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Discussion Starter #1
I've been tying a while, but I'm new to spey flies for swinging. Last year I tied a lot of larger marabou/ostrich/arctic fox patterns and like them but I want to get better at smaller size 4 to 6 spey flies and have at least ONE confidence fly. This is my first attempt. Looking for honest feedback.

Thanks!
Peter
 

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PF, I am not the guy to offer much of a critique of your fly but will say I generally like the proportions, would like to see more body thickness on the shank and less happening underneath. I think if the brown hair underneath were lessened or eliminated, the fly as tied would catch fish. Try to think of how the fly is going to track or swim through the water. Materials placed in streamline positioning will naturally swim better. I personally have found that the best way to learn is from my mistakes. I have and continue to make plenty of flies that I end up being rejected. When I have asked for advice here on the forum and gotten it, I take it all as constructive criticism being offered by tiers that are much more knowledgeable and skill than myself and have then tried to incorporate it in my tying. And, most important of all, have fun doing it!
 

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Confidence Fly

If I understand your post you are looking to tie a size 4 or size 6 spey fly that you would feel confident in swinging. Are you fishing for salmon or steelhead? Is the river that you are targeting typically run low and clear? Does the water have a tint or color to it? All those things factor into a fly selection.

As a learning exercise I think I would recommend tying a Mahoney from Dec Hogan. You can vary the colors in the fly to suit what color you have confidence in. Dec and Marty put out a DVD that covers tying that fly, along with several others. I would highly recommend that DVD to you.

Mark
 

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the problem with small flies and lots of long wings and hackles is that they tend to skate in even moderate currents.

version 2 is much better.. for a floating line anyway..
 

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steelguy gave some great advice - and you nailed it :)
Second fly is much more pleasing to the eye, but will also fish better. Material density is a key element in how your fly behaves in the water and on the swing.

Have confidence in your creativity and in what you have created. Your offering is only as good as your efforts to fish it young Padawan ... :smokin:


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone! Steelguy - your feedback was spot on.

This is what I love about fly fishing and always have - creating something unique and relying on others to transfer knowledge. It's a beautiful thing.

I tied this fly with wood duck flank I harvested (on the tail) and finished the collar with Hungarian partridge soft hackle that my brother gifted me from a Saskatchewan hunt. It makes the fly extra special. I'm sure it'll morph a few more times before I get an opportunity to swing it but its a great start to a confidence fly.

-Peter
 

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Nah then Youth.
Thats non too shabby for first efforts.I'm a lot older than you and still Crap at Fly Tying!.I've made every mistake there is to make and a lot more too!.
What I'd say is this, its often better to accept criticism at this stage as it's intended in the best interests.That way you know exactly what you're aiming for and trying to achieve.
There's no easy way round this at all, it takes time at the vice and loads of practise, were I you I'd pick a well known flee that does the business where you fish and shamlessly copy it!, rather than simply creating your own efforts.
Learn how to tie it and learn all about proportion-thats the most important lesson in Fly Tying, your size 2 needs to be bigger than say a size 8 of the same pattern!.
Get on You Tube, watch as many Video's as you can and learn the techniques(try Davie Mc Phail in the UK) of actually constructing a flee.
Once you get the basics, you can allow your creativity to flourish!.
As for your posted efforts, well body is good, tail could be a little tidier, top wing needs a little thought(but it's close!), just a bit too much going on below the shank and your heads a bit big and a touch far back from the eye (thats being ultra picky too!).
But! and I say this with as much honesty as I can emphasise, it's a very very good effort that will certainly catch fish( my earliest efforts would have graced Monty Pythons Dead Parrot sketch beautifully-ask your Dad about that bit!).You are to be applauded for having courage to post and you are right in asking for a little guidance now n again (not that you need that much guidance!)!.
Wish you all the best and tight lines!
Yorkie.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yorkie- Thank you for the suggestions! I tied version three this morning. Made the tail shorter and a bit more neat. I tied the wing with a different material and placed it between the hackle and collar rather than over the top of the collar. I tried to move the fly forward on the shank to shorten up the head - I feel I succeeded but think it could move forward a bit more still. -Peter
 

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Hey PFBlake,

If this is your first attempt at this style of fly, it looks much better than my first attempt.

In this style of fly, getting the wing tied correctly is the key. For 6-8 cm wings, I usually use three bunches of fox or temple dog. The first bunch should have the most material (abut 60% total) and flattest around the tube. The next bunch is a bit longer and less material (about 30%) and then last one is the longest at 10%. Hope that makes sense. These wings can be tricky and require some practice.

Another good tip would be to try to build the wing vertically and not let the materials creep forward.

There are some good videos on You tube from Frodin and my personal preference is to tie them the way Mikeal Andersson ties them in his Banana fly video from Helsinki spey clave.

Serge
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the tips! I like the proportional guidance you gave. I’m an engineer so my brain loves numbers. By your standards I would say I need to adjust the middle wing the most. It needs to be longer. I’ll check out the videos you suggested. I’ve seen frodins flies they look incredible.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Revised version from over the weekend. I tried to shorten up the body, added a different tail, tried to improve stacked wing proportions and used a mix of 3 ostrich fibers with black Finn raccoon for the upper wing. I also cut down on the flash - using two doubled strands on top just before the last wing like the Mikeal Andersson video. Any additional suggestions for improvement are appreciated!!
 

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God, that flee can be improved no end!, tie up a dozen and send them to me, then it'll be bloody well marvellous!
On the money young man!
Yorkie.
 
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