Color of Chadwick's 477 Yarn When Wet

by John Evans
(San Antonio, TX)

First Cichlid Taken With Chadwick's 477 Yarn

First Cichlid Taken With Chadwick's 477 Yarn

A few blog posts ago I mentioned that my wife had gifted me with some original Chadwick’s 477 yarn from England, and I tied up a few Killer Bugs with it. I finally had the opportunity to fish the yarn in a little warm water creek with good results. The fish I caught weren’t anything special—just some cichlids and bluegills, but the Killer Bug worked well. The one I used was tied with a pink hot spot at the head, the normal way I tie Utah Killer Bugs with the Spindrift Oyster Yarn.

I thought I’d post the one photo of this little cichlid just so readers could see the translucent, “wormy” color of the Chadwick’s yarn when it’s wet. You can see why fish go for it. Most yarns just turn darker when they’re in the water, but the Chadwick’s and Oyster yarns gain a life-like, attractive appearance, with some depth to them.

The one take-away from the afternoon’s excursion is the importance of actually testing fly-tying materials in the water. The way something looks on the shelf or fly-tying bench and the way it appears in the creek will almost certainly be different. Plus, it gives you a good excuse to go fishing!

Comments for Color of Chadwick's 477 Yarn When Wet

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Mar 07, 2018
Beautiful fly and fish
by: Les Albjerg

John - Thanks for sharing the picture. I will be tying some flies with my Chadwick's 477 today. I have found the Spindrift yarns to be very effective for many flies. I have bought several colors from a couple of different yarn shops. Keeper Kebari tied with the "Peacock" have been deadly effective on trout and smallmouth bass. I am becoming a believer that wool has a special attraction as a fly tying material.

I rarely get sick, but I am fighting a nasty sinus infection and the doc said I am grounded for at least 3 days. No work - no fishing - no time in the shop. No steelhead fishing this weekend! I am not allowed to go up in the mountains for 10 days.

I would love to catch a cichlid or a Guadalupe bass. It seems to me like every place has special fish to pursue. Thanks for sharing. I wish I had taken a couple of extra days when I was in Texas last year to pursue those two species with more diligence.

Mar 07, 2018
Get well soon
by: Chris Stewart

Les, you need a new doc - one that says no work for at least 10 days, but feel free to fish after 3 days (curative power of fresh air and all that).

Mar 07, 2018
Sympathizer
by: John Evans

Les,
May your recovery be swifter than the doctor predicts! I suffered through the dreaded flu a few weeks ago and thought I'd never get over it. This has been a bad year for illness so far. Hang in there.

Mar 07, 2018
Spindrift yarns
by: bill piatek

Les,
What colors have you had success with besides the Oyster?

No joy on my flies today in the river. But when we got to the lake my luck changed. Released about a dozen on my home made French spinners.

bill


Mar 08, 2018
Spindrift Yarns
by: Les Albjerg

Bill - There are 97 colors of Shetland Spindrift yarns! Black is obvious and offered by Chris on this website. The one I really like is the Peacock. It has been a great color for Keeper Kebari. I have caught rainbow, brook, and brown trout on that color. It works well on smallmouth bass too! The only carp on a fly was with that fly. I have tied egg flies with Mimosa (yellow). I plan on using this color on other flies as well. I also have the Scarlet. I would love to try others, but once you buy the yarn from a yarn store, you pretty much have a life time supply of that color!

My suggestion is to do a web search, and get a few colors that appeal to you, and give them a try.

Mar 08, 2018
No yarn left
by: Chris Stewart

I've stopped selling yarn. As far as I know, all the colors catch fish but I haven't tried any of the real bright ones.

Specifically for Killer Bugs, I still prefer the Sand color, gone over with a Sand Prismacolor marker to darken it. It is closer to the original Chadwicks 477 than the Oyster is, by some measure. The Utah guys wanted to skip the time and expense of the marker, so they chose Oyster for the Utah Killer Bug. I eventually switched the Killer Bug One Fly Kits to Oyster from Sand because without the marker they were about 2/3 the price, and still effective.

Mar 08, 2018
thanks for the yarn info
by: bill piatek

Thanks guys, I'll try a few colors. We have weekly fly tying before each club meeting so I'll give away a bunch. What color was the Dark Kebari yarn?

My lack of success yesterday was on a Walt's Worm fly. Should have tried the Killer Bug too.

Tomorrow will be a spinning day with the club so maybe the jigs and spoons Chris sells.

bill

Mar 08, 2018
Dark Kebari yarn
by: Chris Stewart

The Dark Kebari yarn is Oxford.

