Akroyd attempt

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Ryan Nathe, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

    This is my first attempt at an Akroyd. Any suggestions on how to improve my tying? The turkey wing didn't sit down as far as I would have liked and I think I could have tied the materials in closer to the bend by a few millimiters. Anything else?

    Appreciate the input.


    View attachment 45159
  2. Travis Bille

    Travis Bille Active Member

    Better than I could do! good job
  3. Jack Devlin

    Jack Devlin Active Member

    Akroyd looks good although for some reason I can't get the photo to show up larger so it is a bit hard for me to see.
    Davie McPhail has a white winged Akroyd on his you tube site. Perhaps you have seen it.

    Ryan, I'm new at this site so I had trouble loading photo but was finally able to do so.
    Here is a link to Davie McPhails White Winged Akroyd which he ties so nicely. Maybe can be of help to you.
    FT's comments are spot on.

  4. FT

    FT Active Member


    It is tough to tell how you did and offer suggestions due to the size of you photo being on the small side. A larger photo would allow for a better analysis and better suggestions for improvement. Also, a top-of-fly photo (or a photo that shows the top of the fly as well as the sides) is needed to see if you have set the wings properly. Dee wings need to have the butts of the wings at the tie-in tightly butted up against each other without overlapping of any sort. If they overlap, they will split when fished. That is why a photo showing the top of the wing would be useful.

    You are correct that the flat silver tinsel tag needs to be back further. The easy way to do this and get the proper position on a dee fly is the have the tag start at the root of the barb (the is the place where the barb starts to move up from the hook point).

    The ostrich butt ought to be right at the hook point on a dee fly, not in front of it.

    The GP crest (also know as a topping) tail is too long and goes too high. Dee tails are best when they are just a little beyond the hook bend long and more horizontal than vertical. You can make a crest feather more horizontal very easily by using your thumbnail to "nick" the botton of the feather's rachis (stem). You will have to make serveral of these "nicks" along the feather starting where it starts to curve upwards to get it to be the proper height above the shank. Just go slow and check your progress as you make the "nicks". Oh yeah, do the "nicks" before you tie it in.

    The tippet tail topping (also sometimes called a tail veiling) is a bit short. It should be about 1/2 the length of the crest feather; otherwise, it doesn't look ballanced.

    You already mentioned the wing being too high. The wing is also a bit too long. Dee wings ought to be only a tiny bit longer than the tail or as long as the tail. The wing slips also look like each side is a tad bit too wide. One of the things to do to help the wing lie lower on a dee fly is to use tweezers to pull the top-of-the-hook fibers off the spey hackle and duck flank throat (also sometimes called a face hackle).

    The spey hackle is a little too short in fiber length. The spey hackle on a dee fly looks best (and fishes best) if it is at least as long as the hook bend, and is at its best when it is 1/2 shank length longer than the hook bend. But anywhere between the hook bend and 1/2 shank longer than to the hook bend is fine.

    The body, jungle cock sides (you did an excellent job of having them form a straight line from tie-in to hook point, just like a dee fly's jungle cock ought to be tied), body hackle, butt length, and ribbing tinsel are very good. Head size is excellent.

    You have obvious skills at the vise, a little work on these finer details and your dees will improve rapidly.
  5. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    I'm not familar with the pattern, but it looks good to me.
  6. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    I've never seen or tied and Akroyd, but the fly looks good.
  7. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman content

    Looks awesome! I didn't have any trouble getting it enlarged...:hmmm:
  8. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

    Thanks FT for the detailed comments. It is hard to look at a picture or recipe and really tie it the way it is supposed to be tied until you know how things are supposed to line up. Thanks for taking the time.

    When I click on the thumbnail it enlarges.
  9. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

    View attachment 45307 Here is the second attempt. The Spey hackles on tip are not quite long enough or consistent in length. Also the head on this fly is not as good as the previous. I also prefer the more orange dubbing used on the first. Suggestion to improve on attempt #3?
  10. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman content

    The only way I can get one of mine to look that good....buy one at the fly shop and put it in my vise. :)
  11. Mark Mercer

    Mark Mercer Member

    View attachment 45326 Second attempt is much better, tag is in the correct place as is the butt. Wings are still to high but better, you want them to lay almost flat.
    Akroyd's are a Dee wing fly and always look better, and fish better on a long shank hook. Here's one I tied years ago, it might help you to see the proportions and spacing. You're on the right track, keep tying and it will all come together, and then, if you're wealthy you can start working on full dress salmon flies. Good luck
  12. fshnazn

    fshnazn Member

    Keep it up, Ryan. You've gotten some good advice from FT and Mark. Your flies will fish and they will get better with practice. I've found out that with better grade materials, Dee wings are easier to mount.

