Preventing Wing Roll in Traditional Featherwing Streamers – Stanley Wilfred Williams


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.

The traditional way of gluing Rangeley Style Wings, I am not sure if there is a name for it but I call it “stacking the stems”. So when you stack the stems, you only create one point of contact. Ever tried standing one two balls stacked on top of each other? No, because you would probably get hurt before you could even stand up straight. Obviously not very stable.


When you hold in place your preassembled wing, wrap your thread and pull to secure. The wing furthest away always rolls clockwise if your looking at the eye of the hook. The same happens to the wing closest, it too rolls clockwise and you end up with tilted wings or a lot of adjusting to hopefully get the wings straight.


This is how I glue my wings, #1 is the inside saddle hackle, #2 is the outside saddle hackle, #3 is the shoulder feather, and #4 is jungle cock. When you preassemble your wings like this, it gives you two contact points. Two contact points make for a more stable setting of the wings while securing.


To the actual gluing of the feathers. This illustration I used turkey feathers to emphasize the stem of the feather. This wing would set on the near side if you tie right handed. First, lay the inside saddle hackle on you table just like mine. I glue the stripped stem and all the way up the stem to just before where you shoulder will end. Remember, those streamers without shoulders you should pay a little more attention to how much glue and where. Once you have put glue on the inside saddle hackle, just place your outside saddle hackle or #2 feather stem just below the stem of feather #1. Make sure the two stem run parallel, it’s awful hard to straighten them once the glue sets.


This shows the glued stem ends that will contour you hook shank & thread wraps.


This photo show how to glue the far side wing. Just repeat previous step accept when you set the outside saddle hackle or #2 feather, it is going to go on top of the stem instead of the bottom. When you lay the inside saddle hackle or #1 feather on your table just like the photo. After you glued #1, take your #2feather and place it above the stem of feather #1. Make sure it runs parallel to the stem of inside saddle feather. Seventh Photo Caption: This shows the glued stem ends that will contour you hook shank & thread wraps. This would be for the far side wing.


I used a shorter turkey feather for the shoulder in my example to make it easier for you. Now you want to glue your stems of one of your wings and just a little up into the feather to hold the shoulder in line with the #1 and #2 feathers. Once you have glued those area’s, place you shoulder in the little notch that feather #1 and #2 create when you previously glued them. You may have to manipulate it with your fingernail or a tying tool like a bodkin when you have to separate the stems. I know this may sound like more work but it is worth it in the long run and you will eventually get quicker at it.


A photo showing where I place my shoulder stems, right where the pen is pointing. This wing is for the near side.


Just a photo of what the near side wing would look like to a right handed fly tyer.


This is where you place the jungle cock nail. Now if your quick enough you can set you nail right on top before the glue dries from the shoulder. I recommend adding a little more glue right in the same spots as the shoulder, some the stem and some just a smidgeon into the shoulder feather. Not much because you don’t want it to squeeze out the side of the JC nail. Then you got a little mess.

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
Stan’s Streamers
Howland, Maine


Jack Gartside Darkside

Jack Gartside's Darkside tied by Darren MacEachern
Jack Gartside’s Darkside tied by Darren MacEachern

Hook: Gaelic Supreme Mike Martinek Rangeley streamer hook 8xl, #2
Thread: Black, 6/0
Tag: Silver flat tinsel
Body: Red floss
Ribbing: Silver flat tinsel
Underwing: Five strands of peacock herl white bucktail
Wing: Matched furnace saddle or neck feathers
Cheek: Reddish-brown church window feathers
Eyes: Jungle cock

Notes: I’ve been tying this pattern for a few years now ever since I had discovered the late Jack Gartside’s ringneck pheasant page. The page itself is a wonderful article dedicated to the use of the many feathers you can find on a ringneck pheasant pelt. The Darkside calls for furnace hackle, and while I did have a few pathetic hackles in my inventory, none were worthy of being lashed to a long hook. I took to Ebay to search and found a couple wonderfully patterned Whiting American furnace hackle pelts being sold by fellow streamer addict Ron McKusick (silvermag). These pelts are sort of a two in one with the lower sections full of black hackle and the top consisting of the furnace feathers. The stems are a nice thickness and thinner than most of my other American capes.

