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Blue Charm Spey

2015.01.01.dryfly.me.blue_charm_speyHook: Alec Jackson Spey #1.5 Bronze
Thread: UNI 6/0 Black
Tag: UNI-French Oval Medium, Lagartun French Silk Floss
Body: UNI-Floss Black
Rib: UNI-French Oval Medium
Hackle: Spirit River Spey Hackle Bright Blue
Wing: Squirrel tail as underwing, 2 layers of Mallard bronze shoulder over

A fresh start of the new year brings a large variant of the Blue Charm to this great spey hook from Alec Jackson! The squirrel underwing on this is generous to make the wing layer of Mallard sit nicely, that is also why the head became rather large, but not much one can do about that. I chose to not have a topping over it all, but for the next tie-up I’ll add that as well. I would also need some more of the blue spey hackle soon, or get a heron substitute to make some more of this for my box.

Happy New Year to all the readers I have here on dryfly.me!

Sunturn Spey

2014.12.21.dryfly.me.sunturn_speyHook: Alec Jackson Spey #1 1/2 Heavy Wire
Body: 1/3 Lagartun Black Silk Floss, 1/3 The Fly Co. Yellow Seals Fur, 1/3 The Fly Co. Red Seals Fur
Rib: UNI-Mylar Silver #10, UNI-French Oval Small Gold, UNI-Mylar #16 tied reverse over the hackle
Hackle: Foxtail Hen Neck Red, The Fly Co. Yellow Rooster Neck, Black Heron. Order: red, yellow and finally black in front
Wing: Veniard Mallard Duck Bronze Large

Today is winter solstice, and here in Norway this marks the coming of more daylight and the start of a journey towards the spring where we once again will get to go out and flyfish for trout and salmon. One of my favorite beer breweries here in Norway is Nøgne Ø, and they have a tradition to brew a batch of Sunturnbrew on this very day. It is dark, has lots of flavor, fits perfectly with my tastebuds and is a massive 11% alcohol!

2014.12.21.dryfly.me.sunturn_spey_bottle

Some years back I bought some bottles to see how it matures, and I open one bottle every year, on winter solstice, the very day it was created. This batch was brewed back on 2010.21.12 and is batch number #573. Today I was inspired when I saw that the brewers are at it again and are creating another batch of this great beer! I sat down and thought about the taste, the label, the winter solstice and created this spey fly that I call “Sunturn Spey”, a homage to Nøgne Ø and their Sunturnbrew.

2014.12.21.dryfly.me.sunturn_spey_back

The main idea came from the white to yellow to red writing on the label, I also wanted to convey the darkness of both the beer and the time of the year that we have.

2014.12.21.dryfly.me.sunturn_spey_frontThe flow of the hackle together with the seals fur dubbing represents the sun coming out of the darkness. I would like to get some clean Sunturnbrew labels and mount this fly in a frame together with it and send it to Grimstad to the brewers!

2014.12.21.dryfly.me.sunturn_spey_sideDetail from the body: the counter-wrap will ensure that the hackle stays in place

2014.12.21.dryfly.me.sunturn_spey_back_detailA double mallard wing on top:

2014.12.21.dryfly.me.sunturn_spey_topI’m very happy with how this fly came out, and I could frame it, but the colors and shape of this fly makes it one that I will tie up a few of to have in my salmon box for when the summer comes!

Green Highlander- #3/0

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh

Hook: Partridge Bartleet Blind-Eye #3/0
Thread: UNI 17/0 Trico White, Sheer 14/0 Black
Tag: Lagartun Oval X-Strong Fine French Tinsel, Lagartun French Silk Floss
Tail: GP topping, Wood Duck
Butt: Black Ostrich
Body: Lagartun French Silk Floss, Seals fur Green Highlander
Rib: Lagartun French Tinsel
Hackle: Green Highlander Cock Saddle
Underwing: GP tippet
Wing: Dyed Turkey Yellow/Orange/Green, Wood Duck, Mallard Duck
Throat: Rooster Neck Yellow
Cheek: Red Crow Substitute

This one has been a long time in the making: I started last year with some married wings but it went on and off for a while and I didn’t have material that I needed for this pattern. I still don’t have everything I would like to have: the wing should have some GP/Bustard/Mottled turkey, a good JC and horns. But: step by step I’ll add more to this pattern, this time it was all about getting the 18 strands of wing to stay together and tie them in without the fibers going in every direction, and I did! Next time I’ll increase the wing to 21/24 strands and manage to tie that in properly, but I don’t mind doing more variants on this pattern (as long as I get some more silk gut soon….).

There are some adjustments on this (there always is!), but the parts I’m happy with on this fly: the GP that meets up in the back, the GP underwing that aligns (and the fact that I figured out how to do it), the fact that the wing stayed in one place when I tied it in (“Tying the classic salmon fly” helped me out there) and the mallard duck roof.

I’m also quite happy with the start of the fly: the silk was nice and (almost) even, together with the tinsel it was a good starting point:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_tail

The underbody of white UNI-Floss before I started to add silk and seals fur. This makes for a better profile on the final fly:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_body

Up until this point the fly is flowing nicely: the hackle could be better and the yellow throat should be thicker:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_body_done

The colors of the green highlander is what pulled me in the first time:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_close

Rear-view of the green highlander:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_rear

The topping is forming a nice veil on top of the fly and packs it in:

2014.11.25.dryfly.me.gh_front

 

If I were to save one fly I have ever created it must be this! I know that if I come back to this in a couple of years time I will find a lot of things to point out, but this is the process: tie up, learn, repeat. And for me part of that process is to put these patterns out here, together with a macro shot that shows all the little flaws it have, but that is one of the things that drive me to become better!

To give you a idea of how big this fly is:

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Spey Style #3/0

2014.10.26.dryfly.me.spey

Hook: Partridge Bartleet Blind-Eye #3/0
Gut: Feathers MC Twisted Silk Gut Medium
Thread: Sheer 14/0 Black
Body: UNI-Floss White underbody, UNI-Floss Black
Rib: UNI-Mylar Silver #10, UNI-French Gold Oval Small, Lagartun Varnished French Tinsel Oval X-Strong Fine, UNI-Mylar #16 reverse to support hackle
Hackle: Spirit River Spey Hackle
Wing: Veniard Mallard Duck Bronze Large
Throat: Strung Guinea Natural

The Spey and Dee style flies have a look that attract me when it comes to style and execution, this one is a freestyle over a general spey based on the materials I have available. It turned out to be a exercise in rib and layering of the body that I haven’t done before.

I had to stretch the mallard duck to find something that would fit a hook this size, it didn’t come together perfectly: there are some strands that didn’t sit together perfectly, but I got the overall flow of the wing this time.

2014.10.26.dryfly.me.spey_top

The ribbing: 3 strands going over the body and one reverse over the hackle to keep it in place. Really pleased with how this came out in the end.

2014.10.26.dryfly.me.spey_rib

The front-view of this spey fly:

2014.10.26.dryfly.me.spey_front

First time tying with Spey Hackle

dryfly.me.2014.08.05.spey

Hook: Partridge Adlington & Hutchinson Blind Eye #4/0
Thread: Sheer 14/0
Body: The Fly Co Seals Fur
Rib: UNI-Mylar 1/16″ Silver, UNI-Frensh Oval Silver
Hackle: Whiting Spey Brown
Wing: Veniard Mallard Duck Bronze Shoulder Large

Got some spey hackle from whiting today and had to give it a testrun. This is the first time I have worked with spey hackle, and it takes some getting used to. I really like the spey style flies and will tie up more of these to get used to using the spey hackle in different situations.