Questions for Charlie [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Questions for Charlie

01-05-2007, 02:51 PM
Hi Charlie:

I've been quietly admiring your work and I wonder whether you might share some of your thoughts with us.

I'd like to know whether you follow any rules or have any guidelines with resepect ot the proportions of your flies.

For instance, when you select golden pheasant crest for the tail, what size curvature are you looking for, same as hook bend, one-and-half times hook gap?

Do you place the tag half way between the barb and the hook point?

Do you use a set number of windings for the tag?

For the length of the throat on a slamon fly do you use one-and-half times hook gap for the fibers or do you aim to have them end roughly at the 3rd. rib?

Where do you want the wing to end? Matching the curve of the hook or about to the middle of the golden pheasant crest?

As you can see I'v heard different recommendations and I'm curious to your take on this, or do you simply let your eyes, intuition and experience guide you?

I know that you use Cellire for head cement? What thread type and size do you use, and what hooks do you use?

I also noticed the slant of your ribs on the flies. Mine happen to be the same. Are you left-handed by any chance?

There are quite a few of questions but maybe you can indulge me/us?


01-10-2007, 07:29 AM

Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been out for a few days. Glad you like the flies.

As for your questions, most of your assumptions are correct.

Golden pheasant crest tails should be about ½ the length of the body of the fly. Curvature is not that important but it should not be more than the hook bend.

As for the tag, the only hard rule on this is that it should not be started past the barb. If it is tied in before the hook point the fly will be considered a “low water fly”. Not set number of windings for the tag. When making a tag just remember that neatness counts. Make sure you can’t see any thread wraps through the gaps in the tinsel. I often tie in an under-layer of flat tinsel to help hide any gaps.

As for the throat, one and ½ times the hook gap is good.

I usually end the wing at about the middle of the tail. I use 6/0 danville monocord for thread most of the time. 8/0 unithread for small flies and 3/0 danville monocord for spinning deer hair.

As for the ribs, I am not left-handed. However, when I started tying I clamped the vise on the table facing left, the way a left handed tier would set it up, and never changed.

Please keep in mind that I don’t follow any rules exclusively and if you did analyze my flies for any length of time you would probably find a bunch of discrepancies. Being neat is probably the bottom line with tying a nice looking fly. With that said, does it really matter? Probably not. If you fish the fly with confidence and make a good presentation just about any fly will catch you fish. However, a well-tied fly often gives us that confidence.