Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fran Betters Picket Fin

Earlier in the month, Alan (Small stream reflections) asked me to try to duplicate a fly that he had picked up in Fran Betters' shop.  Alan later contacted Jan Betters and she told him that Fran referred to it as a Picket Fin.  The colors of the fly remind you of another "Fin" fly the Fontinalis Fin, a wet fly that resembles a brook trout fin with it's orange, black, and white married wing.

After handling the fly and taking some pictures of my own and doing a little experimenting, I think I've figured out how Fran put it together.  Here are two versions for smaller streams where a good sized bead is too heavy.  Both are tied on 2x long nymph hooks that are a little shorter than Fran's fly which appears to be tied on a mustad 9671 (3X long) with a good sized bead on it.  When tying the fly on the 9671 hook add an extra wrap of chenille and hackle.

Tie in the tail (grizzly hackle tip), then the grizzly hackle (#18 saddle hackle was used on the #16 fly).  Remove some of the fibers at the tip of the chenille to expose the thread of the chenille and tie in at the rear (reduces the bulk of the fly).   Wind the chenille to the mid point of the hook and palmer the hackle forward  (3 turns each).  Tie in the calf body hair wing and then tie in 3 peacock herls to the base of the wing and wrap them around the hook once, go around the herls counter clockwise once with the thread once and wrap the thread and herl forward forming a nice tight thorax (wrapping the thread and herl together reinforces the herl and gives it more durability).  Tie off a nice tight hot spot behind the bead or at the head.

Glass bead version
#16 2X long nymph hook
Fire orange thread
Gold lined glass bead
tail - tip of a small grizzly hackle
body - orange fine chenille (3 wraps)
grizzly hackle palmered from the rear (3 wraps)
Wing - white calf body hair
thorax - peacock herl

non beaded version

14 comments:

  1. Jan Betters has kept the AusableWulff.com web page up and although there isn't a link from the main page, the Fly of the Month patterns are still there. http://ausablewulff.com/flyofmonthpast.html has an April entry for the Picket Finn.

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    1. Kurt - Thanks, I did see Picket Fin in the fly of the month on the website but it looks nothing like the fly that Alan had. The one on the website looks more like a Picket Pin with a beadhead

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  2. Mark,
    That's top fly is it....right on.
    The 9671 is the hook he tied the Ausable Wulff and Bomber on.

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    1. Thanks Brk Trt - the glass bead should have the flash without the wt. I'll tie a couple with a brass bead when I get some longer hooks

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  3. Very Cool fly....Between you and Alan I have put this on my "to tie list" for the winter.

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    1. Kiwi - Alan would be the expert on the effectiveness of this fly but I hope to give it a try soon

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  4. Great looking fly Mark, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Brian - thanks, but special thanks to Alan for showing us all a fly that was completely new to me

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  5. Mark
    What impresses me about this fly aside from your fantastic tying ability is color; I am a big fan of color incorporated into patterns of dries, wets and nymphs. This pattern is awesome, and will be a sure winner when you get back on the water. What size works best when using this fly? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - Thanks for the compliments. The fly Alan showed me was a size 14, which is an all around good size for small stream fishing. It took a bit of messing about to get a good match on the color of the body but plain orange was the ticket.

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  7. I have fished this fly effectively substituting the orange fine chenille with orange Ice Dub, which I believe give this fly more life.

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