Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

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flyfishwithme

Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by flyfishwithme » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:37 am

Okay, I got to do it early.
The following image is of a fly given to me from a collection dating back to the middle 1800's. Apologies for the state of it, it has been flattened in a packet.

Image

Some observations:
1. You can see how heavily hackled it was suggesting that this tier used more of the feather than is generally accepted.
2. The hackles are longer than what is stated in many later writings, suggesting to me that the tiers of old probably used more of the skins and wings than we expect.
3. While the body looks normal, you need to fine it down once the gut is removed. Which suggests the bodies of modern tyings need to be a little thicker. This is contrary to how I tie them so I am going to revisit it.
4. You can see how much 'head' there is in the tying. This supports many dressings that state "a head of orange silk' or such.
5. I believe that this may not be a professionally tied fly,given the body.
Enjoy
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Hans Weilenmann
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by Hans Weilenmann » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:03 am

Philip,

Thanks for posting the image, and your thoughts.
3. While the body looks normal, you need to fine it down once the gut is removed. Which suggests the bodies of modern tyings need to be a little thicker. This is contrary to how I tie them so I am going to revisit it.
Perhaps, perhaps not.

One may not have much choice but to have bulk on bodies with snelled gut along the shank, and the silk wraps needed to secure the snell. As such the bulk shown in the depicted fly likely was unavoidable.

I would suggest that the body thickness found on the old flies once eyed hooks became available are likely more representative of what the tier intended. These bodies are typically much more slender.

Would it not make sense to deduce from that there was a desire to keep the bodies thin? After all, the tiers would always have the option to add to the thickness, yet they chose not to.

Your thoughts?

Cheers,
Hans W
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by flyfishwithme » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:59 am

Good points Hans. A matter of experimentation. I must say that most of my tying is with slim bodies and I have not seen any detrimental effect. Makes good debate though.
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by Otter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:42 am

Interesting Philip, thanks for sharing.

The one thing that one quickly learns when you delve back in time is that when analysing anything you must consider everything in the context of the time period you are looking at - this makes the job a little tricky. Then you must consider the vagaries of the fly tiers, they will range from the fastidious to the slap it on a hook types - and off course local variations may occur. Some patterns will of course be well thought out but nearly all of the greats are the results of evolution and influences of others - few if you like are actually designed from the ground up.

The only answer, as is generally the case is to carry out practical experiments with the body thread wraps and let the trout decide which he prefers. :) What we as humans think should be correct should be largely irrelevant.
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by kacbo » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:51 am

@flyfishwithme

Good topic! Photo and comments are valuable, at least to me. Thank's!
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by William Anderson » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:56 am

That is very nice to see. Thanks for posting it. Look at the size of that tippet!
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by flyfishwithme » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:08 am

William Anderson wrote:That is very nice to see. Thanks for posting it. Look at the size of that tippet!
Willaim, the fly is probably a 16 and when you see the fly 'live' the tippet is thick. I would say approaching a 4x thickness. These days I fish with 7x and 8x tippets. Goes to show what we can achieve with modern technologies
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by narcodog » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:15 am

This brings a question to mind. The silk used in the olde days was it always Pearsall's , was there other brands. twists and denier used?
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by Hans Weilenmann » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:24 am

*chuckle*
A 2 pound tippet is a two pound tippet, right? Be it gut (pre-soaked of course), WW2-era nylon or present day co-polymers 8-)

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Hans W
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Re: Orange & Partridge (1800's) - Dark Watchet Follow up

Post by Otter » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:41 am

Obervations

think you should add a number 6.

Enough hackle to tie 2 if not 3 modern O&P's
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