Winter Flies / Colours / Sizes [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Winter Flies / Colours / Sizes


peter-s-c
12-15-2004, 10:19 AM
Now that we're getting to the days cold, clear, low waters -- just wondering what people like to use in these conditions.

I don't have a picture of the fly, but a small, yellow wet similar to this one:

http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharles/steelheadwet.jpg

has worked for me quite well on the Credit River in these conditions. Though yellow patterns don't seem to be a high on the steelhead fly dressers list of favourites, it has worked for me with some consistency.

Some rivers get associated with a particular colour fly -- purple is the big hit for the Grand, but I wonder if this is mostly due to the predominant water colour. The Grand is usually stained through the Brantford/Paris/Caledonia stretch so big and purple usually works. Once the staining reduces, lighter colours work well. Pink and purple is also a good colour combo for the murk. I've been told a number of times that red & black are good colours for this stretch but that's a combo that's never worked for me.

The milky green colour of the Catt seems to favour pink flies while the slight olive stain of the Credit seems to fit yellow/chartreuse.

Always makes me wonder if there are relationships between flies, water, sunlight, and time of year, or is it a case of anglers fishing flies they believe in and then rationals are built around why they work . . . . :confused:

snaggletooth
12-15-2004, 12:11 PM
Purple and Black have both been strong producers for me in murky water, and Olive and White are my top colors for more clear water. I definitely agree with the idea that my confidence in a fly plays a major role in how successful I am with it!

Gillie
12-15-2004, 01:21 PM
In the winter I love swinging bunny speys, anywhere from 4 to 1/0. White in clearer water and black or purple in off color. This is a Rick Kustich pattern.

Gillie

Gillie
12-15-2004, 01:32 PM
Black Bunny spey with peacock black ice dubbing.

peter-s-c
12-15-2004, 01:54 PM
Very nice -- never think to combine bunny with spey. I have both Rick's books, with his patterns in it and I never think to tie them.

On the colour plates of "Fly Fishing for Great Lakes Steelhead, the "Petite" series by John Valk is the same fly as I mentioned above.

Shaq
12-15-2004, 02:20 PM
As you guys who have been reading some of my posts know, I am relatively new to the swinging thing, on a recent trip to the Salmon River in extremely high water, I had a moment of insanity and grabbed the single hander. Reqretted it all day. I can no longer return to those days as the only fish hooked was on the swing after bouncing a large nymph through the pool. Also saw two fish hooked on the long rod that day. I have developed some speys based on patterns I used to chuck and duck like a prince nymph tied with long spey like legs and some rubber legged stones to swing for the winter. I am interested in the results and for input on winter patterns. Thanks
Shaq

ps: Also saq a fish hooked at6 the end of a swing, while the fisherman was pumping the rod back and forth at the end. About 15 sec of this back and forth motion and the fish grabbed it. Right accross the river from me, got a good look for the whole thing. It was cool

Gillie
12-15-2004, 03:46 PM
Peter

Take a look at the fly I posted on the fly archive titled "red fly". This will also get used quite a bit in cold water. I have fished the petite series on the Salmon River when the fish were skittish.

Shaq,

That pumping is similair to the hangdown, Although he fishes with a single handed rod, Lani Wallers old videos are one of the best how tos on the wet fly swing. He definitely advocates the hang down and twitches the fly to try to entice a strike. he uses the line in his hand rather than pumping the rod, but it produces the same effect. I have heard and read guys letting there fly stay in the hang down for up to a minute to wait for the strike of a steelhead that may have followed in cold water.

Gillie

peter-s-c
12-15-2004, 04:19 PM
Found it -- very nice looking tie. Any successes to date?

Charlie
12-15-2004, 04:28 PM
I use one that is almost identical to the one that Gillie posted. The white and purple. They work great on the Catt., lower Niagara and most of the Ontario tribs. I also like the Picasse if the water is low and clear.

Peter,

Scored well with your "Brown Trout Weamer" this past weekend. The water was very cold in the trib I fished (high 30's) but they still took it well. Finally got a chance to tie some up and fish them. Just the standard version, haven't put them on tubes yet.

Charlie

peter-s-c
12-15-2004, 04:50 PM
Those are some nice looking ties, the bottom one looks intriguing. A clear water pattern?

