Every once in a while I’ll be fishing and open my fly box for a fly to try next. When I fished the River Usk a few weeks I had just one such moment. I may have mentioned the fly and said I would write about it, here is a short post on the fly with no name. I am convinced that it is a fly that I came up with what I had on the bench and with early season fishing in mind.
What’s it face
As you may notice the fly is getting called something different each time so a name would be welcome.
The silk is primrose coloured and tied on a size 12. The tail looks to be taken from a bronze mallard feather which was possibly lying on the bend and not very well coloured. The body is hares body fur from the body and ribbed with oval gold tinsel from a craft store. The hackle is brown partridge. As with all my trout flies, the head is sealed with melted bees wax.
I had success fishing with the classic across and down stream wet fly swing although I am suspecting a bit of floatant would enable the fly to be fished as a dry fly upstream.
After my recent experiences over the past year I feel compelled to write a piece on a subject that is important to tyers, namely the quality of the materials being used. The issue really came to me while I was tying for my recent trip to Cape Cod. What concerns me is that it isn’t restricted to just one company but many.
I started to get really annoyed with the quality of the marabou and hackles last year but this year it seems worst and now the problem seems getting worst. I bought materials from a well known mail order supplier (sportfish, materials from this company varied in quality but really good to not fit for purpose). I also got stuff from lesser known suppliers but always the quality varied. What happened to quality control? Some of the saddle feathers were so bad they looked like feather duster rejects, I will most likely start using feather dusters instead. One supplier had the marabou I wanted (blood marabou) but roughly 80% was not fit for use. Materials from Veniards seems to be varied in quality or grading, blood marabou for example seems to be more like standard marabou but the end result on the fly was nice despite the thick stem of the feather.
The quality issue can also be applied to other areas. For example, beads seem to have no set standard even the sizes seem to vary with a 2mm bead being slightly different in size from one company to the next. The holes on the beads also seem to be largely substandard with the holes very often bigger than the hook eye its supposed to sit behind so that it falls off the front of the fly.
So what of the future and how can we fix this. I don’t see much changing unless tyers start rejecting the rubbish and leaving it with the supplier. It will be best to tell the supplier that the material is not good enough for use apart from having a jolly good fire. I seem to finding my natural materials from other sources instead of fly shops/ mailorder . In fact I am now no longer going to buy natural material from mail order dealers. Instead I will be going to the shows and shifting through the feathers and fur and picking out what I want instead of taking my chances.