Spaders and Sol Duc Dark variant

Discussion in 'Patterns' started by Thomas Mitchell, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    I tie a lot of Spades and I tie a lot of Spiders, sometimes the flies end up as something in between... (close ups are in my gallery)


    For some reason, you don't see many people tying the Glasso classic Sol Duc Dark. Not sure why since it's an awesome fly, maybe because it's not quite as flashy as the Orange Heron or Sol Duc Spey. Here's a variant with a few substitutions. I haven't fished this one but I'm confident that if it gets put in front of a biter, something will happen...


    Constructive input always appreciated.

  2. Kerfwappie

    Kerfwappie Member

    Awesome tie as always Thomas... you are truly talented.
  3. NCL

    NCL Active Member


    Those flies are almost too nice to fish, outstanding ties. I have a question, what is the dubbing on the center fly?
  4. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Naah... Just simple fishing flies. Here's the full recipe for all of them

    Purple & Pink/Orange
    Thread - Gudebrod 6/0 red
    Hook - AJ Spey #7 Gold
    Rib - Med Lagurtun oval
    Body - Pearsalls Gossamer Purple
    Thorax - natural seal, black tied in a dubbing loop
    Hackle - coque, dyed purple for the P&P, dyed orange for the P&O

    Pheasant Tail
    Thread - Gudebrod 6/0 black
    Hook - AJ Spey #7
    Body/Tail - natural ringneck pheasant tail
    Rib - small copper wire
    Thorax - peacock herl woven with the continuation of the wire used for the body (AJ style)
    Underwing - 1 strand black Crystal flash doubled over and cut twice
    Hackle #1 - half-bronze rooster coque, pick a dark feather
    Hackle #2 - furnace rooster hackle, dyed marigold

    Green Butt
    Thread - Gudebrod 6/0 chartreuse
    Hook - AJ Spey #7
    Body - silver mylar underneath fluorescent chartreuse floss
    Rib - small silver Lagurtun oval
    Thorax - black ostrich herl woven with the continuation of the tinsel used for the body (AJ style)
    Underwing - 1 strand black Crystal flash doubled over twice
    Horns - a few chartruese Amherst tail fibers.
    Hackle - half-bronze rooster coque, pick a dark feather

    For the rooster coque, to get a small enough hackle, you have to use just the tip. I save the remaining feather for bigger spey flies. The coque is uneven so folding the feather and using both sides results in an uneven length for the hackle which I like for it's buggyness.
  5. NCL

    NCL Active Member

    Thank you. I would have never guess pheasant tail but after I see the recipe that make a ton of sense.
  6. Dan Cuomo

    Dan Cuomo Active Member

    Beautiful... simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing pics and recipe.
  7. Tim Cottage

    Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Nice work all around. I especially like the pheasant tail.

  8. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

    Constructive input always appreciated.


    quit your day job

    beautiful tie as always!
  9. FT

    FT Active Member

    These are beautifully tied flies.

    I agree with you on Glasso's SOL DUC DARK. It is a very useful fly with proven effectiveness when river height and clarity suggests something a bit darker than the ORANGE HERON.

    I hope the following is taken by folks for what it is, the way Glasso tied and fished the SOL DUC DARK, which to me is important because Glasso is the originator of the fly and his way is the historical way it was tied. Syd didn't tie it as a spey fly, he tied it as a whole feather wing (granted he still tented the GP breast wing) with standard classic salmon featherwing hackle and teal face (or throat) hackle length which only went to slightly beyond the hook point. He also tied it on #2 and #4 low-water hooks with #2's being most common. Also, he tied it with red (not fl. orange) thread for the head, which gives it a slightly darker look.

    Regarding SPADE, my friend Bob Arnold always thought of SPADE more as a type of fly, eventhough he started out with a particular pattern (tail: deer body hair; body: small black chenile; hackle: webby grizzly), it didn't take him long to start tying color variations. Hence, he looked at SPADE very shortly after he originated it as a generic type or style of fly. Also, Bob always tied SPADE and the many color variations he tied of it with a tail of either deer body hair or bucktail. He felt the tail on SPADE was an important design element that kept the fly swimming horizontally in the slow flows of late summer/fall low-water time. Without a tail, SPADE will swim with the hook bend down and the fly more or less verticle.
  10. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Thanks FT. That's great feedback. I always appreciate your insight on the original patterns.

    I was definitely using the SDD as an 'inspiration' for the above fly more than actually trying to replicate the pattern. I was working from the Veverka book which gives a recipe and a small photo if I remember correctly.

    All that aside, I think I still got it wrong. I might have been thinking SDD but the basic structural template is just as much or maybe even a little closer to Walt Johnson's Deep Purple Spey which I assume was in turn influenced by Glasso's earlier pattern. Do you know if there's a linkage there?

    Actually my fly is probably better characterized as an Orange Heron/SDD/DPS mishmash... I frequently go back to the the Glasso OH and Johnson DPS templates for a multitude of color/material combinations. Here's the latest which I also incorrectly attributed as an SDD variation which might be true, just not a complete attribution. I should post all the flies that lead up to this one (about 6) as it started out as a Black Heron from the Ververka recipe with each subsequent tie turning into something different... Let me know what you think.

    Again, I look forward to and appreciate your comments here and on Speypages, even when they are critical (more so maybe as it drives improvement).

  11. Benni

    Benni Member

    i have always enjoyed your flies. i too am partial to tying similar flies, spade/spider like. keep them coming! when i figure out a way to
    take a decent photo, i may put a few of my variations up for you to critique!

  12. FT

    FT Active Member


    The only part you left out of the SOL DUC DARK was the GP crest tail. Also, Glasso often tied it with a GP breast feather for the throat (face) hackle, which makes it a bit darker looking. And he tied it wih a dark red Amhearst crest feather topping rather than the GP crest he used on the SOL DUC.

    You are correct about Walt Johnson having been influenced by Glasso. They became friends before Glasso retired and moved from Forks to Seattle. Walt really liked Glasso's spey flies and his DEEP PURPLE SPEY was his attempt to take the basic colors of George McLeod's PURPLE PERIL and making a spey fly with those basic colors. Walt liked to way GP breast feathers looked in the water and used those for the DEEP PURPLE SPEY along with natural dark brown Chinese Pheasant rump for the spey hackle. Glasso's influence is very evident in all of Walt's spey flies.

    This black spey of yours is nicely tied, but to my eye it doesn't work as a whole because the purple and blue throat hackkles conflict with the green rear body half. I'd keep the green body half, black spey hackle, and black wing; then, I'd add a dyed green guinea throat hackle. (I'd even be tempted to add 3 or 4 strands of dark green Krystal Flash as an underwing.)

    If you wish to keep the blue & purple throat hackles, I'd change the rear body section to blue and make the front body section of purple dubbing. This way the throat would ballance the coloration of the body, spey hackle, and wing.
  13. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Thanks FT. That's a great help because the rear of the fly is actually not green. That's just my poor photography white balance under a standard lightbulb...

    The back half of the body is purple floss covered with translucent mylar tinsel. So depending on what angle you view, it's purple or a reflective purplish blue. The GP wing is also purple but doesn't show up in the photo worth a damn.

    Great idea on the underwing and front dubbing. That's getting added for sure.

    As always, much appreciated!
  14. Matthew Gulbranson

    Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

    These are great Thomas! I don't tend to fish these types of flies much, but would fish these with confidence. I like that pheasant one a lot, and might tie up a few myself! Thanks for sharing.