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I've been watching an excellent Utube video by Davie McPhail.

He uses basically 2 layers of Bronze Mallard on his larger spey flies. A "under wing" and a "overwing". I'm curious about how common a practice this is with all the experts on this forum who tie spey flies. :confused:

The book by John Shewey Spey Flies & Dee Flies doesn't mention this at all. Thanks for any insight! :)
 

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You'll have to wait for the experts to chime-in, but I'll go ahead and throw my $.02 in.

There are several other references that mention either doubling up on BM slips or over-lapping them at least partially. I've done many with double slips in the past and now prefer single slips with edges jointed over the fly because of the translucency of the feathers and how the tinsel reflects light through the body materials. I'm thinking of the seal and GP breast feathers which add a natural sheen to patterns and how doubling the slips blocks that inner glow. Also, there is only enough sweet spots for three or four slips per feather of course. Just my bit of insight on the matter.
 

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I suspect it used to be much more common in the early days of the spey fly than it is now. I have some pics of vintage spey flies that have multiple wing layers. I'll upload them when I get a chance.
 

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Dedicated Fisherman
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Using a single flank feather for the wing;

Hi,

I'm not sure this approach will interest you but I use 2 different methods for applying wings. Method 1 involves the painstaking mallard slip technique and method 2 ........ well I just select a nice even feather and tie it on whole.

I guess the second type could be called 'flat wing style' and I have found that my flies seem to swim just about perfect with a single feather tied on as a roof.

I'm a little short on pictures that demonstrate what I'm trying to describe but I have a few.

Top view;


From the side;


Granted that wing is a bit short but for fishing the fly worked just fine.

Here's a Western Doctor dark wing with a much longer wing.


A couple more tied with the whole flank feather technique;



These flies will not meet the grade for traditional Spey style tying but the whole flank feather secured by the quill is in my own use very durable and they seem to keep the fly swimming on an even keel when you use them. Although they break from the tight down wing style of the bronze wing Spey flies I don't find them to be particularly unattractive.

Hope that may be useful to some.

Ard
 

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Matt Arciaga
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Knox

If you read what Knox said in regards to wings on a traditional spey it states

“Wings are generally two double strips of brown mallard, not extending much above the length of the body, and set to permit the natural curve of the feather. The two wings are set quite apart, and are put on separately.

Now it does say generally, a lot of American style speys are wings set together in tent, and against the natural curve, more of a humped classic salmon configuration, I like to tie mine in the traditional way if you will, it just is easier for me, the rules were broken even amongst the original creators of the spey fly, for instance a Gold Riach with clearly turkey as the wings and throat hackle tied in front of the wing.

When I tie turkey in as the main wing, it is single slips, it is dense enough to stand up and does not really show through. Married wings on speys are set in both ways when I do them.

For more information on the history of they spey fly please visit

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

It is a great site, I've used several of the vintage flies to replicate my current progress in the Knox collection for Autumn.

Thanks,

Matt
 

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I just watched Davie's video, (love them all), to see his method. I've never seen or read about that way to set a BM wing either.

Some time ago, I posted a spey with a wing-set that I came up with. Again, something I've never seen nor read about. Somewhat of an under-wing/ over-wing kind of set. It was so easy, with great looks and durability, it's the only way I tie them now.

I found out, with further questioning, that it was something being done already! Much thanks to our resident historian, Russ (flytyer), for yet another lesson on that!! If he sees this thread I'm sure he'll chime in.

Just goes to show, there's a lot out there to learn!!

-Bill
 

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Check out these two antiques and how they reflect what failtospey wrote above. They're quite a bit beefier looking than the more graceful silhouette we've become accustomed to seeing.

Black King 5/0



Green King 7/0

 

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Those are real nice wings pork! I have had problems with my low and sleek mallard wings. The flies looked super fishy but if I had just a tad too much hackle under the hook shank they wanted to turn onto their sides when in use. Maybe fish don't care and maybe they do but I had a hard time hooking up with flies that didn't swim right.

The 2 you post are beauties,

Ard
 

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Matt Arciaga
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Check out these two antiques and how they reflect what failtospey wrote above. They're quite a bit beefier looking than the more graceful silhouette we've become accustomed to seeing.

Pork, you are the man, what a treat to see those, I wish i could get my hand on some of those. :saeek::Eyecrazy:

Here is a purple king I tied "vintage syle" after a swim.
 

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Pork - Congrats on the ownership of those two antiques. Any idea as to how old they are? Obviously - never have laid eyes on the genuine saddles. The saddles appear speckled and with a rich natural red tone.

Well done Matt - it's looking very traditional!
 

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I wish I owned those two antique flies! I don't have the income or the inclination to compete with the collectors (hoarders ;)). I just pull pics off eBay and save them. I think these two were listed as pre-1900 ties. Maybe late 1800s?

Matt...beautiful new/old spey fly!
 

