| I was thinking about Peter Frailey's Baby Buggers, tiny versions of the Woolly Bugger, and their applications in many situations. Then I started to ponder all the bags of clippings I have... you know, the leftovers they say not to throw away because "you just might find them useful someday." Then I thought, "I need to see a specialist for this knack I have of derailing my own train of thought."|
But wait a minute, I thought. Small, baby streamers... clippings... ah!
I tie lots of featherwing streamers and bass bugs. For every fly there are four or so "half" hackles, the unused bottom ends where the feathers were clipped to size. Then there are the short pieces of tinsel and wire, various parts of other feathers, short peacock herls, and much more. Most tiers are like me, saving these clippings for use in some fly on down the road. It seems these flies never come, and you're left wrestling with the idea of just throwing them away.
| But wait a minute... here's a use I've found for all those clipped saddle hackles and other feathers, small bits of tinsel and wire, and much more! Hopefully this will give you some ideas so those leftovers can be put to some use other than fodder for the compost.|
The Rules: Use leftovers! If you save scraps of materials and bits of feathers, go through these and see what's there. You can supplement one or maybe two items like wire you use right off the spool, or floss, but the majority of the fly should be constructed of otherwise unusable stuff.
These mini-streamers are tied on 2x long #12 nymph hooks (in fact, all, except the Deceiver, are the Eagle Claw brand if you've been wondering what they're like). The Deceiver is tied on a #10 wet fly hook (Mustad 3906).
Black Nose Dace
| Use your favorite streamers as guides. Bucktails are ideal, substituting the bucktail with hackle fibers of the same color. Look at the feathers and decide what hairs the markings are similar to. For instance, in the Llama at left, I used fibers from a leftover hen pheasant feather, which resemble woodchuck. Feathwing streamers with single color wings are also good, as shown by the Gray Ghost below... I used small, flared bundles of mallard flank for the shoulders and a couple peacock swords for a topping. Certainly make up your own in styles and color combinations you feel would be productive.|
Mini-streamers should be perfect for small stream work. You can also fish them as wet flies, or use them for panfish. However you choose to use them, the leftovers used will have a much better chance of getting some fish than they were just sitting in the clippings bag. Use your imagination, apply the techniques you know and skills you already have, and above all... have fun!
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|Mickey Finn||Gray Ghost|
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|...made up looking through clippings||Deceiver|