Spey and Dee Fly Pattern, Material...

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by yuhina, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I think the feathers are beautiful, but they were protected not becasue of flyfisherman and thier desire for hackles. I believe (from what I read) they were used widely to decorate hats and nearly wiped out by commercial hunters.

    From a functionality standpoint (a fishing fly) heron's not that special. I've examined them in the field (both the barbless hackes and some of the smaller webby variety). I'd surely buy some if it was legally available. But it's not.

    FWIW, if you want to use them (and retain them in your personal collection) I honestly doubt you have anything to fear.

    I also think Herons are kick ass birds. There is a rookery near where I fish on the Walla Walla and I see them all the in the Summer and Fall. There is a local (Great Blue) on the Umatilla R. who called me names all Oct and Nov when I was fishing there. I often turn a corner and find one staring right at me. Then barking at me. Then pooping and flying away :) I see them eating mice in the fields in winter. They look like dinosaurs (or so I imagine). So I don't mean to talk trash about them as an animal at all.

     
  2. obiwankanobi

    obiwankanobi Active Member

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    Marty, again you tie a nice fly. To me, I have seen heron feathers on the river banks and of the few I have seen, they are not in that great of condition to use(i.e. floating in the water or in the mud). John Shewey talks about using Asian Purple Heron feathers in his book and I have never researched this, but I assume they are legal at a fine price.
     
  3. Daryle Holmstrom

    Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

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    That brings up a question, if you wander into a heron rookery and find some mottled feathers on the ground, what do you do? Also Seagal (the bird, not the good looking ones) feathers that they shed seem to be rather waterproof.
     
  4. obiwankanobi

    obiwankanobi Active Member

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    Daryle, you have to leave them alone. I know a Idaho Fish and Game warden and he advised me to leave them on the ground. On the Clearwater River there are a few nests that I have seen and would be good hunting grounds for feather scavaging. Before I looked, I called my friend and just like eagle feathers, you have to leave them alone since they are illegal to possess no matter how obtained.

    Now as we know, I would doubt that if you found one and tied up a beautiful fly with it, you would ever have a problem. Lets face it though, if you had this one feather, you would want to dress the best fly you could tie. With that, you would never fish this fly and maybe show a friend and that friend may tell another friend and you see where I am going.
     
  5. 1morecast

    1morecast Active Member

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    Marty,
    Beautiful fly!! That wing is near perfect, I like how the fly has that heart shape..
     
  6. Marty

    Marty New Member

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    Couple more to show that for me there is need for heron or the need to find the perfect substitute, I like my freedom. I have never tied with heron so I guess I have never needed to search for something to replace it. I know it is difficult to find good substitute for some of the old classics and will agree that even a good substitute never looks just right. But I think the key is learning how to master the materials that are available. Let’s take schlappen as an example. When I first started tying I would not even look at the feather, I would just grab one and tie it on. Now I may only find a dozen or so perfect feather in each bag. Selecting and preparing a feather takes a little effort but the results are what make the difference. I thought I was pretty good with feathers until I watched Dec H. tie one of his Mahoney’s (the red one) last week. It took him a few minutes to get the hackle prepared and by the time he was done you could not tell it was schlappen. I used the same technique on a feather from dyed black pheasant on the purple fly with the dubbed body. If you want to take your tying to the next level the material are out there and I am finding the dyed pheasant skins to be one of the answers.

    The first fly was tided with Bird Fur and Pheasant, the second fly was tied with pheasant for the hackle and the wing, the third fly was tied by Dec using schlappen for the body hackle. the purple flies are on 3/0 AJs and the Mahoney is on a 1. For me there is nothing like catching a fish on a well dressed fly and creating the fly is as much fun as catching the fish.
     
  7. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Beautiful flies. I'd have a hard time putting those on my leader and fishing them.

    As for legal materials, it depends. Some species are protected by the ESA, like polar bear, fur seal, and jungle cock. A lot of feathers are prohibited in trade under CITES. I forget what the acronym is exactly, but it's about the international treaty that applies to migratory birds, even crows. Some of these materials are legal if they are pre-embargo. Of course it can be hard to prove when certain materials were imported or harvested. I have a pre-embargo jungle cock cape, but now we can buy exempt farmed jungle cock capes. I also have some pre-embargo heron and a piece of polar bear, but the only evidence of their age is the goofy old paper bags they came in. They're large size hackles, so I seldom tie with them. As rare as they are, I should save every fiber from used hackles and tie them in one at a time on subsequent flies.

    It's illegal to collect eagle, hawk, heron, and most desirable feathers even by picking them up off the ground when you're out fishing or hiking. It's probably a low risk activity, but I used to know a USFWS Special Agent, and if they want to make an example of someone, they send a sample to the forensics lab in Ashland, and make expensive trouble for them.

