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"OLIVE FAN WING SBS"
Written by: Son Tao
Photographed By: Son Tao
Creator: Son Tao
Guest Tier: Son Tao
Quill Fan Wing SBS. Difficulty level is 7/10. Although fan wings aren't fished regularly anymore due to the difficulty associated with the casting, one can't deny their beauty. They aren't the easiest Fly to tie but with a little bit of practice, you can tie them as easily as you'd tie any other dry fly.
Son Tao won the 2017 Healing Waters Fly Tying Contest and maintains a blog on Facebook call the Tao of Flies. Still active duty in the Military and holds the rank of Master Sergeant, he is always eager to teach fly tying to anyone.
Hook: Tiemco 100 or any standard dry fly hook in sizes 8-18. This one is a size 12.
Tail: Coq de Leon. You can sub with hackle barbs
Body: Stripped peacock quill with a light brushing of Solarez Bone Dry uv resin
Hackles: Brown Whiting Herbert Miner saddle and Grizzly Whiting Pro Grade cape
Wings: Wood duck breast feathers
Thread: 70 denier or smaller. I used Semperfli 18/0
Start the thread. Ensure it ends at the 3/4 point.
The hardest part of Fan Wings is selecting the right feathers. You need to find 2 that are about the same size and have a slight curve to them.
Strip the fluff off the breast feathers. Ensure that once the tips are aligned, both feathers are identical to the amount of fluff stripped off. Then pinch both stems together with your fingers.
Transfer the stems to both sides of the hook shank. You want the tie in point to be the last portion of the stem before the barbs begin.
Using a pinch wrap, do 2 loose collecting wrap. Then 2 tighter wraps.
At this point, see if the wings are relatively even and aligned. They do not have to be perfect. We will stand them up and split the wings appropriately later.
Once you're satisfied with the wings, cinch then down tighter with your thread wraps. Then jump to the front of the wings and do a few tight wraps there to save your work. Then begin building a thread ramp to stand up the wings.
Work your thread back to the stem and while putting tension on your thread, break off the stem waste. You could also snip them off with your scissors.
Now to split the wings. I first do two wraps around the base of the wings to bring them together. Then I proceed to do 2 - 3 figure 8 wraps to split them. At this point, if your wings are still not straight, continue manipulating your thread to get them in the right position. If that still doesn't work, take a razor to it and tie a wooly bugger instead. I'm kidding. It takes a little bit of practice but eventually you'll get the wings aligned. Your thread is your biggest friend.
Once you get the wings split properly, it should look like this.
Take your thread to right before the bend.
Measure out the tail. It should be approximately a hook shank's in length.
Tie in the tail and smooth out the body and build a taper with your thread.
Tie in the stripped peacock quill.
Wrap the quill. After snipping off the waste, put a light coat of your favorite uv resin to make it more durable. You want a resin that's very thin line Bone Dry or Loons UV flow.
Prep a grizzly and brown hackle. If this is your first fan wing, just use brown for now. Get the fundamentals down first then move on to 2 or more hackles.
Wrap the brown hackle first. Trim the waste. Then wrap the grizzly hackle. Trim the waste.
When wrapping the hackles, the fan wings will get in the way. There's really no avoiding it. However, you can grab both wings so that you can get easier hackle wraps. They're not as delicate as they appear. The wing fibers may also splay during this process. If that happens, just use your fingers and marry them back together.
Whip finish and be sure you apply a small amount of head cement. Good luck! I love tying fan wings.
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