I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for books or DVDs or even websites that give detailed instructions for tying the EP series of flies.
I had warched Enrico tie his flies a number of times and his instructions are hard to find. You can try his web site or simply try a Google and it maybe on other sites. He applies the material in 1/8 inch to 1/4 wide strips about two to three inches long ...along the hook shank...then combs them to blend. He has a velcro patch stuck to the vise pedestle and lines up the cut strips to the velcro to keep them together and pulls them off for each application.... working from the hook bend then forward. This is different than the way Mike Martinek applies simmilar material (not EP fibers)...he bunches the material in his hands, tears them a couple times and applies them from back to front... then combs out also.
Only just seen this post, and whilst you might have since found a detailed Step by Step,
below is a link to a tying i put up on The completefisher and stripers on line forums some while back.
If you haven't already sorted it out, hope this helps
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EP Step by Step Part 1
My apologies for posting up an unacceptable link, and having had a couple of PM's enquiring about the step by step, i thought it might be useful to copy and post it here.
I have copied it in its entirety so some of the introduction may not quite make sense, with regard the original context of this thread, nevertheless it should give you an idea of one way of tying EP Baitfish flies such as the Peanut Butter series.
EP Fibres are actually very easy to tie with and blend superbly with a bit of brushing. To be effective as a fly however the proportions need to be right, and most tiers when first trying out EP tend to over dress the fly somewhat. A good tip I read some time ago was, that when placing your fingers behind the fly at the tail end, you should be able to see them quite clearly when looking through the materials.
If bulk in a fly is required, this can be achieved by gradually increasing the thickness of each length of fibres tied in, and also by utilising a couple of mid ties towards the shoulder of the pattern being tied.
I agree that there seems to be no in between as far as fly fishers are concerned when it comes to EP fibres, and you either love 'em or hate 'em. Whatever, there is no denying that flies tied with EP account for a lot of fish, however, there does seem to be a lack of instruction with regard to tying well proportioned bait fish with the stuff, and perhaps this is what puts off some from using it.
If it is of any help, below is a SBS, I put up on a couple of forums over here in the UK some time ago, following several posts about EP, and I apologise in advance for its length (which needs 3 posts due to the number of photos) and hope that it doesn't become too boring, as it was written up for the UK, where the number of tiers familiar with some of the techniques required for SW flies is pretty limited, mainly because we have nothing in the sea to fish for over here!!!
Step by Step
Hook:- Gamakatsu SC15 or any short shank wide gape hook 1 up to 6/0
Thread:- 8/0 white.
Materials:- EP fibre or EP3D fibres, the colours of your choice & Flash, again of your choice.
Eyes:- EP Eyes 7mm Pearl Blue or colour of your choice
For this pattern I have used an SC15 size 2/0 and EP3D fibres in Baitfish Belly, Pinfish, and EP Fibres in Hot Pink, Lavender & Red ......You could if you wanted to use all white/polar or baitfish belly, and colour with marker pens, although you will not get as good a blending effect.
STEP1 put a small layer of thread about 3/4 the way down the hook shank, and attach a small amount of Red EP fibres on the underside of the shank, double this back, secure with a few layers of tying thread, and trim the fibres so both ends are even. This will represent the gills.
STEP 2, Separate a thin length of EP 3D Baitfish Belly fibres from the main hank (Never try to cut anything less than a full length of fibres from the main hank, you will finish up with an awful and unworkable hank if you do) Secure the whole length to the top of the hook with a little more than you want the overall length of the fly to finish up as, protruding as a tail, and the remainder of the fibres pointing towards the eye of the hook. Now fold the length of fibres facing towards the eye of the hook back over itself to lay level with the material facing away from the hook, and secure with a few layers of thread. Trim this top length of fibres so it is a little shorter than the length underneath and with the aid of a small brush or comb, blend the two lengths together.
STEP 3 Taking a thin length of EP 3D Pinfish fibres, repeat exactly step two, making sure each length of fibre is slightly shorter than the length of the one directly underneath it. Brush or comb until all the fibres blend together.
STEP 4 Cut a thin length of Baitfish Belly fibres from the hank, and secure to the underside of the hook shank making sure that the length is shorter than the original tail tied in. Trim off the remainder of the forward facing fibres, turn the hook over, and secure another length of fibres in the same position on the opposite side of the hook, making sure that both tyings are of equal length. Now brush or comb through all of the tyings thus far, until they blend together.
EP Step by Step Part 2
STEPS 5 & 6 Now is the time to add some flash material of your choice. Whatever you use, don't overdo it with the flash material (Here I have used a little pearl blue lite brite) and give it the brush in treatment. To avoid the thread which is securing all of the ties becoming too bulky, the next hi-tie, is just tied on top of the hook, without any length being folded back. This will then leave the tying thread which by now will be begining to bulk up, almost level with the hook shank again. Oh, and don't forget the brush or comb treatment.
STEP 7 Once you have reached around the halfway point along the hook shank, you need to bulk the fly up just a little, in order that it will not collapse when being fished. To do this, cut a slightly thicker clump of Pinfish fibres from the hank, but don't overdo it. Now rather than tying in as previously described in steps 2 & 3, make the back facing length considerable shorter, and then the folded back length a good bit longer, but still a little shorter than the tie in step 6. Brush /Comb to blend.
