Northwest Fly Tyer

The fly tying pages of Monte Smith

Classic Hook Guide

Posted by nwflytyer on November 26, 2015

When reading some of the classic works of the salmon fly authors, one will run into the Phillips scale (popular in Blacker’s time, for example). How do those sizes equate with modern sizes… what the heck size is a #7?! 

Fear no more. Here are the equivalencies from Farlow’s Hook Guide with the modern scale, the Phillips scale, and the length of hook following (do not include the eye when measuring hook length):

7/0   –   #1  (2 1/2″)

6/0   –   #2  (2 1/4″)

5/0   –   #3   (2″)

4/0   –   #4   (1 7/8″)

3/0   –   #5   (1 3/4″)

2/0   –   #6   (1 5/8″)

1/0   –   #7   (1 1/2″)

1 1/2 –   #8   (1 3/8″)

1   –   #9   (1 1/4″)

2   –   BB   (1 1/8″)

3   –   B   (1″)

4   –   CC   (15/16″)

5   –   C   (7/8″)

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Today’s Claret Brown or in Praise of the Mustad-Chestertown Model 3298 Hook

Posted by nwflytyer on November 8, 2015

For those who know me or have followed this blog for some time, my latest version of the Claret Brown will come as no surprise:

   

The Latest Claret Brown

 
Yes, my love of this crazy, sleek hook continues. This is a size 6, and I’ve taken the sneck out of the bend. I also grind the tips to make them more receptive to a gut eye.

I’ve varied the pattern in a few ways: embossed silver tinsel rib, added the jungle cock sides, and made a fur head. I like wool/fur heads of some of the old classics, and I had planned to use orange on this a la the Dallas fly, but settled on black.

The hackle is schlappen, stripped on one side, and the wings are true cinnamon turkey. 

And here’s an orange head version. Somebody please stop me…

  
Previous Spey Plate flies that I worked up a Mustad-Chestertown version for my collection include The Pitcroy Fancy and the Dallas Fly:

 

Pitcroy Fancy

  

Dallas Fly

 
More fun on the Chestertown:

 

Double White-Wing Alkroyd

  

Featherwing streamers

 

Posted in Fly Patterns, Salmon Flies, Streamers, Tying Notes, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Stunner

Posted by nwflytyer on November 7, 2015

   
I’ve been wanting to tie this one for awhile and finally got to it this morning. It’s from Tolfrey’s classic Jones’ Guide to Norway. (1848) Here is the recipe (listed as Tolfrey did):

The Stunner

Tail: Golden Pheasant topping

Tip: Silver twist and Crimson silk

Body: Pale blue, yellow, claret, and dark blue Pig’s wool at the shoulder

Legs: Claret hackle 

Throat: Guinea-hen and blue hackle

Ribbed: Gold tinsel and silver twist

Wing: Two golden pheasant tippets, a little bustard and two golden toppings over all

Horns: Blue macaw

Head: Yellow mohair

Posted in Fly Patterns, Salmon Flies | 3 Comments »

The Claret Brown – Spey Plate Tying Fun

Posted by nwflytyer on November 2, 2015

I’ve been working on a few flies for my Spey Plate ’16 contribution. I usually tie multiple versions with material variations,  different hook sizes/styles, and perhaps a different tying method or two, and this year is no different. First, let’s re-state Kelson’s recipe with the note that in Salmon Flies, he mentioned using Crowned Pigeon as the body hackle (instead of heron):

The Claret Brown 
​Tail: ​A few fibers of yellow Macaw
Body: ​Three turns of orange Pig’s wool, followed by claret-brown Pig’s wool
Ribs: ​Silver tinsel
Hackle: ​Grey Heron from center
Throat: ​Gallina
Wings: ​Two strips of plain cinnamon Turkey and a topping
Horns:​ Red macaw

Source: ​‘Land and Water’ Salmon Flies, 1896-1902, George M. Kelson
Fly #1 using cinnamon speckled turkey for the wings and adding jungle cock for dramatic effect…

Fly #1

 

Fly #2 tied on a ~1/0 std wet fly hook. A true quick ‘n’ dirty fishing fly…

Fly #2

 

Fly #3 using Kori bustard for the wing and crowned pigeon for the hackle.

Fly #3

None of the heads are presentation quality yet.  How many more to tie? I’ll post them here…

 

Posted in Fly Patterns, Salmon Flies, Spey Flies, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Spey Plate 2016 Fly

Posted by nwflytyer on November 1, 2015

The fly for the 2016 Spey Plate has been selected, and the contributions are beginning to pour in. Stay tuned for pictures of the excellent individual efforts.

