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Tying Video – The Abbey

The Abbey is a classic wet fly that has been around for generations.  It is the first fly on Plate #1 in Ray Bergman’s book Trout which was published in 1938 so yes, this fly has been around a while.  It is a simple and straightforward wet fly that is a great fly for anyone wanting to start tying this class of flies.  Many tiers are intimidated by the “fancy” wet flies but they really are not all that difficult or involved once you start tying them.  I think the biggest difficulty in tying these flies is that in order to get good results you have to be very aware of each wrap of thread, the placement of each material, and the proportions of the materials as you tie them in.  All of this take practice as well as patience.  It also means you will be tying many flies.  If you tie one or two (even a dozen) you will only just begin to learn the fly and how it is put together.  Many more and you will be tying them consistently and with your own style.  Not that you have to tie hundreds of a particular fly but in the end you will tie hundreds of flies before your skills and techniques are really getting honed.

As I mentioned, the Abbey is a great fly to get started in wet flies.  It has all the basic components of many wet flies.  It is also a pretty forgiving pattern.  The tail material is easy to work with as well as the floss.  The mallard flank can be a bit tricky, mostly finding the right feathers to make the wing from.  However, there are techniques for creating a wing from mallard flank that can and do make tying the Abbey more enjoyable.  Also, this fly is often tied in sizes four and six which makes it even easier to tie since working with large(er) hooks is easier with old(er) fat(er) fingers.  Plus, it is a rather elegant fly with the gold tinsel and red floss.  It speaks of yesteryear and a connection to the past.  – Enjoy.


Uni-Thread 8/0, Black & White
Tail:Golden Pheasant Tail Tippet
Rib:Danville Silver/Gold Mylar Tinsel #16/18
Body:Danville 4-Strand Rayon Floss, Red
Throat:Brown Rooster Saddle
Wing:Gray Mallard Flank
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If you would like to purchase some Abbey wet flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).

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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

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