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>> Archive: Salmon & Steelhead Flies Spey flies to mixed wings, new innovations

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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-24-2003 10:52 PM
flytyer Lambchop,

Nicely tied fly.

And you hit-the-nail-on-the-head in that as long as a fly is true to color and placement of the materials, it is not a different fly, nor a modification of the fly.


Let us not forget that if you entire a fly tying contest for a classic featherwing salmon fly, you must tie the fly true to pattern or else the fly is disqualified. Substitution of materials is allowed; but you cannot change the color or placement of the materials. This has been the cast for over 100 years and is the long established norm of fly tying compititions. Therefore, it is the defacto standard that we should all ascribe too.

Also, if a person ties flies commercially he better tie all of them the same way and they better also be true to pattern or else he is not going to be in business very long. Shops and customers demand that flies be consistent and true to pattern fly after fly after fly. Even if they want 200 dozen of a particular fly in three different sizes with delivery in 14 days, the tyer better tie them all the same and they better also be true to pattern or the shop will reject them.

If you buy a "Super Duper Flame Spey" this week, you expect to get exactly the same fly, tied in exactly the same way if you buy it again 6 months from now. And you expect that if your friend orders the same fly, he will get exactly the same fly that you have.
09-24-2003 11:19 AM
Igor Bravo Lambchop!

I think your comments, " each his own" and "...the tyer alone should be the judge...", have put this thread in to proper perspective.

I shudder to think of the stunted and clinical work we'd produce if we were purged of our individual style, perception(s), and above all, creativity and creative liscense.

So (IMO), throw away the micrometers and the 'rule books', thumb your nose at the 'experts', let your imagination run wild, and have FUN.

09-24-2003 10:08 AM
Just think!

To think that all of this discussion could have been averted by the original post simply saying,

"MY version of the Sol Duc......"

Then it would have taken all of the wind out of everyone's sails....

Remind me if I ever post here, to say that at the start - I substitute materials if I am out, or modify a pattern to suit myself...

Kick me in the head, if you like, but I tie my flies to catch fish, not to argue fine points of accuracy!

09-24-2003 09:41 AM
A rose by any other name.

I see the point it giving credit for the name and style of a certain fly. But just since I throw a little something different into it doesn't mean I should give it a new name. If I use badger red hackle instead of red thats no reason to give it a new name. I agree with flytyer that to warrant that it should be a significant change. So when do I have to give "my" new fly a name? I think the tyer alone should be judge of that one. I think Igor may agree with me on that one. To each his own.
I believe Mr. Glasso ( like all great fly-tiers) possessed great creativity. To turn out a fly that looks exactly like the last is boring and mind numbing. I can't say for certain but the evidence seems to support he himself tied variants of his own patterns. Did he think these were no less a Sol Duc? Probably not.
I did a swap about a year ago with 11 other tyers. Only 1 pattern was allowed, the GB Skunk. All 12 flies looked different. Thats what is great about fly tying- personal expression.
Attached is a pic of a recently completed Em Durham. True to colors I may add. It's for a swap on another board but if interested in getting in PM me and I'll give you the link.
09-19-2003 01:54 PM
Pnwflyfisher Thanks very much this helps me alot. I want to make sure that if I do make the mentioned modifications that it is well documented. and yes your absolutely right about the confusion part ! I like to try to keep the flies in the true fashion in which they were tied. I feel very strongly that who ever the originator is this person must have put alot of work in the actual design and feather selection. I know nowadays you cannot always use the actual feather in the original recipe but I believe the Fly tying world understands this and accepts it. Again thanks !
09-19-2003 12:54 PM
flytyer Pnwflyfisher,

There is much confusion in the fly tying world around Modifications. The long established and accepted meaning for modification, as applied to flies) is found in Kelson, Francis, Blacker, Hardy, etc. in their books from the mid-to-late 1800's. Shewey uses the term correctly in his book and he refers to making some small, insignificant change to a fly. However, he is correct in that if you do this, you should acknowledge that it is a modification of the original fly.

The substitution of materials is perfectly acceptable and is a long standing practice in fly tying, and substituting materials is not a modification provided t he colors remain the same. I.e. using black dyed mallard flank instead of soft black hackle for the throat hackle on a Sol Duc Spey doesn't change the fly's colors at all; therefore, it is still a Sol Duc Spey, or using mottled turkey for speckled bustard in a full-dressed featherwing, or using dyed small feather substitutes for kingfisher, toucan, or Indian Crow.