After much consideration of possible flies both ancient and modern, I have selected the Claret Brown listed in Kelson’s ‘Land & Water’ series. Here is the recipe, as listed by Kelson:

 

The Claret Brown 

​Tail: ​A few fibers of yellow Macaw

Body: ​Three turns of orange Pig’s wool, followed by claret-brown Pig’s wool

Ribs: ​Silver tinsel

Hackle: ​Grey Heron from center

Throat: ​Gallina

Wings: ​Two strips of plain cinnamon Turkey and a topping

Horns:​Red macaw

Source: ​‘Land and Water’ Salmon Flies, 1896-1902, George M. Kelson

Kelson noted that on the Spey, the local dressers varied the pattern by eliminating the topping, a variation with which he happened to disagree. Furthermore, he sometimes added jungle cock for ‘sides.’

Posted in Fly Patterns, Salmon Flies, Spey Flies | Leave a Comment »

The Crane

Posted by nwflytyer on November 1, 2015

An old Irish pattern, as per Francis Francis.

  
Tip: Silver thread and orange floss

Tail: A very long slice of bright yellow swan   *subbed dyed goose*

Butt: Red crewel 

Body: Bright medium blue floss

Rib: Silver tinsel

Hackle: A blue heron hackle all the way up   *subbed crowned pigeon*

Shoulder: Gallina

Wings: Two long jungle cock feathers with a cuckoo dun hackle over   *subbed light grizzly variant saddle feather for cuckoo*

Head: Red crewel

  

  

Posted in Fly Patterns, Salmon Flies, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Black and Teal

Posted by nwflytyer on November 1, 2015

  
Tag: Silver wire and gold floss

Tail: A topping

Butt: Black chenille

Body: 1/3 orange floss, the rest black seal’s fur

Rib: Broad silver tinsel

Hackle: Black cock’s over black body

Throat: Gallina

Wings: Two long and two shorter jungle fowl, teal or pintail (two whole feathers), topping over

Head: Gold twist

Pattern per Sir Herbert Maxwell, mid 1800’s

Posted in Fly Patterns, Salmon Flies | Leave a Comment »

Spey Plate 2015 – The Flies

Posted by nwflytyer on March 22, 2015

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Salmon Flies, Spey Flies | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Spey Plate 2015 – The Delfur Fancy

Posted by nwflytyer on March 22, 2015

In September 2014 I invited some tyers to participate in the 2015 Spey Plate, an annual project that I donate to the Oregon Council of the IFFF at the NW Fly Tying & Fishing Expo.

For this year’s display, I have selected a rather obscure Spey fly – The Delfur Fancy. John Ashley Cooper, in his 1980 book The Great Salmon Rivers of Scotland, documented the history of this lovely pattern. Invented in the late Victorian era, it was named after one of the most prolific beats on the Spey. It was one of the first built-wing fancy patterns to appear there, battling for supremacy against the traditional somber patterns. The following recipe was confirmed by Cooper in the article cited below:

Tag:  Silver tinsel

Tail:  Golden pheasant topping and Indian Crow, no butt

Body: First third lemon yellow wool, followed by black wool

Ribs:  Flat silver tinsel, round gold, and silver tinsel tied in the opposite direction

Hackle:  Gray and black heron

Throat:  Golden pheasant red breast feather

Wing:   Two golden pheasant tippets (back-to-back), in center married yellow swan, mottled turkey, red swan, Amherst pheasant tail (at top)

Cheeks:  Jungle cock

Topping:  Golden pheasant topping over all

Source: “The Delfur Fancy,” Jurgen Preylowski, The American Fly Fisher (Fall 1997)

The Delfur Fancy appeared in early 20th century tackle catalogs such as Farlow’s in 1908 and 1912 and Garden’s in 1917. I have included a couple of pictures in the attachment, which seem to show a fly slightly different from the previous recipe. Here is another pattern, again supposedly attributed to Cooper:

Tag:  Silver twist and yellow floss

Tail:  Golden pheasant topping and Indian Crow

Butt:  Black ostrich herl

Body:  First third yellow floss, rest black floss

Hackle:  Gray heron over front third

Ribs: Broad silver with two fine oval silver tinsels (1 counter wound)

Throat:  Brown Spey cock (or red golden pheasant rump)

Wings:  Tippets with married yellow, red, white, red swan, teal; topping over

Cheeks:  Jungle cock

Spey Plate_Delfur Fancy (11)_edited

Spey Plate_Delfur Fancy (5)

Posted in Salmon Flies, Spey Flies | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The Spring Breeze – in Fly Tyer magazine

Posted by nwflytyer on March 22, 2015

From Fly Tyer magazine, Winter 2014.  Sharon E. Wright’s new book on featherwing streamers is profiled, which includes a few of my original streamers.

IMG_0676

 

Sharon has a nice blog at sharonewright.com  Check out her book Tying Heritage Featherwing Streamers, available at your favorite fly shop or bookseller.

 

Posted in Fly Patterns, News, Reference, Streamers, Trout Flies | 1 Comment »

 
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