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Fly Tying Season

We’re into the New Year, winter’s arrived, and a new fly tying season has begun. For both beginner and seasoned fly tyers, workshops already have started. Although we can learn fly tying from books and videos, most agree that the best and most enjoyable way is the personal connection that happens at workshops.

Workshops offer a great way to learn from experienced tyers and to have fun over winter. And another plus - by spring our fly boxes will be topped up and ready for action.

Local Fly Tying Workshops

Antigonish           Thursdays;
                             Jan. 12, 19, 26 and Feb.2

Time: 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: People’s Place Library, Antigonish

Age Group: Under 16 - Equipment provided and no experience necessary. (There will be a beginner’s session for adults later in Feb.)

Size: We can handle up to 12 tiers.
Contacts: Nick MacInnis nicholas_macinnis@hotmail.com or

Dave MacNeil djmacneil@eastlink.ca

Stellarton             - Town Hall, upstairs Community Room
                             Sundays, 6:30 – 9 pm

Parker Wong, 902-752-3720, 

Tools & materials are provided

Nightly fee (to cover materials cost) - Adults – $3.00, students  

Stillwater             - River Magic Fly Shop, 
                             Saturdays 2 – 4 pm,

Bill Carpan, 902-522-2840, www.rivermagic.ca

Sessions are free, materials are provided, bring fly tying tools if you have them, otherwise just bring enthusiasm!

Back in the 1930’s Lee Wulff designed the Grey Wulff as a dry fly for trout. He used bucktail instead of feathers for wings and tails to increase the durability and floatability of the fly. Later Lee used his fly in larger sizes for salmon in Newfoundland, and tied it in white for better visibility. This became known as the White Wulff. Today the series includes the Royal Wulff, Ginger Wulff, Ausable Wulff and other variations.

Most modern versions of these flies use calftail rather than bucktail. The original White Wulff had a hackle of silver badger cock neck feathers, while today we use cream or white hackle. Body material and color varies as well. The result is similar; a bushy, high-floating, durable fly that is easy to see on the water and works well on trout and Atlantic salmon. Late commercial fly tyer Warren Duncan used as many as 4 hackles for his salmon Wulffs to produce the big high-floaters his customers wanted.

Another variation is tied similarly except with little or no hackle, enabling it to be fished wet. In large sizes it has become a favourite of local anglers for large and fussy sea trout.

Brandon Lowe of Sheet Harbour uses white Ice Dub for the body of his White Wulff, adding the sparkle shown in Brandon’s photo.

Brandon’s White Wulff

Hook:               Mustad 94840 dry fly in sizes 2 - 8

Thread:           Black or white

Tail:                 White calftail

Body:               Ice Dub

Wings:             White calftail, divided to form 2 wings

Hackle:            Thick and bushy white cock hackle

Head:              Black or white

The other Wulff patterns are tied similarly, using different color schemes.


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Please stay on the line …

A River Magic Fly Tying Workshop

This wasn't yesterday because I see a wall full of saddles behind the group. Also, my red carpenter's pencil is much shorter now.

From left front - Parker Wong, Workshop Leader, Damian Welsh.
Rear - Steve Clapperton, Don MacLean, Peter White, Dave MacNeil, Bill Carpan

So, who took the photo? Maybe Bob MacDonald?

Brandon Lowe at the Vise

Our flies for 2012 will include Brandon Lowe's White Wulff and others from his vise.

All of the flies River Magic sells are tied by our fine local tiers - NO IMPORTS!

Sadly, some of our local businesses stock thousands of cheap & substandard flies from Asian and African sweat shops.

You won't find those at River Magic!