However, if you change the color of some part of the fly, it becomes either a modification (meaning it is a very small change, i.e. eliminating the tail of a Sol Duc; changing the sequence of the body colors on a multi-color body, from rear 1/2 orange and front 1/2 red to rear 1/2 red and front 1/2 orange; or changing the color hue of the dubbing; i.e. from bright purple to reddish purple), or an entirely new fly (i.e. change the wing color from purple to blue or the body color from red to hot pink or the hackle color from black to wine).

Another modification would be using a different feather for the wing of a dee style fly from brown turkey or G.P. to Reeves Pheasant. This change doesn't change the color of the fly or the overall impression the fly makes; therefore, it is a modification. Another common modification is the elimination or addition of jungle cock cheeks to a fly to either brighten it up or to tone it down.
09-19-2003 12:22 PM
Fly names

Since I have only been tying fly's for about a year now and speys less than that. I have a question. If it is not the original material would it me more appropriate to append the word "modified" on it? I know sometimes I just cannot find the material I need to complete the fly that I want to tie but I always try to come up with a good substitute. I noticed that the word modified was used the in the John Shewey book for some certain fly's.
09-08-2003 01:14 PM
sean Hmm that is odd, now I am confused. I am curious as to what the original pattern actually is/was.

Bob Ververka tied a Sol Duc Spey for an article on this site a few years back and here it is:

I have read that he studied under Syd Glasso and he uses black for the throat. Will try and send him an email and ask him if he could expand on the original dressings of this fly.

As a newer student in the history of steelhead flies this discussion has been very interesting.

09-07-2003 12:13 PM
Igor Stu,

Thanks for the link - IMO very informative and accurate.

09-06-2003 10:04 PM
flytyer Hmm.....

I've never seen a Glasso Sol Duc tied with yellow floss on the body. Nor have I ever seen a Glasso Sol Duc Spey with yellow floss, G.P. breast feather wing, and teal throat. Every Glasso tied Sol Duc that I have seen as the same body as the Orang Heron: fl. orange floss and hot orange dubbing. Likewise, every Glasso tied Sol Duc Spey I have seen has the Orange Heron Body of fl. orange floss and hot orange dubbing, not yellow floss and dark orange dubbing. Nor have I seen a Glasso tied Sol Duc Spey with G.P. breast feather wing; they all were tied with hot orange hackle tips and a black throat. Also, I have not seen a Glasso Sol Duc Spey with the hackle started right at the end of the body. Every one of the ones I have seen had the hackle started at the second turn of tinsel, not the end of the body.

Perhaps Taylor wanted Glasso to tie him some with the body color changed. Interesting to say the least.

Glasso himself (as reported in Fly Tyer back in the 1970's) wrote that the Sol Duc, Sol Duc Dark, and Sol Duc Spey were the forerunners of the Orange, Brown, and Gold Herons. Glasso said that the Orange Heron only changed the hackle to Gray Heron from the Yellow Saddle (actually schlappen) used on all three of the Sol Duc flies. He said that the Gray Heron "muted" the brightness of the Sol Duc series.

Thanks Stu
09-06-2003 05:35 PM
DARKSTAR Thanks for sharing that GREAT link, Stu.
09-06-2003 02:31 PM
Stu Farnham
Some interesting info

Curioser and curioser...

For a man with as much impact as Syd Glasso has had, the information available about him, and the extant photos of his flies, are relatively rare. In a google search for "Glasso Orange Heron" I came across the following article by Art Lingren in the newsletter of the BCFFF. It includes photographs of a number of his flies tied by Syd for Bob Taylor.

The Sol Duc Spey is tied with a teal throat.

Here's the link:

09-04-2003 06:53 PM
DARKSTAR Igor, FT's comments were candid and accurate. period. So he cut to the chase..., I have found FT's candor refreshing, his knowledge vast, and in fact, have been trying to work out the details of this digital camera specifically so I can offer up my own work for similar critique...

I just hope he replies when I do!!
09-04-2003 06:08 PM
wrke Sean
I agree completely. I've always valued the tone of friendship and helpfulness of this site. It's unique. People have always seemed to go out of their way when there are differences of opinion to avoid the type of nasty confrontation that's so prevalent on so many other sites. There are differences, sometimes great areas of disagreement, but the participants have always seemed to not want to compromize the site. Lets keep it that way.
09-04-2003 05:39 PM
sean Cmon Igor. We do not need flame wars on this site. Not one of your posts has been on the constructive side since you joined the forum. If you have a personal beef with Flytyer lets keep it off the site.

Flytyer acknowledged his err in tone to pastord, (if you knew Flytyer you would know his point was not to knock pastords ties in the least) what else do you want?

If you look at the history of this forum we are all a civil bunch and respect EVERY tyers work.

It is only a web forum. Please try not to take it so personal. No malice was intended on anyone's part.

Lets get back to tying,

-sean (FFF admin)
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