spey patterns

Scott Behn

Active Member
Kudos to all y'all spey tyers, I just completed tying my first ever spey pattern and it was a Glasso Orange Heron, I must say it looks like sh!t!!!!! Oh the depression is starting to set in. I think I might have to go talk to my friend Mr. Beam and see if he can help me...


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Scott, don't get down on yourself. We all started somewhere. Just give it time, soon you'll be saying "That's the ticket" when you're done tying. Don't let it get you down. What you may think is crap, someone else will be saying "damned, you tied that? I wish I could tie that well". You're usually your own worse enemy. Just keep at it.

Scott Behn

Active Member
Yeah I hear ya Jerry, it's just weird to see oneself after 15 yrs of tying and then to tie something new takes me back to where I was when I started this drug...Yeah over time it will eventually come out, I'm too much of a perfectionist for it not too.


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Dont' feel bad Scott. I've been tying speys and dees about 6 or so years now. Still not perfected on it IMHO. BUT, have dabbled on and off tying full dressed atlantics. I can tie a nice body, I build those wings up, and my world falls apart. LOL. I feel same way. I look at the fly as the wing falls apart (and that's after reading, re reading, and getting help from friends) and just go "humph!!". Sometimes I just wonder why I do it. But I want to do a fully dressed jock scott, just to say "I did it". Not going to fish it. Not a fly that's gonna take me "hours" to tie. LOL.


Active Member
Yup, we are our own worst enemies when it somes to looking at and summing up our flys.But, at the same time ,you have the "right" attitude.We should be.I have mentioned it before, but my teacher made me tye bodies for two years before he began working me through his and his teachers knowledge on building wings.Putting wraps on and taking them off etc.If he had his way I'd probably still be tying tags and butts and wrapping body hackles and watching him tear them apart and me with them ,LOL. Probably the right thing too, based on the wing I built last night.

Probably a small retirements worth of materials just in what he tore off over the years on me.

Can I ask what was wrong with the dressing in your opinion?

We oughtta dress a JS together or a Golden Butterfly,Jerry ,be fun,, and hey ! or not


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Damned Davy, sounds like you were truly schooled. I'd have loved to have that type of schooling. Read about a boy named Colin in Joseph Bates book who went through that type of mentoring as a fully dressed salmon fly tying student. I basically learned it all on my own, literally with no help from any resource but my imagination back then (later onto a few books I found). Wish we had the internet and the level of magazines you have today. Don't remember seeing any fly mags at the local stores (only went to department and general sporting goods stores).

Hell, I'd be up for it. I've tried a few times. I grab out my old Jorgenson's Salmon Fly book at start at step one. Usually by the wing, I'm cussing. ;)

Scott Behn

Active Member
Yeah I just finished my 2nd one, a lady caroline, dammit if those wings kicked my ass. I ended up taking a bronze mallard flank and laying the tip of it flat over the whole fly and tying it in that way... :beathead:

It's fusterating, but challenging. I too schooled myself on tying flys. Dad and I got tired of losing our flies everytime we went out and then turning around spending more money just to lose them again. So I taught myself to tye, but these speys I'm thinking of taking a short intro course to give me a jump start...LOL



Active Member
He was a trully great teacher,trully.Every once in a while I read about one of his former students mention him.He really did discipline me like you mentioned from Bates book and perhaps it was there that he got the idea that that was what was needed.He was a student of Kelson however .That was the bible.That too, is approaching thirty, scratch that, I started tying with Bob in 1986 so 18 years ago.Before that I was a self taught hacker of marginal trout flys let alone any steelhead flys worthy of any mention or respect,LOL.Somehow, with the charm of youth ,I got a job at a flyshop and Bob was they're instructor and he saw some of my work and commented that it showed promise- and well,after he threw it out he took me under his wing.LOL.Not long after that he started Atlantic classes for the shop of which I was not part of.(I was home wrapping bodies,I rented the lower part of his two bedroom apartment(I got the hide-a-bed and a corner tying table with good afternoon light))After a year or so my wife let me move back home and I got a better tying table but was still wrapping bodies.LMFAO.Atleast one prominent NW Atlantic Tyer is one of his original students.The gentleman is known for many innovative modern ideas and materials and feather solutions.I do not want to mention names because I am by no means aquainted with these people anymore.I suspect , well nevermind that part.

