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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi : A lot of you tie and fish Dee's. The ties here are really quite beautiful. I have a few questions:

1) Which book(s) are best for learning to tie Dee's. I have most but am trying to focus.
2). I've been looking around for hooks per recommendations on here a few days ago. I live on VI so tend to fish smaller waters. Guessing that 1/0 or 2/0 is what I need?
3). Are Dee's best tied on the longer irons? If so, (assuming I stay out of trees :)), how long will one of these last? When you are fishing them, do you run them a bit higher in the water column?
4). Have a tough time paying $15.00 for six hooks. Is this expense justified? I have other hooks such as low water Sealeys, Partridge, and even Mustads. Don't use them as much because newer hooks are so much sharper. However those Bartleets seem really beautiful.
5). For fishing, is a Skagit ok, or mid belly with a tip better?

Thanks for your time. I love the flies I see Here. Frank
 

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The Dude abides
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1. Sheweys Spey and dee flies is a pretty good resource, but there is no sub for buying some turkey and just trying. In terms of technique, the only thing thats hard is the wingset. all the rest is taking your time. check this site also
http://www.feathersfliesandphantoms.co.uk/

2. For hooks I have used 1.5 AJ up to 4/0 bartleet long dee irons. The 1.5 AJ blind eye is nice at a price point. That funky mustad with the odd bend work for an eyed hook. I plan to pay around $2 for a nice fishing iron. Sad but true.

3. A long iron is the desired platform for a dee. you can tie them shorter though, and it was done historically. Look at dees on here tied by Kevon, Mike, Bigwilly, Dangledown, Kimo, and more. one thing the best dees have in common is they are long, thin, and sparsely hackled with long turkey wings 9-12 barbs thick. the profile is designed to sink fast in moving water while offering something large with motion.

4. Some of the old hooks may work, you just want a long shank. I said above, try to start out by paying less than $2 for a hook. but the hook is where it is at when you are fishing, so don't skimp either.

5. You can fish them in any system for swinging. I have had luck using them in place of intruders on a t-10 sinking head. I have fished them on a scandi dry line in spring/early summer in thin tailouts and had bites. And I got one on a very light sinking poly tip just under the surface. depending on the wingset, the dee may actually dive some under tension.

Here's my best dees in terms of proportions. I offer it as an example of thin body, low set wings, and sparse hackles.




 

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https://archive.org/details/salmonflyhowtodr00kelsrich

A straight long shank up to the point looks more traditional, but I dont mind the curved shank like aj's either. 2$ a hook is nothing!
look on page 20 and you will see a nice example of a dee fly. I think most of your questions were answered in the above post. I would like to bring up setting the wing.. there is some good directions in the book. The wing should be low and FLAT (look in the hook plates in almost all old books), and my theory for that is they help keep the fly more level while swimming, since the long shank will make the back end of the fly ride low.

I do my wings one at a time.. near side first then reverse the thread to do the far side wing. Its possible to do it without reversing the thread but its tough! make sure each fiber is compressed perfectly or the wing will never look the same after fishing it.

Andrew
 

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seaterspey
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It all depends on traditional or not. I have tied Dee's on all sorts of hooks and although they may not fit in the traditional Dee style I still call them Dee's.

As stated before longer hooks and tied thin to win. V shaped wing set is the traditional dee wing and I believe gives the owner an advantage because of the wing has on movement in the water. Sparsely tied so it sinks quickly and can be fished with all sorts of set ups.

The Dunt is my all time favorite and Sheweys book is truly the best for studying and tying Dees.

KC
 

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Frank.

MZ of course gave you some sound advice as he is prone to do.

Here is some food for thought, some of which I posted in the Dee hooks thread.

"Another option, close to home (Van isle, I am sure Courtney has these hooks) and easy to find is mustad salmon singles in 1/0, 2/0 2XH wire (nickel finish). Good hooks, great point, reliable and cost effective (maybe $.50-.060 per hook). Grab a torch and pliers, straighten the return eye and you have a great fisher with good wire, correct proportions shank wise and holds fish well... Use 30lb backing as a start for your blind eye loops. Or 30lb Braided Nylon (the stuff you make slip on loops out of)

You can fish these flies on any setup from a skagit and heavy tip to a full floating long belly, conditions will dictate how you deliver the fly and the depth at which you fish it more than anything else. What ever you normally use is fine. For most VI small/med rivers a 1/0 would be a good choice with a 2/0 maybe for the larger rivers with good winter fish in them.

