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Discussion Starter #1
Hi to all: I've been spending a lot of time on the Feathers, Flies, and Phantoms website. I'm curious to know why the various Ranger Flies and other full-dressed flies are listed in the Dee section of the site. Anyone know the reason for this? I'm just curious. Thanks, Frank
 

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Wish I knew the answer :eek:
Maybe you should send Collin an email and ask the question , Collin is really good at resonding quickly .
Let us know what you find out .

Mike
 

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they were developed on the river dee and used on river dee. that would be my guess. "dee flies" in the old book are not called dee flies they are just strip wings
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your input guys. After posting here, I thought why not, so sent the same question to Colin. Will let you know what he says. Kevin, your guess sounds plausible. Guess I'll pull out my old books and see if I can find anything.
 

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Grandpa Howard
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Great question, and yes it is very easy to get confused by terms and classifications used in today’s fly tying. For the most part Spey and Dee are terms used by Americans. It all started back when the modern day two handed rod hit the scene. If I was to point a finger I would blame it on the Sage Rod Company. When Sage built their first two handed rod it was classified as such, a two handed, European action. Sales were well below projections so as a marking strategy they renamed them “Spey Rods” because it sounded sexy. Now 30 years later, pretty much everything associated with the two handed rod is “Spey”. The Dee movement is a fairly new thing and is gaining momentum. I am sure a Dee rod, with line to match is already in the works. For those who don’t know, the Spey and the Dee are rivers in Scotland. The Spey fly is nothing more than a style of fly developed on the Spey. Not all flies coming from the Spey fit the style, but somehow are classified as Spey flies. As with all salmon and steelhead rivers different styles were produced by the local anglers to best suit the conditions. On the Dee when the river was running heavy a larger fly was needed. The larger flies were tied with a “strip wing” set low on the shoulder of the hook. The low wing set became known as a Dee style wing. Luckily the Dee fly movement of today has not been bastardized by manufactures tying to move product. Staying true to form with hook and material is the norm. A lot of credit needs to be given to those on this site for keeping the tradition of the classic Dee style fly/wing accurate and authentic. I had given up all hope on the Spey thing, but I have seen a small move in the right direction. For me it will always be, steelhead fishing with a two handed rod, using two handed casts to present a steelhead fly. Where this “spey fishing” thing came from, I have not a clue.
 

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at the risk of coming across as personally knowing (Collin) is a member here and the best person to answer "Qs" as to how the patterns are listed in his site. Anyone know his handle?
 

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Grandpa Howard
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Sorry to have highjack the thread with my rant, I did not sleep last night. If you go to the web site you will read the list of flies were listed as good flies for the Dee, Deveron, Don or Ythan, as noted above. This is a common break down in todays fly tying. Because a fly is listed as being good for a certain river does not mean it was developed on or for that river. The Purple Green Butt Skunk is a very effective fly on the Deschutes, even though it was developed on the Clearwater in Idaho. I am sure a Green Butt Purple tied in Dee fashion would be highly effective on the River Dee, but would you call it a Dee Fly?
 

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" Where this “spey fishing” thing came from, I have not a clue."

As a bit of an answer pre-WW2 Scotland was a 'waste land' when it came to employment and a lot of the fellows 'migrated' to British Columbia and brought their 'green hearts' with them. For many, fishing was a subsistence thing and they were darned good at it. Silk lines and all.

I'm 72 and was introduced to 2handers at age 10 or 12 and God were those old wood rods heavy! If you had 'money' the rod was Bamboo; still have one of those.

From BC to Washington State rivers and from there to 'everywhere.' If you had a 2hander you purchased same in BC ... until Sage came out with their 9140-4 (think I got that number right); the rest is history.
 

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The Dude abides
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He classifies flies by the region they were developed, it doesn't necessarily refer to a style of pattern as most people use the terms.
 

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fly fisher 'til it's over
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"I am sure a Green Butt Purple tied in Dee fashion would be highly effective on the River Dee, but would you call it a Dee Fly?"

