Quonnie

Flat Wings

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3 mins ago, Quonnie said:

So not being the sharpest tool in the shed, the "flatwing" as it is tied actually supports the fly correct. If you add more flatwing hackle could that support a heavier gauge hook? and still maintain the same profile, you would just stack them on top of each other.

 
Yes, in theory. 
 

I have to be honest, I’m not sure how well the feathers actually do what they’re supposed do. Once wet I have a had time accepting the fact that feathers tied in the tail, horizontally, work in the way they’re supposed to. 

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10 hours ago, Drew C. said:

 
Yes, in theory. 
 

I have to be honest, I’m not sure how well the feathers actually do what they’re supposed do. Once wet I have a had time accepting the fact that feathers tied in the tail, horizontally, work in the way they’re supposed to. 

I've always tied a limited amount of flatwing flies together with both flat and deceiver style feathers in the same tie.

It's sort a like a hybrid, so no matter where the fish is positioned in the water column they see a more fuller pattern from any angle. 

Also introduces a more three dimensional fuller effect.

 

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10 hours ago, Capt.Castafly said:

I've always tied a limited amount of flatwing flies together with both flat and deceiver style feathers in the same tie.

It's sort a like a hybrid, so no matter where the fish is positioned in the water column they see a more fuller pattern from any angle. 

Also introduces a more three dimensional fuller effect.

 

Dressed like the "9 Three" style of fly used for land-locks and brook trout in the Maine mountains.They worked very well in Rangeley, Mooselukme****ic,and the Richardsons lakes.

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So is the Flatwing style of fly about profile or about the ability to have the fly almost suspend in the water column with the flatwings supporting the fly, I guess it could be both but I wonder if we strengthened the flatwing hackles to help support and slow the desent if that would be more important than the profile? 

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I’d say both along with more traditional methods of presentation (salmon and trout techniques). 
 

Ultimately, I think it’s about tailoring the approach to suit your needs. 

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On 11/13/2019 at 7:31 AM, JCH said:

I fished one of Joe Cordeiro's flatwings this weekend (my understanding is he only uses the EC253) and the hook opened up on me.  I was fishing 20# and horsing fish - but my Owner Akis stayed put.

 

That's a shame. Like you, I tend to put the screws to fish. Many years ago on Block I discovered that once I got into the double-digits pounds mark, some -- not all -- of the EC 253 1/0s would begin to open. I never lost a fish because of it, but I did take notice and now I only use the 253 in 3/0 if think there's a big fish opportunity. No issues with that hook over the years with many larger bass up to 30 pounds. Sometimes I'll go to a 4/0 for bigger herring and bunker patterns.

 

I'm not familiar with the Owner Aki. I like the short shank, but it looks like a heavy hook, and that's not something I would tie a flatwing with. If you're happy with it, that's all that matters.

 

If anyone is interested in hook choice theory for flatwings, I'd suggest picking up a copy of Ken Abrames' A Perfect Fish or Ray Bondorew's Stripers and Streamers.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Steve Culton

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On 11/14/2019 at 9:58 AM, laxcoach1 said:

I have the flatwing books and love the way they behave. I have used standard Hackles for my first attempts. I know there are flatwing hackles but they are hard to find and expensive. Are there other options that would work in order to create quality flatwings? Thanks in advance for the insights.

 

Check out post #8 in this thread:

 

Hope that helps!

 

Steve Culton

 

Re your online name: my middle son plays at Salisbury School. :-)

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8 hours ago, Quonnie said:

So is the Flatwing style of fly about profile or about the ability to have the fly almost suspend in the water column with the flatwings supporting the fly, I guess it could be both but I wonder if we strengthened the flatwing hackles to help support and slow the desent if that would be more important than the profile? 

 

Briefly (I hope): "profile" is not a unique characteristic of flatwings; you can achieve a certain profile with any number of templates. Unlike many other fly styles, flatwings can swim and breathe and pulse like a natural (even when at rest), present a larger profile that isn't opaque, and doesn't cast like a wet sock (these last two because of the materials used and how they are tied). I tie some flatwings to resemble large, fat baitfish and others to resemble pencil-thin sand eels.

 

Second, as always the question is, "What do you want the fly to do?" I may want it suspended in the water column. I may want it dangling near the surface. I may want it moving down and across current in full profile to a bass holding on station. You get the idea.

 

So for me, the flatwing style is all about presentation. Flatwings are presentation flies. As Ken wrote, "I always wanted my flies to swim and look alive just like the baitfish did...I wanted a fly that would consistently catch fish without having to be pulled, yanked, stripped or tweaked in any way..."

 

Hope that helps, and it's great to see people interested in flatwings.

