the one way, and

when up to the root of the wings, take the silk which hangs here lap it

twice over, and give a running knot; clip off the silk and end of the

harl, lay on a little varnish very lightly at the point, and where the

silk has been just tied down, keep the varnish off the ostrich harl; you

may take a little pig hair, and twist it round the silk, roll it over

the head very sparingly, and finish at the root of the wings in the same

manner, laying on a little varnish.

I will here repeat the tying on of the gaudy wing, with two or three

fibres of various sorts of feathers, &c., which may be a little more

easy to accomplish than the foregoing to the young beginner.

When you have the tail, tinsel, and hackle put together on the hook, and

the eighth of an inch of the shank left bare to receive the wings;

wax the silk well that it may make the head firm, and proceed

thus.--First strip off two fibres of the peacock's wing feather, and

place them with three or four fibres of brown mallard, and the same

quantity of spotted turkey tail, add to it a piece of neck and tail

feather of the golden pheasant, with a little guinea hen, teal, and red

macaw feather, yellow, orange, and blue. Keep these all even together,

and break them at the roots like the gaudy wing in the last plate, and

divide them in equal parts; now having mixed both your wings alike, take

up one wing in your right fore-finger and thumb nails and hold it

tightly, take up your fly with the left hand, and with the right hand

place the wing on at the off side, laying it under the fore-finger of

the left hand, and with the right hand give two turns of the tying silk

over it, at the same time holding on tight between the nails of the left

hand, and press it down with the thumb nail of the right, which keeps

the head firm; then in like manner take up the other wing and place it

on the near side, keep the wings the same length, and to extend two

eighths of an inch longer than the bend of the hook, having taken two

laps over the near side wing, cut off the root ends at the head closely,

holding tight with the left-hand nails, and press both wings down

tightly with the right thumb nail; wax the silk well here, and lap it

over the part where you cut off the ends evenly; bring the silk down on

the gut and give three or four rolls of it just below the point of the

shank to guard it from friction when throwing the fly; bring the silk up

again close to the root of the wings, and tie on a fibre of blue and

yellow macaw tail feather for horns, let them be the eighth of an inch

longer than the wings, clip off the ends; take a jay feather and prepare

it, tie it on at the off side of the head with the bare side next the

belly of the fly, roll it with the right hand over the head, about three

turns, and lap the silk over it while under the nail of the left; cut

off the stem, lay on a blue kingfisher feather each side, tie on a black

ostrich harl, give three or four rolls of it over the head, letting the

stem be next to the root of the wings as you roll it, take it under the

nail of the left thumb, and lap two turns of the silk over it close to

the root of the wings, and with the finger and thumb press up the

fibres of the ostrich towards the wings, to make it stand even in its

proper place; cut off the silk, and lay on a little varnish at the point

of the head, and your fly is completed.

As it is my intention to instruct the reader in every point necessary

for his benefit, according to my own knowledge and experience,

throughout the pages of this book, it affords me much pleasure to be

enabled to do so, and to offer something to the fly-fisher worth having,

there is scarcely a page he opens that he will not find something

valuable to himself, if he is a real lover of the art. "There is a

pleasure in angling that no one knows but the angler himself."

I will now show how the India-rubber Green Drake is made, with a

cock-tail, like the beautiful engraving in the plate, (see Green Drake).

The Grouse, and Golden Plover hackle may also be made in a similar

manner, to suit fine evenings in the summer, without the tail.

To compose the fly, take a piece of gold tinsel, and cut a long strip of

light india-rubber very thin, hackle, wings, tail, and all laid down

ready,--tie the gut on the top of the hook, to project about

three-sixteenths of an inch below the bend, or tie the gut underneath in

the usual way, and lay a piece of gut on the top somewhat thicker, to

work the tail upon, (see the tail in the engraving,--look often at the

flies to refresh the memory); take three hairs of the mane of a black

horse, and tie them on the end of the piece of gut, about an inch in

length, let the silk be fine and well waxed, then tie in the end of the

gold tinsel, and the finest end of the piece of india-rubber at the

tail, that the thick end may be towards the shoulder to make it taper;

after the body is made very even with a little yellow floss silk, hold

the fly by the shank in the left hand, with the nails in close contact

with each other, and roll the tinsel closely up, shifting your hand;

this fastened down with the tying silk, take hold of the india-rubber in

the right, and the extreme end of the gut tail in your left nails; warm

the rubber a little in the fingers to soften it, draw it out to its full

extent, and roll it over the end of the gut, and at every roll keep the

third finger of the left hand tight against it to prevent it starting,

move the nails up the hook as you proceed with the rubber to the

shoulder; give two laps of the tying silk over it, and a running knot.

The body now formed, take a very light brown grouse hackle (see the

grouse hackle prepared in the plate of Feathers,--the partridge and the

plover hackles are prepared in the same way, and all feathers of this

shape for the throat, you may either draw them back at the end, or cut

them like the wren tail feather), and tie it on at the shoulder, roll it

about three times over on its back, keeping the fibres down towards the

left under the fingers, tie the stem with a running knot, and do not

give too many laps of the tying silk at the head to make it bulky, for

it occasions the wings to turn round on the hook, as then there is no

foundation for them, but when they are tied hard on the hook, they sit

firm--you can not wing it neatly otherwise; to prevent a vacancy at the

shoulder, lay on a little yellow-green mohair to fill it up, and roll

the hackle over it, you may now guard the gut with the silk before you

tie on the wings, do not allow the body of the fly to come too close up

to the head, or as I said before, you cannot tie on the wings properly.

Now take the dyed mallard feather for the wings, strip two pieces off,

and lay them together for one wing, and two pieces for the other wing

in like manner; hold the body by the left close to the head, and lay on

the off side wing first, hold it tight under the nails of the left, and

take a turn or two of the silk tightly over it, take up the other wing

and lay it on, catching it under the nails of the left, taking two turns

more over it in the same way, and press it tight down with the nails of

the right thumb, give another turn or two of the silk, press back the

roots of the wings with the thumb nail of the right, cut them close off,

roll the silk evenly over it, and give two knots, now take a peacock's

harl, tie it in by the root end, and roll it over the head two or three

times towards the wing, and tie it firmly here with two knots of the

tying silk, cut off silk and harl, lay on a little varnish, and your fly

is completed; press up the head to make it look even, cut off all

superfluous fibres that may stand uneven, so that all will appear like

the plate.

There is another excellent way of making a body:--thus, take a piece or

length of very flat gut, and soak it well in hot water till it becomes

soft, tie it in at the end of the tail as you did the india-rubber,

form a body nicely tapered of straw, roll some white floss silk over it

at intervals, roll the soft gut closely over it to the head and tie it

fast; then put a small partridge hackle round the throat, and wing it

the same as before. Before you lay on the straw, cut it taper to suit

the size of hook you are using, gold-beater's skin rolled over flat gold

tinsel is also good.

I will here teach the making of the beautiful WINGED LARVA, specimens of

which are shown in the plate with the May Fly. There is nothing can

exceed the beauty of these flies, and as artificial specimens for

killing fish during easterly winds they are invaluable.

It was in a strong east wind which lasted some weeks, five or six years

ago, that I had such great success with this sort of fly in the river

Tweed; grilse, sea-trout, and river-trout took it greedily. The two

engravings in the plate of these flies are very beautiful. It would be a

general killer in heavy running rivers under trees, or in rapid