A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

A place to discuss the collecting and tying of classic flies, the tyers who made them famous, the tools, materials and techniques they used as well as the waters they were designed for. While classic is generally used to describe old things, classic is also used in the sense of first class or in the highest form. Therefore a fully dressed Salmon Fly, or a Carrie Stevens Streamer are just as much classics as a Chernobyl Ant would be. Enjoy the forum.

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bprof
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A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#1

Post by bprof »

Pearsall's Gossamer silk tying-thread is sadly no longer made & is increasingly difficult to find. This Size-A silk thread had been traditionally used to tie soft hackles, flymphs & full dressed salmon flies.
While searching for hard to find Wapsi mink & pine squirrel Zonker strips on the flymart.ca web-site, I chanced upon a French tying silk of similar thickness, that's wound on standard-sized spools, 100 meters in length. https://flymart.ca/product/4661/ephemer ... ing-thread

I ordered a spool of this "Soie Ephemera" Orange # 625 to try out. The colour # 625 looks similar to the Pearsall's Orange 6A, that was used to tie the Orange Partridge. Ephemera's wooden spool fits my Tiemco bobbins. No need to use a special Matarelli mini bobbin.

Image


Image an Orange Partridge tied with Soie Ephemera

When wet, the French silk almost has the same shade of orange as the Gossamer 6A colour. Ephemera silk does not come as tightly twisted as Gossamer silk (was).

Any folks on this forum tie with old Gossamer or another type of silk thread?
Any here have used this brand of silk?

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flyfishermann1955
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#2

Post by flyfishermann1955 »

I'm still using my Pearsall's Gossamer. Since I don't tie commercially, I don't go through it very fast. Just tying for myself and flies I donate. I don't have a spool of the "Pearsall's Unicorn" (6B Sherry Spinner), but I have 23 other colors. The 50+ spools I have will last through my remaining lifetime. Perhaps 1 of my granddaughters will take up fly tying and inherit all my stuff!

Other silk options are Kimono, YLI, and now Morus. You will find a lot of useful information, including color comparisons, under the Soft Hackle Material section on the Flymph Forum.

Tight Lines- Ken

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bprof
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#3

Post by bprof »

Thank you Ken.
I only have travelled a few miles at CFRF, so I do not know if the Flymph forum is a sub-forum of where we're on, or elsewhere. Sounds like an interesting forum.
On this forum I've mainly been active on the Classic Fly Reels section. I'm mostly a modern fiberglass or old slow grahite kinda guy.

Since posting the topic, I looked through this Classic Flies sub-forum & located one poster talking about Morus silk. By a circuitous route I arrived at our Canadian distributor, located in the "Toronto surrounding" 905 telephone exchange area, fairly close to where I live.https://www.successfulangler.com/ I'll give him a shout. Hmm..., Morus uses small spools, similar to Pearsall's, so my Matarelli & Thompson mini-bobbins should work fine.

When I bought the majority of my Pearsall's silk in the late 80's, the store's stock may have already been quite old. Some of the silk threads have developed tiny cotton ball-like puffs on their surfaces. My wife who often weaves with silk suggests that this is one sign of organic deterioration in the silk. Either just age or improper storage, maybe both. Most of the popular colours have been refreshed, some old remain.

My stash has always been stored in a cool dark place. For fishing flies, specially dubbed ones, the deteriorated threads may still be OK, though their strength might be compromised. When it comes to most of the North Country wets thread colours, I should have a lifetime supply.
But still, I've been keeping an eye on new possible sources for tying-silk. I've also been thinking of fishing with mostly silk threads for a season.

Also, I desperately want to learn how to properly dress Spanish "Ahogadas" wets. From what I have read so far, the bodies of these flies are fat & can use up quite a bit of tying silk (if you do not want to use Marrabou floss).

I've tried YLI. Lovely colours, but maybe a bit thick for me.
I'll also check out the Kimino brand you suggested. I'd want to find a Canadian source, as cross-border shipping is a bit of a crap shoot these days. Domestic shipping is bad enough.

Thanks again. István

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flyfishermann1955
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#4

Post by flyfishermann1955 »

Istvan,

The Flymph Forum is separate from this Forum; look here:

https://flymphforum.com/

Tight Lines- Ken

ted patlen
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#5

Post by ted patlen »

Ephemera Pure Silk Thread available through 54 dean street, Bologna Italy...

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roycestearns
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#6

Post by roycestearns »

Morus has Pearsalls color recipes and has a direct replacement for Pearsalls Gossamer.
YLI has two weights 50# is very close to Pearsall's Naples and 100# is very close to Pearsall's Gossamer

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Norm Frechette
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#7

Post by Norm Frechette »



Chasin Brookies
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#9

Post by Chasin Brookies »

Jim Slattery still has Pearsall’s in stock.

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bprof
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#10

Post by bprof »

Many thanks to all who have posted.

Today I ordered a few Morus colours to try out from the local Canadian stockist. Found some cat-gut that I've always wanted to try out. Turns out that the owner of https://www.successfulangler.com/ fishes at the same still-water club I joined last year.

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