A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

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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

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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

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

#11

Post by George07 »

Hello Everyone,
I see some discussion about the Gossamer silk; a material that has been missing for many years. The story here is that a new company took over the business from Pearsall's. So the same raw material from the same supplier and the same dye recipes are used. I had an initial batch shipped to me and compared to my tying kit having all the colors from 14 years ago. They match perfectly the color shades and thread thickness.
In conclusion, this is not a replacement. It's the same material!
I have stock for most of the colors from the old color chart and I added a few more (fluo red, chartreuse, coral...). If you need any color please let me know and I will do my best to bring it in the next time I restock. I am the distributor for Canada and any local store in Canada can contact me for a wholesale order.
I have seen over the years many variations of the Partridge and Orange recipes, none of them listing the right material for the thread. That is due do the color missing for too many years and being replaced. In UK one spool was selling for 35 Pounds in auction. I know the right color from the oldest competitor in the Canadian fly fishing Championship. He is now about 75 years old and beat me in 2006 by one place. He won the silver medal with that fly tyed the right way with the 6B color (Sherry Spinner).
6B is available now through the website:
https://www.successfulangler.com/

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

#12

Post by Chasin Brookies »

The Partridge & Orange is a 400 year old fly so how can anyone possibly say that such and such color made by this company that is 100 years old be the correct thread?

George07
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Re: A Possible Replacement for Gossamer Silk...?

#13

Post by George07 »

Chasin Brookies wrote:
07/10/20 21:48
The Partridge & Orange is a 400 year old fly so how can anyone possibly say that such and such color made by this company that is 100 years old be the correct thread?
While I agree with the comment, I chose to accept the color suggested by an old fly angler who traveled pretty much everywhere in the world and had access to all the colors. I take it this option was based on the fly's overall efficiency.
I did see that many recipes just list for the thread "orange silk" or colors 6A or 19 instead of the rare find 6B.
Why not try all three on the same cast and see which one the fish take most?

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

#14

Post by maruoff »

Hello, Gütermann silk from Germany has been available for many decades and will continue to be available. Its easily an equal to Pearsalls available in many colours. Its just so that no one knows them :-).

The Spaniards though go totally crazy about it for their Leon flies.

Morus of course is an obvious choice too.

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