A Walt's Worm is essentially a Killer Bug but with hare's ear dubbing instead of yarn. If one didn't work, the other wouldn't have either.

To get a Killer Bug's pinkish tan color when wet, mix a FEW strands of red mohair in with your hare's ear dubbing.

Mar 08, 2018
Know your Limitations!
by: Les Albjerg

Chris - Thanks for carrying all the stuff you already do carry! Yarn isn't that difficult to get. Twenty years ago, I would be buying almost all 97 of the colors!

One of the big lessons for me over the last year and a half from exposure to Tenkara, is to simplify!

There are several fly fishing and artificial lure areas that I want to fish this year. I am going to be using the "Overhand Worm" for sure as one of my flies. I am also looking at Kebari that come close to imitating the various hatches that occur on those streams. Using wool for the body color is an easy way to "match the hatch."

I will never be a "one fly" guy, but it would be nice to be a "one dozen flies" guy.

I sure hope you don't stop selling your fly tying kits Chris. They make great gifts for getting newbies started tying flies, and I have used them to introduce people to your site.

Mar 08, 2018
Kits are gone, too
by: Chris Stewart

Too late, Les, the kits are gone, too.

The tying instructions are still on the site, in the Tenkara Flies section, but keeping the kits meant keeping the materials.

Materials are available anywhere. Plus, US tax law required that I charge excise tax (hidden in the price) on fly tying kits. Excise tax is not collected for materials, though, so you can buy all the materials separately for less than I had to charge for a kit.

Mar 08, 2018
Spend more time perusing the website
by: Les Albjerg

One thing I love about this website is it is ever changing. New things to learn. I need to make sure you still have stuff before I tell people about it.


Mar 09, 2018
Chadwick's 477 works well
by: Les Albjerg

I fished two different flies today at Wilson Springs. I tied up 6 Killer Bugs on Hends Type BL model 321 size 12 hooks. I really like using hooks that are made as barbless hooks more and more rather than smashing barbs. Hends hooks are European competition hooks. They are thin, strong, and ultra sharp!

I did the traditional tie, and I found an old motor in my collection with some nice thin red coated red wire.

I fished the "stealth" pool at Wilson Springs today. Two points on this pool. I always wear camo clothes when fishing it. You won't catch anything there in the afternoon in the winter. There is a shoal in the pool that the trout love to work. It isn't easy fishing. It has to be fly first, or they are gone! When I got there, two of the "three stooges" were fishing. (These are the guys that tease me for worm fishing.) One of them asked me, "How many worms did you bring today?" in a disgusting voice as I walked by them. I told them, "None!, I am fly fishing today." I was using the TenkaraBum 40 a size 3 level line and my favorite 6.5x tippet. I set-up, and saw three nice trout coming in formation, and dropped the Killer Bug in front of them. Three twitches, and I could see the white mouth of the one closest to me as it engulfed the fly! Fish on! Sure it was a 12 inch planter, but it was fun!

I released the fish, poured a cup of coffee from my thermos, and enjoyed the view twenty feet in front of me. If you are selective at Wilson Springs in where you look, you can feel like you are alone in the wilderness. I needed to let the pool settle down. However, as I looked over to change flies, I could see "Larry" and "Curly" 40 yards away at their "peg" to use the British term, slapping the water with their fly lines, and not catching a thing. I switched to the "improved overhand worm" (see new post), and caught two more nice fish. I would have fished longer, but forgot my antibiotic, so was forced to go home.

As I walked by "Larry" and "Curly", Larry came up and asked, "What fly did you use?" I showed him the Killer Bug. I asked him what he was using. They were fishing with Copper John's. I felt sorry for them. I shared that in the winter the Copper John's didn't work well. I wasn't going to give up any of my treasured Chadwick's 477, so I gave him two Utah Killer Bugs and two Prince Nymphs. I told him both of those work well at Wilson Springs in the winter if you use a gentle presentation. His comment to me was, I thought you were a worm fisherman? I told him, I "fish to catch fish, and use what ever is legal." I showed him the .4 gram "fly rod spoons." I asked him if he and his two buddies ever caught fish. He told me that they really try to time the Springs on the day they are planted. He said they are skunked about 2/3rds of the time. As I left, I encouraged him to work more on his presentation, and spend less time being critical of others. I was only skunked at Wilson Springs once last year.