Nice to hear that the weamer worked for you. They do seem to be willing to chase it in the colder water.

Gillie
12-15-2004, 05:19 PM
Peter,
The red fly produced a few fish last winter but I didn't have the chance to fish it a lot. I'm hoping to really spend some time with it this winter.
Gillie

Smolt
12-15-2004, 05:49 PM
Gillie,

I tried "Red Fly" in the Archive of Salmon and Steelhead Flies, but came up with nothing. Am I in the wrong place?

CK

Gillie
12-15-2004, 05:56 PM
Smolt,
I'm not sure why it didn't come up in the search but it's the fourth or fifth thread down on the Archives of S+S flies now. Let me know what you think.

Gillie

peter-s-c
12-15-2004, 07:41 PM
Ever try to make a fly and nothing works? Spent some time this evening trying to make a yellow fly for those cold, olive stained conditions and crap came off the vise. Still, it gives a general idea as to what I'm after.

Kicking around this idea that flies that are too bold will spook fish in clear, cold conditions so I'm trying to get something that is "subdued, bright" as opposed to just bright. The spey hackle on this fly is just way too bright. Looking to make something that says "yellow" without saying "YELLOW".

Gillie
12-15-2004, 08:13 PM
Peter,

I have a yellow fly that I think will fit your needs. I don't have one readily available but if you follow this thread I'll post one either late tonight or tommorrow.

Gillie

peter-s-c
12-15-2004, 08:38 PM
Thanks, will do . . . .

flytyer
12-16-2004, 01:37 AM
Gillie,

Whenever I fish with my good friend Bob Arnold, he does the same thing Lani Waller does at the end of a wet fly swing, summer or winter, either floating or sink tip line, even though he never mentions doing this in his two books. Bob told me he picked it up from George McCleod's father Ken and then found it mentioned in Kelson's book years after he learned to do it from Ken McCleod. I've also seen George McCleod and Russ Miller (another long time WA state steelheader) do the same thing in early summer before mountain runoff is over with a sinking line and wet fly.

Gillie
12-16-2004, 06:33 AM
Flytyer,
It is the little subtleties like the hang down that many GL guys are just starting to add in. I had a conversation last season with a friend of mine because he was always making his next cast half way through his swing. His rationale was that the holding spot was out mid river behind some boulders. We debated whether fish would follow from the lie. Although he is a committed spey rodder and wet fly swinger he still has some of that nymphing mentality engrained upon him. He was convinced that if the fish didn't take initially it wouldn't follow. It also demonstrated the notion that he continues to fish the bucket or holding lie rather than covering the water. He has changed his tune a bit as he has seen me take two nice fish this fall with my line hanging straight downstream on this run.

I will acknowledge right away that GL fish tend not to move and follow as much as PNW fish do. I have much more confidence in this technique when fishing the Deschutes in Sept then the Salmon River in Jan. This is simply a matter of water temperature. But when they do follow they tend to be a little sluggish and often the hang down has to be extended to give them time to take.

For anyone interested in this technique (although it is not complicated) I would again reccomend Waller's videos. I'm sure there is a sponsor who has them.

Gillie

Smolt
12-16-2004, 12:05 PM
Gillie,

I found the Red Fly by searching the Archive for your posts. I now remember seeing the post earlier this year. Very nice fly.

CK

peter-s-c
12-16-2004, 03:18 PM
Gillie

In warmer weather, I'm like your friend -- if the fish hasn't hit after the fly has "turned the corner" then it isn't going to hit. I can only think of one solid take in the past year or so that occurred on the dangle in water in the 40s or higher. I started out as a firm believer in letting the fly work on the dangle but that technique has only resulted in takes when fishing the Credit River in the middle of winter (it's one of the few easily accessible Southern Ontario rivers that has an all-year open season on one stretch and is likely to have ice free periods).

This past November, every single hookup occurred as the fly "turned the corner" and none on the dangle. Sometimes I'd leave it there and sometimes I'd pick it up sooner -- no change. I also pick up very slowly at first, just in case there's a following fish and he grabs it as the fly lifts -- didn't get a single take. I fish mostly minnow patterns so this may have an effect as well. So, now I'm only using the delayed dangle and/or the lift and drop in cold weather. I'll be out Sunday so I'll try the slow swing and long dangle to see if it picks up any hits.

