Friday, June 17, 2011

Green Fluffy Stuff

If you're of modest means and hope to retire sometime before your bones turn to dust you should be very cautious about getting involved in the art and mad science that is fly tying. My inventory of fly tying materials is VERY modest but is already so deep that I'm certain I have at least two of a few things. One can't help but forget purchases of both obtuse and common materials and then go purchase another of the same.

Too much dubbing?
I have too much dubbing. I've got Superfine for dries, two collections of Antron for nymphs and my most favoritest collection -- 12 colors of Ice Dub. I also have three different colors of Sulphur dubbing in small packets as well as myriad other odds and ends including Red Fox Squirrel which I absolutely needed at the time but I'd have to go to Google to find out what its actually for. Update: The Red Fox Squirrel nymph as is turns out.

If there is a mad scientist of fly tying, it's Keith Barton of He's constantly tinkering with dubbing turning the kitchen sink is various colors from dying experiments and seeking better, more effective materials for those of us infected with the tying sickness.

Earlier this year he announced his own line of dubbing, Free Range Dubbing. I read the post and ordered none. As I've said above, I have enough dubbing.

Old school "recyclable" label
Then I read a review on some website and was intrigued in only the way a fly tyer can be intrigued about a combination of animal and synthetic substances that will make a fly so irresistible to a trout. I plunked down nine bucks for a few of the colors, mostly green ones. Green is a color that seems to be a winner in most places and I've been looking for a good caddis green in particular cause the other three Caddis greens I have just don't seem right.

A package arrived in short order and contained not only the colors that I ordered but some samples of other colors. I love surprises. Especially surprises that involve more fly tying stuff.

The material is pretty cool. Keith describes it in cigar terms: binder-filler-wrapper. What it looks like is some guard hairs coupled with some fluffier stuff (must be the filler) and a hint of sparkle. After a couple of years majoring on antron dubbings I found this stuff very easy to work with. While it certainly doesn't leap onto the thread (a claim Keith specifically doesn't make) it is easy to work with as long as you've got some dubbing skills and don't use too much.

It's very buggy on the fly. The guard hairs sometimes see a bit too buggy but if that's the case just trim them a bit. I don't know what the filler is but it lays down very nice. Just the right amount of buggyness without being unruly.

I was a bit disappointed about the level of flash. I like materials that have some sparkle and while there were tendrils of sparkly something-or-other in the material I would double whats in this recipe. That may just be personal preference as my theory is that every fly needs some flash.

Buggy on the fly
Fish catchin' Caddis
Of course, the proof is in the catching. Last night I made a quick trip to a local stream. There's this one pool that I can get fish out of any day of the year. Mostly fish there are in the 4-6 inch range. These are wild Browns. Last night I managed the largest fish I've ever taken out of that particular spot. All of ten inches and very spunky. Was it the Free Range? I don't know about that but it certainly was a fly I tied with Free Range.

Took the Green Caddis, Love those
 red spots. The picture in
the net really shows them off.

Note: This is just me writing about some stuff that I like. I don't do product endorsements (not that anyone has asked me to do so). And Mr. Barton didn't put me up to this.


  1. I agree that as fly tyers we have more materials than will ever be used. Just as we have more flies than will ever be used........ isn't that great.
    I love that label.
    The fly is right on, as the results show.

    Great post

  2. Yeah, the label is very cool. Not sure who designed it but they really captured the right branding.

  3. There is no cure. ;) ( nice shots of the browns! )