With respect, Davy

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Yeah, I'd have loved to had that happen. Found out years after, that a neighbor was a professional tyer. Had been doing it for years. Wasn't a fisherman, or much of one. He tied because he was taught to do it. Found out he tied some gorgeous flies. Had this resource by me all those years, and never had a chance to have him teach me. BUT, at same time, he KNEW I was teaching myself (he would ask how I did, since he could see me unload flyrods out of the car), and knew I was tying for a local shop. But never once said a word to me, or even offered help when I would confide in him how I was ticked over certain flies. Wasn't until I got alot of his stuff after he passed that I saw how beautiful stuff he really tied. Also, how much stuff I truly missed out on (other vises, atlantic materials, etc).


Active Member
'Spose this ain't the place or thread to talk about this so much ,,but hey!! Sad that you never got to know that side of him.Alot of those old timers were that way though- played it very close,some of them anyway.Some people aren't teachers though too and perhaps he knew he didn't have the fortitude to teach you and even may lose any relationship you might have had to boot.
Funny you mention all this.It was an old timer that first got me flyfishing when I was 8 maybe 9.Well kind of.I used to ride my bike (a Schwinn Orange Krate) about 6 miles outside the town I grew up in near Salem ,OR. and fish a small stream with bait,probably worms back then or Mikes cheese eggs which always fell off.I had some success, enough to keep a kid happy anyway.One day,I can still remember the day almost vividly,there was an older man downstream of me catchin fish just about everytime his line hit the water,and to me back then maybe sometimes when it wasn't,you know how it is.It was like magic to little ol' me.Anyway after a spell he came up the creek and said " your Doug Earl's boy aren't you"?He was the picture we have all seen in old photo's and movies- old wicker creel (overflowing with trout ofcourse) ,side shoulder strap fishin bag,etc.I replyed " yep, the youngest,brothers name is --------,I'm David"He said ," well,I know your dad from the Elks in town, how'd youd like to learn to use a flypole and really catch fish".I don't remember now what I said but it was somekind of yes answer.I do remember telling him my dad had a flypole I might be able to use if I asked.He told me he would show me how to fish it today with his rod and then I could practice during the rest of the summer on my own.Anyway- he takes me down to the water and points out these elongated "bumps" on the rocks in the stream.I think he called them tube worms,but don't remember anymore.He picks one off and shows me how if you crack them just right in the tail end you can pull the whole juicy worm out of the hard outer case...This is cool stuff to a kid you know.He tells me my spinning rod will work but a flypole and line works better but either way to rig it up with a leader and an egg hook.He shows me his setup in explaining all this--telling me about the line and his pole etc--man,I was still goo-goo eyed over the "tube worms".
He shows me how to thread the little guy onto the egg hook just right and we get out into the water alittle and puts the rod in my hand.He helps me to hold the rod back behind me over my shoulder and then helps me into what today we call a rollcast but only about 10 or 15 feet in front and downstream of us,probably then too, but he said " now, you want to just kinda lob it out there and let it drop down into the current here you see " Pointing to the head of the little run or really just a little slot in that creek.
Just as he said that, WHAM!! a fish nailed the little worm almost jerking the rod outta my hand- anyway-that turned out to be the biggest trout I had ever caught when he netted it- thinking back it must been about 16" or so- who knows.You think that fish was hooked? Jeez, I was the hooked one! Over the next half hour or maybe it was two hours,who knows?- I got 7 or so more fish,except for a couple all were larger than anything I had ever caught--EVER .I went home and told mom about it and when dad got home I told him and how I wanted a fly pole and etc,etc,etc,.But dangit--I could not remember the mans name-he had told me during that introduction and how he knew dad- but I was so lost in the mans success and his giving me the time of day I had forgotten the mans name.I told dad he knew him from the Elks- whatever that was- and he rattled off some names trying to jog my memory.Nothin.I fished everyday I had time for a spell but never saw the man again.Dad finally gave me his flypole and a reel he said was granddads-showed me how to wind up the line by pulling the lever and how to afix everything.(I still have both,it was one of the old Occupied Japan cane rods in a wooden case--you see around now and then -and a Browning automatic flyreel.)Didn't mean anything then--I had a flypole!! Anyway- it was during supper about two weeks later .We are passing elk meat and taters whatever and mom and dad were trying to keep my brother and I in line and when it quieted down,my dad asked my mother if she knew John Taylor had died yesterday-I sprung up like a spooked deer I tell you! "Thats him! thats him! "I shouted .That's the man that showed me how to use a flypole on Butte Creek and how to catch more and bigger fish than anyone using these oooey tube worms!!Mom was probably ready to belt me one about then,LOL. My dad says,"David ,are you sure?" and I say "yes ,John Taylor--thats what he said,honest.He can't be dead!.. you know the story there.And then he tells me how nice a man John was etc. ,how he hadn't thought of John .how it all made sense now..don't recall all of it now.They didn't tell me then but later it turns out he had been sick for quite sometime ,but it was pnemonia that killed him.That bridge on the highway we were fishing below is still there and I still cross it everytime I go down there and to this day think of that day when we do.The surroundings and the little streamside house that was there are all still there.Trees are bit taller,LOL.Anyway-thats how it all started for me--I learned to flyfish using October Caddis Larva--real ones.

