Claret Sunburst Speys

Tied this up for a swap on another forum which will likely be my last swap for a while (writing my PhD thesis).

Pretty simple pattern, as follows.

Hook: AO Spey size 3
Body Gold Tinsel
Rib: Silver Wire (Medium) counterwrapped
Hackles - Claret Whiting Rooster Spey, followed by custom dyed sunburst whiting hen
Head Black.

Hope you guys like them



Active Member
These are beautiful and wonderfully tied flies. However, they are not spey flies, they are long hackled tailed spiders.

Spey flies always have short, tented wings along with the spey hackle palmered on the body, short or no tails, and short bodies that have all parts of the body (including tips and tags) start in front of the hook point.

Spiders have no wings, their bodies can either start in front of the hook point or back near the root of the barb, the can have tails and when they do the tails are usually longish, and their hackles are always tied as collar hackles at the front of the body.

Since these flies of yours don't have wings, the spey hackle is not palmered on the body, the tails are long, and the bodies start behind the hook point, they are spiders.

Yes, I no I'm a stickler on this and many folks don't give a crap if a fly really is a spey fly or not and they are perfectly happy calling anything with long hackle a spey fly. However, these same folks don't call Wulff style dry flies Catskill dries, or Elk Hair Caddis, Hair Wing Henryville's. We all really ought to pay more attention to what we call a fly and make sure it fits the characteristics of the fly style we name it; otherwise, we end up with confusion and folks (especially those new to fly fishing or steelhead/salmon fishing) falsely thinking because something was posted on a fly fishing site with the wrong style name on it, that it is in fact representative of that style of fly. It isn't anymore than calling a Prius a sportscar makes it one.
"FT's" comments have merit but do not detract from the ties and pics, plus a simple straight forward pattern description. Good luck with your thesis! If FT isn't on your thesis committee maybe you can recruit him as a "reader."

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
Soft Hackles.... Spey Flies... Beats me which category they fit in but I'd be happy to have them in my fly box. There is one good thing that came out of this. I guess the soft hackles I was tying up with the overly long partridge aren't "soft hackles with unproperly sized hackle". I should have called them spey's.


Active Member

Absolutely! These flies of Eunan's are great flies and my comments do not detract from that fact at all. This is why I began my previous post on this thread with the observation that they were beautifully and wonderfully tied.


Nope, you should have called them "spiders" for they fit the definition of Northcountry Spiders from the UK that have been around for well over 100 years.