An Idea Launches into Fly Development Stage

Mar 26, 2012 No Comments by

















The fly is no great shakes yet, but I love the translucency.  I am enjoying layering UV Resin.  Layering allows you to build the shape of the fly gradually.  Each layer can be separately colored, fibers, feathers and flakes embedded, then sealed into a layer with the UV light. Then another layer…

I will try to use this prototype as a jumping-off point to create a fly family, and perhaps will just expand this post until it contains the full development sequence.

The photo can also be improved.  We will compare this one and the future one side-by-side later, for a clear comparison of how the lighting problem is fixed.



Below are a experiment from this morning and a fantasy fly from this evening.  Just trying a lot of things (creative play) to see what kind of look is achieved, and how different materials work together.






























Definitely still lacking in control, results are all over the map.

Very important point is that I am NOT concerned at all how one of these flies might fish. The only thing that counts is the experimentation. Try something, try something else, then something else. Be looking for clues. For example, does a certain effect remind you of an actual insect, trout prey, or fly?

(Note: the marabou in Wasabi Bobbie is Mottlebou from Spirit River. Close linked window to return to this site.)


The weather marches on to “Worst March in recent memory” status.  Three straight weeks of wind, rain, snow. Unreal. Major storm hitting from Canada to northern California.  Fly tying experimentation has provided a relief from cabin fever.

After creating a couple of abominations, attempting to tie resin scuds, I identified some of the advantages of UV resin tying that led to the next photo’d fly.  This one is created over a Sulky yellow glo-in-the dark thread, ribbed with thread.  Note the glassy appearance and translucency.


















In the next closeup photo below, note the gills made of palmered bleached peacock herl.  The herl is fused into resin which is added along the top of the abdomen. The top of the abdomen also has some olive art marker fused into the resin.  The emergent wing is natural pheasant rump, and the dark optical dome is created by coloring the thread and feather underneath with a black Sharpie marker, then dropping on some UV resin.  Finally, the dubbing that creates the air bubble and legs is Spirit River Diamond Brite light olive.  A ball of this is just touched to wet resin, then fused in place with the UV light. Very easy.
Next adjustments will be:  make the rib neater and with a lighter color thread. Try another feather for the emergent wings, and split them and make them a little more horizontal.  Make the optical dome shorter, to allow for an additional small, defined head.  Also perhaps add more of the Lt. Olive dubbing to the rear of the abdomen to mimic a shuck.  All of the above changes are meant to bring  the appearance of the fly closer to an actual emerging caddis.
During this pause in the fly development, a note about safety precautions when using the UV resin process.  There are two main considerations: the UV light and allergy considerations due to the resin. Most demos using the UV light do not stress that UV light can harm your eye’s retina. Obviously you should not look directly into the beam emitted by the light. But additionally, if you see a bright reflection of the light off the metal surface on your tying vise, then that is a reflection concentrated and bright enough to cause some accumulated eye damage. If you want to take precautions, I would suggest UV blocker sunglasses used like a welder would use a welding helmet.  If you wear glasses, then accessory flip-up shades can be a convenient solution.
The other issue is that the resin can cause an allergic reaction on your skin, if you are prone to this kind of sensitivity, which I am.  Contact dermatitis is no fun at all.  I have a case on my right palm that started decades ago from exposure to photographic darkroom chemicals.  The skin is super sensitive to irritating chemicals.  The soaps and shampoos I use are all hypoallergenic, as even perfumes used these products can cause an allergic reaction.
When you work with this UV resin, you get into habits like touching the hardened resin to see if it is tacky and needs more exposure to the curing light.  If it is tacky, you get uncured resin on your finger tip, and eventually that gets on your vise and your tools, and eventually on your sensitive skin.  The resin isn’t necessarily a high-powered irritant, but for some people, it is enough to cause a reaction. One solution would be to wear a nitrile glove. The other is to wash your hands often with soap and water.

Words of caution.


UPDATE:  I think that publishing an ongoing log of how a fly is being developed and tested has teaching value, especially to those that can “connect the dots” without a bunch of explanation.  The problem I am having with this particular post is that WordPress absolutely refuses to handle text formatting in a sane manner.  I spend 80% of my time trying to reformat this post so the type makes sense.  These blog posts are really only configured to handle one photo and a block of text, anything else and WordPress goes kablooie! and you end up with page garbage.

I am going to establish a new section on the site called Fly Dev Logs or something like that, and use the same page construction system I use for the tutorial articles.  Will make for some very LONG pages, lots of scrolling, but it should be instructive to see the creation of a number of original flies from idea generation to problem solving to prototypes to testing.

So will be transferring this page to the main tabs on the site.  Be looking for it in the next few days.

Have been in communication with Neville, in BC Canada about UV resin work, and he is confirming some of the things I have found out about the process.


UPDATE: Sat. 4/21

An addition to the safety procedures note posted earlier in this thread.  I mentioned my skin sensitivity (medically termed a contact dermatitis).  I have had a serious flareup in the affected right palm.  Lots of water blisters, but it never got to the point of cracking and bleeding.

I treat the skin with 1% Hydrocortisone cream, applied at least six times daily.   That’s the advice of a physician friend, who is also a fly tier and fisher. The Hydrocortizone treatment stopped the outbreak and the palm is healing.  But it took a long time to get to this point.

That also explains why the the UV resin fly exploration is on hiatus.

I blame the outbreak on exposure to the UV resin.  I, personally, need to be more careful, and my skin on that hand protected with a nitrile glove.  You may handle the resin, and not have any problems.  It’s an individual case-by-case thing.  I got my over-sensitization due to long-term exposure to photographic darkroom chemicals.

I think if you just wash your hands as often as possible while using the resin, you will be in a good zone. But, monitor the skin on your hands, and if you see any signs of irritation, follow the procedure above.

UPDATE: May 19th – It’s almost a month later, and the skin on my palm is finally healed, so I am starting to work with the UV resin again, while being a lot more careful about exposure to the resin.




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