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Sunday, September 20, 2015
Art of Dyeing
~ Dyeing is an art itself, requiring a great deal of care, time, and patience to do properly. ~
Dr. T.E. Pryce-Tannatt "How to Dress Salmon Flies" (1914)
I'm still fishing and actively guiding but also it's about time to think of and get ready for my winter projects. For both trout and Atlantic Salmon flies, my initial project, as well as the first and foremost challenge, is to learn dyeing feathers. I know a few people who can give me good advises. Also, nowadays, there are some good information on the internet. Then, I kind of know the initial cost to get started and achieve some successes wouldn't be so expensive. And I have plenty of feathers that I can use for practices and experiments.
So I started from bleaching. Materials and results I have here are NOT wrong but I have already learned the process was not smooth and can be improved by different agents.
Along with turkey biots dyed in PMD yellow and baetis olive, I tied: No Hackle Gnat - PMD, Unnamed Caddis - black wing, and No Hackle Gnat - baetis.
I have two major framing projects (and couple more along the way) with Atlantic salmon flies. I needed to do inventory of materials. One of materials that I'm sure I would run out for this season is Indian Crow (Red Ruffed Fruit Crow) substitution feathers. And this is one of the major "pushes" for me to pursue dyeing. Why don't I buy real ones? How much are real ones gonna cost? - Google it!!
After several practices shown above, I felt I can "dip dye" or perhaps I may call "tip dye". It turned out to be GOOD right off!! Eventually it became very tiring for me to stand over the stove and hold tweezers at certain distance over the steam. So I invented a device!! From then on, I started reading books during the process!! Results got even better!!
Over all, dyeing offers me new pleasure and motivations regarding fly-tying. I have just knocked on the door of this new subject. It's gonna be another exciting and learning season!!