Glasso's Purple Spawning Spey [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Glasso's Purple Spawning Spey

11-20-2002, 05:43 PM
I have a good friend (older of course) who knew Syd. He only has memories, and used to have some of his flies. I've advised him if he still had them they'd probably be worth quite a bit of money.

Here's my delimna. He has none of the flies left. He wants me to recreate one fly. He knows the name, but has no description on how to make it. Do ANY of you have instructions on how to tie a Syd Glasso style Purple Spawning Spey? I guess it requires widgeon, but not sure of which feathers and how to put it together. I've seen a few pics, but all are different. So, if any of you can direct me to a website (I've searched to no avail) or have a good pattern to give me it would be HIGHLY appreciated.


11-20-2002, 05:59 PM
It is not a glasso pattern but a john Shewey one. It is detailed in his Spee and Dee flies book. I imagine to do it in Glasso style would be to replace the wing with hackle tips instead of the maribou wing (I think that is what it is off the top of my head) Mr. Shewey uses.

Did not see any really good pictures online but if you do not have the Shewey book I would reccomend picking it up. I think there is also a picture of it in Steehead Flyfishing by Combs.


11-20-2002, 06:10 PM
In addition to the Shewey book, how about trying to locate Syd's protoge' Dick Wentworth? Start in Forks. Mabe a web search will find him. If anyone knows Syd's flies it would be Dick Wentworth.

11-20-2002, 07:29 PM

Looks like it is in Color Plate 2 of the T. Coombs Steelhead Fly Fishing Book also the Lani Waller - Advanced Fly Fishing bbook

Here is the instructions:

Tag: Flat silver tinsel
Tail: Orange polar bear
Body: Hot orange polar bear
Hackle: Hot orangel hackle, then dark guinea in front
Wing: Matched purple hackle tips, flared out

I shot a digital picture and am emailing to you.

Good luck

I had all my steelhead books out to determine what I wanted to tie this winter so you were in luck.

Watch your email its on its way.


11-20-2002, 08:01 PM
The fly I am refering to is actually a Glasso pattern. This friend of mine knew him, I do believe he was a student of his if I remember right. This is a pattern he was given well before Shewey was born (or he was only a toddler), so I'd say it wasn't Shewey's pattern originally. I have the Shewey book, but the flies don't sound the same (I also have the one you're talking about too Hal, thanks for the pic). This fly was given to him back in the early 50's if I remember his tale. I'll have to see what I can drum up from him.

Hmmmmm, I may have to sit him down next to me on the vice and work this baby out. He lost the last fly he had tied by Syd a few years ago. He had no idea of the worth on them, and fished them hard. I am going to forward the pic I got from Hal to him, and see if that's it. I had no idea it was in the Combs book, I should've checked there first. Dang. Well, will forward to him and see how it looks to him.

Oh yeah Hal. I do have polar bear, ready to be dyed. Can have purple in no time. :D JD, thanks. I may have to hunt him down as well. I know the fly he's talking about uses widgeon, and most of these patterns don't. So, we'll see.

11-21-2002, 01:32 AM

I know several folks who have fished with and were friends of Syd. None of them recall a Glasso fly called the Spawning Purple Spey. Walt Johnson, who is now dead, had a Glasso inspired spey fly he called the Deep Purple Spey that was developed in the late 1960's after Syd moved to Seattle from Forks. I'm not aware of Syd having tied the fly, but it is possible.

Dave McNeese is actually the originator of the fly that Sean spoke about. And the version that Pmflyfisher provided the pattern recipe for is the non-spey version of it. The McNesse Deep Purple Spey has a body composed in this fashion: rear 1/2 is 1/2 fl. red floss and 1/2 fl. orange floss; front 1/2 is hot orange seal or substitute, the body is ribbed with oval silver tinsel. The body hackle is an orange spey hackle, and the face hackle is either purple spey feather or purple mallard flank. It is winged with purple hackle tips and dyed purple golden pheasant crests over. And it is a fairly effective fly in bright weather on fresh winter runs.

The only Glasso fly I am familiar with that uses American Widgeon flank is his Gold Heron. It uses American Widgeon for the wing and the face hackle. The body is 1/2 flat gold tinsel and 1/2 hot orange seal or substutute ribbed with oval gold and it uses a brown spey feather for body hackle.

Keep in mind that Amercan Widgeon is a very diferent feather than European Widgeon. European Widgeon is almost identical to Gadwall. The American Widgeon is a rose tan in color.

Bob Stoebel, who was also a friend of Glasso, has a purple spey fly with a body that was 1/2 silver tinsel, 1/2 purple seal. Silver oval tinsel rib. Purple spey feather and European Widgeon or Gadwall face hackle. This fly had had a purple hackle tail and purple hackle tips for wings.

There is a tyer from Port Angeles by the name of Don Kass (he is about age 75 now) who knew Glasso. In fact, Don credits Glasso with making him into a fly fishing steelheader. Don learned how to tie spey flies from Glasso, but he has developed a winging technique that uses dyed Golden Pheasand Rump paired feathers tied on horizontally like a G.P. wing. He has a fly he calls the Purple Knight that has an American Widgeon face hackle. This fly has a silver tinsel tip and dyed purple Amhearst Pheasant tippit feather section as a tail, a body that is 1/2 floss and 1/2 hot orange seal or substitute. It uses a Blue Eared Pheasant spey feather and an oval silver tinsel rib. An american widgeon face hackle and a wing that is composed of 1 red dyed golden pheasant rump feather under a dyed purple golden pheasant rump feather. Don has added 4-6 strands of purple Krystal Flash as an underwing to this fly since it became available in the 1980's. It is a very beautiful and effective fly during March-April. Don uses it when he there is a little bit of color in the river.

Perhaps one of these is the fly this gent was thinking about.

At any rate, happy hackle bending!

11-21-2002, 01:53 AM
If you do happen upon the pattern please post a picture of the finished product under the fly tying section. I would love to see what you came up with and how it looks. Thanks.


11-21-2002, 08:20 AM
Don't see a Mcneese or Glasso Deep Purple Spey in any of my steelhead fly fishing books, just the one I posted above and sent the picture of to Jerry.

Try a "Google" search it may come up, you never know.

Good Luck

11-21-2002, 11:15 AM
Flytyer is right as usual. Looked last night and it is Mcnesse and Flytyer gives a great description of the fly.


11-21-2002, 12:25 PM
I only remember a Mcneese Spawning Purple also but who knows for sure where it may have originated.

BTW, thanks for making dig out the spey fly books, I always tie them in December, so now I can decide what to tie and visit the fly shop for any needed materials.

11-21-2002, 04:44 PM
Closest I could come was a Purple Sol Duc...

11-21-2002, 06:29 PM
Ok, he clarified some things up for me. What he wanted was for me to tie him up spawning purple speys and he was going to give me some widgeon to tie up some Glasso patterns for him. Brady let me know it was a miscommunication. As I said, I have no idea on the patterns. I spoke with him last night and he cleared some things up. I guess he said he has some of the glasso patterns in his head he wants, but I guess he had got ahold of a few of the SPS's and liked them. He wants to have some more tied up.

12-09-2002, 05:29 PM
Sheesh, took long enough. Pretty much have it down to a T what he wanted. This is it. Similar but different. Only thing he wants swapped is the mallard from orange to purple (but orange is ok too for him). Sheesh, what a guy does for a friend. :D

12-09-2002, 05:57 PM

Nice could be a good summer run pattern out here.