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Big Flies Tying Tutorial #7: the Oki Doki Corral Donkey Squid, In Honor of Bob Dylan

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This basically straightforward:...the Oki Dokey Corral Donkey Squid, in honor of Bob Dylan, a tandem fly designed to be big but cast small, designed for function and form not meretriciousness, designed to perform not illuse: in short, a donkey. For the discriminating tier only.

 

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Now the first step is to cut off some bucktail from the thin wavy part--not the thick spongy straight hair at the base! Unless you are ok with losing those hairs over time. For this application they might useful, making a big fly, because the will have a lot of spring and will hold up against that current buffeting the fly. But I suggest using them on the front and sparingly as they will increase the zone of turbulence which helps swim the fly, but the will also make the fly harder-casting, which is harder on your precious body joints, e.g., the elbow, the shoulder, the wrist. Those are the main ones involved in casting.

 

So we cut out those several sets of hairs as shown and we mix them. If you are fortunate to have a nice big bronze or metallic hair stacker go ahead and use that. Or you can use the field method, as shown, which is good to develop for tying those flies during a blitz or a backcountry camping trip for bass, say, up Cape Cod way.

 

So we mix and tap them in the hair stacker to the ends are even, then we trim any ends that stick out and trim it even.

 

Tie the hair in.

 

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Do a couple loose loops over the hair stack. Then use your fingers to distribute them evenly around the hook. We want full distribution if we can help it. Remember this is the base for the rest of the fly. So let's start strong and finish strong.

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Ehnnn, hmm, ok. Now we need to build the base upon which our quasi-flatwing wing is destined to sit. This is the most important part of the fly, so don't mess this one up. You want either a very short base or a pretty long one. In a traditional flatwing fly the base is generally made adjacent rather than on top of the bucktail. This is because a flatwing fly dpeends on building the wing feather by feather on a dubbing pillow, or some analagoue of same. But in our fly, we are in a hurry, so we can't be bothered with these kinds of whippersnappers, or these delays, so we are going to tie all of our flatwing wing in at once, willy-nilly, higgledly-piggledly, and see what happens, so we can go fishing or what not. For this function, we can just use a longer base of the bucktail fibers and dispense wiht dubbing pillow.

 

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Ok. So we choose some feathers of different colors and lengths. We pull of the webby furry feathers along the base to a point where the stem of the feather narrows down to a thin strip.

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Now, go ahead and put all those feathers on top of each other. Have it so the are stacked on top of each other, but turn some around 180, so that they bend in opposite directions. Not a huge deal but a neat little trick to get a splayed effect and possibly increase swimming action.

 

That is, if you think a fly should have a swimming action. Lots of people want to call that a lure. I call that ideology. A fly is a fly is a fly is a ?

 

Standing on the water casting your bread

While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing.

 

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MAn thinks cause he rules the earth

He can do with it what he please

 

Ok. So we placed that wing on top of our base over the hook point and we did a thread wrap or two while it in place with the left hand and then we tighted gently, adding a few more wraps. Now we check to see if we like the way they are sitting. Looks fine to me, if I may so. Now, let's move on.

 

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Go ahead and hop off those feather stem bases. MAke some tight wraps aroudn them first though.

 

Now let's take a look at things from above.

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Those are the feathers, mostly tied in flat. Some are no doubt askew, or aslant, or amiss, but that's all to the good. It will help swimming action by jutting some material into to the turbence and giving some bound in lighter water and slower retrieves.You can see how big that base turned out to be once the feathers are there. That's good. You aren't going to lose those feathers. In truth, it's a good idea to use wax to put the feathers in because wax will provide friction when the thread is dry as well as wet. I didn't use any here because I don't have any, but I don't think I needed it.

 

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Hmm, ok. Now back to the bucktail box. Cut 100 hairs or what have you. You want a good amount because we are making the collar now and its going to be spread 360 around the hook. I'm going to a mix of these hairs and tie in all at once. As other posters have shown, you can put the various colors in separately at separate points on the hook to get color variations. But to save time we're going to just do a single tie in and a single reversal--if you even want to do a reversal.