If I had a cat that had kittens in the oven, I wouldn't call 'em biscuits!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The word from Colin:

""OK the list of flies I classify as "Dee flies" are flies that were used on the Dee, Don & Deveron. Where I say “used” - this means that there is documented evidence that they were in popular use on the Dee in the period 1880 - 1940, these included 5 styles:

1. Standard Fully Dressed used on the Dee - e.g. Jock Scott, Popham
2. Fully Dressed flies designed for the Dee - e.g. Gordon, Mar Lodge, Sherbrook etc.
3. Dee Strip Wings e.g. Akroyd, Balmoral etc.
4. Low Water flies used on the Dee e.g. Logie, Blue Charm, Silver Blue etc.
5. Eagles

All the Best

Colin"

Thanks to everyone for their input. I learned a lot. Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi Marty: I've been fishing with double-handed rods since 1976. At the time it was an Orvis 13'6" double-hander and double taper lines. I also used to make my own lines and flies. Flies haven't changed that much and living here on Vancouver Island, we either developed our own, or were heavily influenced by the flies developed on the Olympic Peninsula rivers. My greatest regret is that living in Victoria, I never took the time to meet Roderick Haig-Brown and Syd Glasso. Always regrets. Haig-Brown was far ahead of his time, and Glasso's flies were/are works of art; well designed for fishing. Anyway, thanks for your frequent contributions and SBS instructions. Great stuff! Helps me to still tell young people that I learn something new every day.
 

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Grandpa Howard
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Collin, I am a hack compared to the work you have done in keeping alive the true traditions of the sport. You have me by quite a few years, I put together my first two handed rod in the mid 80s. I had my own rod company (very small) and was building custom rods on JK Fisher blanks. If I was to guess Fisher more than likely manufactured the blank for your Orvis rod. My first contact with a two handed rod in action was on the Grande Ronde. I was fishing the tail end of the Y run, when a gentleman stepped in above me on the far bank. He was fishing a two handed rod, using a overhead switch cast. I met up with him and his fishing partner later that night at the cafa. The dinner conversation was filled with the new found advantages of fishing with a two handed rod. My brief encounter with Harry Lemire and Jim Green spark my interest, but, I continued to fish my single hander unto I met John Hazel and Karry Burkheimer. I caught my first two handed steelhead on the Deschutes River using the two handed rod I had built years before. It wasn't till my first trip to Scotland before I really connected with the two hander and the classic flies. I am a history fan which is a tradition in fly fishing. Collin, doing what you are doing is keeping alive the things that mean the most to me. Keep up the good work.
 

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Thanks

Thanks for the kind words on the web site - I've been busy on another project recently and not updated the site for a few weeks - fear not I will get back to it. Just a quick word on the way I categorise flies on the web site.

The Dee fly page is as described in this thread - flies used on the Dee (and documented as such in the fishing gazette and other periodicals and books) - which of course include Dee strip wings etc.

The Spey Fly page - well spey flies - flies documented as being used on the Spey - including "Spey Style" and Fancy Speys (e.g. Delfur Fancy, Jungle Heron etc.) I'm no expert on Speys so this is much more limited that the Dees - really needed it for Mr. Browns piece on Spey flies and wanting to show modern day tiers what real old Speys look like (Hackle all way round the body not stroked below the hook, I've a bit of a thing about that - but each to their own)

The Cool Stuff page - anything goes - fly plates, fly tying articles etc. (Really anything that takes my fancy - not necessarily Dee related - but it is worth getting down to the bottom for PT and Crossfield). This page is now full and it is too big to edit !

Other Flies - Generally not Dees or Speys - started off as somewhere to put patterns from the Fishing Gazette (that were not on the Dee Page) - but there are patterns from other sources on there as well.

Malloch Flies - Came about with the addition of some boxes of Malloch tied flies to my collection and has been combined with the fantastic plates of Salmon flies from Hodgesons Salmon fishing.

Tackle Makers - A list of the tackle makers of Aberdeen - it's worth having a look at these esp makers such as Brown, Playfair, Garden etc (JS Sharpe get the most web site hits - I guess from people wanting to date their Spliced Spey rods)

err thats about it - my "project" is now at the proof reader - more on that later (it's not the Feathers Flies and Phantoms book, that's still a work in progress, but a spin-off)

Top 10 countries viewing the site in the last month by number of hits UK:511, US:434, Canada:177, Finland:89, Denmark:48, Norway:40, Sweden:40, Australia:36 (probably Bob!), Russia:28 (out of 1645 hits)

And I'm off to Calgary (!) for a 6 week work thing on Sunday

Cheers all

Colin
 

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My rather casual observation is that the term "Dee" is now being applied to any strip wing flies where the wings are mounted in a delta configuration. It seems to matter not whether the flies were developed by a ghillie from the Dee valley in the 19th Century or an accountant from Kalamazoo in the 21st.
 
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