baldwin

Natural eyes

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      I don't really know how important eyes are on the flies we tie. After over 30 years of fly fishing I haven't really noticed them having an effect on the consistency of catching. But, I have noticed that I really like the look of them on large flies. I also prefer to use natural materials on some flies. Jungle cock is a bit expensive to justify for my budget, especially since I really hope that those flies get destroyed by large fish (but they more often get lost on rocks). I've had ok results with starling feathers on some small Deceivers, but they're not easy to tie in without covering much of the feather with thread. This past winter, I found 2 hen capes that looked like they might fit my purpose, and tried it out yesterday. Someone told me that they're called badger hackle. Does anyone else have other ideas with natural materials that they use for eyes?

FlatwingBadgerEyes1.jpg

FlatwingBadgerEyes2.jpg

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Hen Capes might be an option.

Also take a look at pheasant, zebra pheasant skins.

Might not be your color but there are a lot of tear drop feathers that fit your shape.

There are some nice feathers left from the nails of jungle cock too.

IMG_0343.JPG

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I've stopped putting eyes on my flatwings as I think the additional weight changes the action and sink rate of the fly. I now aim to keep them as light as possible as I think they swim better.

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I can’t say I have experience with this, but I’m sure some type of tear shaped wing burner and some Guinea feathers might serve you. 

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I've used some Guinea hen feathers, I cut them with scissors and didn't really like the results. A burner might be a better option. I'll look into that. Thank you Ftyer.

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Brahma Hen,pheasant[silver,golden,ring neck,hen],mallard,etc. Lots of options.Even long saddles.One feather has many eyes.Just form the eye with a burner or scissors.Just think of contrast of the body colors and go darker for the eye.Even a little drop of acrylic craft paint on the cheek feather.All just my thoughts.........Have fun with it!

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On 3/26/2019 at 5:00 PM, JRT said:

I've stopped putting eyes on my flatwings as I think the additional weight changes the action and sink rate of the fly. I now aim to keep them as light as possible as I think they swim better.

Do you mean JC eyes or molded stick on units? I would think the JC would add a negligible amount of weight if anything at all. 

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If you don't want to use JC, and molded eyes are to heavy, try tab eyes. they tie in at the head. No need for glue or epoxy to attach and seal them. pretty durable too. And if you do lose an eye, just tie a new one on. A little head cement and you are good to go.

pro-tabbed-eyes-73.png

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I ought to get some tab eyes. I really do. I'm just a cheap ass. I love how jungle cock looks but don't want to or need to spend $80 on a cape. Would much rather save it and get three great flatwing saddles at the fly shows. 

 

I really really like that sunburst badger hackle in place of jungle cock. It's not the same but it does look pretty smashing. I may have to try that. The only issue I have is it puts the eyes right at the nose of the fly which really isn't very correct. That's my biggest complaint whenever I see eyes on flies. I know they still catch but it just bugs me. I try to set them back to where they should be as often as I can. I've even mounted them on small 20# mono extensions before to do this. A pain to tie but it makes me happy. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

7 hours ago, RedGreen said:

 I love how jungle cock looks but don't want to or need to spend $80 on a cape. Would much rather save it and get three great flatwing saddles at the fly shows. 

 

 

Where are you getting these prices ? A good quality jungle cock cape without splits is worth 3X that and good flatwing capes aren't exactly cheap either IF you can find them.

Edited by sidelock

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