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How To Make The Salmon Fly As Shown In The Beautiful Plate Of Engravings On Salmon Hooks

Reader, you will have an idea of the sorts of materials you require for

the different processes on each hook in the plates, as the models were

tied by me in strict proportion, and are most exquisite engravings: You

take a piece of twisted gut to form the loop on the fly, double it over

a needle, or "picker," to form an eye, and pare off the ends slantingly

to lie nice and even when tied, as you may see in Plate I. on Salmon
r /> Hooks; wind your waxed silk round the shank of the hook about four or

five times, before placing on the gut; hold the hook in the left hand

near the end of the shank, lay the gut-loop underneath, and hold on

between your finger and thumb tightly, to prevent it turning round when

you lap the tying silk over it, and keep shifting your fingers down the

shank out of the way of the tying silk in its progress to the tail,

which you will see in Plate I. You now draw out a small piece of yellow,

or red mohair, keep it tight between the nails and tie it on, first tip

the fly immediately under the tail, as in Plate I.; you make it even

with your scissars at the point, as that tail is seen; you now take a

piece of yellow or orange floss silk, and lap it from the tail about

two-eighths of an inch up to where you see the hackle and tinsel tied

in, Plate II.; after having tied the hackle and tinsel on as you see it

there, (you may draw the point of the hackle back, as the hackle

prepared in the plate of Feathers, instead of cutting it at the point,

as you may see also the hackle cut, in the plate of Feathers). You now

shift your finger and thumb up the body a little, and just where you

finished the knot over the floss silk twist a little pig hair round the

tying silk sparingly, and roll it over the shank to the head, or within

the eighth of an inch of the head, as you may see in Plate II.; you now

take the two pieces of tinsel in the right hand and roll them up

slopingly to where the silk is hanging, Plate II., and whip it down; you

next take the stem of the hackle in the right hand, and roll it evenly

beside the tinsel on its side, or partly on its back (this is done by

giving the stem a gentle twist in your fingers) till you bring it to the

head where there may be two or three extra rolls of it given to make it

full at the shoulder, or where you tie on the wings, (see the hackle,

beautifully rolled on from tail to shoulder, Plate III). You now take a

piece of mallard feather, stripped off with your nails, and press it

small at the end of the roots where it is to be tied on, (see the

Mallard Wing prepared in the plate of Feathers); you strip another piece

like it, and lay them even together; you take the other two pieces in

like manner and do the same, so that each wing, when tied on, will be

double; you now take the fly, Plate III., in your hand between the nails

close to the shoulder, and wax well the piece of silk that hangs here;

you take up one wing and lay it on at the off side, and give two whips

of the silk over it tightly, holding on at the shoulder well with the

left hand, to keep the wing from turning round under the belly; you now

take up the near side wing, and lay it on in like manner, whipping it

twice over, and then a running knot, (see the Mallard Wings, tied

beautifully on, Plate IV.); and in that plate you see the root ends

projecting over the loop, cut them off, and finish it with three or four

turns of the silk, and two knots, close to the root of the wings to make

all even.

I will now proceed to show how the other three flies are formed--5, 6,

and 7.

These may be termed middling gaudy, and are famous for the rivers in the

north of Scotland, or the clear waters of Ireland. You perform the

operation of tying on the hook as Plate I; tip the fly at the tail, and

tie on a topping; take a piece of black ostrich or peacock harl, tie it

in at the roots, and roll it evenly over the shank two or three times

(see the harl tag, Plate V); tie in the hackle above the ostrich tag,

leave it hanging, and roll the twist up the body, previously formed of

floss silk nicely tapered (see the Body of Plate V); take the hackle in

the right hand, and roll it evenly with the tinsel, and fasten it as

Plate VI; leave the silk hanging here to tie on the wings and the head.

The wings of Plate VII, may be seen tied on the reverse way, and the

body and hackle formed afterwards; they are now ready to turn back in

their proper place to hang over the body, this is done by turning them

neatly up with the thumb nail of the right hand, and laying them evenly

on each side of the fly, with the best side of the feather out. The

spots and shades which are perceivable in the wings and hackles of all

the engraved specimens of fly, are shown to great perfection--I have

described the whole of them, to match the shades exactly, so that it is

impossible to go astray when tying on each fibre of feather.

We will now return to Plate VI, and teach how it is to be winged--You

cut off a strip from the turkey tail feather, which must be unbroken, as

a whole wing; after measuring the proper length of it for the hook, you

draw each piece small with the nails where it is to be tied on, as the

strip is broader at the root, so that, take it on the whole, it must be

narrow where this piece of feather is made small at the roots, as seen

in the plate of Feathers, to keep it so whole, touch it with a little

varnish, and let it dry a little on the table.

You take hold of the fly in your left hand, close to the head, draw the

fibres of the hackle out of the way by placing them under your fingers;

take the wing in your right hand and lay it on, catching it between the

left finger and thumb on the top of the hook tightly, and give two rolls

of the tying silk over it; take up the other wing, like the last, and

lay it on the near side, and lap the silk over it in like manner (renew

the silk with wax before the wings are tied on); you now may tie on a

few fibres of golden pheasant neck, and tail feathers at each side of

the wings just put on, and a piece of macaw feather at each side; head

it with ostrich, or roll a little pig hair round the silk sparingly, lap

it over twice, and finish by giving two running knots over it close to

the root of the wings (see the wing of the middling plain Salmon Fly,

Plate II, immediately above the Sea-Trout Fly and May Fly.)

The reader will perceive in this plate ON SALMON HOOKS, that I have just

described a garden, as it were fully cultivated, there is hardly a space

left waste, like the broad fields of industrious England, whose sons

"never, never shall be slaves." All the other plates are likewise full

of useful matter, which will prove my hard labour, and at the same time

show that I have hid nothing from the Fly-Fisher in all the processes.

If the fly (Plate V., ON SALMON HOOKS) is winged with feathers, like the

Irish gaudy wing, prepared in the plate of Feathers, it will be found to

approach near the gaudy fly at the bottom of the plate, with "picker" at


I will now describe the process of making the Gaudy Salmon Fly, the

plate of which is invaluable to the Salmon fisher:--