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  1. #1
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    Default Flies for AK. Salmon & Steelhead Fishing

    I have amended this thread to Salmon & Steelhead, because it is true that every fly on this thread will catch salmon. This thread is open for all of our members to post pictures and tying recipes for their favorite steelhead fly patterns. It is my intention to build a simple scroll down type of pattern list here.The flies we will post to this thread are more of the Pacific North West variety but then this the AK. forum thus the title of the thread. Please don't forget to include the tying recipe so others can use it.

    [Note] This thread will be for member tied submissions so do not post links to other web sites. Postings with links will be removed. Please do not post comments to the thread; it is for submitting 'Your' steelhead fly pictures and recipes. If you would like to make comments post to the AK. General Discussion forum. Thank you for your cooperation and participation here.

    I'll open this thread with a pair of related ties. Both of which are borrowed from the old North Eastern Streamer pattern the Nine Three. I made a few tweaks to the tying recipe about ten years ago and have since then called them 'Ard's Nine Three' in order to inform the viewer that they are not the original pattern. Since moving to Alaska these flies have been my single best producer for steelhead and rainbow trout!


    Ard's Nine Three; feather wing streamer style



    Recipe;

    Hook: Long shank ring or ball eye streamer hook size 2 - 6
    Tag: Flat silver tinsel
    Butt: Black ostrich
    Body: Flat silver tinsel, I like the old metal type for the weight factor
    Throat: Sparse white buck tail hair
    Wings: Two Olive saddles over which are two black saddles tied upright
    Shoulder topping: Black crystal flash tied on both sides of fly, long
    Cheeks: Jungle cock

    Below: Ard's Nine Three Spey Dress;



    Tying recipe;

    Hook: A.J. Steelhead iron size 3
    Tag: Flat silver tinsel
    Butt: Black ostrich
    Body: Flat metallic silver tinsel ribbed with oval silver tinsel
    Wing: Paired slips of goose shoulder feather dyed olive green
    Collar: Goose shoulder bleach burned and dyed jet black wound spey style
    Cheeks: Jungle cock
    Last edited by Ard; 10-26-2013 at 05:41 PM. Reason: Amend content

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  3. #2
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    Default Ard Stetts Patterns;

    It looks like I had better prime the pump a little. Here is a sweet little number to show to the fish. This fly is the sister of the Alaskan Lady. The flies in this section are my own patterns. This is what I cast.

    The Redhead;
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying Recipe;

    Hook: A.J. Steelhead iron size #3
    Tag: Flat Gold tinsel
    Body: Dubbed with blended opossum, claret & black
    Rib: Heavy French braid gold, ribbed over all; tag and body
    Hackle: Goose shoulder feather bleach burned and dyed rusty red (Rite Dye)
    Wing: An under-wing of polar bear or similar white hair, veiled with brown mallard flank
    Head: Finished with bright red / orange lacquer paint

    Alaskan Lady

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: AJ Steelhead Iron size three
    Tag: Flat silver tinsel
    Tail: Gold pheasant crest dyed crimson
    Body: Bone white silk or rayon floss
    Rib: Silver oval French twist tinsel
    Hackle: Bleached goose shoulder feather
    Wing: Polar Bear
    Cheeks: Jungle cock
    Head: Black thread





    The Spey Ghost;

    Another fly that has a very slim silhouette when on the swing. Having had good luck with a standard Gray Ghost on the spring run fish I morphed one to make it a little more interesting in the vise. The tie has proven as effective as the feather wing original thus far.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Your choice, I use either Partridge or Jackson in a #2
    Thread: Black 08
    Tag: Flat silver tinsel
    Body: Orange floss ribbed with first a palmer dk. blue dunn hackle and over-wound with oval silver tinsel or wire
    Belly: White buck tail or polar bear if you have it. I place a golden pheasant crest under the hair for aesthetic value only
    Wing: Two matched slips of dyed gray goose shoulder feather topped with golden pheasant if you like
    Hackle: Burnt goose dyed as blue dunn tied long as the hook to provide a nice sweeping profile when wet
    Cheeks: Jungle cock eyes secured in a downward fashion, your preference
    Head: Black

    Crimson Knight; an attractor pattern for fresh run steelhead/trout.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon
    Thread: Black
    Tag: Flat gold tinsel
    Tip Crimson silk or floss extending forward a bit long
    Body: rear half a blend of dark crimson and black opossum or similar, front half is black opossum dubbed thicker and picked out
    Ribbing: A palmered scarlet red hackle over-wound with gold oval tinsel or wire
    Hackle: Jet black goose shoulder, or your choice of spey hackle in black
    Wing: As a topping over the hackle place a matched pair of jungle cock cape feathers


    The Amber Knight; a variation of the crimson pattern also a good attractor for swinging the swift lies.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon
    Thread: Black
    Tag: Silver French twist tinsel (fine)
    Tip: Amber silk or floss wound long
    Body: Rear is amber dubbing fur, front is a blend of black with strands from Estaz chenille mixed in
    Ribbing: A golden saddle hackle palmered and over-wound with oval silver tinsel or wire
    Hackle: Jet black goose shoulder or your choice of spey hackle
    Wing: As a topping over the hackle place a matched pair of jungle cock cape feathers


    Tomahawk; you no doubt know about the many egg ties that are out there and will notice that I don't include any. I'm a hard head about what I tie to the end of my leader. The next two patterns are designed for medium depth waters where you need to skim the bottom but eschew using split shot. The wire bodies will get the flydown nicely.

