Jump to content
Fly Tying
bellinghamster

Spey Fly Tying

Recommended Posts

I started tying and have just bought a bunch of spey hooks, mainly because the flys are so intricate, colorful and pretty. I don't fish speys, and haven't fished any flies yet either, but enjoy tying them and would like to get out and use them this coming year.

 

I have a few questions about how to go about some of the basic spey patterns (big black hook, maybe not necessisarily sp? spey but fancy).

  1. How do you get the nice black shiny head?
  2. What materials should I use to start?
  3. Any good websites or tutorials here on the forums?
  4. Easy patterns?
  5. Green Highlander pattern?
  6. Cost of all the materials as I am not sure what I need vs. what I might not need.

I have a lot of hooks and about 5 different sizes.

 

If anybody can give me some tips on this, I would be very appreciative.

 

Thanks!

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the same boat James......hopefully this thread will get some responses.

 

I would like to add

 

7. hook reccomendations and prices

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

heres a link that should get you started spey video.

as for hooks, either alec jackson spey hooks, J.Stockards carries them. or try partidge salar hooks. both work well.

also you should pick up a book, i recommend john shewy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

heres a link that should get you started spey video.

as for hooks, either alec jackson spey hooks, J.Stockards carries them. or try partidge salar hooks. both work well.

also you should pick up a book, i recommend john shewy.

Thanks for the helpful suggestions I am new to tying spey flies and just bought some Alex Jackson hooks and spey hackles now all I need is floss and tinsel. Any suggestions for wrapping spey hackle? For some reason the flies just didn’t look right maybe I am choosing hackles that are too short.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, welcome to the world of Spey! It rocks!

Now I say get John Sheweys book, "Spey and Dee flies, their history and construction". Here is a link to a buy it now on Ebay, I have NO affiliation with this seller but the price is right. Shewey book

I really like the Alec Jackson hooks and use all the sizes. I pretty much just stick with black.

For wrapping hackle I'd have to see how you are doing it. I fold BEP and I strip or split marabou, cogue and spey cock. For the length, it depends on what you are rying to achieve. Here is a link to some I have just posted.

Speys

 

Here is a different hackle Spey cock hackle.

 

A good material to start with for bodies is yarn. Aunt lydias is great. Not a huge range of colors but you can get some good patterns out of it. Also, a Orange Heron is fairly easy as is a Caron. The Orange Heron is a little harder but it's still easy and has a hackle tip wing so if you don't have any bronzed mallard you can still make something.

When you start tying keep in mind that you can use anything for the wings really, whether it's hackle tips, or goose or bronzed mallard or golden pheasent or even hooded merganser. etc..etc..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I suggest that you get John Shewey's or Bob Veverka's books on spey flies and read them for the basic info you'll need. These are both excellent sources for Spey and Dee flies and most, if not all of your questions will get answered. Although Speys are not difficult to tie, you do need a basic tying skill set. If you are just beginning, I strongly recommend that you get a little more practice in before you invest the money in materials.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

A common difficulty with spey flies is too short of hackle. It's easier to know what's going on if I know your hook size/spey hackle you are currently using but I will give a summary of what I use for spey hackle.

 

Basically, you have two 3 inexpensive choices that are readily available. The first is burnt spey hackle (sometimes just called spey hackle) sold by Spirit River. This is goose feathers, and while the fibers are long and a good texture, the stems are gigantic and can easily split and crack. Soaking these feathers before use will help, but I usually split them down the stem, then soack them and tie them on.

 

The second common hackle is Whiting Spey Hackle. Whiting hackle is usually good for length, but often times very whispy. The whispiness is a matter of preference, and of the way it looks in the water. This hackle tends to be about 20-25 bucks a package, but it gives you a lot of feathers.

 

The 3rd inexpensive choice is Schlappen, which works but sometimes needs to be burnt for the right appearance. There are some posts in this forum about burning spey hackle which explain the process. Schlappen is nice, however, it can sometimes fall a little short on the larger hooks.

 

For expensive hackle, I use blue-eared pheasant. However, it typically comes in 1 color, a bluish grey. Thus it has to be bleached and dyed to get colored hackle, and the bleaching may ruin your feather. This hackle tends to go about 12 bucks for 12 feathers. Each feather is only good for 1 fly, so this is not a cost effective solution.

 

Their are many other hackle options out there, what I do is if I see a feather with long fibers, I burn it with bleach and see how good of a hackle it would make. With a little experimentation, you can find many things to replace the heron and other types of hackle used in classic speys.

 

Good luck.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learn a few of the classic and or traditional flies first then try your own thing. That way you'll get an idea of what a spey fly really is and how they came about. Just because the hackle is longer than the hook doesn't make it a spey. It is hard to beat Shewey's book. Not only does it have a good list of patterns and some fine points on technique but it has some great well researched info on the history of speys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started tying and have just bought a bunch of spey hooks, mainly because the flys are so intricate, colorful and pretty. I don't fish speys, and haven't fished any flies yet either, but enjoy tying them and would like to get out and use them this coming year.

