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Martie Van Den Brand: the Chamois 98

Published : 08/27/2017 13:02:21
Categories : Fly Tying

We love simple flies, neat, clean and made with a limited number of materials. Simplicity is often the key to success and in fly tying it can turns to be a state of mind, an attitude. You can then combine it with a perfect knowledge of the materials, especially when talking about naturals, so to identify their proprieties and their most intimate characteristics.

Martie Van Den Brand, our 54 Dean Street team member from Holland is mastering simplicity and he knows how to handle materials. His dyed chamois has become famous everywhere, patches with amazing shades of colours, on a soft skin with highest quality of fur. Martie is creating highly effective flies using chamois fur of different thickness and colour.

Here below we are proud to share with you a step by step of one of his flies, the Chamois 98, and we let Martie explain you the process and some interesting topics.

Hi there, let’s start from the name of this fly: Chamois 98 is simple to be explained as it is a fly created 98% with chamois fur. So, grab a few patches of good quality fur and add a bit of imagination, this is all you need. But I recommend you to get your hand on some really good material and not just those patches dried and burnt by the dyeing process. Quality of materials is essential in fly tying and when tying simple flies it became even more important.

So, you will get to the magic of this material at the end of the step by step. Let’s start:

1. Take a bunch of thin fur, yes that fur so thin that you thought it was not buoyant enough.

2. Together with a pinch of lemon wood duck form a tail. Don’t overload the tail with too much material.

3. Fix a piece of golden tinsel for ribbing the body

4. Prepare the dubbing. We can successfully use leftovers and cuts of chamois. The final texture will be simply amazing.

5. Now use the loop technique to form the dubbing rope and then wrap a nice conical body. 

6. Wrap the tinsel to form the ribbing.

7. Take a bunch of long and fine fur chamois (same thickness used for the tail). Thin chamois is better to form the wing as it will be soft and does not cause twisting in your leader during the cast, even with thin tippets.

8. Secure the bunch on the hook shank and add a bit of lemon wood duck.

9. Pull the wing up and vertical and secure in position with turns of thread in front and behind the wing.

10. Prepare a loop for the wing collar.

11. Select a very thin fur for the collar, the thinner the better. 

12. Measure the length of the fibres to create a collar of the right diameter.

13. Distribute the fur on the length of the loop

14. Twist the loop and start wrapping the collar, hackle style.

15. Finish the fly with some knots and a drop of varnish if your wish.

Now let’s move to the real magic of this fly. Chamois is the highest floating hair you can get around, still being the softest available. There is nothing like that, no other fur can combine such softness with floatability and its magic resides exactly in this combination of features. Try to drop this fly on the water and see what happens: every single part of the fly adapts to the water surface and plays and marries with water tension, not just the tail and fur collar but even the body’s fibres sticking out from its shape.

So, finally this is the Simple magic revealed.

Now you only have to get some hooks, a few feathers of lemon wood duck, some tinsel and a good selection of thin coloured chamois fur and add your imagination. 

By the way, you know where to get the best chamois, don’t you?

See you soon.

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