I’ve tied the streamer following my convention of streamers, meaning the underwing is tied on top of the hook. So because the peacock and bucktail is labeled as the underwing, I’ve tied it in that position. In my earlier ties of the Darkside, I placed the peacock and bucktail under the hook in what I consider the belly position. I did this mainly because of how the original image looks, with what seems like a clear belly. The original recipe and image are posted below for comparison. Either way, it is a stunning pattern, and I can’t wait to get a few more twisted up.

Original recipe via

Darkside by Jack Gartside
Darkside by Jack Gartside

Hook: Mustad 9575, 3665A or any 2x or 3x streamer hook: sizes 1 – 4
Thread: Black, 6/0
Tail: None
Body: Red floss or wool
Ribbing: Fine silver tinsel or mylar
Underwing: Four or five strands of peacock herl, under which is tied a slender bunch of fine white bucktail (both to extend beyond the bend of the hook)
Wing: Matched furnace saddle or neck feathers
Cheek: Reddish-brown church window feathers
Eyes: Jungle cock (optional)


Big Poppey by Bill Chandler

Big Poppey - Bill Chandler
Big Poppey – Bill Chandler

Tied by: Bill Chandler
Originated by: Bill Chandler

Big Poppey Fly Pattern

Hook: Castle Arms Heritage Allcock BG3 #2
Thread: White 8/0
Tag: Silver flat tinsel
Body: Green silk
Rib: Silver flat tinsel
Belly: White bucktail
Throat: Red schlappen
Under-wing: Orange bucktail and black dyed golden pheasant crest
Under-shoulder: Red schlappen
Wing: 4 red hackles
Shoulder: Mikado pheasant
Eye: Jungle cock nail
Head: Black

Notes: Tied on a vintage modeled BG3 hook, Bill’s Big Poppey is inspired by the Manhattan poppy flower. You can sub silver pheasant crest for the dyed black golden pheasant crest, and a black hen saddle for the shoulder if Mikado pheasant isn’t something you have in your inventory.

Bill ChandlerBill Chandler – I have been tying flies since 1978. I discovered fly fishing and fly tying by watching a Canadian angling show one Saturday morning. Since then I have spent a considerable time of my life learning both the old and new techniques of tying flies. I specialize in tying the Classic styles of flies, such as Catskill Dry Flies, Rangeley style Streamers and Classic and Artistic Salmon Flies.
I am a professional tyer, but not a commercial tyer. I refer to myself as a pattern creator and developer. I am always looking for new materials and techniques to create flies for both fresh and salt water anglers.
[visit Bill’s streamer page on Streamers 365]


Eunan Hendron, Loydd Lutes and Larry Leight Streamers

It’s the last day of 2014 and there are some really cool and unique streamers on auction. We will be posting a few more collections over the next year including streamers from Bill Chandler, Ken Craigue Jr and Steve Cullen. If you are interested in sharing your work on the blog, you can email me at

First up for streamers we have a series of fresh long flies from Lloyd Lutes (dropsamcolt) which includes both original patterns and some classics. Patterns include Black & Olive, Yellow & Gold, Governor Barrows, Rogan Royal Grey Ghost, Supervisor and 9-3 Custom #3.

Black & Olive - Lloyd Lutes
Black & Olive

Streamers 365 contributor Larry Leight (lk4leight) has again put up a great series of streamers and collections. Larry’s Sky Blue Pink streamer was included in his 2014 collection on the blog and is one of the streamers available along with a pair of Carrie Stevens’ patterns; Larry and Artula. You can also grab one of the collections of streamers Larry has become known for. The set up for grabs this time are a set of Carrie Stevens patterns and a set of that include patterns from Mike Martinek and Tom Fawcett.

Sky Blue Pink - Larry Leight
Sky Blue Pink

Eunan Henrdon (addicted2vise) has taken up the challenge to tie an authentic Carrie Stevens Gray Ghost streamer by using an antique Alcock 2811 hook, but taking things one step further by tying the fly in hand. Hunan also has a series of married wing streamers including Rainbow Streamer, Trout Fin Streamers and a variation of Davie McPhail’s Jock Scott conversion streamer up on the block.

Gray Ghost - Eunan Hendron
Gray Ghost

Happy bidding and good luck adding a few new pieces to your collection. See you in 2015.


Streamers 365 Volume 1-3 Now Available as Trade Edition

Good News!