 

I have a few questions about how to go about some of the basic spey patterns (big black hook, maybe not necessisarily sp? spey but fancy).

  1. How do you get the nice black shiny head?
  2. What materials should I use to start?
  3. Any good websites or tutorials here on the forums?
  4. Easy patterns?
  5. Green Highlander pattern?
  6. Cost of all the materials as I am not sure what I need vs. what I might not need.
I have a lot of hooks and about 5 different sizes.

 

If anybody can give me some tips on this, I would be very appreciative.

 

Thanks!

James

 

answer to #1, it's a secret that we can't tell you.

#3 here is a question I asked John Shewey in an interview..

Q What are a couple of good starter patterns for the beginning spey and dee tyer?

A As for classics, I would suggest that tiers try their hand at both the “heron-hackled” Spey flies ad the rooster-hackled patterns. Of the former, two of the nicest are the Lady Caroline and the Carron; use blue eared pheasant rump in place of heron. Of the latter, I like the Gold Purpy as a starter fly—straightforward and simple. Use natural brown schlappen or coque (side tail) for the hackle. For Dee flies, I think the Tri-colour is a nice starter fly (in the Scottish brogue, by the way, it is pronounced “trickeler”—took me a while to figure out what my Scottish friend was saying when I first heard that!). Of course the mallard wings always present a challenge for most tiers until they get the hang of it—I could have done a better job illustrating the techniques in the Spey/Dee book, so I made sure to shoot a much better step-by-step sequence that will appear in the forthcoming book on tying steelhead flies and in the next edition of Spey Flies & Dee Flies. I might add that for anybody who runs into me at a tying show (Eugene in March for example)—please just ask for a bronze mallard demo—seeing it first-hand is better than looking at photos. As for Northwest patterns, Glasso’s Orange Heron is a wonderful fly and even intermediate tiers can achieve great results with just a little practice.

The great thing about these flies is that by and large they require only a minimal investment in materials. Granted, those materials are often specialty items and certainly you must get the highest-quality materials you can find, but take the Gold Purpy for example: purple yarn, 1 or 2 sizes of gold flat tinsel, small gold oval, brown schlappen, bronze mallard. That’s it!

 

here is the whole interview

 

answer to #6 and maybe #2, materials will be pricey as you progress. As your skills get better you'll want better options. You can start with white goose wings or orange hackle tip wings but you'll want to move on to other colors, other options and so on and so forth. I think you can get started for less than 25 bucks though. But you'll ramp up rapidly from there so I don't know if I would say 25bucks would be a starting budget. But if that is what you have to work with then that is what you should start with. Get what you can. I don't know if 25 is what you are thinking but I used that as a good example.

Like if you take the link I am inserting, you could get all of the stuff to tie about 10 of those flies for under 25 bucks if you had nothing to start with. (And you can catch fish with it too.)

But then you are going to be tying one size and in one color combo and that is all and it's not really going to boost your skills much. It will help you to learn how to wrap marabou hackle though. If you bump that up to say 50 bucks you can open up to 5 times as many options and actually work on some traditional, skill honing patterns.

 

Here is the link to that easy to tie spey. It's simple and it flows super smoothly in the water. On a swing it comes to life like you wouldn't believe. Now, if you do not have any tip dyed marabou, you can use any solid colored marabou. Blood quills work just fine and the dubbing can be any color you want it to be to. It doesn't get any simpler really and the wing is good old fashioned white goose.

HP Spey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi James,

 

From reading your post, I take it that you don't have a real good background in tying of any kind? If that is right, I suggest you invest some time in learning the basics real well before tackling more advanced types of flies. Having said that, the Shewey book is excellent and I am sure Bob Veverka's book is too although I haven't seen it. You can get another slant here too. http://www.ronnlucassr.com/lesson4.htm.

 

You mentioned the Green Highlander. That isn't typically a Spey pattern but is a fully dressed fly. I feel I must ask, are you wanting to tie fully dressed flies instead of Speys? If so, this would change everything.

 

If it is Speys you want to learn to tie, I will predict you will have trouble winging the flies. The answers are all in that link. You MUST learn and master thread control! That is one of, if not the most important things to learn and master in all of the tying disciplines. When you run into problems and after you've tried everything you can think of, and still the problem persists, post a question here or even send me an email. Most of us here are eager to help new tyers. Remember, slow and easy and practice, practice and when you think you have it down, practice some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same questions as you guys and had tons of help from the guys on the forum. somewhere in the classic and artistic salmon fly tying section is a question labeled Help on tying this style. you might want to take a look at this there is tons of info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...