AftonAngler
12-16-2004, 05:31 PM
Howdy from Hayward

I have just found this forum and have been enjoying the discussions. I am glad to be aboard.

I am a dedicated fly swinger and look forward to sharing info with fellow GL anglers. I live just south of the south shore of Lake Superior and fish the Tribs as often as I can. I also travel to fish the Wisconsin and Michigan tribs of Lake Michigan.

I guide and teach fly fishing full time April thru November so this time of year is my time to travel and play. I love the winter fishing. I have been at it only a few years in the winter season but have formed some opinions based on my constant tinkering.

I like to swing progressively larger flies as the water bottoms out in temp. Last season I had success with articulated patterns - skagit minnows and my own tie I call a double muddler. These patterns push 10" long and move like a high dollar pole dancer. They really catch the currents and can be controlled well.

Most of the fish I have hooked have come on the hang down and most grab like a wet piece of carpet. The rod just starts to bend to the water and then the shake starts. It is cool to watch it all happen - very deliberate and slow.

I know guys who report more agressive responses but this is what I have experienced.

I am heading over to the Oconto north of Green Bay early this next week. Any fellow fly tossers out there that might be interested in sharing some time out on the water? I write for Midwest Fly Fishing and am traveling 'On Assignment' for an article and some images for an upcomming issue (Feb).

Glad to be a part of the board.

See you on the water.

peter-s-c
12-16-2004, 07:29 PM
Howdy from Hayward


Glad to be a part of the board.

See you on the water.


Welcome aboard.

speyflyman
12-17-2004, 12:11 AM
Welcome aboard, Afton Angler. Good to have you. This is a great place to get answers to your questions and follow in discussions about rigs, rods, lines, and methods. We seldom all agree; however, we generally disagree agreeably. Hope you enjoy your subscription. Best to you, Stiver

h2o
12-18-2004, 08:30 AM
Howdy from Hayward

I have just found this forum and have been enjoying the discussions. I am glad to be aboard.

I am a dedicated fly swinger and look forward to sharing info with fellow GL anglers. I live just south of the south shore of Lake Superior and fish the Tribs as often as I can. I also travel to fish the Wisconsin and Michigan tribs of Lake Michigan.

I guide and teach fly fishing full time April thru November so this time of year is my time to travel and play. I love the winter fishing. I have been at it only a few years in the winter season but have formed some opinions based on my constant tinkering.

I like to swing progressively larger flies as the water bottoms out in temp. Last season I had success with articulated patterns - skagit minnows and my own tie I call a double muddler. These patterns push 10" long and move like a high dollar pole dancer. They really catch the currents and can be controlled well.

Most of the fish I have hooked have come on the hang down and most grab like a wet piece of carpet. The rod just starts to bend to the water and then the shake starts. It is cool to watch it all happen - very deliberate and slow.

I know guys who report more agressive responses but this is what I have experienced.

I am heading over to the Oconto north of Green Bay early this next week. Any fellow fly tossers out there that might be interested in sharing some time out on the water? I write for Midwest Fly Fishing and am traveling 'On Assignment' for an article and some images for an upcomming issue (Feb).

Glad to be a part of the board.

See you on the water.

Welcome !......................nice Muskie, enjoyed the profile :biggrin:

Gillie
12-18-2004, 02:06 PM
Peter,
I promised you a pic of my yellow spey. It is a spinoff of a Leblanc pattern. It might be brighter than you were looking for.

peter-s-c
12-18-2004, 03:11 PM
Now that's nice - yellow dyed guinea for a collar?

I'll have to tie some up and try 'em tomorrow.

shotgunner
12-18-2004, 03:59 PM
Gillie, nicely tied. what is the wing material?

i'll try to attach an image of another yellow fly i noticed while browsing a URL supplied by Anders on the current atantic salmon thread. named "invincible" tied by Jani Kaski. i liked the look of it, guessing it would appeal not only to salmon.

sorry, i could not figure out how to enlarge it.

http://www.edgeflyfishing.com/flugbindning/monster/kaski/8_tn.jpg

Gillie
12-18-2004, 04:33 PM
Peter,
Yes it is dyed yellow guinea. The body id Ice Dub UV light yellow, it is a very pale yellow dubbing. To give some highlight to the body without being to aggressive the rib is pearl mylar. The wing is synthetic polar hair in yellow but marabou also works well.

