20 April, 2011

Fur, feathers, and steel...

I really love tying flies, sometimes I wonder if its the fishin' or the tyin' that keeps me interested. No doubt, the jolt of piscine aggression on light line is exciting enough, but knowing that an artificial concoction of my own design can penetrate defenses that have been honed by a million or more years of evolution is...well...amazing.

With my triumphant return to a near-normal fishing schedule, I dusted off the fly tying bench and started to restock essential patterns. All fine and dandy, but I realized after digging through my entire selection of dubbing, that I just didn't have the "right" color to match a particular pattern that has been drifting through the riffles of my imagination. 

Wouldn't you know that I recently purchased a dubbing mixer (aka--coffee grinder) so that I could start making my own dubbing (my inspiration comes from this guy). I was going to wait until I could purchase a few skeins of yarn and appropriate hydrophillic mammal skins to start my adventure into dubbing manufacturing. But in my digging, I noticed that I had a few packages of Angora goat and some left over beaver fur, just a few of the components that I need to break in my new mixer.

1 part sheared beaver fur...

...2 parts olive Angora goat...

...mix well...

...allow to cool for 30 seconds and serve.

Overall, I am pretty happy with the result. The Angora was always a bitch to use and required a dubbing loop since it is so very slippery. I was never really satisfied with the dubbing loop application  of Angora and the flies I tied with it always lacked a certain je ne sais quoi

Application of my first custom dubbing, It'll catch fish I think

The photograph above shows the new stuff in action, a earth-toned dubbing with a hint of olive (exactly the color I wanted) that actually sticks to the thread and has enough "spike". Not bad for my first try, I can't wait to start experimenting with colors and textures in the apothecarium. I think it looks better than the commercial stuff that, by weight, costs more than saffron (see below).

Commercial dubbing, it just looks so uniform and blah in comparison

1 comment:

  1. I love mixing my own dubbing. I have come up with about 80 colors now and pretty much use my own dubbing exclusively. Great post