Northwest Fly Tyer

The fly tying pages of Monte Smith

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 213 other followers

  • Twitter Updates

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • RSS Streamers 365

    • Blue Devil Variant tied by Davie McPhail
      Tied by: Davie McPhail Originated by: Carrie Stevens Hook: Partridge CS15 #2 Thread: 8/0 White (underbody) Tag: Silver flat braid Body:Black 6/0 (140d) Rib: Silver flat Tinsel Belly: White bucktail Underwing: Peacock herl Under-shoulder: Teal blue hackle fibers Throat: Teal blue hackle fibers Wing: 2 light olive hackles flanked by teal blue hackles Shoulder: […]
    • Blueback trout Thunder Creek Minnow
      The Thunder Creek series of flies was created by fisherman and commercial tyer Keith Fulsher of Eastchester, NY. The fly was developed because he felt the standard minnow tying method of a large thread head with painted eyes didn’t properly represent the naturals. Keith’s reverse tied bucktails added detail and allowed for a variety of ...Continue reading […]
    • John Gierach’s Little Brown Trout Bucktail
      “The solution to any problem — work, love, money, whatever — is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be.” -John Gierach John Gierach’s Little Brown Trout is a classic for both bass and trout anglers. The bucktail was developed alongside the Gierach Special bucktail. John originally tied this ...Continue reading
    • Book Alert – Herbert L. Welch: Black Ghosts and Art in a Maine Guide’s Wilderness
      The long-awaited book from authors Graydon Hilyard and Leslie Hilyard has been announced and is ready to hit shelves on December 1st, 2018. “Herbert L. Welch: Black Ghosts and Art in a Maine Guide’s Wilderness”, documents the infamous Maine outdoorsman and his many talents. In addition to boeing a talented fly tyer, Herbie is well-known ...Continue reading […]
    • Liggett Special Bucktail
      I first saw this fly pattern years ago while reading an article on GlobalFlyFisher written by Mike Martinek. Mike stated that he preferred to fish the Liggett Special over the Mickey Finn and claimed it as one of his all-time favorite bucktails. The bucktail was named for one Mr. Liggett, a Hathaway Shirt Co foreman. ...Continue reading
    • Martinek, Warner and Leight Flies on Auction
      This is another post for those of you hunting for some new streamers for your collection. We found a few nice specimens from Mike Martinek, Jim Warner, and Larry Leight. Larry Leight Streamer Flies Larry Leight West Trout Brook You can check out the rest of the streamers he has on offer here – Larry ...Continue reading

The Green King, Step-By-Step

Let’s take a look at one of the classic Spey flies from A.E. Knox’s seminal work Autumns On The Spey (1872).  Here are the materials we’re going to need:

Hook:  Daiichi 2051 #3 (Alec Jackson Spey Hook)

“Body olive, composed of a mixture of red, green, and purple fine Berlin wool. Alternate bars of gold and silver tinsel. Red cock hackle.  Shoulder hackle, teal feather.  Wing, mallard.”

I shredded Berlin wools of green, purple, and red to create the olive body color.  The purple blended with the green has a profound effect, turning the blend to olive.

The “red” schlappen hackle is attached (brown by today’s nomenclature), silver tinsel on the near side, and gold tinsel on the far side.  This will ensure a staggered appearance of the materials so that the tinsels will be spaced apart and the hackle will fall in between.  We are now ready to dub the body.

The body has been dubbed with our wool blend, the tinsels have been wound forward, and the hackle has been wrapped to fall between the tinsel ribs.  Now I apply the teal hackle for the throat and then the wing .

Two slips of bronze mallard have been applied.  On this fly, I applied the slips one at a time.  First, the far side, then the near side using the far side as a brace.  This is the top view of the completed wing.

Here is the completed fly.  A classic pattern by any standards.  A subtle, somber little Spey fly, circa 19th century.


2 Responses to “The Green King, Step-By-Step”

  1. Eunan said

    Great step by step, just wondering how you blended the wool, coffee grinder??? I recently got some skeins of berlin wool but have no way to blend them for dubbing, though i’ve heard coffee grinders work, but never seen the final product.


  2. nwflytyer said

    A coffee grinder works well for many yarns and furs. Cutting your yarn into 1/4″ or so lengths seems to be about right. Much longer and it can be difficult for the material to mix and may even wrap around the blades stem. That said, I used a comb to whisk out some material of each of the colors and simply blended them by hand. It takes a little longer, but I can control the color easily. As long as I don’t need a large quantity, I like this method for wool. The grinder works great for synthetic yarns and for mixing yarns with fur. You can create a variety of blended colors in a hurry. You might give it a try!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: