Spade Fly - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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  #1  
Old 08-02-2002, 01:03 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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Question Spade Fly

I have seen a reference to "spade" flies on occasion yet have been unable to find out just what they are, what type, style, etc..

Okay, what is a spade fly?

ws
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2002, 01:26 PM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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WS, at the office here so don't have access to 'older' books

but, if I remember correctly, the 'spade' patterns were done in a low water configuration but used very long neck hackle to give them a very 'bushie' appearence in the water.

Think Tray Combs book has quite a section on them.
The following is an Alex Jackson book on the patterns.
fe

http://www.ffvm.com/hoft_menu.html


Last edited by fredaevans; 08-02-2002 at 01:44 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2002, 01:30 PM
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Doublespey Doublespey is offline
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Hey WS,

Check it out - he's got the classic Spade. Also, as Fred mentioned, you can get history and a better pic in Trey's Steelhead Fly Fishing.

DS
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Old 08-02-2002, 02:31 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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Thanks, guys.

I was beginning to think the name was a play on the word "spey" and simply a sparsely dressed spey fly, yes, like Sparkie's avatar. Later I found one reference in Trey's book "Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies", a soft-hackle type in black (tied by Harry Lemire) which didn't look anything like a spey fly, hence the question.

I have Trey's larger book, "Steelhead Fly Fishing", on order from my book club.

Fred - I saved the link on videos, great series of tapes. I've been meaning to pick up the one on tying/spinning deer hair flies by Chris Helms.

I believe I got a handle on it now.

ws
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2002, 02:31 PM
Nooksack Mac Nooksack Mac is offline
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The Spade was devised around 1964 by Washington angler/author Bob Arnold (or alternately, by B.C. angler Jerry Wintle, as "Wintle's Western Wizzard" - believe who you will), as a non-threatening fly for low, clear late-summer rivers. It's a very simple fly, originally tied on No. 6 Sealey hooks. The tail is a generous clump of deer body hair (evidently, to provide enough bouyancy to hold the butt end up); body is black chenille; hackle is a collar of soft grizzly. That's it - no rib, no wing. Naturally, fancier versions soon followed. Note the resemblance, except for the body, to the older and still deadly Burlap.
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Old 08-02-2002, 02:45 PM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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"I think I got it now".

Err, until Nooksack Mac's post. Which brings me right back to the fly tied by Harry Lemire which I alluded to. Mac's decription fitted this fly to a tee!

Seems I'm back to square one. Oh well, ain't fly fishing great; so much room for individual expression?

ws
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2002, 12:42 AM
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NrthFrk16 NrthFrk16 is offline
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WS-
Everyone priot managed to fill you in...for an excellent read (the book that got me hooked on steelhead fishing about 8 years ago) pick up Bob Arnold's Steelhead Water.

He is a great storyteller, has a unique sense of humor and fills you on the history of the Stilly and has some great stories from his days on the Skagit/Sauk, Grande Rhonde and Wenatchee...plus he is very contraversial and you either love or hate 'em.
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Old 08-03-2002, 01:21 PM
old man old man is offline
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Watersprite,that book that I lent you has a picture in the shiny pages but dosn't tell how to build it. I tied some up from reading Bob Arnold's book Steelhead ??(something or other,I forgot the rest). It talks about fishing the Stilly and the Sauk. Quite interesting. I might just check it out from the library again.

He goes into detail about some things. Now if I just knew where the Elbow holw is.........
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Old 08-04-2002, 01:36 PM
Nooksack Mac Nooksack Mac is offline
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Bob Arnold's more recent book is "Steelhead on the Floating Line - A Meditation". The Elbow Hole is several hundred yards below Deer Creek and the unglamorously labeled Manure Spreader run. It's more or less opposite Steve Raymond's property and just below what used to be Ralph Wahl's. It's a high, riprapped curving north bank with several large slabs near midstream. The cover of one of Steve Raymond's books is a wide-angle Wahl photo of the Elbow Hole, with my friend Jerry Swieringa wading the upper riffle.
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Old 08-04-2002, 08:04 PM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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"Nok" you just took me back close to 20 years.

Lived in Washington for about 30 years (emigrated from Canada), then moved to Calif. in 1984. Used to fish this run frequently but had no idea, then or now, the "name" of the slot. Didn't have 'pet names' for the rocks, but just about. Ahhhh, "pre-Judge Bolt."

Very cool to get 'educated' 20'ish years after the fact.

Last edited by fredaevans; 08-04-2002 at 08:06 PM.
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2002, 08:40 PM
old man old man is offline
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Thank you. He tells about other spots in his book. I guess that I will have to search them out. The more spots that I can find to fish on that river the better or happier I will be.
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2002, 09:31 PM
Scott K Scott K is offline
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Some links for you...

A good friend can endorse this pattern (the black spade) for the Wild Summer runs found on the small-medium sized VI streams. Simple, but effective. A Very versatile pattern.

http://www.ospreyflyfishers.com/id87.htm

http://www.fedflyfishers.org/FlyTyin...summer/not.htm (I think it's about the 18th or so paragraph down in this link)
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2002, 11:03 PM
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Nooksack Mac-
It is amazing what 25 or so years will do to a river...I had fished the Elbow many times and at the same time had read Raymond's book and looked at the picture on the front cover.

I knew that picture had to have been taken from somewhere I had fished because it looked too familiar (and somewhere on the Stilly because of the backgroud with Whitehorse Mt.)...I then visited Steve Raymond's exhibit of flyfishing in Washington in Bellingham (a truly amazing collection and production) and saw the picture with the caption "The Elbow Hole-North Fork Stilliguamish."

I could not believe it....since that picture has been taken the river has changed for the worse. Hell that hole (and river) have changed alot since the photo in Steelhead Flyfishing...some would argue that the Elbow Hole no longer exisits...gone the way of The Pocket.
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Old 08-05-2002, 01:26 AM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Arnold is a very good friend of mine and when he developed the 'spade' the Stilly was extremely low and he wanted a fly that wouldnot spook the fish and which would be somewhat like the burlap. He wnated it to be black and that is why he tied it with the black chenile body and grizzly hackly collar. The deer hair tail is tied very short and is not all that bushy if tied as Bob ties it. The tail is used only to keep the fly from swinging with its butt down.

The 'elbow hole' does not exist any longer, it was buried in sand, clay, and fine gravel 5 years ago after a lot of heavy winter rains flushed some of the junk that had been in the river from the Deforest Creek slide down the river and depossited in in the elbow. In fact, the big yellow rock that ARbnol speaks of in his book 'Steelhead Water' can not be found any longer, it is buried beneath the sand, clay, and fine gravel. The water in this area is now only about 18 inches deep and is a featurless sand bar with very fine gravel. A real shame that it, like the pocket which used to above it, are now nothing but memories.
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Old 08-05-2002, 02:05 AM
Scott K Scott K is offline
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Unhappy No need to cry Fly tyer

As much as Floods ruin fishing spots, floods are also a good thing for rivers provided they don't happen too much and they aren't poorly dampened (a poorly dampened flood, dampened meaning the river doesn't rise or fall too fast, would be a result of a poor riparian zone, more reason to protect the riparian zone). Floods change the river and while they may wash out some habitat, they also create new habitat. With a steady supply of LWD, when it settles on the bank, it will create cover and scour the river bottom which will help give Steelhead juveniles a new place to live.

So if it's anything to reconcile the loss of a popular and well known fishing spot, it could be a good thing too....
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