 

Steve Culton

 

Striped bass are also interested in flatwings. :-)

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I have Kenny’s and Rays books, I would urge anyone with an interest here to try and find them. The books that I have are as follows:

 

Stripers and Streamers - Ray Bondorew

Striper Moon - Kenney Abrames

A Perfect Fish - Illusions In Fly Tying - Ken Abrames (imho, the holy grail). 

 

If you want to learn more, try to find these books. ‘A Perfect Fish’ is one of the coolest and best fly tying/fishing books out there. It’s out of print and commands a premium (usually). Find one, borrow one, steal one if you can. 
 

I would think of ‘flatwings’ more as an approach to fishing vs actual patterns. You could easy adapt non-flatwings to the same techniques as well as throw flatwings as a ‘chuck and duck’ type fly. 
 

I never fully went with that approach with my saltwater flyfishing but took pieces of it to suit my needs. 
 

As I get back into flyfishing I think I will ‘buy into’ that approach more going forward. The fishery is changing and declining and in the future I think enjoyment of our sport will depend on getting the most out of an outing. The numbers and sizes of the past won’t be there. It’s going to be about fooling the fewer fish that remain. 
 

 

 

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Great points, Drew. I also love Kenny’s methods of blending colors. I’m really not sure that it matters so much to the fish, but I love tying them that way. That’s probably the case with more than a few of my techniques, though many of my flies are pure function and no esthetic qualities, whatsoever.

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On 11/14/2019 at 11:04 AM, Quonnie said:

So not being the sharpest tool in the shed, the "flatwing" as it is tied actually supports the fly correct. If you add more flatwing hackle could that support a heavier gauge hook? and still maintain the same profile, you would just stack them on top of each other.

Think of it as a parachute. More is not necessarily better. A single, slightly wider hackle tied flatwing style may support a heavier hook, and still maintain the intention of the style. 

 

I'm also not a big fan of the EC 253, although I have used them a lot for freshwater bass flies. They're a hook that Bob Clouser & Joe Bruce has recommended in the past to me for Clouser Minnows. I'm always looking at hooks, trying to find various types & models that are "better" than what I've been using. Right now, I'm looking at Owner Gorilla Light hooks as an alternative to the 253 for Striper flies. I use the 254's, in both stainless & tinned versions, and they are a stronger, but heavier hook compared to the 253. That Owner hook is an improvement, but not sure about how well it will do in smaller sizes & with larger fish. It should be a better choice for flatwings compared to the 253, just have not been able to confirm that it is.  They certainly are a higher priced hook, although that's not a big issue IMO, if there's a need for a "better" hook.

 

The Owner Mosquito hooks have been mentioned and they're a hook that I use too, and are an excellent choice, but are still lighter than the Gorilla Light in the same sizes. 

 

One note however, Owner hooks are not the greatest for holding up to saltwater. They tend to rust rather quickly, compared to other hooks. Great hook, but not as corrosion resistant as other brands, so take that into consideration. There's a trade off with all hooks IMO. 

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18 hours ago, Drew C. said:

The fishery is changing and declining and in the future I think enjoyment of our sport will depend on getting the most out of an outing. The numbers and sizes of the past won’t be there. It’s going to be about fooling the fewer fish that remain. 
 

 

 

Your statement rings true with me. Spot on!  Could not have said it any better or cleared. If you in future you hear me say it. Tell everyone I stole it from you. It's a new mindset for the sport, fishing now for stripers. Like sailors you use the wind, it's about the journey now, not about being at a destination. There is lesser chance of catching larger stripers, but it doesn't diminish we like to ply our skill and at the same time be in a beautiful environment. It's more about the activity of fishing, rather than catching, but when both concur, it's like heaven.

Edited by Capt.Castafly

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As the striper season fades away for this year.I've been swinging small flatwings at a couple of the trout ponds on the Cape.Spots I use these on points and windy days as the wave works around the points and the fish hang in the lee.3"-5" in various colors on a floating line from upwind[standing side to the wave] action slides the line and a mend.Orange tints in a bit of flash or the belly bucktail seem to have an advantage over all.Smallies have smacked a few of them too.

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On 11/15/2019 at 5:29 PM, The Fisherman said:

I'm not familiar with the Owner Aki. I like the short shank, but it looks like a heavy hook, and that's not something I would tie a flatwing with.

 It is indeed a heavy hook.  I tied the below with the Tiemco 600sp - even though its billed as a 3x heavy, it doesn't feel it and I think it will suspend better than the Aki.  It also cut up my thumb something special, so apparently its pretty sharp.

 

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Has nobody thought of wrapping a long thin strip of foam or something around the body of a flatwing to offset a heavier hook?? 

 

I've tied flatwing squids on 7/0 worm hooks with an extra heavy wire, and do exactly this and they swim and drift like the hook isn't even there. 

 

Sticking to the 254 or 253 in my opinion really isn't necessary. Those hooks will doubtless bend if you're fighting fish aggressively in current making the fight as short as possible and therefore minimizing release mortality. 

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