Parts of the Fishing Fly
The various parts of the winged fly are the head, hackle, body and tail, the wings and the tag. Not every fly has all of these parts. The ones that seem most to need explanation are the tag and the tail. The tag is simply a few windings of gilt or some other material appearing at the lower end of the body, the material chosen being such as will contrast with the body material. The very best example of the tag is seen in the fly known as the Reuben Wood which has a white body with a more than usually — when properly tied — broad and prominent red tag. The tail is tied at the lower end of the body, extending toward the bend of the hook, and consists usually of a few feather strands. An example of this may be seen in the Grizzly King, this fly having a red tail. In the winged fly the hackle is intended to represent the legs of the natural insect. The hackle flies are representations of larval forms such as the caterpillar.
In making the reversed-wing fly the fly-tier first binds the wing feather at the beginning of the bend in the hook with the point of the feather in the direction of the eye or snell of the hook. When the wing has been bound to the hook shank up to the end of the shank it is bent over, reversed, so as to point downward along the shank, and then bound with several windings which not only make the fastening very firm but form the head of the fly. The majority of good quality American flies are made in this way. Considerable insight into the fly-tier's methods can be had by carefully dissecting a fly. Matched-wing flies have two wings and are usually tied upon the smaller sized hooks, 10 to 14. Fluttering flies I have never used and for that reason do not care to discuss. They are made with the head at the bend of the hook and the wings pointing up the shank toward the eye of the hook so that, when drawn through the water, they will, presumably, owing to the resistance, better imitate the struggles of a shipwrecked insect.
Camp, Samuel Granger. Fishing Kits and Equipment,. New York: Outing Pub., 1910. Print.
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