SBS Spruce Fly SBS


Active Member
The streamer, not the bug. Tied these up to throw at runners coming up out of Hebgen a few years ago, but we hit a warm spell and had to resort to other means. Fun fly to tie (although streamers are not my strong suit); dug out my copy of Jack Dennis Western Trout Fly Tying Manual for a refresher.

hook - Mustad 3665A #6
thread - UTC 140 black
tail - peacock swords
rib - gold wire
abdomen - floss red
thorax - peacock herl
wing - 2 saddle hackles badger
hackle - badger

mash barb and start thread at 50% mark

tie in wire rib

tie in peacock sword fibers (4)

trim sword butts and return thread to 50% mark

wrap floss forward; good luck keeping that stuff under control to lay down a smooth body

want a thin body on this one so just one layer of floss (thank goodness)

wrap wire rib forward and tie off

trim tips on a bunch of peacock herl fibers

tie peacock in

leave bobbin hanging at tie in, grab peacock herl

twist herl around thread

and wrap forward

tie peacock off, leave about 2 hook eye distance to the front

tie in a pair of badger saddle hackle feathers

prep another badger saddle feather

and tie it in by the tip

wrap saddle hackle forward, brush fibers back

whip finish and brush the head with Sally (lacquer would give that Hotblack Desiato stuntship finish if you're of a mind); hackle's a bit short here but my supply of badger is a bit sparse

hairwing variation and a thicker body (fox squirrel tail for the wing, furnace hackle) tied on a Mustad 79580



Spruce flies also work well in Oregon for SRC (Sea Run Cutthroat). The hair wing version intrigues me. hmmmmm.
Nicely tied! I've been tying and using them for years, I tie them mostly with a gold body and two hackles for a stiff collar, to move lots of water, excellent small sculpin pattern and has alway's been one of my favorite river cutthroat

Rob Ast

Active Member
I always like they way they look, but don't fish them much and haven't tied them. Guess I'm going to have to find a badger hackle.


Sculpin Enterprises
Nicely done. I have tied them for searuns but also had success on steelhead on the Methow. And I even caught a fresh-from-the-ocean coho on a dark spruce while fishing the Quileute on a guided trip with Doug Rose.



If you like the Spruce for SRC, you may also like the Purple Joe. It is a weird-arse version of the Spruce but is my favorite lower river SRC pattern. Scott, if you are familiar with the pattern , a step by step for the Purple Joe would be nice.


Active Member

Just looked it up; neat fly. Do you use orange body/furnace wing/hackle or yellow body/badger wing/hackle?



I use a red tail, orange butt, purple body, light badger wing and collar hackle. The colors are terrible together but for some reason, the SRC sure like it...AND the kokanee in The Metolius in Oregon when they swim upstream. ...I think it is the orange butt that does it :) (I believe it originated in Walla Walla and was tied as a steelhead pattern)
VERY NICE! Thanks for sharing. I would also be interested in seeing that Purple Joe, if it is not an imposition. Sounds like something I might like to try.