It was fun fishing a historical fly! Next time out, I am going to fish a standard Killer Bug for an hour and then the Chadwick's 477 for an hour just to compare and have fun! Thank your wife John for inspiring me get some Chadwick's and give it a try!

Mar 09, 2018
Another Prismacolor to the Recipe
by: John Evans

You're welcome, Les. By the way, I've been doing a little "Prismacolor Experimentation" lately. Chris' excellent recipe calls for the Sand-colored Spindrift yarn, colored with the sand-colored Prismacolor marker. This makes an excellent Killer Bug. Prismacolor also makes a "Blush Pink Light" marker. What I've been doing lately is coloring the sand yarn with the Blush Pink Light and then the Sand marker to give the yarn a real wormy pink/tan color that the fish go for. Of course, part of it may just be that the color builds my confidence a little. You know how it is . . . you fish the flies you really like with a bit more determination. Anyway, sand yarn + blush pink marker + sand marker makes a nice Killer Bug, too. I'm sure that presentation counts for more than these slight variations in color.

Mar 11, 2018
477 substitute?
by: Kevin Bayes

Has anyone had a chance to directly compare real Chadwick’s with the SemperFly Chadwick’s 477 Substitute? Just wondering how similar they are in real life.

Mar 11, 2018
Semperfly yarn
by: Chris Stewart

I don't remember if I tried that one or not. I tried several "Chadwicks substitutes" before settling on the Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift (Sand color (#183), with Sand color (#70) Prismacolor marker). Not one of the commercially available 477 subs had any red fibers in the yarn. They all matched the color of the 477 reasonably well when dry, but none of them had the pinkish tone when wet, which was caused by the red fibers, and which Frank Sawyer specifically identified as the reason he thought the Killer Bug was so effective.

I chose the Sand Jamieson's specifically because it has red fibers, and was light enough that it would take the color of the marker well. The resulting bugs were a little too brown, but the trout didn't know that. I now think the Light Umber 40% (color 273) might be closer than the Sand (color 70) to the real Chadwicks 477, but either the store didn't have it when I started looking, or I didn't have any real Chadwicks 477 at that time.

Mar 13, 2018
Stop, don’t go there
by: Craig

If you really want to do your mind in:
Don’t just look at materials wet or dry:

1) look at them in the water at the depth you would fish. Water filters wavelengths of light. Depending on tannins and clarity this changes as do colours at different depths in fresh water.

2) trout eyes are designed differently to humans, retinas are different, different rods and cones. This changes their perceptions to human eyes.
So if you wanted to see what they see you would need filters and special optical lenses to get you their view. This can and has been done.

From experience, this is the way of a lost soul. I went this way during a prolonged incapacitation. I had nothing else to divert my mind from the priority, which was everything fishing. And I mean everything!

Suits those with compulsive tendencies (I called them focused and developing expertise). It could lead to loss of friends (less enlightened people who fail to enjoy the subeditors of how trout perceive the world) and even some anglers seeing you as strange or even a little bit weird (clearly novices).

But after journeying this way let me share an enlightenment (or as my spouse said, duh). This way is strictly more of a "match the hatch" ideology instead of "near enuf good enuf better to jus' go Fishin'". In other words, buy one of Chris rods, tie on a fly, and just get out there. Listen to other but work out what works for you. Hours at the bench/pc or hours on the water?

At my stage now after 40 years of trial and error I vote hours on the water as the best way to learn new things.

Mar 13, 2018
Nice Twist!
by: Les Albjerg

Craig - Your post didn't end where I thought it would! I agree. I stopped fishing for about 5 years because I made it too complicated.

One reason I am a committed worm fisherman. I do enjoy fly fishing too, but if there weren't restrictions such as lure or fly only fishing areas, I would just fish worms almost all the time.

In my book, Kebari translates as "pragmatic" fly. When watching several sources of videos from the Japanese masters, they fish what catches fish.

There is a certain fun and satisfaction however being an educated fisherman. Because of work and a commitment to fish often, I am forced to fish pressured waters. I'm not going to tell others how to fish. I am not being critical either when I say the following. However, I often observe people at the pressured spots doing the same thing over and over with poor results. They seem to be having fun, so unless they visit with me, I leave them alone. I have run into several people that have taught me things too! I spent 20 minutes with a couple of spin fisherman last summer and learned more in those 20 minutes than I would have reading a book. I'm having fun and enjoying the challenge. It is easy to over think our sport.

Mar 13, 2018
Tying and Fishing
by: John Evans

Good thoughts, all. I would add that the more I tie, the more I tend to fish. (Have to test them out!)

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Warning:

The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

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