STEP 8 Repeat step 5 adding another two lengths of Baitfish Belly fibres, making sure, they are shorter than those you attached in step 5. Now is the time to add a little more flash if desired. Brush /Comb to blend.
STEP 9 Continue adding ever shortening hi-ties of Pinfish fibres until you reach a point about 3/16" from the hook eye, at the same time making sure that the hi-ties, low-ties, are roughly even, at this final tie down point.
STEP 10 The mid-ties:- In order to achieve a blending between the two colours thus far utilised, you now need to complete the tying sequence with a couple of mid ties of contrasting colours, and in this sequence I have used Hot Pink and Lavender. The first picture shows I have also added another low-tie of Baitfish Belly to even the top and bottom tyings up, in addition to which I have tied a length of no more than half a dozen hot pink EP fibres to the side of the hook. Lay these fibres along the whole of the dressing, and trim to a length just short of the end of the dressed fly. Repeat this on the other side of the hook, and then add a thicker length of Lavender EP Fibres directly over the top of the Hot Pink tyings, and trim so as they are around 2/3rds of the full body length of the fly.
This completes the actual tying sequence, so you should now finish off with a few turns of tying thread to build a neat slim head. Whip finish and you can then either apply a coat of Loon Hard Head or similar, or if you are fussy like me, before doing so you can colour the very top of the head with a non-permanent marker pen of an appropriate shade, wet your fingers, and blend the ink down the sides of the head. This is totally unnecessary I know, but having gone to great lengths to ensure the materials are blended nicely, it doesn't seem right to me to finish with a head of just one colour, and it only takes a couple of seconds anyway.
EP Step by Step Part 3
STEP 11 Take the finished fly from the vice, lay it on a flat surface, and give both sides of the fly a real good brushing through until you are satisfied that the two major colours blend in nicely with each other, rather than show as a distinct line along the colour change area.
STEP 12 Trimming to shape:- Your fly will now look something like this, nothing at all like it is supposed to, so now you will need to trim it into shape. A sharp pair of scissors is a must for this purpose, and I also have a little trick, oft scoffed at and much maligned, but which is really very useful in helping to trim such flies to shape quickly and easily. The sparser the tying the more useful an aid it is.
You may laugh, but here we go...... Take your fly, and either put it back in the vice, or hold it with the aid of a pair of hackle pliers, and give it a real good spray all over with womens hair laquer!! Smooth the fly out a little if necessary after applying the laquer, and leave for a few minutes in the vice or hackle pliers to dry out.
When dry, the fibres will be as stiff as a board. It is then a simple matter to trim to the desired shape with a sharp pair of scissors (this one took me less than 30 seconds to get to shape)
If you want to add some stripes or other markings with the aid of a permanent marker pen, now is the time to do it, whilst the fly is still stiff, and the same goes for the addition of the eyes.
STEP 13 Adding the Eyes:- You may add eyes in any manner you wish, but I prefer to use EP eyes, which avoids the necessity of any epoxying or applying other such like applications to the fibres and over the eyes to stop them falling off.
Having said this, you will need either a Cauteriser or a fine tipped Soldering Iron, as you need to burn a little hole in the fibres right through so as it exposes the hook shank within. (See picture above) This is more easily achievable with a Cauteriser for you can control the heat emitted from the point, but a fine point soldering iron will do the job OK.
Take an EP eye, and cut the stem off, being careful not to cut it flush to the eye, as you need to leave just a tiny bit of stem still attaching to the back of the eye. Fill the hole you have just made with super glue gel (Please do not try this with ordinary super glue as you will get into a right mess, and probably ruin the fly) and carefully place the eye, with the little stub left at the back, within the hole. Gently press this down against the hook shank, where it will bond. Repeat the process on the other side of the fly, and you are done.
Whew!!....As usual I have gone a bit OTT with this SBS and have made it sound a lot more difficult than it really is to tie this style of fly, and I can assure you, it is probably more difficult to make EP fibres behave themselves in the packets and hanks than it is to tie flies with them! With with a little bit of practise you will be able to knock the tying sequence out on the smaller flies as above, in about 5 minutes.
There are countless combinations of colours and profile styles that you can tie with EP, and you can even tie them with the body all on top of the hookshank, and in wide bodied or slim bodied profiles, in lengths from about 1.5" right up to 10".
When tying flies any larger than the one illustrated, you will need to adjust your tying sequences accordingly, and add a couple of mid ties, and maybe increase the ratio of lo-ties to high-ties slightly. It may also be advisable on the larger flies, to secure the tie down points with a bit of head cement each time.
Despite what some may tell you, these flies are very popular and catch everything that swims, and despite the fact I may have made the tying sound complicated, it is anything but, so it is well worthwhile carrying a few different colours and styles in your box. I have never fished the salt in the UK, but I am sure you can adapt them to work over here.
Finally, I apologise for the inconsistency of the pictures, for as you can tell, I am no great shakes as a photographer
I just ran across this post and must say excellent tutorial Gentry.
I have a bunch of EP fibers here & never have done much with them other than fussed around with them. This post is inspiration to get off my butt & back to the tying bench.
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