I'm dyeing...

I'm dyeing...

Viking Lars | Saturday, 27 March 2021

Take note of the ‘e’ - I’m dyeing fly tying materials. In this case, marble fox, because I’m completely out of long fibre fiery brown and I’ve been unable to get a proper colour. Most are just boring, drab brown. Dyeing is not easy, but thankfully, my friend Claus Damsgaard had his hotline open, so it’s cooking as I type in the garage.

Apparently fiery brown is one of the harder colours to hit, and I’ve tried before (and failed miserably). I’ve dyed feather and fur before, and had acceptable results, but I’ve never really learned the process. On the phone with Claus today, I realised many, past mistakes.

Of course some materials are easier than others, but one thing I didn’t know is that if you’re unhappy with a dye, you can always carry on, add more dye, add other colours etc. But there are steps to be taken. The water must be boiling when dissolving the dye and the materials must never see boiling water. So it’s a bit of a cook-up, cool down, add and stir materials, take out materials, pass your judgement, maybe add more dye to bath, cook-up again, let cool, add materials again and so on and so forth. This is all Claus’ advice - I know practically nothing.

I also always thought that more dye is better, but today I learned that many colours are composites of differently coloured crystals and that they don’t all absorb at the same rate. Hence it’s important to leave the materials in the bath for a long time, and hopefully you’ve added the dye so that’s almost all of it is absorbed, leaving almost clear water. That’s the only way to make sure that differently coloured crystals are all absorbed. Oh - and of course temperature is paramount… From boiling to 65-70 degrees C when you enter the materials. Constant monitoring to make sure it’s not too cold or warm and keep stirring…

Christ, maybe I should have stuck with a marker pen… But a new skilled learned equals new opportunities. And since fiery brown is hard to get in the proper it would be nice to be able to do yourself. All this doesn’t matter much of course to the fish, but it matters to me when I select the fly in the box. And brown, yellow and orange colours are effective in the Danish and Southern Swedish salmon waters.

So here we go - wish me luck. Updates will follow!

Have a great weekend!