The Gabriel's Trumpet Tying Steps

(Gabriel's Trumpet Part 2)

In Gabriel's Trumpet Tying Steps, Skip gives you the patterns for different color variations, and shows you how to tie his favorite, the gold Gabriel's Trumpet, including some insider's tips on how to tie it like a pro.

Hints and Tips to Tying the Perfect Gabriel's Trumpet

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold

If you buy, rather than tie, your flies, no problem—the Gabriel's Trumpet is produced commercially and your local fly shop should be able to get it, if they haven't got it already.

But if you do tie, here are a few tips and tactics to smooth out the process:

  • You can use 6/0 thread for larger hook-sizes, but I don't—slender 8/0 Uni-Thread keeps the bulk down and the abdomens of my Trumpets slim.

  • As you bind on the mylar (Flashabou or Krystal Flash) and wire, try to create an even, tapered foundation for the abdomen.

  • Wind the mylar tightly so that it molds down to grip the thread-windings.

  • After you wind the mylar and bind it—but before you cut its ends—check the abdomen from both sides to make sure all the thread is covered; if not, unwind the thread and rewind the mylar.

  • The wing case will be strongest if you use the thick base of the turkey section rather than its thin end (feel free to experiment with tough synthetics).

  • When you trim out the hackle's tip, you can simply hold the tip out under moderate tension and saw the stem with the edge of one scissor blade— this makes it impossible to accidentally cut off any fibers of the hackle collar.

Gabriel's Trumpet Patterns: Gold, Pink, and Black Variations

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold

  • Hook: Heavy wire, curved shank (scud/pupa style), sizes 16 to 10. (The hook in the tying step photos is a Daiichi 1120. Alternate: use straight-shank hook.)

  • Bead: Gold, 1/8-inch for sizes 10 and 12; 7/64-inch for size 14; 3/32-inch for size 16.

  • Weight: lead or lead-substitute wire, 0.015-inch. (You can use larger-diameter wire for the largest hook sizes.)

  • Thread: Gold or yellow 8/0 or 6/0.

  • Tails: Two gold, amber, or yellow goose quills.

  • Rib: Fine red copper wire.

  • Abdomen: Gold Flashabou (or Krystal Flash).

  • Wing Case: Mottled-brown turkey primary (or Bug Skin, or durable synthetics, such as Thin Skin, Medallion sheeting...).

  • Thorax: Tan (or gold or amber) ostrich herl.

  • Legs: One ginger (or gold or tan) hen-neck hackle.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Pink

Hook, bead, weight, wing case, and rib are all the same as for the gold version. Tails and hackle are white or cream. Thread, abdomen, and thorax are pink.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Black

Hook, weight, and wing case are the same as for the gold version. Bead, thread, tails, abdomen, thorax, and hackle are all black. The rib is natural copper wire (or, for more kick, hot yellow Ultra Wire).

Gabriel's Trumpet Tying Steps, Gold Version:

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 1 Step 1

1. Slip the bead up the hook's shank to the hook's eye, small end of the bead against the eye. Mount the hook in your vise.

Wind a layer of lead wire from about the center of the shank to the rear of the bead. Cut off and press down the ends of the wire. Push the wire forward into the hole in the bead.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 2 Step 2

2. Start the thread against the rear of the lead and then trim off the end of the thread. Cut off and then bind on two goose biots for tails. The length of the tails should be about one half to two thirds the length of the hook's shank (a full shank's length at most).

Where is the shank on a curved hook like this? Just imagine if its shank were straight and work from that.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 3 Step 3

3. Bind copper wire along the shank behind the lead, back to the bend. The end of the wire should be up against the lead.

Double a strand of Flashabou or Krystal Flash over the thread, slide the looped strand down to the hook against the rear of the lead, and then hold the ends of the strand back as you wind thread down them to the bend.

The idea is to build up the shank behind the lead to taper up from the bend to match the lead's diameter.

The result: a smooth foundation over which you can build a smooth abdomen.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 4 Step 4

4. Spiral the thread forward to slightly past halfway up the remaining shank behind the bead (in other words, from the bend to the rear of the bead). Wind the two ends of the Flashabou or Krystal Flash up the abdomen to the hanging thread. Bind the ends of the strands with a few tight thread-turns.

Spiral the copper wire firmly up the abdomen in four to six ribs. Bind the end of the copper wire at the front of the abdomen. Trim off the ends of the strands and wire closely.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 5 Step 5

5. Snip from the quill a section of mottled brown-tan turkey about two thirds as wide as the gape. Bind the section atop the lead just ahead of the abdomen. Trim off and bind the butt of the section.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 6 Step 6

6. Bind a couple of ostrich herls by their butts onto the shank against the rear of the bead. Spiral the thread back to the front of the abdomen. Wind the herl back to the abdomen in close turns, creating a shaggy thorax.

Wind a couple of turns of thread over the tip of the herl; then keep winding the thread in a spiral forward through the herl to the bead.

Now the thread crosses the herl's stem repeatedly in a helical pattern—

the herl is much tougher this way.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 7 Step 7

7. Using a hackle gauge, find a hen hackle to suit the size of your hook. Strip the longer, fluffy fibers from the base of the stem. Bind the hackle by its bare stem against the rear of the bead. Wind the thread back from the bead a few close turns (not far!). Trim off the stem of the hackle.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 8 Step 8

8. Wind the hackle back from the bead in three or four close turns. Wind a couple of turns of thread over the hackle's tip; then forward in three or four only slightly open spirals to the bead. Reach in with the tips of your scissors and trim out the tip of the hackle.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 9 Step 9 9. Stroke back all the hackle fibers and then pinch them down hard—you want the fibers to angle back, towards the tails.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 10 Step 10

10. Draw the turkey section forward and down atop the thorax. Bind it there with a few tight turns of thread, all gathered close to the bead.

Gabriel's Trumpet, Gold, Step 11 Step 11

11. Trim off the end of the turkey section closely. Cover the trimmed end with a narrow collar of tight thread-turns against the back of the bead. Whip finish and trim the thread. Add head cement to the thread-collar to complete the Gabriel's Trumpet.

And that's've just completed the Gabriel's Trumpet, gold.

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