Saturday, February 4, 2017

Jigs - Riding Low

To go along with Boiling Springs last Brew n Bugs, Im going to do a some talking about different jig flies. It is quite simple really, when it comes to jigs its really just an upside down fly. Nothing changes except you have a small bed in the shank with a slotted bead.

Most of my jigs are fairly simple flies, that don't have a lot of detail, but hold a nice natural profile in the water. This simplicity really helps simplify the fly design and stops many frustrated moments at the vice. I have tied jig style Prince Nymphs to large jig style Stoneflies, all have their own challenges. However if you stay way from flies that require a lot of detail on the bottom of the fly or in this case the top, it will lead to a much more enjoyable tying experience.

Most of my jig flies are Pheasant tails tied "in the round", Hare's Ears without a shellback, Quill Bodies with just dubbing and a little flash for the legs. You can add shellbacks to jig on the larger flies, but its a headache and unnecessary for the smaller ones. I tie a small winter black stone nymph on both a standard nymph hook and a jig style, the only difference is no shell back, this is because dealing with a hook point in your way vs. a wide open shank makes a huge difference, and you won't have to worry about stabbing yourself every 2 seconds with the hook.

Another key to success with jig flies is to secure the bead from flopping around while you are starting to tie. One way I have found to keep the bead in place and stop it from spinning around is adding a few lead wraps behind the bead and pushing it tight to the bead. The other way is to make a small thread dam behind it. I do this often times when I'm trying to make a smaller, lighter jig. I will use this dam to also the start of my body taper for the fly.

Jigs are used as anchor flies most of the time. This is also why I try to keep it simple, for restocking purposes. I have found that if you start with a larger jig hook (8-12) with the style flies you are trying to tie, this will help you get proportions right before you start into the smaller sizes (14-18). I often times will tie one style of fly in 3 to 4 sizes, always starting with the larger ones first, again to help with proportions but also help with your tying movements around the hook point and tying inverted.

These are 3 tips that have made tying jig flies fun for me with the least amount of frustration. Hope this helps.

Over the next moth I will be posting more on jigs to give everyone some ideas on simple ones to tie. Maybe even a tutorial or video.

No comments:

Post a Comment