 

If you want to go truly large and truly sparse in heavy current to really get the attention of your squidding in bass, you should just make this like a parachute jig. Use your thinnest hair and tie it in the way we do below then whip finish. Cemet the whip. Then pull the hair back and clamp it, for example, do the rest of the steps in this tutorial, then release clamp so hair is facing toward the hook point. This will get washed back but it will pump and breathe because you will using the full strength of that hair's length in current. Its an interesting effect for squid flies. But I digress.

 

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Ok. I got a little ahead of myself back there. We mix the bucktail and we tie it in facing forward as shown. Have to leave plenty of space between tie-in point and hook eye for your next steps, so pay attention to that.

 

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Ok.. So grab all that hair and pull it back hard, and sort of coax the thread forward through the hair and make a few wraps in front, then build a little ramp in front of the hair, against the hair, it is standing about perpendicular.

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All he believes are his eyes

And his eyes they just tell him lies

 

Now don't let your eyes deceive you here. This fly is designed to be in water, not in air, not in pictures, not on a pedestal. Function and form, not separate. The good-looking fly is the good-swimming fly. So we make that collar stand out crazily, and the water will shape and pump it for us. Think of the water as the Final Flytier, the last step.

 

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Ok. Now pull out your backing. You use the backing because it's a lot more flexible than mono. And it compress nicely under the thread. And what you'll get in the swimming fly is a more disjointed dual motion. The trailer hook will constantly bump into the lead hook, and the lead hook will turn up and down and right and left when retrieved with jerks. A great striper annoyant and compeller.

 

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Ok. So we have a length of that backing. We run it aroudn the hook and through the hookeye like so.

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Wrap some thread around that and whip it. Cement it. Dry it.

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Ok. Now there's the rear hook. Taint much to look at, but that's function staring you right in the face, slapping you, taking away your license to kill, if you will.

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Now, go ahead and get a clamp or rubberband or apparatus and secure that rear hook.

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Start thread on new hook, and tie in that dacron, make sure you have both strands of dacron untwisted and lying flat on top of the hook. Wrap a bit of thread around them, adjust, then tighten down on them. Don't mess this part of or you'll be displeased with the hook running sideways, might be a problem in casting and swimming. Then again, could be a benefit, you don't know, and that's fly fishing.

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Ok. Get out that cement again. I hope you put the top on it the last time you used it. And cement the tied in dacron

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Did you put the top back on the cement and screw it down?

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Make sure the top is on the cement. Don't mess around with this stuff--it will rot your brains out and dry up, forcing you to go without it until you can get back to the Orvis or model shop etc.

 

May be an actor in a plot

That might be all that you got

Till your error you clearly learn

 

Okey-dokey. More bucktail for the bucktail tail on this lead hook.

 

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Ok. Tie in that bucktail above the hookpoint and spread it out 360 aroudn the hook. Then tighten down on it

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Sometimes spinning the thread helps keep the thread from breaking. Seems that way anyways. Soetimes it just breaks right away.

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Ok. Now you advance that thread a make a eensy weensy ramp to leave that bucktail collar standing up like its been shocked by electricty or an electric ray or what not.

 

And we have to get some feathers for a feather collar. This can go infront or behind of the last collar. In front is good. But put it in back in this one beacuse it is so widely splayed bucktail element make good. Onwards.

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You want to strip a lot of the really furry feather barbs located at base of the feather because these get clotted in the water and don't flow in current and they will not add to the fly in terms of the illusion. In fact, it may be so ugly you might not even want to use it. So, just strip those off.

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I've been studying the art of love

I think it'll fit me like a glove

 

Ok. So get those feathers and pull back the barbs and tie them in by the tips. It get a bit messy, for sure, and you use a little bit of moisture--water not saliva, don't stick your hands in your mouth after touching this toxic stuff--to clot up those feathers and get them out of your way.

