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Discussion Starter #1
So I got adventurous and watched Davie McPhails video on tying a spey fly. I thought "hey, this guy can whip one out in 15 minutes, can't be that hard to tie..." lol. After butchering about 3 sets of wings in an effort to create a nice under wing so I could prop up the outer wing set, the final mess resulted in one super wing of bronze mallard fibers as opposed to 2 sets of beautifully tied wings on top of a lovely black and orange body!

Any insight here guys for a first timer? Is there possibly a more rigid feather that I could use to gain practice with??? Thanks in advance.

Phil
 

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Dom
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Its hard to visualize what you have going but I will give you my insight on this.

You must have a good selection of bronze mallard to begin with. One wing is constructed from a pair of matching feathers. One pair will only tie 2-3 wing sets. Your tying in point of the slip is grey root area close to stem. This grey area of the slip is soft and compresses down therefore wing doesn't collapse when tied in. It is crucial that you match your pairs so that the lenght from the very tip to grey root closely match the opposite feather.

I cut the chosen slips. Some leave it on the stem but I feel that I have more control of the wing by cutting. After cutting hold both sides side to side and mate top edges first. Then flatten both slips side to side. Next stem is to hump the wing to achieve nice curve. Hold grey area and stroke them wings back. By doing this wings will take shape of a nice curve and begin to tent.

Best way to learn this is visual reference. I will try to find you this video that I think explains how to very well.
 

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Dom
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Here it is. It demonstrates tying roof on full dress but same principals apply to spey wing:

http://m.on.aol.com/video/268399901

By the way... Dave McPhail makes any fly tying easy! So far he is the best tyier to date to my knowledge at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did my best to match the wing lengths from the left and right feather. I opted to leave part of the stem on but it didn't help any. I watched his video again and noticed he ties his tips in, where as I had them pointing out...may have been part of my problem.

Thanks for your help and posting that video. I'll give it another go tonight and see what transpires!
 

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Dom
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Based on few resources there is no set rule which way is correct or traditional way to set wings but I personally think vertical arrangement (tips up :grin2:) looks better.
 

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I did my best to match the wing lengths from the left and right feather. I opted to leave part of the stem on but it didn't help any. I watched his video again and noticed he ties his tips in, where as I had them pointing out...may have been part of my problem.

Thanks for your help and posting that video. I'll give it another go tonight and see what transpires!
He does tie his tips in and that may be why you're not pleased w your results. Orientation of wing slips is debatable but both ways are fishy. Search Failtospeys post here. He ties beautiful speys and he does his tips out. Both ways are pleasing, just depends on the look you're going for. I doubt the fish care either way.:chuckle:
 

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If you are referring to the same vid Im thinking of where Davie McPhail clips the slips from the stem - you ought to attempt it a few more times by leaving a bit of the stem in each slip.

The very best thing you can do is to match the feather to the hook PERIOD
The wings on a spey don't extend much further than the body, and Im sure you are aware of this. Because BM slips compress easily near the stem, attempting to match a large feather to a small hook is fruitless, counterproductive to the desired effect and down right frustrating.

Also - have you visited Bob Frandsen Flies on the web? If you are mounting the right slip on the feather on the bird to the left side on the fly oriented forward(tips down, or tips out (stems down as i call it)) there you will find a couple of good tutorials on speys because it is different than on a full dress fly where a wing supports the roof as it goes on. Particularly effective is the one method he shows the slips stroked straight up from the tie-in point then tented over. You'll also find several SBS by Marty searching right in this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Honyuk96

Since when do we ever tie flies to appeal to the fish, it's always for us lol. I know they won't care but I just want to get proficient at it...

Fish

I'm tying on a #1 AJ. I tried with the stem, less than 1/4" wide and tried to keep it ahead of the hook barb. I'm thinking there's no easy way around this and sheer practice and patience is the only way lol.

Thanks again guys, hopefully this will go better on my next attempt!
 

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There is a 1.5, several smaller, and a large 3/0. The baby Blue Heron Spey Hook is slightly longer than the 1.5 so it's more accommodating. But you're right - stay on it. Single slips are OK also. Anything fibers that bunch up or split show that the slips are too wide and tie-in points must be smooth, either ramped up or flat over the collar.
 

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Bronze Mallard looks so cool and looks easy to tie in when Davie does it. The best advice is don't mess with the wing soft loop and pull straight down with your thread. Not too tight just a couple wraps to make your wings set and have a look if you are satisfied wax your thread and tighten up. The more you mess with bronze mallard the more it becomes unruly and a mess. It takes some practice but once learned it will go easy. Not every wing need a underwing to support the roof some are made just with a roof.
 
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