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Discussion Starter #1
Malcolm (Willie Gunn) ,

I am about a third of the way through the book thinking I have purchased the bible on spey and dee flies and I come to the paragraph, after reading centuries of Scottish and Irish spey history, that they really don't know who invented the spey fly. Not sure about the Dee fly yet.

How could they know all of that history pages and pages but not know for sure who the real creator was ?

I did find out who Lady Caroline was and some of the famous Ghillies. Like their saying "killing fly" or various versions of it

Can't believe those spey rods they used, they must have just yanked the salmon out of the water on the strike and stalked them up like cord wood.

Look forward to any more Scottish inteligence on the Speytrath" (sp) you can offer on this.

Oh well got to finish some work here today at the office and then get home to puppy sit and tie some more hair wings tonight. Will look for your response tonight.

Best

Hal

PM Out

P.S. I found a good fly fishing use for dental floss.
 

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I think these flies evolved rather than were invented each gillie adding there own little tweek till the finished fly was perfect. Then someone thought of a name, obviously the bosses name or his daughter would be good for a tip.

I'll have to get a camera to show you parts of Strath Spey.

What do you use dental floss for?

Malcolm
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Malcolm,

Will be reading some more of the book today. Do they still have full time ghillies on some of the estates ?

Use the dental floss for underbodies on my nymphs and hair wings, helps to taper and level the bodies, and I think provides a better outline than the black hook and other material colors that are tied against the hook.

Also use gold or silver tinsel on the underbodies of silk bodies flys provides a lighter color silk when wet.

Best

Hal
 

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PMF,
Yes most if not all the estates have at least one full time gille who look after the water, banks, guests,and anything else you could think off. They also feed the song birds beside the huts whilst keeping the vermin down.

Sam the gillie on the beat I fish most often even puts the oven on in the hut and heats up my lunch. He is also a superb Speycaster and very lucky as when we fish together he always out-catches me. It is one of my ambitions to be a gillie (dream on) I do not know if I would have the patience to put up with idiots.


Malcolm
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Malcolm,

Now how would one qualify and apply to be a ghillie ?

Or is it bequeathed generation to generation ?

Suppose the ghillie is given lodging on the estate free for their family. They must do other duties such as hunting or attending the estate duties also since fishing is not permitted all 12 months is it ?

We have nothing equivalent to a ghillie here in US don't think Canada does either on its salmon and steelhead rivers. But maybe there are a few in the eastern canadian maritime provinces where the atlantic salmon rivers are. Definitely never heard of one on a candian PNW steelhead river.

Happy New Year

Best

Hal


P.S. What is the smallest hook size you have seen a spey or dee style fly tied on in Scotland ?
 

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Origins of spey -

This is just a guess, but I would think that the origins of spey go back to the origins of fly fishing. They used long rods, with a "tapered" line of horsehair (BTW - I have read discussions of "color" being the quick measure of strength) - It was tapered in that it consisted of several strands where it was tied to the tip, and fewer strands as it progressed toward the "angle" (hook of a bent needle, sometimes tied as a fly) , with usually a one or two strand horsehair"tippet". The line was only about as long as the rod.
"Winders" (reels) were invented sometime later, improvements in line, and someone thought up snake guides to retrieve with, progressing to (ugh!) the silk lines and gut leaders of my youth. The fun of fishing with those is another sickening long story.
The only way you can cast one of these long rod-horsehair line tied to tip original jewels comfortably and with any degree of precision is a simple spey-type cast.

Just some thoughts, coupled with some knowledge gleaned from some old books I read in my misspent youth. Don't remember the names, though - but they were old library books, and I read continuously back then.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

BobK
 
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