I will try to post a picture or 2 of the hooks and a fly tied on them for you to see later today. These are a great way to get some practice as well in case you do wish to buy a bit nicer hooks to tie on in the future.

A few examples of Dee flies.




Sink your teeth into them and I think you will like how they look in the water

Cheers.
James
 

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Frank.

Here are the hooks I am talking about. On the right is a before and after straightening the return eye. I like these for the heavy wire and stay sharp point.



Here is the same mustad 2/0 hook (bottom) with an AJ 1.5 (middle) and a Partridge HE2 1/0 (top) for comparison. Of course the mustad lacks the grace and flow of the other hooks.



And here is a fly tied on that hook. Hackled with burnt ostrich as a heron sub, ozark turkey wings and 30lb backing for the gut sub (easy stuff to get from most fly shops). Below is another tied on an AJ 1.5 for comparison sake (hackled with heron).



Some food for thought anyways and an easy way to start messing around with these Dees for you locally. Before you start shelling out you hard earned for hooks, turkey and heron... Slippery slope tho... ;)

Thankyou borderfly!

Cheers.
J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
James, KC, Andrew, MZ: Thanks for getting back so quickly with great advice and beautiful photos. I have something to aspire to! I might even have some decent wing feathers hidden away in my closet. Think I will order some of the nice hooks. (O/w I just won't be happy.). Pulling out my books now. Thanks again.

Tight Lines! Frank
 

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The Dude abides
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Canecaster, first, awesome dees, just gorgeous proportions. And good idea there on the mustad. i have a buddy who likes working with anything metal, and he likes to fish. I'll get him on the project. cool tip and nice size hook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
James: Do you have any issues with those hooks when you re-temper them? My brother and Hugh S. were wondering? (Both are far more adept at working with metal than me; hoping my brother will take the project on.). Appreciate any comments.
Tried to send a pm, but your box is full. Hopefully this is of interest to others.
 

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Cutt.

Simple. I do not retemper this hook. I keep the heat to the front only and the business nend does not loose it's temper. I have had no issues to speak of.

Now when I have more agressively reworked hooks (shank, bend or point) i do retemper.

Cheers.
J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Guys. Much appreciated.

Frank
 

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I tend to think the vise I clamp the hook in (bench vise) tends to act as a heat sink and stop the hook from loosing it's temper.

J
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK. That makes sense. I'll probably turn my brother loose on a pack of hooks with appropriate information. I wish my old Sealeys had shorter points. They are low water hooks and would probably stretch out to make a decent length blind eye hook. Steel is a bit brittle though.
I have some from Veniard's (circa 1970's), but no idea who even made those hooks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Altering AJ hooks

I do the same thing with quite a few different hooks (Alec Jackson's a lot!) The only thing I do different is dunk the altered end in some nail polish to stop rusting. Never had any issues either.
Hi: I was re-reading all the advice the guys were offering on Dee hooks and your post just sunk in. I have a bunch of Alec Jackson hooks (and can likely get more given to me!). A lot of the guys have trouble holding fish on these. Look nice but ... Have you tripped on an alteration that allows you to hold more fish? If so, do you mind sharing? My brother likes working with metal and I can get him to "fix" some of my hooks.

Thanks, Frank
 

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Pullin' Thread
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The Dick Taleur Classic Streamer Hook by Daiichi (#2370) makes a very nice dee hook if you use the #2 and #4 sizes. It is a limerick bend, 7xl, straight tapered return loop eye hook. The Partridge Carrie Stevens Streamer Hook in #4 (and in #2/0 for really huge dee flies) is another excellent choice for a dee fly. For that matter, you could take most any limerick bend 6xl streamer hook in #1, #2, or #4, straighten the eye, and have a very good dee hook. And has already been mentioned, most any loop-eyed salmon iron can be turned into a good dee hook by simply straightening the eye.

And this thread on hooks shows why good tyers won't sell dee flies for $3.00-$4.00 per fly. The hook alone means it has to be sold for more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Flytyer. Appreciate the advice. Lots to ponder. I think I have some of the hook models you mentioned. Off to search my stuff.
 
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