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fish-head 08-23-2002 03:43 PM

Hair wings or Bronze Mallard
Is Bronze Mallard just as durable as a hair wing fly ? I have seen some low water pattern's that used B.m. instead of Hair . Does it move better , Fish better ? Thank's Fish-head

juro 08-23-2002 04:44 PM

I use a lot of BM for winging Spey flies, it's not as "durable" in terms of looking the same as it did day one - but it still catches fish just fine even after the previous fish parted the barbs a little. The general impression of a tented wing in the distinct color and barred design still remains even after several steelhead, if one should be so lucky.

For me a Spey fly that has greaselined one good steelhead is as durable as a fly needs to be. Now if the angler is dredging the fly, that's another story. These flies are meant to be fished in the classic manner.

fish-head 08-23-2002 05:12 PM

Thank's Juro . That is what I am doing with these pattern's . 2 thing's that are going to happen , fish willing of course . Catch a Summer on a Sinktip and a Dry Fly . Thank's for the Info , Fish-head

Poul 08-25-2002 10:13 AM

IMHO some thinner hairs, like squirrel tail, have more action than BM. The shorter the wing (ie a small fly), the less action the hair will have. The sparser the hair wing, the more action it will have. An extremely sparse squirrel tail wing topped with perhaps 6-8 BM fibres to give it a little more visual bulk and 2 strands of crystal flash (hi-tech "horns") has been appearing on more and more of my SH wet flies the last few years.

Still stick to BM, however, for those reliable Lady Carolines that always seem to take up a substantial portion of my fly box.


flytyer 08-26-2002 10:51 PM


As Juro said, hair is more durable than mallard; however, hair has a totally different look and action in the water. I tie and fish a lot of spey flies and low water wets and never use anything as a substitute for the bronze mallard wing. In fact, I never use hair as a wing on a spey fly because the hair acts and looks so different in the water.

I do use Krystal Flash as an underwing on some spey flies that use dyed golden pheasant rump feathers for the wing though. They are very effective if the Krystal Flash is kept sparse (3 oe 4 strands only on #3 or larger flies, 2 or 3 strands on hooks smaller than #3, and two dyed golden pheasant rump feathers stacked on top of each other, sometimes of different colors. Try a royal blue body, silver oval rib, red spey feather hackle, blue dyed mallard flank throat hackle, red Krystal Flash underwing and dyed scarlet golden pheasant rump wing. This is a very good fly when rivers are cold but clear. I tie it on Alec Jackson #3 and #1 1/2.

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