I bought a blue eared pheasant skin last year and love it, also some loose feathers dyed in black and purple. The "Burnt Spey hackle" sold in many colors has worked well for me, but you need to pick thru the packages to find the right feather sizes / stem thicknesses. I prefer to use them for smaller Spey flies because the stems of the smaller feathers are easier to work with.
Another good alternative for smaller Spey patterns is the dyed mallard flank feathers you find at Quality Fly shop and Morning Hatch. I use them dyed in black for small black heron patterns that have fished well for me in summer months.
Anything new on the Spey hackle front? (I'll be tying for the swap over the holiday)
12-25-2000, 08:24 PM
I bought some less than perfect spey hackle and ended up steaming it on the suggestion of one of our west coast members. The steam helps tame the thick stem of the cheap stuff. It was a great tip, especially for those of us caught with less-than-best grade material for a first or second attempt at spey tying.
I still have a couple of your steelhead patterns on the wall of my office that you are going to have to show me how to tie some day.
Not only do I look forward to showing you those patterns, but I'll bet we get out to the PNW for fall steelhead before too long. We've been talking about it for years now, just a matter of time.
BTW - my deepest appreciation for your membership donation and look forward to throwing the Spey rods on the upper Merrimac this spring with you and Diane.
01-10-2001, 02:53 PM
One thing i have been using a lot lately are salt water saddle hackles the are reletively wide and the stems are soft enough to wrap and they are looooong!
Their downfall is that the fibers tend to come off straight and dont have that seductive curve that pheasant or even the cheap spey hackles have.
01-10-2001, 03:07 PM
I have just requested a catalog from a gentleman named Ronn Lucas Sr. I would think some of you have heard of him. He makes spey hackles from peacock feathers. Dyed in numerous colors. Said to retain the fluorescence of the peacock. Have any of you had experience with these hackles?
Let the wild ones go..............
01-10-2001, 03:47 PM
I have not heard of the person you speak of, however, I
(we) would be very interested in the outcome of your efforts. Be sure to keep us informed if you find a worthwhile source of spey hackle with the unusual twist of peacock fluorescence.
01-12-2001, 07:00 AM
When you guys talk about 'Spey' hackles what do you mean?
01-12-2001, 07:54 AM
As I understand it, and I am sure Juro can embellish on this, the origin of the term Spey fly came from a tradition tied to the river Spey in Scotland. The tradition included the use of long hackled heron feathers that produce a webby long-legged fly that has a lot of movement in the water and might resemble a shrimp or other enticing morsel. Heron is illegal as a feather source for spey flies in this country now, so the search for a substitute is always in process. The heron feathers still have the best structure for winding onto the salmon hook, however, as they have thin but resilient stems that make tying with them a pleasure
01-12-2001, 10:33 AM
Question on the BEP feathers and how the flies fish. I was speaking with the famous Tualip (sp?) Indian tier (you know the guy) last Sunday. Discussing the components of spey flies and there construction. I was lucky enough to get a demonstration of his tying. Simply said out of this world.
During conversation he made a comment about BEP which brought me back to may first tying lesson years ago. Not that I've learned how, basically that as a BEP is not a "waterfowl" the fibers collapse (because water is not their natural environment) under anything but the lightest currents. What have you experienced?
BTW, you'll see what I do in the swap.