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Old 10-25-2004, 11:13 PM
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jlsmithii jlsmithii is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Fly Ckeaning

Looking for some advice...

My fly box got wet. Unfortunately some black flies had their color bleed onto some lighter color flies (probably from dyed maribou). Does anyone have any ideas on how to clean these flies and remove the color, or are these flies ruined at this point?
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Old 10-26-2004, 12:48 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 498

Dilluted bleach, perhaps a mild solvent .....but, for me, unless they were hand tied by my late grandmother on her antique vise, I would probably toss the suckers.
I don't know, but there's something about a brand spankin new batch of flys that just makes me wana go out 'n cast!!!
Sorry...I know it's not about me
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Old 10-26-2004, 06:36 PM
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Quentin Quentin is offline
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Originally Posted by jlsmithii
Looking for some advice...

. . . Does anyone have any ideas on how to clean these flies and remove the color, or are these flies ruined at this point?
Maybe they are not ruined. I'd try them to see if they still catch fish!

Or, if you can't clean them and the "new" color just isn't right for those flies maybe you could dye them with another color and make them usable again.

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Old 10-27-2004, 03:05 AM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Your might (and it is a very big might) be able to get the black that bled onto them by getting some Synthrapol (nearly any craft store that sells dyes carries it, or you can get it from Dharma Trading Company or Pro Chemical and Dye-they both have web sites) and soaking the flies. To do this, put 2 quarts of water in a glass, enamel, or stainless steel pot and add 2 tablespoons of Synthrapol to the water. Heat the water till it is warm and put the flies in it for 20-30 minutes. Then dumb the whole think into an old colunder or a coffee can with holes punced into it and run luke warm water over the flies for a few minutes to rinse all the Synthrapol and whatever dye that got loosened up out of the flies.

The reason this might work is the black dye that bled onto the lighter flies will not have been set through the use of a mild acid, so theorectically, it is possible to wash it out of them with the industrial dye dispersant Synthrapol. Don't use regular dish detergent or soap because they are not dye dispersants. And avoid bleach because it will attack and ruin the hackle fibers long before it removes any of the bled dye.

Be forewarned, this is time consuming and the flies must be dried with a hair dryer afterward to keep them from rusting or having dubbing or herl coming loose. Personally, I'd just fish them as is.
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