T & L Spey (var) - Fly Fishing Forum
>> Archive: Salmon & Steelhead Flies Spey flies to mixed wings, new innovations

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Old 04-23-2006, 06:53 AM
Anders Anders is offline
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T & L Spey (var)

I am just testing my new Whiting spey hackles, they are awsome. Tied up a couple of T & L spey variaitions..... Think they will catch a fish and two!?

Materiales:
Hook: Partridge Salar #7 (Silver)
Thread: Red Benecchi 12/0
Tag: oval fine silver over danville`s fluorescent orange floss
But: black ostritch
Body: Black floss
Ribbing: 2xovla fine silver and the same floss as in the tag
Hackle: Orange spey hackle and blue hen coloured whit a marker pen

Regards
Anders
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:04 AM
wrke wrke is offline
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Gorgeous fly! I will tie some similar for the Gaspé.
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:31 PM
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Eric Eric is offline
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Beautiful fly -- you'll catch a fish or two.

BTW: a hair-wing (red-squirrel) Thunder and Lightning is a very effective steelhead fly on the Deschutes, particularly late in the season. I think the steelhead may think it's an October caddis -- what might the Atlantic cousins think this wonderful pattern may be?

Question: in North America and the British Isles, is there a seasonal preference for the Thunder and Lightning for salmon, or is the fly just fished whenever the river is roily or whenever the angler plucks it from the fly box?

Just curious,

Eric
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Old 04-24-2006, 08:11 AM
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Charlie Charlie is offline
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Anders,

Very nice fly as are all the ones you tie. I think this one would work great on the Dartmouth and York rivers on the Gaspe.

Eric,

As Bill says, we use T&L’s up on the Gaspe and while I think they are more important in the fall they do work well in the spring also. I think the size tends to be more important in relation to time of year and water flow. Spring time with high water = big flies. Fall with low flows = small flies.

Charlie.
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:30 AM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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The T&L is also a good fly out here in the PNW for summer/fall steelhead. And just like Kelson mentions in his tome THE SALMON FLY, it appears to work best either when the rivers start to rise during a storm or as they first start to drop afterward. Nicely done fly by the way that clearly shows the quality of the newer generation Whiting Spey Hackle.
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:22 AM
Gardener Gardener is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric
what might the Atlantic cousins think this wonderful pattern may be?

Question: in North America and the British Isles, is there a seasonal preference for the Thunder and Lightning for salmon, or is the fly just fished whenever the river is roily or whenever the angler plucks it from the fly box?
On your first question, I've no idea what an atlantic salmon thinks any fly represents! Since they're not feeding in the river, any notion of representing a particular food item seems fairly irrelevant to me.

I used to fish the T&L quite a bit, both in feather and hairwing versions; it's dropped out of favour in my box in recent years, though for no good reason. I guess I'm just fickle and am all too ready to go for the latest 'must have' fly, so the older patterns get pushed aside. I would fish it in more or less all water and weather conditions, and throughout the season. But I think the Willie Gunn was originally conceived as an 'impressionist' version of the T&L, and the family likeness can clearly be seen in the Munro Killer, Tummel Shrimp and Katy D, too.

Anders, your tying is excellent, and I'm sure that it will catch fish, but I'd respectfully suggest that it isn't really a Spey style fly. One of the absolutely defining features of a true spey fly is the profile of the wing. I don't see how a wingless fly can therefore be categorised as a Spey fly.
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Old 04-25-2006, 02:31 PM
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"Since they're not feeding in the river, any notion of representing a particular food item seems fairly irrelevant to me." -- Gardener

I wouldn't be too sure about this. Many Atlantic salmon flies are direct imitations of natural foods -- witness the very effective General Practioner, Ally's Shrimp, Currys Golden Shrimp, Currys Red Shrimp, the Elver Fly, Tippet Grub and Jungle Hornet-- to name but a few of them any standard patterns dressed to imitate prey creatures. Oglesby and Buckland, in their _Guide to Salmon Flies_ devote an entire chapter to Grubs, Shrimps and Prawns.

Whether salmon are feeding or not in fresh water, they certainly do respond to natural baits, most common being the prawn and the dew worm. What's that saying attributed to some forgotten gilly in Scotland? Something about under low water conditions the salmon will take "nae but the prawn."

I think my query about what the Thunder and Lightning might represent is a valid one, given this background.

-- Eric

Last edited by Eric; 04-25-2006 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:29 PM
Anders Anders is offline
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Hi again...

First of; thank`s for the kind words!

Most of the atlantic salmon do not feed when they re enter fresh water. But in some occations they do feed.

There are too many teories on why salmon choose too take a fly. When "hunting" salmon I mainly choose between provocation or suprise when selecting fly and way of presentation.

Gardener:

I am aware that my T&L spey (Var) are missing a pair of wings. And I could not care less. The wings in a spey fly do not carry any features I need in a salmon fly, therfore I leave them out. The reason I`ve called it a spey fly is because of the hackle. You saw the parenthesis?

Regards
Anders
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Old 04-26-2006, 08:24 AM
Gardener Gardener is offline
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Eric, I do not believe that the flies you mention are 'direct imitations of natural foods', in the way that, for example, a blue winged olive upwinged dry fly imitates an ephemerid or a Surf Candy imitates a sand eel or other baitfish.

I'm a big fan of shrimp-style flies, and use them a good deal - both the older varieties like the Usk Grub and Bann Special, and the more modern style like the Ally's Shrimp and Cascade. But I cannot claim to choose them as an imitation of a specific food source. To me the inclusion of the word shrimp in the name merely denotes a certain style of tying, not an effort to imitate a shrimp. What creature do you believe is represented by an Usk Grub, an Ally's Shrimp or a Cascade? If you had them in your hand, side by side, would a casual passer-by detect a resemblance between natural and imitation, in the way that they might with a BWO or a Surf Candy and the creatures they imitate? Incidentally, people have tried close imitation by using rubber shrimp and prawn imitations, but so far as I know, they haven't ever proved very successful.

Similarly, I'd be hard pushed to say that Ransome's Elver really represents an elver. Although Richard Waddington thought that elvers were an important food source of salmon, he was writing before anyone knew where salmon went to feed in the ocean. Given that we now know that elvers and salmon go to quite different areas of the Atlantic, there's no reason to suppose that elvers are a significant food source. So I don't accept that Ransome's fly is a specific representation of an elver. It certainly doesn't look like one, and indeed if I did want to imitate an elver, which is thin and more or less transparent, I wouldn't use Vulturine Guinea Fowl feathers, which are quite solid in appearance.

In imitative fishing, I think many fishermen would agree that the method of presentation is probably more important than the pattern used. But when I catch fish on a shrimp fly, it is generally fished on a straight swing, with the fly a few inches below the surface. I'm not sure that this represents the natural behaviour of a crustacean, but it still seems to fool salmon into taking!

The question of why a salmon takes a fly or bait is, of course, one of the great imponderables in fishing, and I don't pretend to have an answer to it. My feeling is that they may take for a number of reasons - aggression, curiosity and residual feeding intinct may all, at different times, provoke a take. The different ways in which a fish will take, ranging from a gentle sip to a violent charge, reflect that. However, since salmon are not feeding in fresh water, direct imitation plays no part in my choice of fly.
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