    Sg
     
  8. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Marty your work is beautiful.

    Decs is sharp too. Any chance on sharing his prep secret? Dec, you lurk about here...how do you prep your Schlappen?

    :)
     
  9. Kevin Giusti

    Kevin Giusti New Member

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    Great flies Marty (and Mr. Hogan). I use ringneck rump alot and really like it. Walt Johnsons Deep Purple spey is one of my favorites and one of my go to patterns for sure. Its a fairly easy tie as speys go and the color combo in the water looks great. Heres a few I tied up using some "alternatives". While not speyish in the classic sense, speys were the inspiration. They incorporate amherst tail and rhea fibers. I bunch tied in the hackles as opposed to wrapping them. I like bunch tying certain materials as for one they arent the easisest to wrap(at least for me!) and two I have good control of both the length and fullness of the hackle. Many of the pheasant species tail fibers make for some great hackles including amherst,silver,argus, ringneck and I have a BEP skin that has a few black tail feathers that have some CRAZY long fibers on them, but havent found the need for using 10/0 speys as of yet so they remain untouched for now. Theres definatly a lot of variety out there as far as spey hackles go. Kevin
     
  10. Marty

    Marty New Member

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    Kevin awesome work and nice touch with the duck over wing.

    David I would let Dec explain it but I know he is a little busy right now so here goes.
    Step 1 is to pull all the fluff off both sides of the feather, with the stem in hand and the convex side of the feather facing you, pull off the left side fibers all the way to the tie in point. Now the work begins, using spit and your fingers work the remaining fibers until the barbs (Velcro) lay down on each individual fiber. This will take some time but it is pretty cool to see the fibers separate.

    It’s great to see tiers like yuhnia taking on new challenges like spey and dee flies. I rarely fish a fly tied with synthetics, and I know some would find it stupid but I get the most joy out of catching a fish on a old traditionally dress fly. It’s just cool to see that tradition is still alive.
     
  11. Rich McCauley

    Rich McCauley Meiser & Mohlin

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    You can achieve the same result on Schlappen and other webby feathers as Dec does by using a soft bristle tooth brush. Wet the material and place it on a hard slick surface. A glass plate or the top of a washer or dryer will work. Hold the feather on both ends and brush it out. This breaks down the barbules. You can, of course, use saliva but I believe water is sufficient.

    Perhaps water imported from the River Spey would yield a superior product:hmmm:

    As mentioned, there are other types of Heron that are legal but horridly expensive.

    Sea Gull and other "oily" feathers can be washed in Dawn dish washing liquid to remove the oil.

    Rich
     
  12. yuhina

    yuhina Tropical member

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    What a great input/information! Learn a lot here, these info. never mentioned in books! Thanks again! My Friends!

    Mark
     
  13. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Thanks for the prep tips :)
     
  14. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Bueler,

    Would you dye the heron? I don't know if I would pick the heron, even if it was legal because I don't dye feathers. Shit, for not a whole lot of money you can buy replacement material already dyed.
    Additionally, since marabou tied to a hook as good as anything else for catching steelhead, it probably isn't worth the risk, at least not to me. It seems like stealing third with 2 out to me. A lot of known risk with just a little potential reward.:ray1:
    On the other hand, my flies look like shit.:confused:

    In Theo we trust,
    cds
     
  15. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    All valid points.

    I don't want anyone to get the idea I would be fishing with Heron feathers on a hook. The flies would SPECIAL, IF I tied any.

    I am just saying it would be fun to do. I actually haven't done it! I have seen some nice feathers though.

    I just think all the responses about Heron feathers were over the top. If you found a perfect feather it wouldn't be a question of if you keep it or not, at least to me. And some feathers I have found and seen look too good to be true.

    I love the blue heron. It is my favorite animal. To me tying a fly with a feather I found would be an honor to the bird and nothing more.

    Marty, AWESOME TIES.
     
  16. Dec Hogan

    Dec Hogan Member

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    Thanks Marty. Actually you need to remove the right side fibers since the schlappen is tied in by the butt. Certainly if one elected to tie in tip first then the left side would be the choice.

    Great to see you guys keeping some soul on the river. DON"T be afraid to fish beautiful flies. Steelhead love 'em, and in the grand scheme of things they don't take all that long to tie. We spend all that time and expense gearing up and learning how to become efficient casters, why not put a little of ourselves at the end of that leader?

    Have fun, and Happy Holidays

    Dec


     
  17. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    Anyone want some rare and unique "Buehler Under-arm Fur"?

    It comes pre-scented and can tie some 14 inch streamers for Taimen! :D
     

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