March 4, 2010

dub it up

If you saw how shitty my pink squirrels were, you'd know that they were failing in one major aspect, the thorax. Chenille is great as a stand alone materials on a pattern like the San Juan Worm, but when tied in on the body on a smaller nymph, it tends to be a bit too bulky for my taste, even with ultra chenille. I threw together a few different dubbing blends to solve the problem. One was a straight up fluorescent pink acrylic yarn and violette Angelina blend. The other was a composite of rose and pink, with acrylic and antron fibers, as well as Angelina and hare. Tough to tell from the photos, but the fluorescent pink dub really pops out, while the blend is a bit more subdued. That's hot.

pink dubbing materials
fluorescent pink dub
pink dubbings
It's all over now, Baby Blue. Seldom seen on a nymph pattern, yet blue is a deadly color. Look at a lot of those streamer patterns, blue right? Blue is a great color for imitating baitfish, why not use them for a hotspot? A couple of us underground fly fishers have known of the deadly effects of blue. Brownliner guide Drew Price has witnessed firsthand the carnage of Baby Blue, and is a true believer.

blue dubbing materials>
dark blue dub
med blue dub
lt blue dub
blue dub array
While blue chenille is pretty tough to come across in middle America, blue yarn fiber is not. I crafted a few different shades of blue by varying the composition and ratio of different blue colored fibers. Unfortunately, with most any other synthetic dubbing blend, capturing the true luster and hue of the dubbing is difficult to do on film, especially with artificial lighting. The hollow and translucent properties of the materials, as well as the interstitial space between fibers, allow too much light to penetrate the fibers resulting in flare and the softening of color saturation. The darker blue blend is much richer in natural light. It's electric. It will be interesting to see how these different shades will react to water and light once they are tied on to a pattern. Time to get tying.


  1. I've been wanting a coffee grinder for a while. Having watched you and the crazy Singlebarbed blend up these great dubbings, i figure it's time to give it a shot myself. Nice work. My 12 year old son was with me at Gander Mountain and asked the guy if they had any blue thread. He remembers me saying it's not really common, but he wants some.

  2. Great, now I need to drag my wife kicking and screaming to the crafts store buy baby blue and hot pink yarn...

  3. @Mike: at around $20, that coffee grinder will be one of the best fly tying investments you will make. I haven't found blue thread either.

    @Cabot: the stuff from MCG Textiles and the craft trim will blend up nice. While you're there, be sure to check out Singlebarbed's latest post on the Sulky Holoshimmer,holographic tinsel

  4. Mike feathercraft has a light and royal blue 6/0 uni thread.
    Roughfisher-As a side note, Sulky Holoshimmer was half of my reason for my after class raid of Joann Fabrics.

  5. You have to ask yourself, how much more pink could it be? And the answer is none, none more pink