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Post 29 Jun 2020, 13:11 • #1 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
Since Sylvester Nemes signed my copy of the "Soft Hackled Fly" at Toronto's Fly Fishing Forum in 1991, I've been an occasional user of silk tying-thread.
When it comes to tying Yorkshire soft hackles or Leisenring & Hidy's flymphs, I've always used Pearsall's size-A Gossamer silk thread. With two Matarelli Mini bobbins & a selection Gossamer silk colours I was set up for quite a while.

But, being an organic material silk deteriorates with age (Don't we all?), even if it's stored in a cool dark place. Some of my silk stash seems to have passed its best before date. Tiny fluffy white balls have formed on the surfaces of some of my threads.
Since Pearsall's has stopped manufacturing, Gossamer (particularly in the popular colours of: 6A orange, 3 Primrose, 4 Yellow, 9 Black, 8 Purple, 12 Cardinal. 13 Claret) has been getting increasingly scarce or unobtainable. I looked into Japanese silk threads that had some lovely colours, but they seemed too thick as tying silk.

While looking for some {locally) hard to come by Wapsi mini & micro-mini mink zonker strips, I stumbled on a Canadian source in Massey, ONTARIO: flymart.ca. (no affiliation)
Here I found both the mink I wanted & I also saw a page of "Ephemera" silk thread from France that looked real interesting.
Having silk thread on a standard-sized wooden spool peaked my interest (100 meters of it too), so I ordered what looked like a Gossamer's 6A orange: Soie-Ephemera #625 Orange.
https://flymart.ca/product/4661/ephemer ... ing-thread
Not a bad price at 3.90 CAD. Because of COVID, I waited for more than a month, within Canada.

Anyway, I was delighted when my packet arrived, particularly because the Ephemera silk's spool exactly fit my standard Tiemco bobbin.

This silk does not appear to be as tightly twisted as the English silk & is not wound on the spool as tightly as the old Gossamer thread. However, when tying right-handed, the thread naturally twists tighter.
I quickly put an old Partridge Roman Moser barbless dry hook (#10) in my vise, grabbed my Hungarian partridge box & started tying a thoraxed Partridge & Orange.
Instead of tying in the soft hackle by the tip as is my custom, I followed Dave Hughes' (author of Wet Flies) advice, to tie on the hackle butt-first, then wrap a body. Also, instead of wrapping the collar forward, I wound it backward onto the dubbed thorax then wound the the silk forward through the collar. This method locks down the delicate partridge collar fibers & produces a smaller head than if I'd tie off the thicker stem, then wrap the silk head on top.

When the fly was placed in water, the colour of the silk turned to a shade of orange similar to a "wet" Gossamer 6A. Normally I finish of a soft hackle fly with a waxed silk head, no cement. This time I tried out Loon's water based cement.
The colour of the head on the Partridge & Orange soft hackle below is like the exact colour of the "wet" Ephemera silk. This tying-silk is a definite keeper!
Next, I'd like to get a spool of primrose, dark brown & black.


I am confident that some folks here on FFR may have used this brand of silk thread, either for tying flies or perhaps for whipping guides on rods.

If you have any experiences with Soie-Ephemera threads or flosses, please share them. I sure would be interested.


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Post 29 Jun 2020, 21:38 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1642
Location: South of Joplin
Pearsalls Gossamer resurrected by Morus Silk; https://www.gunpowdercustomtackle.com/p ... -superfine
I just use nylon.
I know some of the folks on the Flymph Forum used the Dean St. Ephemera silk a while back. There are discussions and color comparisons with Pearsalls and Kimono 100 over there.


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Post 30 Jun 2020, 14:16 • #3 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thank you Trev.
I have just discovered the "flymph forum" from the folks @ CFRF. Will have to look them up.

Morus' Canadian distributor is close to me geographically:
https://www.successfulangler.com/ however, I can only see Pearsall's listed in his site. Yet his search system recognizes Morus. but leads back to Pearsall's. Strange.
So then, is Morus actually Pearsall's under a new manufacturer?

I do hope to get some samples of this Morus silk within Canada. The UK website does not want inquiries, but suggests we (Canada & US) should contact our "stockists".


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Post 30 Jun 2020, 15:10 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1642
Location: South of Joplin
Blueprof, my understanding is Morus bought Pearsall's formulas, processes, name, etc.; I never used silk so never knew that Pearsalls was better or worse than any other.
Read Hidy's book twice about 1977 and tied all the patterns with 6/0 nylon; they worked so well that I wouldn't want to chance changing to silk. The heavy silk does make a nicely segmented body in your fly above, lovely work sir. I may yet buy some silk. Most likely if I do it will be Kimono, for availability. But black Danville works so well...
Links that might interest you; https://theslidingstream.net/pearsalls-gossamer-silk/
https://flymphforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=8871
https://jimsflyco.com/ECommerce/Pearsal ... ead?bId=12


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Post 01 Jul 2020, 01:41 • #5 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanks Trev for the info & the kind words.

Today I contacted "successfulangler.com", our local Morus stockist. Turns out that the competition angler who owns this business also fishes at the same still-water club that I've joined last year.

I ordered the Morus version of the old Pearsall's silk in a few colours. I am curious how these new silks will change their colour when wet. That is the beauty of silk,... what you get when it's wet.

My Leisenring/Hidy book was much loved but was mailed to a friend in Hungary. The poor chap never got the book.

For me now, a more understandable version of the above "flymphs" book is contained inside the book: "Wet Flies" by Dave Hughes. While traditional North Country soft-hackles are fun to tie with silk & do fish well, the buggy effect of tying wets flymph-style seems to make them fish better.
For tying flymph patterns I use whatever thread is on hand at the moment (Danville or polyester).
Cheers, Istvan


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Post 18 Jul 2020, 21:22 • #6 
Guide
Joined: 01/19/11
Posts: 141
Location: Ontario, Canada
Since my last post, I have received five Morun silks from "successfulangler": an Orange/Gold #6A. Sherry Sinner # 6B, Dark Claret #15, Black #9 & Purple # 8.
The plastic spools are identical to Pearsall,s I cannot wait to try them out.


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