Dave McNeese

One of the OLD guys
Hey friend,
Don't let it keep you up at night! Just keep at it and you WILL improve.
If you need any specific tips just let me know.....

Davy Earl:
What a great story about how you started fishing. I enjoyed reading it. An older friend of my Dad gave me a Bamboo fly rod that is what I started with. Now that I think of it I wish I had that old bamboo now.
jesse clark
I still am having trouble tying in the wings...I constantly look at photos of speys and dees, but the method of tying in the wings like the bronze mallards I just can't find. Being that it is this close to X-mas and already gave the wife my book list for this year I going to have to wait to buy a book on spey tying.

These last two speys I just took the mallard wing and laid it flat across the top of the fly, but it doesn't look right.



Active Member
Scott- I am in Marysville,so not sure about that- but if you would like to come over one of these days,I can give you a short course in tenting the wings, if you want to,I would hate to see a picture of a Tying vice hanging out of a wall appear on here

Hi Dave ! , long time no see,didn't know you were on here

Hows the Santiam fishin?Folks are up from Silverton and I may follow them back and fish the Molalla for a day or two

Merry Christmas , Davy
Hi Scott,

Nice looking flies!

There are several things that have a direct effect on the look of the Spey wings. First, make sure the area you set the wings on is flat with no bumps behind it from body materials. Second, top quality bronze mallard is a must. When I started tying Speys, I fought the wings almost to tears until I found good mallard. The feathers must match perfectly in every regard. Third, if you want wings to lay flat against the top of the body, trim the hackle underneath it. Fourth, and this is the hardest and only comes with experience, relax. I almost have to be in a state of meditation when I wing Speys.

The bottom line is that winging Speys is easy once the Tyer plans ahead and exercises control.

When someone tells me he/she is having trouble tying Speys, I know before they end the sentence that is setting the wings that they are struggling with. It was the same with me and I bet with 90% of the rest of Tyers.

If you are in the Portland OR area, you are welcome to come by here and I can help you. There is also a group of us who meet here at my house the first Thursday of every month to tie and bs tying & fishing. All are welcome.

By the way, Hi all! This is my first post since I just found this site.

Happy Trails!