    This was one of my first attempts at Dees...kinda all over the place. It didn't swing well and wings didn't hold up:

    Here's a Skagit Mist Variant (along the same lines as Mark's) I tied and fished last winter and it's held up well to casting and landing a fish on it:

    Just to show that with a little practice and resolve, these classic flies are attainable ties for a fishing tyer, like me.

  13. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

    WOW!....you guys are in a class by yourselves. They are all works of art in my book! Nice job, that's the kind of stuff I want in my fly box. You inspire me to try harder.....
  14. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman content

    I know this may sound weird, but that last one would make a nice print. A poster on the wall with your favorite fly fishing quote.
  15. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

    Thanks for posting the link! I have seen his fly-tying videos on youtube before. It certainly helps to see someone do it. Although I have to say I am not as big of a fan of the wing he uses in the video instead a turkey or goose. I am going to try to whip up a few Skagit Mists with a white goose wing made from shoulder feathers. We will see how it goes.
  16. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

    Fishnanz, I was waiting for you to chime in. Thanks. I have a ton of screen shots of your flies saved on my computer for when I have more time and money to tie them!
  17. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

    The last photos I will post to this thread. I'll let it die after this. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions on how to improve. I appreciate you taking the time out.


    View attachment 45394 View attachment 45395
  18. FT

    FT Active Member


    Each one of these is noticeably better than the one before. You've been paying attention to the suggestions some of us have given. Good on you for keeping at it so your dee flies improve.

    A long shank hook would help greatly in the look of the fly. However, these are not bad flies at all and as you have already seen from some of the comments guys have made, most fly fishers would be very happy with them. The fact that you want to improve, is something for which you deserve to be complimented on, which I'm doing right here.

    Your tail is now the proper length and height (I'm sure you used the "nicking" of the crest stem technique I described in my last post to have it be more horizontal), the wings are the right length, the jungle cock has the proper orientation in-line from hook eye to hook point, and you tag and butt are in the proper place. Notice how these small adjustments have made a pretty big difference in the look of your dees.

    If you make the rear body segment about 40% of the body length and the front section the other 60%, it will make a huge difference in the look of the fly. The reason you need to make the front body segment longer than the rear segment is because the hackle,, throat, jungle cock sides all obscure a bit of the body, which causes the front segment to look shorter than the rear segment. The change to having the front 60% and the rear 40% fixes this.

    The spey hackle on a dee fly looks best if it is tied in so its first turn is up against the first turn of ribbing tinsel on the front body segment. If your spey hackle isn't quite long enough to allow you to make a complete turn of hackle at the front of the body after it is wound over the body, tie it off, and tie in another spey feather to add the extra turn of two to the front of the body. Also, when the spey feather gets to the front of the body, take a single turn of thread over it to lock it in place, this keeps it from moving/sliding away from its position tight against the rear of the oval tinsel of the ribbbing. Then after this single turn of thread is made to lock it in, make one or two wraps of the spey feather directly in front of the body before tying it off and cutting the waste end,

    You wing is still a bit too high. The photo of the TRICOLOR (the one with the white wing tied on the blind-eye hook) provided is what a dee fly should look like. Notice how low the wing sits on it? That is why you want to strive for. Granted, it will take you a little time and practice to get the wing to sit that way, but it is well worth the efforts. And once you learn how to do it, you will wonder why it took you so long to figure it out.

    Be forewarned, dee flies are like Lay's Potato Chips, you can't just tie one. And also learning how to tie dees properly (or spey flies for that matter) almost always leads to that terrible desire and addiction to learning how to tie married wing classics. But as Alec Jackson says, "tying these flies will keep you out of dank bars and help keep your liver healthier."