Tying Video – The Big Meadow

I have really been on a wet fly kick for the last few months and I don’t see it letting up anytime soon.  The primary reason is I love the wet flies.  I love bucktail streamers, feather wing streamers, spey & dee flies, and the classic salmon flies but the classic wet flies have always held a fascination for me.  As I have been doing these various wet fly patterns something very interesting has been happening.  Something that is bound to happen to anyone who ties a couple thousand flies a year but particularly with these flies.  In many of the classes I have taught over the years I mentioned to people the fact that as you tie flies you start to get a feel for the materials.  In other words, marabou feathers behave different than spey hackles.  Calf tail (a.k.a. Kip tail) has a different feel than bucktail.  Deer belly hair has different characteristics than rump or back hair.  Some of this becomes very obvious fairly quickly to most fly tiers that have put in a few hundred hours at the vise.  What takes even more time is realizing Deer belly hair from one type of deer is different than another and if harvested at a certain time is different than when harvested say six months later.  Not to mention, these are animals, it could be that the bird your Chinese neck was harvested from just did not produce quality feathers.  But here is the real conundrum, what is quality to you may be different then what is quality to me!  They may be good for the flies I am tying but not for different flies you are tying.  Yeah, wrap your head around that.  The interesting thing for me over the last six months of focusing on wet flies is that I am picking up on the subtleties of turkey feathers, mallard flank, duck primary feathers, goose shoulder, goose primary feathers, hen hackle, schlappen, peacock herl and even floss when combined with any of these materials.  So much so, that I am beginning to get a grip on what feathers are good for what I want, what parts of the feathers are usable (any why), and how to apply them to the hook to get the results I want consistently.  The long and short of it I am learning from my mistakes.

The Big Meadow is another classic wet fly.  It is located on Plat #1 in Ray Bergman’s book Trout and on page 424 for those interested.  It is sort of a cross between the Governor and the Professor.  When I did the video for the Blue Professor a few weeks ago I spoke of the Mallard Flank most often purchased for fly tying and how it really isn’t any good for making matched wings for wet flies.  Along those lines, I chose the Big Meadow because in this video I talk (and show) about really mallard flank feathers and demonstrate creating a nice match slip for the wing.  Unfortunately, I did not tie it in as well as I would have liked but as I said I am slowly paying more attention to how I hold my hand, my fingers, the placement of the tread, the foundation of the body and am at least moving in a direction of more consistent results.  I mention all of this (and include it in my videos) for two reason.  The first reason is that no matter how long you have been tying flies there is always something new to learn.  Always some different way, some “trick” that you did not think of but someone else has, or at the least an “Ah-ha” moment where you finally noticed something that you had never noticed.  In that vain, we are all learning and the more you tie the more you learn.  Second, just because the wing or the throat did not tie in perfect or the body is a little lumpy or the rib has six wraps instead of five does not mean the fly is unusable.  I can not tell you the number of excellent tiers I have spoken with who sit down to tie a “show piece” fly and keep the one that finally turns out the way they want and then fish with the other 10 flies.  I have mentioned in past videos the difference between tying flies to show and flies to throw and I am planning on elaborating on this topic more this summer and in future videos.  For now, here is the Big Meadow, a handsome wet fly that is a lot of fun, a fairly easy fly to tie and I know catches fish. – Enjoy.

Thread: Danville 6/0, Black
Tip: Danville Mylar Tinsel, Gold, #16/18
Tail: Goose Shoulder, Red
Body: Peacock Herl
Hackle: Hen Neck, Brown
Wing: Grey Mallard Flank
Links above are to affiliate products mentioned in this post.  If you purchase any of these products through the affiliate link it helps Dressed Irons.  Thanks in advance!

If you would like to purchase some Big Meadow 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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