View Full Version : Flatwing how-to

06-08-2009, 07:05 PM
A few weeks ago I promised a step by step on tying these, but didn't get a chance to put one together until now. Fishing too much. Sorry for the camera shake, I need to get some better lighting or a tripod.
I'll be tying my own pattern, the gin clear, because I was running low on them. The construction is basically the same for any other flatwing. I am using a #10 mustad 3665a. Usually these flies are tied much smaller than typical featherwings, not much bigger than 2 inches or so, or a #6 hook. I also am using a thin, penetrating head cement, which I consider essential for durable flies. There are several good brands out there but I like the Griff's.
Start off by wrapping a thread base. Leave the head area bare.
Tie in red schlappen for the tail, twice as long as the hook bend. Wrap it up to the head area to insure a smooth body.
Copper tinsel body.
Red schlappen for the throat.
Next is the underwing, which in very helpful in keeping the wing in the correct position. Sometimes it is a good idea to add one even if the pattern doesn't call for it. For this pattern it is sparse olive bucktail over sparse white bucktail. Keep it SPARSE.
Add a drop of thin head cement. This is always a good idea when tying in hair. Next comes the wing. Sort through the bag of olive mallard flank until you find one that is the right size. You want a feather that is as long as the hook and about 1/3 as wide, once the fuzzy fibers at the base have been stripped.
Tie the flank feather in right at the point where the fibers have been stripped. Give it 4 wraps or so and make sure it is centered above the hook shank.
Now pull the feather forward slightly, about 1/8" and add a drop of the thin head cement. wait a minute for it to dry before triimming off the feather stem.
Make a nice bullet shaped head and whip finish. Here are the proportions of the finished fly.
You can finish the head as you see fit. I like thin head cement, followed by thick head cement, followed by 2 coats of clear nail polish. Combined with the use of the thin cement during the tying, this will give you an extremely durable fly, and keep the flank feather from pulling loose. The duck feathers are very oily and this can be difficult to avoid.

06-08-2009, 07:29 PM
Thanks for posting this.

06-08-2009, 07:46 PM
Very nice tie

06-09-2009, 10:46 AM
Matt - you been having alot of luck with them?

06-09-2009, 11:01 AM
Very nice tie.... I like flat wings in slower moving water, because they impart a great motion.

I like the colors of that one as well, very similar to a Kenebago muddler, minus the very sparse deer head.

06-09-2009, 04:17 PM
Matt - you been having alot of luck with them?
I haven't been fishing anywhere where this fly excels (clear water) since early season. The ponds I was at this past weekend were somewhat off color and I caught all my fish on the kennebago special (the Edson one).

Trout Bum
06-13-2009, 10:28 PM

I am always interested in learning about new patterns, especially ones with "Kennebago" in their name. What is the pattern for the Kennebago Special (the Edson one)?

Thanks in advance

06-16-2009, 03:24 PM