Black and Blue Spey

I've been playing around, at the vise, after receiving John Shewey's book (Spey Flies & Dee Flies) for Christmas. Have not really tied Speys before, so for the first go around I'm feeling pretty good. However, I know I need a lot more practice. :dunno

Matt Burke

Active Member
That looks great. I'm glad I didn't buy that book in the hard back as I'm constantly leafing through it and wearing it out.


"Everyday that you wake up and decide not to go one less day you'll go fishing." Forrest Maxwell
There is a whole lot right with this fly. Nice pattern. Keep on tyin'. There is so much useful info in that book, all in one place.

One question I had was about the placement of the hackles as a wing. Is the golden rule with hackle wing spey, nothing longer than the end of the hook, or can I get away with extending as long as the hackles? Also, should I peel away the hackles on the underside of the hackle wing? I did not on the others I tied and it sure looks clumpy across the top of the fly.

That fly looks good and fishable. If you did a counterwind over the Spey hackle, binding the hackle to the body, it will give longer life to the fly once bitten by Steelhead or Salmon. When you tie in the throat also bring the Teal barbules together under the body as shown in John Shewwey's Spey fly tying book


Countered w/ a fine silver wire that can hardly be seen. Completely agree with earlier point that counter winding is crutial towards lifetime of the fly.

Thanks for the feedback, now if only the metalheads were so kind. It's been hard as hell getting good quality feedback from them lately.

TerryD :7


New Member

I don't know as I would call it a rule, but usually on spey flies the wings do not extend past the bend of the hook. Traditionally they ended near the beginning of the body, but with hackle point wings that makes the fly look short and bulky unless your using a longer shanked hook. Even on an Alec Jackson 1.5, I like to extend my hackle point wings a little short of the bend. I think the longer wing fishes better. With mallard, I'll end it just a little past the body. I think that book has some of Steve Gobins flies. His are a good example of a very traditional looking fly (Long shank hooks, hackle tied in butt first, wings set low and extending just a little past the body), but that is not how I like to tie them.

These days there are no hard and fast rules and pretty much anything with a long hackle is called a spey.

I trim the hackle on top the body before I mount the wings, but it is done judiciously. This usually amounts to cutting about three or four rogue fibers that refuse to comb down. If you overdo it, it is usually noticeable, and people will laugh and make fun of you. Some people say you shouldn't trim at all, but that is ridiculous.

Hope some of this is useful. The fly obviously looks nice, and would look good in the water. All of the above is just silly traditions. The fish would just as soon have cork and yarn.