Guest Speaker: Paul Little 21st February 2019

The Lady Caroline Classic Salmon fly


Hook: Partridge HE 2, Size 1/0 long shank blind hook with silkworm gut eye
Thread: Danville 6/0 Olive changing to Black for the head.
Ribs: Flat gold, Oval silver, Oval gold tinsels.
Tail: Golden Pheasant breast feather.
Body hackle: Heron back quill (Palmered).
Body: Mixed brown and olive Marino sheep wool dubbing
Hackle: Golden pheasant breast feather. Wing: Bronze mallard slips

Paul described the importance of attention to detail in tying this beautiful fly – using touching turn thread wraps even when they would not be visible in the final fly, not adding unnecessary wraps on the head and selection and preparation of the materials. 

The silkworm gut eye was secured with thread wraps and superglue followed by touching turns to a position not quite opposite the point of the hook.  The GP breast tail feather was stripped of the fluff and a small V-shape removed from the tip before tying in with the natural curve upwards. The three ribs were tied in (looking down the hook) at 10, 8 and 6-o’clock positions on the shank for the flat gold, oval silver and oval gold tinsels, respectively.  The palmered heron back quill feather has more sparsely distributed barbules at the tip so, it needs to be tied in by the tip at the hook end (on the opposite side of the hook to the ribs): thus, giving the greatest density of barbules towards the head of the fly.

The body was dubbed with an even dubbing rope producing a parallel profile the full length of the hook shank.  Five clockwise turns of each of the three ribs were tied in sequentially: flat gold, oval silver, oval gold, such that the oval silver was just below the trailing edge and the oval gold just above the leading edge of the flat gold rib.  The heron feather was palmers between the two oval tinsel ribs. For the head, a hackle of GP breast feather (tied in at the tip) was added above the body hackle). Both hackles were smoothed down below the hook shank to a throat position and the odd stray barbules removed.  The thread was changed to black for the head and two slips of bronze mallard (taken from towards the rachis end of the feather) tied in to produce a profile similar to the keel of an up-turned boat.

The Smokey Dun Classic Salmon Fly


Hook: Partridge HE 2, Size 2 blind hook with silkworm gut eye.
Thread: Grey 14/0 Sheer changing to Danville’s Black 6/0 for the head.
Tag and rib: Flat silver tinsel (equivalent to size 16 mylar).
Tail: Four peacock sword feathers.Body: Natural ‘blue’ rabbit underfur dubbing.
Throat hackle: Natural dun hen feather.
Wing: Two heron secondary feather slips.

The eye was secured as described in the previous fly.  Touching turn thread wraps were taken to opposite the point of the hook.  The flat silver tinsel was tied in to produce a tag (4-5 turns). The peacock sword feather barbules were held flat to encourage the natural upward curve and tied in as two pairs on the left and right side of the hook. 

The rib was tied in and the body dubbed to the head area with a tight dubbing rope to produce a parallel body profile. A five-turn clockwise rib was added and the hackle feather (selected barbule length to mid shank) tied in by the tip at the head area. 

The hackle (3 to 4 touching turns towards the head of the fly) was tied in and the grey thread tied off with a whip finish. The hackle barbules were stroked downwards to produce a throat and the black thread for the head tied on. The left and right Heron secondary feather slip widths were half the gape of the hook.  They were tied in as a pair by an intricate procedure: the slips were adjusted so the ends were level and aligned with the tip of the tail; they were held tightly between finger and thumb at the tie-in point and a single loose thread wrap made; the rachis end of the feather was pushed towards the tie-in point to produce a valley for the thread to fall into and finally the thread pulled tight.  The wing slips were trimmed and tied-in and the fly finished with a small head.

Spider patterns

Fly 1
Fly 2
Fly 3

Hook: Partridge L2A spider hook (Modern Day L3A)
Thread: Pearsall’s Orange silk (6A).

Fly 2 only: Sparse Hares ear underfur dubbing


Fly 1: Grouse Covert Feather
Fly 2: Woodcock Covert Feather (dubbed body spider)
Fly 3: Brown Owl covert feather (The Brown Owl)

  1. Grouse covert feather 
  2. Woodcock covert feather (dubbed body spider)
  3. Brown owl covert feather (the Brown Owl)

Tying Demonstration: Frank Moors 7th February 2019

The Thunder Spey

Hook: Size 10 Partridge Patriot double gold hook
Thread: Black 8/0 thread.
Tag: Fine gold oval tinsel /orange Glo-brite floss No. 6.
Body: Black 600 denier floss.
Tail: Golden Pheasant crest feather. 
Rib: Gold oval tinsel.
Palmered Hackle: Orange Chinese cock feather.
Hackle: Dyed blue spotted guinea fowl body feather 
Trigger point: Two Jungle Cock nails.

The black 8/0 thread was started at the eye and a layer the length of the shank added. Frank recommended securing the initial thread layer with a figure of eight around the root of the bifurcation of the double hook.

The double tag comprised fine gold tinsel; ca 4-turns with the tinsel end finished by folding under the tag and tying in at the base of the hook bifurcation, followed by ca 2mm wrap of hot orange floss of above the tinsel.

The golden pheasant crest feather tail was tied in over the tag and the rib (same material as the tag tinsel) tied in with thread wraps back to the head area.

A doubled-up length of black floss tied in at the head area. The body was made by touching turns of the doubled floss the full length of the body and back, tying in at the head area.

A “dirty orange” cock hackle was tied in by the rachis at the head area (the rachis was flattened to ensure that the feather tied in securely without adding too much bulk to the body) and palmered the length of the shank and secured by ca 5 turns of the tinsel rib.

A blue guinea fowl hackle (2-3 turns) was tied in by the feather tip and 2 Jungle cock feathers pointing upwards away from the hook eye.

The Cascade (and variant)

Hook: Size 10 Partridge Patriot double hook
Thread: Black 8/0 thread.
Tail: Yellow / hot orange bucktail / Krystal flash
Body: Flat silver tinsel (oval for variant)/ black floss.
Rib: Fine silver oval tinsel.
Wing: Black squirrel tail/ Krystal flash.
Hackle: Sunburst yellow/orange cock feathers

On the evening Frank tied a variant of this fly owing to the lack of flat silver tinsel and opted not to add micro Krystal flash to the tail and wing, the tying describes the tying of the standard with crystal flash rather than the variant: the photo above is of the standard fly.

The black 8/0 thread was started at the eye and a layer the length of the shank added.  

The tail length was ca 2 times the length of the hook shank (shorter tails could be tied if desired) and was sequential; a small clump of yellow and similar of hot orange bucktail tied over, 4-strands of Krystal flash could be added if desired.

The fine oval tinsel rib was tied in at the tail and medium flat silver tinsel tied in half way along the shank with thread wraps.  The lower half of the body was made by overlapping wraps of flat silver tinsel to the tail and back to half way along the shank. Black floss was then tied in at the head with overlapping wraps to the start of the silver tinsel and back to the head area to form the 2nd half of the body.  The whole of the body was ribbed by ca 5-turns of the oval silver tinsel.

(In the variant tied on the evening: touching turns of the rib material (oval silver tinsel) was used to create the first half of the body then tied in.  The 2nd half of the body formed, as above, and the black floss body section ribbed with the end piece of oval silver tinsel).

The wing was formed with a small clump of black squirrel tail tied in below the head area to approximately 1/2 the length of the tail, 2 strands of Krystal flash cut to the wing length could be added if desired.

The hackle comprised 2-3 turns of sunburst yellow Chinese cock feather (tied in at the tip) followed by a similarly tied orange Chinese cock hackle.

The head finished with clear varnish.