 

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Ok. Now get some dubbing. This is going to be for the stems of the feathers to bury themselves in adn get a bit of protection. The serious fly tier who really wants a durable fly will tie in a bit of wire and counter rib these feathers. That's kind of a pain, especially with marabou.

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For christ's sake, don't put more dubbing on there than you need. If you have too much on and are going to start crowding the front of the hook, pull some down and then off your thread.

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Ok. Now I've kind of mixed things up here. We've got those feathers dangling behind the dubbing. And now here I am selecting the collar, the final collar for the squid. Harmless but don't be confused. Notice anything right in this picture--something with its top on? 1000

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Compare the hair selection to the colors of the fly, not really captured vibrantly here due to poor camera ability and technique and lighting.

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Mix them up and stack them. Following photos are my mixing technique: just rolling them aroud in fist. I think it works.

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Ok. Now bring that hackle feather forward first. Then we'll bring the marabou forward through that all at once if you like. But only after we've tied in that bucktail collar facing forward--but not reversing it.

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Here you can see that bucktail collar going on. Bit precarious but don't force anything, use the fingers to spread and adjust while keeping some good tension on it so it doesn't slide out from under the threads. You'll get the hang of it.

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I spin the bobbin to make the thread a bit stronger. Don't know if this is urban legend or not. Sometimes the thread just breaks under zero pressure. I blame Danville or Danyflyter. Pick your poisonous mushroom, as they say.

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Ok. We're getting about close to done, and this is where everything all of sudden goes wrong--for you. What happened? Well, maybe you didn't leave enough space at the front of the hook to tie down that last collar. Maybe you broke your thread and had everyhing unravel. Maybe you tied on your bucktail in a lopsided fashion. Been there, done that. The key is a light touch and a delicate movrement with control. Control mainly through thread tension. Thread tension will control those materials. Too much tension they will compress and bend, too little tension they will shift and move.

 

So give yourself plenty of room at the front of the hook, it's no sin to have to fill in that space with thread. And you can't tie anything on air or in front of the hookeye, so don't be like Bob Dylan's protagonist:

 

Oh man has invented his doom

First step was touching the moon

 

Now cut back that bucktail that you tied in. But for gosh sake make sure you tied it in tight and spread it all around the hook or it will slide on you and you will lose that bucktail, full stop.

 

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Ok. Now bring that marabou forward. Oops. Good god dangit I pulled out the orange marabou. Did I mention you have to be very delicate with these marabou stems they will break on you in an instant. They are like sugar glass. Do not mess around or you will be disqualified, is the idea. Ok, go punch your pillow and return to the scene of the flytying.

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Ok. So now the last step. Pull that bucktail collar back and get that thread up in front of it and wrap it a bit

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Ah ha! Intelligence, luck, and forebearance combine to leave me a perfect amount of space at the front of the fly. I can do a few wraps here and do a whip finish and the bucktail will protect that thread along with the hook eye. No unsightly hook eye or build up of thread, which as I say is impatudious. All that matters is function. Function is form. A good looking fly is a good functioning fly.

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Look at that flair. Now it don't look like it is a fly at all in the dry air. Well have you seen a bass try to move on dry rocks? It don't do a good job, I can tell you. A fish is made for the water, and a fly is made for the water too. We don't judge them on how they do in the dry air because we have given up the meretricious values of marketers and charlatans, jokermen..."

 

The law of the jungle and the seas are your only teachers

In the smoke of the twilight on a milkwhite steed

Michelangelo indeed could have carved out your features

 

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After you do a bit of cement in the head make sure you put the top back on the cement. Or pay the price.

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Thanks for revviewing it. I hope you found some of the scenery in there "enjoyable". Youtube makes tying flies a breeze.

 

I took this fly out today. One thing you notice is how hard it is to pull it through water. Those hairs sticking out are brakes, that's it. I foudn a couple of little scout schoolies to inspect it probably to see if they needed to scare it away. Definitely a fly for heavy current or a situation where you need to get the fish's attention. Probably swinging it across a breachway would be a good use of it.

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