The Daddy Long Legs is a crucial pattern when fishing in Scandinavia. When fishing high altitude lakes and stillwater in general it will also work very well as an attractor. The fly can be tied in numerous ways,with a vast variety of materials,and they´ll probably all be great fishing flies. The legs can also be made from many different materials. I do not think it is necessary to tie knots on quills,but it looks very nice. I have a great little tool for this purpose. Here´s a few suggestions…
This is close to the original pattern. Sort of the classic english tying style. Legs from pheasant,wings from hackle tips and a turkey quill body. I use the thread as ribbing to secure the quill body.
This is a more modern version with a foam body. Sometimes,when the wind is rough you´ll need the fly to float better,then foam is a good option. This one is tied by Kjell Karlsen.
Here is a version with extended abdomen made from micro-chenille,japanese organza for the wings and cdc hackle. The legs on this one are made from ozark turkey quills.
This is actually a dentists tool. They need to be accurate in their work,much in the same way fly tyers (sometimes) need to. I use this when preparing wings for streamers and wet flies, and in particular when tying Catskill-style. The tool is not expensive and you can probably get one from your dentist. Choose from either the used or the mint condition category.
The Heckham Peckham is yet another pattern from Aberdeen fly dresser William Murdoch. Originally a sea-trout patter,but works great for trout. When the wind blows tall and the mayflies are hiding in the bushes this thing might to the trick. I choose to tie it with a seal fur body,altough many use floss. I think it´s a free choice and up to the eye of the tyer. I think it is one of the most beautiful classic wet flies. This is also tied in tribute to one of my mentors,Per Rune C.,as this was one of his favourite patterns back in the old days. I usually tie up a few for the season. Nice to have if the bad weather hits you in the mountains,besides there are also sentimental reasons to carry this pattern in my box.
“Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass by without consideration” (Izaac Walton)
I found this nice pattern on smallflyfunk blog. It´s a size 26…it looks cool!
Sometimes I start to think about this subject. The obvious reasons are that the quality is much better than “industrial” flies,besides you get the exact patterns you want. I have created flies since I was about ten years old. I tied my first Rakkelhane at a friends house and understood right away that something had happened. It was a mental thing, and it made me rush to the local fly shop the day after where I bought a starter set from Turall. That was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with hooks,feathers,furs and synthetics. But what makes a grown man sit hour after hour creating small things of both natural and synthetic material. For me the goal is not necessarily to catch fish. A quote from J.Gartside says it all: “Even if there were no fish in the world,I would still tie flies”.
Ever since the early days I´ve tied flies for sale. My own boxes are always in need. Most of my time at the bench is spent tying for others. My flies are well traveled, much more so than their maker. I sometimes envy them. They go off to foreign streams,rivers and lakes and discover the world while I sit at my bench dreaming.
It becomes an obsession, one never gets to be an expert in this game, there are always new things to learn and new secrets to reveal. Fly tying is knowledge about animals,birds,entomology,fish and nature as a whole. Fly tying is in its own right a state of mind.
This is what I´ve really been doing the last few days…these midges are going to Iceland and will soon sit in the jaws of Icelandic browns. I am sending about 122 midges to Iceland,as if they really need more over there.