Steelhead Fly of the week Sol Duc Spey [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead Fly of the week Sol Duc Spey

04-04-2006, 09:12 AM
Syd Glasso is considered by many to be the father of the steelhead spey fly. His flies were beautiful and elegant yet simple in there construction. This one he created for fishing, of course, the Sul Duc River.

While this is a relatively simple fly to tie, the wing can be a bit tricky. The hackle tips used in its construction should be tented over the body. Flattening the stems of the hackles at the tie in point, and slightly twisting them with a pair of flat nosed pliers or tweezers before tying them in can achieve this.

Hook: Up eye salmon hook.
Tag: Flat silver tinsel.
Rib: Oval silver tinsel.
Body: Rear 2/3: hot orange floss; front 1/3: hot orange goat dubbing.
Body hackle: Yellow saddle hackle, long and webby.
Throat: Black heron substitute.
Wing: Four hot orange hackle tips.
Head: Red.

04-04-2006, 09:19 AM
I have to comment, this tie is gorgeous. I would guess that Syd himself would be proud of it!

beau purvis
04-04-2006, 11:47 AM
Nice Job.One of my favorite flies.Hooked a couple of big fresh Atlantics on a Solduc last June!Beau

04-05-2006, 01:47 AM

This is a fly I always have with me when fishing for winter steelhead. Glasso's Orange Heron is the spey fly I use most often in winter; but the Sol Duc Spey is one I turn to when fishing early morning or when the river is rising with rain. In fact, I carry the Orange Heron, Brown Heron, Gold Heron, Sol Duc Spey, Sol Duc, Sol Duck Dark, and Glasso's Polar Shrimp in winter and his Grey Heron and Black Heron in summer.

This fairly easy to tie pattern (as are all of the Glasso speys) really only has the wing as the tricky part and once a person learns how to do Glasso tented hackle point wings, they become easy as well.

I wrote a discription on how to tie Glasso speys a while ago, do a search for the Orange Heron and you will find it.

04-05-2006, 07:42 AM
A beginners question. What does a spey fly like this represent to the steelhead? Are the colors and the patterns of the colors critical? Do these work well on GL tribs? I agree, a beautiful fly.

04-05-2006, 08:16 AM
Steelhead don't eat for subsistence once they enter the river, or at least not in a meaningful way like before. They react.

So all of the successful flies are the ones that elicit a response from a fish in the moment of encounter, which I feel is a deep instinctive response from some half-memory as a smolt, or a frenzy at sea - or even in spawning as the urge to protect or pick up loose eggs, etc.

Therein lies the most complicated part of steelhead fishing - eliciting a response. The rest is really kind of simple.

For those who persist in researching and mastering that aspect of the steelhead's response system that comes to a fly (rather than reacts to a fly that comes to it) these types of flies are not just beautiful but very practical.

The design of the Spey fly lends itself to presentation as well as visual attraction. From the loop eye / double turle to the length of the shank to the bend and the point, everything is by design. The dressing alludes to life without bulk, the body suggests a structure not unlike things the fish may have encountered with good results in the past, and the wing is no less important to the fly as a sail to a ship.

You can tap into many dimensions of a steelhead psyche. You can fool it with dripping roe. You can break down it's resistance with repeated nymph drifts. Or you can move the fish to the swung fly like a man.

This fly, and many others, are designed for that task.

04-05-2006, 09:15 AM
Well done, Charlie,...bloody well done.

Some people may opine that Glasso's flies are "fairly easy to to tie", but it takes an extremely gifted tyer to dress any Glasso Spey with the same soul, spirit, and character as an original Glasso fly.

Glasso's genius is easy to talk about - but almost impossible to replicate.


04-06-2006, 06:27 AM

Your flies are simply wonderful. I really appreciate your taking the time to show we mere mortals what is possible with feathers and fur. Do you ever tie one that is not perfect?

Thanks again.