spey feathers [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: spey feathers

01-16-2007, 06:41 AM
hallo from germany,

yesterday i was trying to make my picasse with original speyfeathers with not realy good results. how can i make a collar with this feather. they ar so bad to turn.

who can explane me a good technic to use original speys.


01-16-2007, 07:03 AM
Chris -

I assume you have the 'spey feather' that is burned and dyed goose with a very thick stem? If so have a lot of experience with it.

But first let me say that Charlie Dickson (steelhead/salmon fly moderator) uses Blue-eared pheasant for this purpose which you might like better. I've also stopped using the burnt goose spey feathers so much lately because BEP is so much better to work with.

In any case, you need to pick through the stock to find the ones with the smaller more flexible and/or split the stem with a razor before you use it as a hackle.

Once you have a good half-section, tie the tip in place so that the curve of the feather cups around the body of the fly. Wrap in the direction that retains the cup shape 1.5 turns and tie in.

I am not adverse to tying butt in first to get the reverse taper if that's what I am after.

If the stem is fat, ugly or somehow bad then wrap a little further down the hook shaft to pinch the barbs and cut the stem out once secured. I bought a pair of medical capillary scissors for this purpose, expensive but works perfectly for precision cutting.

Stick with it you'll get it!

01-16-2007, 07:30 AM
The silver pheasant can be tough to tie as well. You just have to find ones with the finer stem and it'll go fine. My experience is that the larger feathers have a pretty fine stem at the tip and I can usually get what I need from that.

Also, you only need a turn or two of silver pheasant on this fly. A little bit goes a long way.


01-16-2007, 07:59 AM
If you're using the burnt Goose, try placing it carefully along the body stroking it back with one hand and unwinding it as needed to get the look you are trying to achieve.If you are tying it on as a throat place it at the head as you would tye oval tinsel into a butt section.Each successive wind will hide the previous one.AS Juro metioned tying in the butt section first will allow a thinner stem near the head. ,helping you produce a smaller head. This also is true if you ARE using real Heron. Wilson's advise as per the Silver Pheasant is also very sound. IMHO buy a whole skin. Well worth the price !!
Hope that helps.

01-16-2007, 08:10 AM
Regarding the silver pheasant, I strip one side of the feather. Tie in by the tip, wrap one turn. Very easy, super results. For the spey hackle, I use blue-eared pheasant tied in by the tip. When you wrap, fold the feather.

01-16-2007, 08:23 AM
thanks for your quick response,

with goose feathers i can work with but,
i was trying to use the original herons and they make me crazy.


01-18-2007, 07:47 AM

The guys that responded to this thread so far gave great advice. I know them all personally and they are expert tiers so there is not much I can add. One thing you may want to try is soaking them in water overnight. This will make the stems pliable and much easier to work with.