Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Snowhite Damsel Step-By-Step Instructions | Tying Tutorial

You don't need to remind me that my YouTube videos are rather dodgy. One day I'll sit down with someone and redo my videos. In the meantime, you'll have to settle for low budget cinema. For those tying the Snowhite Damsel I have just sat down and created a step by step tutorial with some closer images.

I'm super happy right now, no its not just a caffeine buzz from my Mexican Coca-Cola from lunch. The weather has finally broken and I have two clients today. One will be some lawn casting and then an evening casting and catching session on the incoming tide.

First, lets discuss the anatomy of an ostrich plume. We will be cutting 5-6 individual fibers at a time. Cut them from the shaft. The ones that are called 'oilness' look like the ones you want. The part you cut will be referred to as the base. The outter most part I will refer to as the tips.



  • Chartruese ostrich plume (Bear's Den, Urban Angler, Malinda's, All Seasons, Tochterman's)
  • Bead chain (Home Depot) 
  • Red 6/0 Uni thread
  • Multi-color Krystal Flash
  • Size 10 curved hook (Flyshack), barbless
  • Scotch tape

 Put that hook in your Regal Vise. Yes, I say use the Regal. The spring is key.
 Start your thread. Preferable toward the eye of the hook.
 Get those dumbells going. Be careful not to cut your thread on the edges of the balls. They are sharp from where you cut them with a wire cutter.
 Get 3 strands of Krystal Flash
 Take the tape and tape (its a noun and a verb?) to the Regal Vise. All strands should be lined up. This will ensure you have 3 strands of equal length for each pattern. I get about 10 flies per taped strands. 
 Cut about 1" of Krystal Flash. When you tie them in behind the eyes the strands should go back to just about the spring on your Regal Vise.
 Notice I'm using a Rite Bobbin. Love them. Don't tie in your flash too long.
 Now take your ostrich plume and cut 5-6 fibers from the base. Line up the tips.
 Stick the whole shebang in your mouth and drag it through and across your maw. This wets the fibers and collapses them. They will stick together.
 Measure about 1" of feathers and pinch them.
 Put the feathers over the dumbells. The TIPS should be facing to the left and the BASE to the right. This will give the tapered ends of the feathers a natural tail like look for the damsel.
 Use about 3 wraps to secure the feathers down. You should be comfortable in your wraps that fewer are better so you don't fill up the fly.
 Fold back the feathers while holding the base.
 Start to wrap backwards about 6-7 times until you are above the hook point. Now wrap forward and leave the bobbin behind the eyes.
 Start to wrap or palmer the feathers up to the eyes.
 Wrap under and over the eyes.

 Wrap 3 times behind the eyes. Nice and tight. Securing the fibers.
 Now cut any extra.
 Bring the bobbin in front of the eyes and wrap 3-5 times.
 Knot your fly 2 times.
 Cut  your thread, repeat. You will need a lot of these.
 I did a bit of pre work and made a half dozen or so tails before I tied. This made my tying time much faster.
 This is the final product. Fly on the left, natural on the right.
 This is what I just cranked out for tonight's incoming tide.


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