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the size of each marked on the outside: wax of all colors, and needles; a sharp pen-knife, and a smail sharp pair of scissars, made quite angular, with large bows for the fingers.
· N. B. When you make the palmer-fly, suit the colour of the silk to the hackle you dub with; a d'un backle requires yellow silk; a black hackle, skyblue silk; a brown, or red hackle, red silk; when you make fiies that are not palmers, dub with silk that resembles the colour most predominant in the fly; and in making your fiics, remember to mix bear's hair and hog's down, with your other dubbing, because they repel the water; make your flies always in hot sun-shiny weather, for your waxed silk will then draw kindly; and when you take the dubbing to imitate a fly, always wet it, and then you will be perfect in your imitation; for although the dubbing when dry may suit, yet when it is wet it may be quite another colour. Marten's fur is the best yellow you dan use.
How to make the Palmer and May-Fly.
First lay all the materials by the side of you, viz. half a yard of fine raund even silk worm gut: half á yard of red silk, well waxed with wax of the same 'colour: a hook, the size No. 6: a needle: some strands of an ostrich's feather, and a fine red haco kle: then take the hook, and hold it by the bend, between the fore-finger and thumb of your left hand, with the shank towards your right hand, and with the point and beard of your hook not under your fingers, but nearly parellel with the tops of them : afterwards take the silk, and hold it likewise about the middle of it, with your hook, one part laying
along the inside of it to your left hand, the other to the right; then take that part of the silk which lies towards your right hand, between the fore finger and thumb of that hand, and holding that part towards your left, tight along the inside of the hook, whip that to the right, three or four times round the shank of the hook towards the right hand; af ter which take the silk worm gut, and lay either of its ends along the inside of the shank of the hook, till it comes near the bend of it: then hold the hook, silk, and gut, tight between the fore-finger and thumb of your left hand, and afterwards give that part of the silk to your right hand, three or four whips more over both hook and gut till it comes near the end of the shank, and make a loop and fasten it tight : then whip it neatly again over both silk, gut, and hook, till it comes near the bend of the hook: after which make another loop, and fasten it again: 'then, if the gut should reach further than the bend of the hook, cut it off, and your hook will be whipped on, and the parts of the silk hang from the bend of it.
Having proceeded so far, wax the longest end of the silk again, and take three or four strands of an ostrich's feather, and holding them and the hook, as in the first position, the feathers to the left hand, and the roots of them in the bend of the hook, with the silk that you waxed last, whip them three or four times round, make a loop, and fasten them right; then turning the strands to the right hand, and twisting them and the silk together, with the fore-finger and thumb of your right hand, wind thein round the shank of the hook till you come to the place where you first fastened, then make a loop, and fasten them again; if the strands should not be long enough to wind as far as is necessary round
the shank, when the silk gets bare you must twist others on it. Having performed this, take your scissars and cut the body of the palmer into an oval form, that is, small at the bend and the end of the shank, but full in the centre; do not cut too much of the dubbing off. Now both the ends of the silk are separated, one at the bend, another at the end of the shank, wax them both again; then take the hackle, hold the small end of it between the forefinger and ihumb of your left hand, and stroke the fibres of it with those of your right the contrary way from which they are formed; hold your hook as in the first position, and place the point of the hackle in its bend, with that side which grows nearest the cock upwards, and then whip it tight to the hook; but in fastening it, tie as few fibres in as you can possibly avoid: the hackle being fast, iake ii by the great enit, and keeping the side nearest the cock to the left hand, begin with your right hand to wind it up the shank upon the dubbing, stopping every second turn, and holding what you have wound tight with your left fingers, whilst with . the needle you pick out the fibres you will unavoidably take in; proceed in this manner till you come to the place where you first fastened, and where an end of the silk is: then clip off those fibres of the hackle which you held between your firger and thumb, close to the stem, and hold the stem close to the hook; afterwards take the silk in your right hand, and whip the stem very fast to the hook: then make a loop, and fasten it right: take your pen-knife, and if that part of the stem next the shank of the hook is as long as the part of the hook which is bare, pare it fine, wax your silk, and bind it neatly on the remaining bare part of the hook: then fasten the silk tight, and spread some shoe
maker's Wax very lightly on your last binding; after that clip off the ends of the reinaining silk, both at the shank and bend of the hook, and all fibres that start or stand ill-conditioned, and the whole is completed.
This is called the palmer-fly, or plain hackle, and may, instead of the ostrich's feather above-mentioned, be dubbed with black spániel's fur, and is a very excellent killet. There are three more palmers, which are all to be made in the same man: ner as I have laid down, only with different articles, which are as follows:
Great Palmer, or Hackle. Dubbed the same as the plain hackle with the strands off an ostrich's feather, or a black spaniel's fur, and warped with red peacoek's hackle, una trimmed, that is, leaving the whole length of the hackle staring out (for sometimes the fibres of the hackle are to be shortened all over, sometimes barbed only a little, and sometimes close undefi neath) leaving the whole length of fibres on the top, or back of the fly, which makes it swim better, and, on a whirling round water, kills great fish. Your hook for this palmer, No. 5.
Golden Palmer, or Hackle. The same dubbing, ribbed with gold twist, and a ted hackle over all.
Made with a black body also, silver twist over that, and a red hackle over all.
The variation that is to be observed in making the go!d and silver palmers is this, that when you whip the end of the hackle to the bend of the hook, you must also do the same to the gold or silver twist, and first wind either of them on the dubbing, observing that they lie flat on it, and then fasten off; afterwards proceed with the hackle as directed: or you may wind the hackle on the dubbing first, and rib the body with either of the twists afterwards. These are the standard hackles in fly-fishing, and taken
any month in the year, from nine to eleven in the morning, and from one to three in the evening, and upon any water; though you inust have different sizes of them, and dubbed with different colours, that you may always be able to suit either a clear or a dark water, or a bright and cloudy atmosphere; observing, that small light-coloured fies are for clear waters and skies, and the largest for dark and cloudy ones. · These palmers (as I said before) being taken every month in the
when I come to treat of the flies proper for each month, I shall not take any notice again of the four which I have set down, for that would be totally unnecessary; but the others that deviate in their size and dubbing from the general rule, will be fully expressed.
The angler should always try the palmers first, when he fishes in a river that he is unaccustomed to; and even in that which he constantly uses, without he knows what fly is on the water, and they should never be changed till he does; the only way to come to the true knowledge of which, he must observe an old-established rule laid down for that purpose;, and as it is poetically described by Mr. Gay, I shall give it him in that dress.