Gillie

peter-s-c
12-18-2004, 04:48 PM
Just tied up a few but a quick inventory didn't turn up what I needed so I went with yellow grizzly hen, SLF yellow dubbing, and marabou. We'll see how it works tomorrow. The water is that beautiful clear, olive colour -- perfect for yellow and charteuse.

smallmouth
12-18-2004, 11:51 PM
Here's a tie I use for bass and trout. Do any of you put eyes on your steelhead flies? Do you think they would add to the fly or are they unnecessary. I'd appreciate your opinions on this as I am just starting to get into the winter steelheading.

http://www.picturefuse.com/images/1003/41522.jpg

shotgunner
12-19-2004, 03:59 AM
hello smallmouth. sorry the pic did not come up, can't comment on your fly yet. i believe the addition of eyes to be a plus in most cases. realistic ones seem to lend themselves best to minnow/smelt patterns. a feather eye for the more traditional style flies.

insomnia on the coldest night of the season so far, -1*F @ 3:57 a.m. probably drop down more with first light if it is clear. great weather for vice inspirations. SG

h2o
12-19-2004, 07:31 AM
I tie a series of "S.T.S." (Steelhead,Trout & Salmon) Buggers all with guinea collars and I use schlappen for hackle on larger sizes. It covers most all conditions. Brown with dyed orange guinea collar, White / Natural / red thread head, Black / Blue, Purple / red, red thread head.
In winter the white & natural or purple & red usually work best. I was out yesterday on a small local trib in the snow & cold and white/natural is what they wanted.
I also tie/carry a series of soft hackle wets for Steelhead.

If "frog water swinging streamers" in winter ice water conditions. There are 3 materials I like to see at least one of on a fly. A) marabou B) Zonker strip C) Schlappen.
For streamer fishing smaller tribs, working the ledges and chutes etc. I go two ways. Clouser minnows for the ledges mostly in emerald shinner patterns. Sculpin patterns or brown/orange s.t.s. bugger bottom bounced in chutes / pockets. I mostly use my sink tips on larger water only. For smaller tribs (like yesterday) I drop down to a 9 1/2' 6 wt. and tie up a heavy butt mono leader, add weight if needed. For couple of larger swing holes a small trib may offer I then loop on a 5' - 7' homemade sink tip made out of a type six, mono core shooting head.

I like Guinea for it's contrast and profile but, it does not have near the movement of other "soft hackles" such as schlappen.

I am surpriseed by how many reg. wet fly's, soft hackles. zonkers, etc. are being called and classified as "spey's" these days.

grouseman
12-19-2004, 08:49 AM
I, too, have found it hard to use a sink tip in smaller GL tribs. The chute or gut is fairly deep but short and the sink lines don't get down fast enough to dredge, given the overhanging limbs and such. Weighted leaders with dead-drifted buggers seem to work for me in those situations. But, as I work my way down the stream, deeper longer pools do allow a more traditional swing. How did you make your homemade tip? How much leader do you attach to the tip?

peter-s-c
12-19-2004, 09:05 AM
When the chutes are short and deep, I give up on sinktips altogether and instead, attach a fairly long mono leader right to the belly of the line plus a few BB splitshot above the tippet knot. I'm still swinging, not dead-drifting (well, 'steering' is a better description) but I have no trouble getting down as the mono can penetrate the current better than a fatter tip, plus the BBs get down fast. Normally, I'm using an unweighted fly for better action.

My 'swing' really consists of a quartering upsteam casts, stack mend, rod tip back, then drop and steer the fly down the chute with the rod tip, followed by swinging out at the end. This presentation looks like a struggling minnow, insect, whatever, failing to hold its position in the current.

It's a tight-in approach with casts no more than 30' or so -- the reason why I attach the mono directly to the WC belly, reversed WC belly, or SSH head. The thick belly turns the rig over very well and doesn't sink very much so it lets you steer the fly around boulders etc. with less risk of hanging up as the leader drops off the belly. Plus the heavy belly loads the rod tip very quickly. I've used this rig on my faster Daiwas with no difficulty but the softer tipped Blues work a bit better.

