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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't had good bronze mallard for ages and finally got some today. I am very out of practice with spey flies but this is what I have come up with. What are your thoughts on the hackle? I have seen some pictures with a long coque hackle used instead of heron and I think it looks a lot better.
Also any thoughts or critiques on the fly are welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Matt. I have been using that dubbing trick you told me about on all my flies and I love it. Thanks for teaching it to me.
 

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Dubbing Trick

Would you care to share the information on the dubbing trick as I could definitely use some help on improving my dubbing.
 

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Matt Arciaga
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Would you care to share the information on the dubbing trick as I could definitely use some help on improving my dubbing.
When using a mohair, pig wool, seal fur, seal sub, chopped wool, etc, you can take your pinch of fur and chop it with scissors into around 1/4-3/8" long clumps. Use really tacky wax and roll you dubbing on the thread then, it take a little getting use to. But the reward is, well what you see above. Clean not overly furry dub bodies. Sinkers....
 

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Another way is to roll the dubbing on your thread then double your thread over it and spin it up. Like a loop but twisted on one thread. Very durable, you can make it look like wool too.
 

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Matt Arciaga
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Another way is to roll the dubbing on your thread then double your thread over it and spin it up. Like a loop but twisted on one thread. Very durable, you can make it look like wool too.
Yes the old loop, I've never been able to produce super sparse dub bodies with loops, I think its my fault, I get a little over zealous on the dub or the dub is too sparse and I see thread... Either way not the result I desired.
 

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Super bronze mallard work! I too am a big fan of coque, as it was used in the majority of the "original" Speys, while heron was called for in only a handful. One thing you might want to consider is going with one or two turns less in the rib (and therefore the body hackle.) 19th Century literature on Speys emphasized 3 or 4 turns total, rather than 5 or 6. This will make your fly a little more sparse, which will help in two ways. One, the fly will sink better, and two, the hackle will have more room to wave / flow / breathe on the swing.
 

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Matt Arciaga
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good reference

I'd frequent this site for vintage examples

http://www.feathersfliesandphantoms.co.uk/spey_flies_49.html

With respect to tinsel turns, yes, a great number of the text indicate as Aldo indicates. However, if you look at some of vintage examples it is contrary. So, I would say build them per the water your fishing. To sink in the heavy water or to float along in the mid column. Test, test, test.

Some highlight points on this website is the reference to what a "spey fly is" it goes into some.detail regarding hackles, tinsels, tinsel.directions, orientation of mallard wings. And so forth. Enjoy the multitude of references and information.

PS: Take special note of the Munro vintage examples, those are some of my favorites.
 

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Love the profile on this shrimpy offering !!
I would like to see a collar of teal or gadwell though :)


Mike
 

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Nice spey - looks awesome: Looks big. I have the hook in 2/0.

By far my favorite spey hackle since heron is a no-no and this stuff will dress down for small spey quite well - according to region and season of course.
 

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very nice! Lovely lay of the BM wing !


Mike
 

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How do you get the hackle just on the bottom? Trim the top? Trap the hackle with a counter tied rib?
I've seen and read it is sometimes recommended to trim hackles along the top or to bind them down so as to make room for the tented wing on speys the same way it is sometimes done with collars and salmon flies. It is not necessary and doing this will throw the balance off by having more materials along the bottom than over the top and the fly swims hook pointing sideways or up: Very unnatural. One can move the hackle out of the way and they will return to their natural state - but not if trimmed or bound.
 
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