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I wish I owned those two antique flies! I don't have the income or the inclination to compete with the collectors (hoarders ;)). I just pull pics off eBay and save them. I think these two were listed as pre-1900 ties. Maybe late 1800s?
Yes - me too. I poached these from the net also. Strictly a technique response and to try and expand on the the topic:
Spey Wing 3.jpg

Spey Wing 6.jpg

Spey Wing 7.jpg

Spey Wing 8.jpg

Spey Wing 9.jpg

Yet another technique also covered in a few books. It does go to show there are more than one way of doing this.
 

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Matt Arciaga
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Yes - me too. I poached these from the net also. Strictly a technique response and to try and expand on the the topic:


Yet another technique also covered in a few books. It does go to show there are more than one way of doing this.
I've only ever heard of this technique, I've tried it and I failed badly when I tried it. I use a modified set similar to how Ronn Lucas Sr sets his. You can see his "how to dress a salmon fly" "spey flies" section on his website.

That is a pretty nice Gold Riach fly for sure!
 

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b.m.

that is exactly how i do it. the double wing has a 2 prong effect for me, it helps the fly swim upright due to the extra floatation up top, and it lays down a nice flat foundation for the top wing.



 

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The use of doubled bronze mallard wing slips on spey flies is nothing new. It has been done since at least the 1870's, if not earlier.

In fact, one can take two slips of bronze mallard (one from a left feather and one from a right feather) that are cut twice as wide as the wing width should be, stroke them so the fibers stand out at more or less a right angle to the short piece of stem you left when you cut the slip, then place one on top of the other so the ends of both feather slips are lined up, and tie them in by slightly tenting with you fingers as you hold them in place for tying in. This will produce a very nice bronze mallard wing.

I couldn't help but notice in McPhail's video that his spey fly had neither the palmered spey hackle the old and new masters use, and he also had his tail and wings be much longer than Knox, Francis, Hale, Kelson, Price-Tannat, and Taverner said they should be. All of these master tyers/authors (with the exception of Knox who was not a tyer, but a great author) talk about spey wings end just before, or slightly beyond the end of the body. They also talk able tails, if used (which is rare with spey flies), are short.

McPhail ties a very lovely fly, but his spey flies due to the proportions and way he tied them, have a very different look from the old spey flies and nearly all the modern masters of the spey fly.

A palmered spey hackled has a very different look than just having a long-fibers hackle wound as a collar hackle. It also takes a bit more time and skill to tie it as the proper spey fly style palmered hackle.
 

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Matt Arciaga
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The use of doubled bronze mallard wing slips on spey flies is nothing new. It has been done since at least the 1870's, if not earlier.

In fact, one can take two slips of bronze mallard (one from a left feather and one from a right feather) that are cut twice as wide as the wing width should be, stroke them so the fibers stand out at more or less a right angle to the short piece of stem you left when you cut the slip, then place one on top of the other so the ends of both feather slips are lined up, and tie them in by slightly tenting with you fingers as you hold them in place for tying in. This will produce a very nice bronze mallard wing.

I couldn't help but notice in McPhail's video that his spey fly had neither the palmered spey hackle the old and new masters use, and he also had his tail and wings be much longer than Knox, Francis, Hale, Kelson, Price-Tannat, and Taverner said they should be. All of these master tyers/authors (with the exception of Knox who was not a tyer, but a great author) talk about spey wings end just before, or slightly beyond the end of the body. They also talk able tails, if used (which is rare with spey flies), are short.

Regards,

Matt
McPhail ties a very lovely fly, but his spey flies due to the proportions and way he tied them, have a very different look from the old spey flies and nearly all the modern masters of the spey fly.

A palmered spey hackled has a very different look than just having a long-fibers hackle wound as a collar hackle. It also takes a bit more time and skill to tie it as the proper spey fly style palmered hackle.
Any insight on Malloch's representation of the Gold Raich? What appears to be wings from turkey coverts and the teal throat tied in front of the wing, reference feathersflisandphantoms first fly you see when on "spey fly" section
 

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Just getting around to this thread. Gotta agree w Ards approach. Isn't this style of wing set known as a spoon wing ?? I'm not big into the traditional speys, but mounting a whole feather/feather seems the way to go. BM is such a ***** to work with that it just seems this is the way to go, for fishing flies anyhow. Out of the few speys I've tied, these seem to ride the truest in current. Once wet, a full feathered fly looks identical to one tied w individual slips, IMO.
 

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Low tented wings and flies rolling over ...

is all about keeping the hackle going forward and the collar to a minimum. If the body is heavily dubbed - it should taper off also. I'll admit taking too many turns of hackle and collars in the past thinking "more volume - more presence" in the water then doubling up on slips as an attempt to mitigate the roll-over effect. It doesn't work. Prominent wings with shoulders and sides on a full-dress salmon pattern are one thing. On speys with wings intended to be tented low over the body it is simply a matter of keeping the body hackle and the collar to a minimum. Two turns of each at most, sometimes even stripping one side.
 
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