The Lady Caroline Classic Salmon fly

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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

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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

Hackles

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)

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