The traditional method of “stacking the stems” did not work for me right from the start. The wing would have a tendency to roll and make me very frustrated after I had spent an hour getting the chassis (as I call it) ready so I could set the wings. I tried many things even to go as far as building the area on top of the shank with strands of peacock herl, stripped. This would make an oblong shaped head, which made a flatter surface to set my wings but made a weird looking head.
So I had contacted a fellow Rangeley Style enthusiast and asked how he got his wings to set where he wanted them. He said “I don’t glue them, I take the first feather and tie it in at 11 o’clock, take the second hackle feather and tie it in at 10 o’clock, and so on. BING!! A light went off, how am I suppose to put one circle on another circle and get it to stay where I want by wrapping thread (which pulls the materials when securing) around it? Physics will tell you that depending on where you set the circle (stem) on the other circle (hook shank & thread wraps), that depending on which spot you mount your wings (high or low), it will also change where the stem touches the hook shank. That makes for a huge number of variables that for one, I don’t have the time for, and two, creates frustration. Now there are exceptions to the rule. Some people can finish their chassis with the same amount of thread and same taper, everything. That’s not me, but I am pretty consistent.
I soon got to work and came up with this new technique. I hope it helps you improve your tying! I know it did for me.
The glue I use is Elmer’s Craft Bond Rubber Cement. Don Bastian uses it and has tested it in water, plus it dries clear so you can put some between the wings to stiffen it up like Mrs. Carrie G. Steven of Rangeley, Maine.
All in all, I hope this new method helps many of you solve the problem I encounter when I started tying Rangeley Style. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. This is the first time doing and instructional so I hope I have made it easy to understand. Thank you for reading my instructional. May god bless everyone and have a wonderful 2015!
Stanley Wilfred Williams