I double-spey this as it minimizes tangles, problems plus it lays out the leader & fly very nicely as long as I maintain a wider loop. Since the BBs tend to really anchor the 'anchor', you can cast in really tight situations with minimum backcast room, using the water load of the anchor to add to the D-Loop loading.

grouseman
12-19-2004, 09:26 AM
I've been using a soft 10'7wt and a DT line with the mono. I'd like to try the double handed rod for these smaller tribs because I do have trouble sometimes getting enough distance with a roll cast when there are alot of overhanging limbs. What length and size rod for these smaller tribs? I see T&T makes 10' and 11' in 6 and 7 wts.
I know you've mentioned fishing today, but in Mich today the temps are single digit so I'll wait until abit warmer.

peter-s-c
12-19-2004, 10:01 AM
I've been using a soft 10'7wt and a DT line with the mono. I'd like to try the double handed rod for these smaller tribs because I do have trouble sometimes getting enough distance with a roll cast when there are alot of overhanging limbs. What length and size rod for these smaller tribs? I see T&T makes 10' and 11' in 6 and 7 wts.
I know you've mentioned fishing today, but in Mich today the temps are single digit so I'll wait until abit warmer.


We're about -8C right now -- warmer than your area -- but the wind is up so I'm staying in. Yesterday was perfect with about +4C and low winds but of course, I decided not to go fishing and wait for today . . . . duh!

I have two Loop Blues that I find perfect for the job, a 7116 and an 8124. They both have light, quick tips that load very easily for these short casting situations. The 7116 is really light so it's almost a single-hander in feel when fishing it. But it doesn't quite have the guts of the 8124 so I wouldn't use it in a snag infested spot as you won't be able to horse a fish out of it. The 7116 with a WC 7/8/9 with just the belly, or plus tip 2 only, is a perfect dead drifter. I sold my 10' - 7 wt. Scott Arc and replaced it with the 7116 for use both for short range high-sticking and long line nymphing (I also use it as my bass spey/overhead rod).

I find the 8124 is actually a bit better in tight despite (or because of) the extra length as the tip has a bit more power so you can lever a decent cast out of very little D-Loop plus it does the continuous/water loading business very well. I can get up to 90' out of the 8124 but I top out around 70' with the 7116 on the spey, so that influences where I use them. The 7116 will do about 100' overhead with a WC 7/8/9 plus tip 1 only, so if you have the room . . .

Both of them are very versatile little rods -- about the only thing they don't like are lines much longer that 55' (my 8124 is a dog with a DL) but shooting heads go like stink. Blunt tapered shooting heads like the Loop Adapted, Airflos, or the Rio SSHs are perfect for the short game. The Airflo heads are not spey rated but if you want to use them, the 35' - 10 wt. works on the 7116 and the 35' - 12 wt. works on the 8124, both overhead and spey casting. Like the others I mentioned, they have a bassbug-like front taper so they'll turn over pretty well anything.

h2o
12-19-2004, 10:49 AM
I, too, have found it hard to use a sink tip in smaller GL tribs. The chute or gut is fairly deep but short and the sink lines don't get down fast enough to dredge, given the overhanging limbs and such. Weighted leaders with dead-drifted buggers seem to work for me in those situations. But, as I work my way down the stream, deeper longer pools do allow a more traditional swing. How did you make your homemade tip? How much leader do you attach to the tip?

Grouseman, To answer your question.
Homemade sinktips : I purchase Scientific Anglers Wet Cel type 6 shooting tapers, these are mono core (nice). The heads are 30' long there will be a slight taper on each end. Disgard this or save for making reverse taper sink tips (Iuse to do this but don't bother anymore). Take a level section, cut to length, 5' & 7' are best for small tribs, attach a braided mono loop to one end by simply using 2 nail knots of 15 # test. On the other end build a 4 1/2' leader. Start with approx. 18" ,16 # test nail knot to the tip, coat knot with loon knot sence (a must), then step leader down in 18" sections to the tippet class you want. I usually go 12 # then 10 or 8 #. The reason for the "knotted taper"...............if you severly hang up it will break at the knot and not pull off the tip. I have never had a Steelhead strip the leader off the tip.
Notes : You can use a rio sinking leader, however, they sink butt first and are costly compared to making your own.

