The Silver Doctor - Step-by-Step - The Body
As described by T. Pryce-Tannatt in his book: How to Dress Salmon Flies: A Handbook for Amateurs.
Here’s the step-by-step for the body of the Silver Doctor pattern.
This is also a pattern ascribed to James Wright; who was apparently one very prolific Salmon Fly pattern developer; both the Ranger whole wing series and the Doctor married wing series come to us from this Scotsman. You’ll see that there’s a lot in common between this pattern and the last one; the Silver Nurse; which will help with the tying, since the Doctor is the more complex pattern, when it comes to the wing.
1. I tied this pattern on a #1/0 hook. First, thread the hook, tie in the small silver twist and form the tinsel portion of the tag with 4-6 turns of the material. Tie off the tinsel with 3-4 flattened wraps.
2. Tie in the lemon floss to form the silk portion of the tag, wind it down to the tinsel and back to the tie-in point with edge-top-edge wraps. Tie it off with 3- flattened wraps of thread. You can burnish the tag floss, if you want to get it nice and smooth.
3. Select a Golden Pheasant topping, strip off the barbs that you don’t plan to use and tie it in upside down at the front edge of the floss tag with 5-6 flattened wraps.
4. Tie in the Kingfisher back feather flat; horizontally /not vertically, on the hook with the good side facing up. Use 3-4 flattened wraps. [Note: Kingfisher is a sub for Blue Chatterer in this pattern; other Blue Chatterer subs are also fine to use, as is a light blue hackle tip.]
5. Next, for the wool butt (don’t forget this step – like I did last weekend – or you’ll end up untying a lot of your fly while at the same time radically decreasing the complexity of your vocabulary!). You can use almost any red wool. Form the wool into a dubbing mix by cutting it into ¼” pieces and pulling it apart with your fingers (no need to use a blender for this small amount). Dub the thread and take the first wrap right at the tie-in point for the Blue Chatterer sub, the second a little in front of that and the remainder in the middle between the two.
6. Next tie in the medium oval silver tinsel on the backside of the hook. Use 3-4 flattened wraps. Make sure that it is right up against the front end of the wool butt.
7. Then, tie in the medium flat silver tinsel on the bottom of the hook; with the silver side up. This also needs to be tied in so that it’s right up against the front end of the wool butt.
8. Now it’s time to smooth up the body of the fly, to get ready for the flat tinsel. First, advance the tying thread to the front of the hook, using edge-to-edge flattened wraps. At this point, tie in the material that you plan to use to smooth the body. I use white Uni Stretch floss; it’s easy to use, lies nice and flat and lasts forever!) Tie in the floss with 3 flattened wraps.
Wind the floss down to just in front of the butt (to the point where the body is already thicker because of the tying in of the other materials) with edge-to-edge wraps, then wind it forward again to the tie-in point and tie it off with 3-4 flattened wraps. Use a burnishing tool, if you want, to add to the smoothness of the body.
9. Now, with the body smoothed, wind the flat tinsel up the body using slanted edge-to-edge wraps. [Note: I’ve been watching Chris counter-wind ribs and tinsel, so I counter-wound the body, but normally, you would wind both the body and the rib in a clockwise direction.]. Tie it off with 3 flattened wraps.
10. Wind the oval tinsel rib up the body. 5 rib wraps is traditional, but I used 6; whatever number you like is fine. Tie it off with 3 flattened wraps.
11. Next, you want to form the double throat on this pattern. I used a Chinese neck hackle, dyed Silver Doctor Blue for the first throat; the one that’s closest to the bend. Fold the hackle, mount it by the tip and use 3-5 winds of the stem around the hook. Pull the barbs back as you wind in the hackle. Tie it off with 4-5 flattened wraps, then cut off the waste end.
12. In order to make it easier to mount the second throat, pull the barbs diagonally down and toward the point of the hook, then squeeze them around the hook to get them to lie down.
13. Now, tie in the second throat. The pattern calls for Barred Widgeon, but Teal, or even silver/gray Mallard will work. Fold the hackle as above and tie it in by the tip. [ Note: You want to choose the second hackle so that the smallest barb will be longer than the longest barb on the first hackle, so that you get a downward angled throat. I used a large neck hackle for the first throat, so my second one had to be even larger. Both are sized more for a 5/0 hook than for a 1/0, but I like long throats on Salmon flies, so I was OK with this oversize application.]. Take 2-4 wraps and tie it off with 4-5 flattened wraps.
14. Pull the barbs on the second throat down in the same direction as the first, then pinch them in place. Change to black thread and the body of the fly is complete.
That’s if for the body. As I said, a lot like the Silver Nurse pattern. I’ll try to get to the wing done, photo’d and posted next weekend.