It may have taken quite a while, but trade editions are finally complete and available online now. The new editions feature all of the same content as the photo books, but are printed on industry standard paper to make the books more affordable. The 10 x 8 trade editions start at $39.99 CA (less expensive in $U.S.) compared to $57.99 for the photo paper editions. Just click the links below to order. Save 25% when you purchase three or more books with code:EASYGIFTS or save 20% on orders with code:WRAPUP. (expires Dec 16, 2014). Stay tuned for news on Volume 4 coming 2015.

Streamers 365 Volume 1 Pattern #1-122 By Darren MacEachern
Streamers 365 Volume 1 Pattern #1-122 By Darren MacEachern
Streamers 365 volume 2
Streamers 365 volume 2 patterns #123-244
Streamers 365 Volume 3
Streamers 365 Volume 3

Lloyd Lutes Streamers and WIllis & Sons Hooks

It was a welcome surprise to see a new set of streamers for sale on Ebay from noted Canadian tyer Lloyd Lutes. Not only does he tie a mean streamers, but he is also quite accomplished at tying fully dressed classics, of which there are a couple available to bid on from seller dropsamcolt on Ebay. The streamer offering includes a Silver Doctor, Green Ghost, Jenny Lind, Jenny Lind Custom and a pair of Austie’s Specials. The flies are beautifully tied and come signed with a case and are all available as a buy it now. I can’t imagine they will last long at the prices set. There is also a very rare set of #2 Willis & Sons 10xl streamer hooks. These are some really stunning hooks for tying Carrie Stevens streamers on. Keep an eye on them as they have been known to bid up to $10 per hook.

Lloyd Lutes – Silver Doctor

Lloyd Lutes Silver Doctor

Willis & Sons 10xl #2 streamer hook

Willis & Sons 10xl #2 streamer hook

Happy Bidding!


Streamers on Auction

I’m just back from the 2014 International Fly Tying Symposium in New Jersey with a couple new sets of streamers that will be posted in the upcoming months. It was really a great show for streamers and I had a chance to chat to a few new tyers we hope to see on the site next year.

Now, back to business, there are a ton of collectable streamers on auction this week. The perfect chance to grab a couple to help celebrate the turkey and yam holiday, and stay out of the stampeding herds expected shortly.

First up is a series of streamers from S365 tyer Eunan Hendron which includes many of the Ghost series streamers he had shared with the 2014 part of the project. You can check out the streamers on auction from Eunan’s ebay account addicted2vise.

Eunan Hendron 2014 Streamer Collection
Eunan Hendron 2014 Streamer Collection

A few streamers from Lance Allaire have also been posted.  Lance posts under flash-101 on Ebay and continues to offer a variety of Carrie Stevens patterns and original designs.

Lance Allaire - Pirate (Stevens)
Lance Allaire – Pirate (Stevens)

Stan Williams who sells his flies under swil7029 on Ebay has been quite busy at the vise tying a big selection of Carrie Stevens patterns on some traditional styled Mustad 3907A hooks. He also has a few other NE classics on sale and prides his tying on adhering to traditional methods.

Stan Williams - Golden Witch (Stevens)
Stan Williams – Golden Witch (Stevens)

Larry Leight (lk4leight) has a section of Carrie Stevens patterns and a sweet looking original called Fly Creek.

Larry Leight - Fly Creek
Larry Leight – Fly Creek

Lastly we have fly tyer Sam Kenney who lists his streamers under classicflies45 and has been busy creating some original patterns. His Sunshine Special is the only streamer on auction at the moment, but it is a beautiful one.

Sam Kenney - Sunshine Special
Sam Kenney – Sunshine Special

Happy Bidding!


Donald Bruce Soar – 1963 – 2014

I was shocked and saddened today to learn about our friend Don Soar passing away. Rest well dear friend.

Don Soar - Dedicated angler and fly tyer
Don Soar – Dedicated angler and fly tyer

Don was a huge part of the Streamers 365 project and we will miss miss him dearly. He was truly one of friendliest people behind the vise. Who can forget the epic series of streamers Don developed to honour the NFL. He also developed some other beautiful streamers, his Kokanee Sunrise being one of my favourite. Don Soar passed away suddenly on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at the age of 51. He will be missed dearly.

Donald Bruce Soar – October 8th, 1963 – October 18th, 2014

Condolences and remembrances can be left here – Don Soar

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