P.S. Like Peter I to cut the tip back in my case about 3' of a WF-F line for the above. I like a S.A. GPX or simular type line for this.

Gillie
12-19-2004, 10:49 AM
h2o mentioned earlier in this thread that he is surprised by the number of flies being called "speys". It has also been mentioned in a few other threads.

I will grant that it does sometimes get used lightly, and I will quickly acknowledge that almost none of the flies I have posted are spey flies in the most traditional sense. I have posted more easily tied patterns that do not make me want to cry when I leave them on the bottom of the river.

However, this is a common problem in fly fishing. We sometimes overdefine what tradition is. That happens all too often on this forum with rod action. People will talk about "traditional spey action ros", and this one os too fast or this one is too slow. Somebody on this forum (I think it was Dana but I'm not sure) has responded that the only way to find a "traditional" rod is to go to auction and find an old greenheart qand slap a DT silk line on it.

The same principle holds true for fly design. If you read Sheweys book on spey flies the traditional spey "were adorned with wools, tinsel, heron and cock hackles, widgeon and teal flank, and of course the charecteristic strip wings of bronze mallard".

In the same sense that no modern graphite rod can be a traditional spey rod, many of the greatest tiers out there would not be tying true spey flies. Hackle tip wings perfected by Syd Glasso and full feather wings tied by Shewey would not meet the criteria if we held it strictly. Marc Leblanc's Green Spey is tied with a hair wing and his Picasse has a swannudaze body and hair wing. Yet Leblanc ties some of the nicest flies in a spey tradition.

Alec Jackson created what he dubbed the pseudo-spey. Perhaps this is a better term for flies that venture further and further away from the traditional patterns (this does not include Glasso patterns as these are certainly some of the finest speys designed). I use the term loosely for wet flies that usually have long flowing hackle that extend beyond the hook followed by a collar of a different material.

As with many of the topics discussed here a lot of it comes down to semantics.

Gillie

peter-s-c
12-19-2004, 11:27 AM
These days, if the fly has something that looks like a spey hackle and is tied on something that looks like a spey hook, then it's a spey fly as far as most of us are concerned. Like you, I don't want to invest half-an-hour in a fly only to lose it to the bottom on the first cast.

h2o
12-19-2004, 11:54 AM
Morning Gillie,
I hope you were not offended by the spey fly comment, I did not mean it as such. And I like the patterns you posted.
You comments in regards to the materials used in modern speys, have less to do with my thoughts in regards to speys, than does the way they are tied.
Long flowing hackles, fall in to the realm and fit the description of soft hackles and spiders be it wet or streamer style. Speys are a bit more complex in basic style.
Spey's regardless of the materials selected have some charecteristics, besides flowing hackle, that well................classify them into the spey family. Two distinct charecteristics in tying style are palmered hackle usually over a rib through the front half or third of the fly and a feather wing, small head. It's also common to see tags & butts, etc. on full dresser's. Again to me it's not so much the material selection as in the tie style. If speys were classified simply as long flowing hackle, what would happen to soft hackles & spiders ? Spey's, Soft Hackles & Spiders are some of the oldest most traditional styles around. For centurys they have all had a distinct style that has little to do with the exact material used and more to do with the way it's tied. Personally, as a very avid tyer , I would hate to see it lumped together.
I really don't care either way from a fishing frame of mind. Just.........so much is being called spey these days. I use schlappen hackle and guinea collars on my larger size 2 buggers. Some would call these "spey buggers" to me ............there just buggers. The tying style is bugger...............all the way, regardless of the hackle or adding a guinea soft hackle collar.
Again.................your flies look nice.
Off to the tying bench on this snowy cold day................

h2o
12-19-2004, 12:12 PM
One more thing before I go tie.

I really enjoy and respect this board and all of you and your coments etc. on here.

