A couple of Winters ago I entered a swap that required you to take a known wef fly pattern and tie a dozen of them, then transpose it to a Spey style pattern and tie a dozen of them.
Hmm I said. I had never tied a Spey before but I use saps to force me out of my comfort zone so I jumped in.
I chose the Mallard and Claret traditional wet pattern shown here:
So then I sort of extrapolated (honestly, it was in the privacy of my own tying room.) and came up with a Spey pattern called the "Mallet." A play on Mallard and Claret.
I am not sure how effective this fly is as I have never fished it, but it was my first Spey pattern and rather pleasant to look at for me anyway.
The throat can be either mallard breast, if you can find large enough feathers, or guinea fowl, which is easier to find in larger sizes.
At Ard's request I am posting the step-by-step here, I hope you find it useful.
Thread: 6/0 black unithread
Hook: Alec Jackson size 1.5
Ribbing: Medium oval tinsel in silver
Counter rib: Fine silver wire
Hackle: Black schlappen
Rear 2/3 of the body dubbing: Red seal
Front 1/3 of the body dubbing: Brown or claret seal
Throat: Large mallard breast or guinea fowl
Wing: Bronze Mallard Slips
Wrap your thread from just behind the eye to where you see it here.
I have tied in the schlappen by the tip of the feather as you see here.
Now dub a bit of red seal over the tie-in point for the feather, .
Pull the feather back over the hook bend and tie in your tinsel and wire.
Dub forward from the wire/tinsel tie-in point, to where I have stopped in this picture, then wrap your oval tinsel forward as you see here as well
So after you have trimmed off the excess tinsel, wrap your hackle forward, following the wraps of tinsel, to the same tie-off point at which you trimmed the tinsel. I try and do an extra wrap ontop of the last one because at this point the hackle will increase in density. Tie it off and trim excess.
I know it is hard to see here, but after you tie off your first schlappen feather and trim it, wrap your fine silver wire forward in the opposite direction of the feather and tinsel. If you are careful you can wrap with a sort of weaving motion and miss trapping too much of the feather in the wire wraps. Tie off and trim where the tinsel and feather stopped.
Tie in another schlappen feather at this very same point,then dub forward with either claret or brown seal. Okay so I misplaced my claret and lived with brown. I put it down and never found it again, even yesterday when I dismantled my desk it did not reappear!
Now if you play with this a bit you will find that when you tie in that second schlappen, if you are careful you can make it so the last one or two wraps are comprised of barbs that are just getting fluffy (marabou-ish). this is not really important but it should give a bit more motion to the fly in the water. I wrap this hackle to be twice as dense as the hackle over the body. Tie off and trim where shown.
Tie in a guinea fowl or mallard breast feather by the tip, then before you wrap it, fold the barbs ( Folding hackle
) then wrap forward two wraps. Tie off and trim.
there are a number of suggestions for this next step. I like to use a soft toothbrush and a shallow dish of water. Get your fingers wet, then start to stroke the barbs down between your thumb and index finger. Keep your fingers wet and then use the toothbrush to brush the fibres so they look well groomed.
This next step is a painful one to learn. There is a sweet spot in the bronze mallard feather...I have yet to find it...exactly.
I trim about 3/16 of an inch wide slip off of a feather from each feather. The come in opposing pairs so one from each side so to speak.
Handle them as little as possible, they should lie like this.
Take the matching slips as one, then lay them on top of the fly so the tips of the wings are either even of barely extending past the hook bend.
Lay them down so that they are overlapping each other by about 1/3 the width. It is hard to describe exactly and there are several ways tyers like to create the wing. I like to overlap one slightly over the other then lay it on the hook. Job done!
Tie the wing down with three or four good firm wraps and then trim the excess. Create the head, whip and varnish.
1. Fold your main hackle before wrapping. Using the method in a link I have provided where you tie in the Guinea fowl will make life easier.
2. When you are finishing up the fly and your hackle is all stroked into place you will see some fibres that do not stay down. Just trim them off.
3. When you are going to tie in the wing, make sure there is not a big transition from the "head to be" location and the body of the fly. The shallower the angle the nicer your wing will lay and it will keep it from splitting when you tie it down.
I hope this makes it a little less murky. If you have any questions please PM me. If you catch a fish on it please let me know.....Kerry