I am not trying to ruffle any feathers it's just oppions, comments, talk & B.S. on a snowy (here anyways) day. I am sure I would enjoy fishing Steelhead with all of you. :)

Have a good day ! I will check back later................

peter-s-c
12-19-2004, 01:41 PM
The only feathers that are ruffled are in the hackles we're tying . . . . ;)

flytyer
12-19-2004, 07:17 PM
h2o,

I was going to post the same thing you did about tyers needing to keep flies in the proper style category instead of tossing fly style terms around so loosely, as it seems is happening more and more these days. Before I get jumped on by loads of people about this, I need to let you knoe that it is perfectly OK to tie a spey fly with a hair wing or even a piece of tanned rabbit; however, such a fly still needs to have the long, mobile "spey hackle" palmered over at least the front 1/2 or the body to fit the style of a spey fly. But this does not make it OK to call a spider style fly such as Alec Jackson's Pseudo Spey (a fly that Alec freely acknowledges is not a spey, but a spider with extra long hackle) a spey fly. Likewise, it is not OK to call a marabou spider a marabou spey because a marabou spey such as John Farrar's Skagit Spey series of flies has the marabou palmered over the body and the marabou spider does not.

This loose use of fly style terminology is bad because it "fuzzies" up things to the point where the distinctions of fly style become irrelevant. Therefore, it means that any fly is any other fly so we could have a Hendrickson Spey simply because someone put a long hackle collar on a wet fly version of it. Or we can have a Black-nosed Dace Spey because someone put a long hackle collar on it. As this shows, pretty soon we have chaos and people cannot figure out what each other are talking about.

This is why fly style categories exist and why they need to exclude flies that do not have the requisite characteristics.

I also feel the need to state the obvious regarding taking a half hour to tie a spey fly like the Orange Heron. I disagree because with practice and good, quality materials it is not difficult at all to tie 6 per hour and it is entirely possible to tie a full dozen in about 1 hour. And have all of them be durable flies of proper proportions with nice small heads. By practice I mean tying 300-400 hundred Orange Heron or other speys with hackle tip wings and 300-400 mallard winged ones in the space of a six months to a year. If you tie this many of each, you will find the time it takes to tie them is far less than 30 minutes per fly.

Jamey McLeod
12-19-2004, 07:28 PM
Undertaker tags and body, palmer the peacock with a whiting farms spey hackle(black) collar another one in front of the body, dyed black mallard flank collar black arctic fox wing.

Or, purple ice dub body, palmered with the same hackle as above, collar a purple spey marabou(only 1 or 2 wraps), then another black spey hackle, collar a dyed purple pheasant rump feather, final collar of dyed purple guinea.

also add a bit of purple K-flash on each, two strands.

Numerous takes over the past two weeks.

h2o
12-19-2004, 09:29 PM
Hey Jamie,

In regards to the "arctic fox wing". I love arctic fox but always had a problem getting a arctic fox wing to lay down over anything but a floss & rib body. Do you have that trouble ? Any tricks ? If it is over a palmered body or in front of peacock herl as you described it wants to flair up on me and not lay back. Maybe your using the tail ? I am using the body fur and I do clean it out.

By the way.............you want to see / use a neat looking fish catching machine of a Trout / Steelhead streamer ..................tie up some Thunder Creek style streamers using Arctic Fox (body) rather than bucktail. I also like it for tailing on a Boss along with a schlappen collar.

I also got some nice patches of Icelantic Sheep but so far I have only added it in for long tails on my top water Pike / Muskie fly's. Nice movement...........just can't seem to find other area's of use...............yet. Any thoughts out there. :)

Jamey McLeod
12-20-2004, 07:19 AM
"In regards to the "arctic fox wing". I love arctic fox but always had a problem getting a arctic fox wing to lay down over anything but a floss & rib body. Do you have that trouble ?"


How tight are you wanting it to lay? When I use it it comes out looking somewhat like that yellow fly above in this post, kinda. The stuff I have been getting lately has quite a few really coarse hairs in it, along with the really fluffy stuff. When it gets wet it really sucks down. Wish I had a digital camera, I'd send you a pic. I have also found if I wax the thread and make almost a dubbing loop, I can spin the hair around the body also, comes out pretty cool.

I tie a few Thunder creek style streamers with it also, I put eyes on them and an epoxy head. yellow bottom, orange mid section, olive on top, black K-flash wing over that, with yellow grizz. hackle run down each side. Looke like a small brookie. The brookies in this pond I fish love the thing.