    Tomahawk;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: AJ steelhead iron #3 or #4 single salmon
    Thread: Black
    Tag: Gold tinsel
    Tip: Black floss or silk
    Butt: Peacock herl
    Body: Wound tightly with medium copper wire at the front of which build a shoulder of peacock herl
    Wing: Matched pair of golden pheasant tail slips
    Collar: Hackle is burnt mallard dyed brown

    The Knife;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Hook: AJ steelhead iron #3
    Tag: Claret floss, lacquered to provide strength
    Butt: Black ostrich
    Body: Medium silver wire
    Hackle: Burnt goose shoulder dyed red
    Wing: Black goose shoulder sections

    A pair of Highlander variations

    Some flies just belong in your box or wallet and whether you fish Atlantic's, Pacific's or those big lakes inbetween you ought to have a few Green Highlanders just for the heck of it. There's nothing like tying on a classic and lett'en er swing.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon #2 - 6
    Tag: Oval silver tinsel
    Tip: Golden floss
    Tail: Golden pheasant crest
    Butt: Black ostrich
    Body: Rear half golden floss, front is dubbed olive fur and palmered with an olive hackle
    Ribbing: Oval silver tinsel over all tying in the palmered olive hackle
    Under wing: A pair of Golden pheasent tippets
    Collar: Very sparse but long chartreuse green spey hackle
    Wing / Topping: A sparse mix of drab olive and yellow buck tail hair

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon #2 - 6
    Tag: Flat narrow silver tinsel
    Tail: Golden pheasant chrest
    Body: Rear is golden yellow floss, front is dubbed with bright green wool and palmered with a lemon yellow hackle
    Ribbing: Oval silver tinsel over the palmered hackle on front only
    Under wing: A pair of golden pheasant tippets
    Wing: Sparse yellow buck tail topped with sparse Monga Ring tail dyed bright green


    The Stranger;

    Here the steelhead trout feeds on salmon fry while in the rivers and brown black combos are always in style. This fly is suggestive of numerous prey forms the big trout feed on.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon, 1.5 is a nice size
    Thread: black
    Tag: Flat Gold tinsel
    Tail: Dyed GP crest, claret red
    Body: Rear two thirds chocolate brown floss, front is dubbed light brown wool & palmered with a claret hackle
    Rib: Narrow oval gold tinsel is wound over all tying down the palmered hackle
    Wing: A pair of jet black goose shoulder sections
    Hackle: Rich brown spey hackle, your choice


    Beowulf;

    Another of my wire body low water patterns. I hate to cast a split shot and the copper takes the fly down perfectly when fished on a floating line.


    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon #2 - 6
    Tag: Flat gold tinsel
    Tip: Black floss
    Tail: Gold GP crest
    Butt: Black ostrich
    Body: Rear two thirds wound copper wire, Front is heavy peacock herl palmered with a Lt. blue dunn hackle
    Wing: Golden Pheasant tail sections
    Hackle: Lt. blue dunn spey hackle; Note this hackle is a bit short for the hook but will surfice.


    The Bush Doctor;

    Definitely an attractor pattern, this is the Alaskan relative of the Atlantic salmon fly, Silver Doctor. Not a bad fly for Pacific Silver Salmon either.



    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon #3
    Thread: Black
    Tag: Flat silver tinsel
    Tip: Doctor blue floss
    Butt: Dyed ostrich, red
    Body: Wide flat silver tinsel ribbed with oval silver tinsel
    Hackle: Silver Doctor blue spey hackle
    Wing: Silver Fox body hair
    Head: Switch to 05 red silk and finish with multiple coats of lacquerer to achieve a beautiful garnet like finish


    The Cooper Creek;

    I have tied and fished both the Rail Bird and the Improved Governor for steelhead and trout for years. Last season I morphed those patterns to form the Cooper Creek. The fly took several rainbow and some plump Dolly Varden just upstream of the area where its namesake 'Cooper Creek' flows into the Kenai River. I look forward to further testing this season.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Steelhead Iron #3
    Thread: Black
    Tag: Gold French braid tinsel
    Tip: Actually the rear half of the hook shank, claret floss ribbed with oval gold French tinsel
    Tail: Amherst pheasant crest at the mid point where the long tip meets the front body material
    Body: Front section built with 4 peacock herls, these are palmered with a Lt. brown spey hackle and ribbed with heavy gold French tinsel
    Wing: 5 or 6 peacock herls
    Collar:A long deep red saddle hackle
    Shoulders: A pair of jungle cock eyes are mounted with a distinct upward angle giving the little fly a perky appearance


    The Coburn Special; Here's another Atlantic pattern that found it's way North West. I use a little different approach than the East Coast version but the similarities are obvious. This is another dual purpose fly that I have caught both trout and Pacific Silver Salmon on the tie.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon #2 - 6
    Thread: Black
    TAg: Fine oval silver tinsel or wire
    Body: Chartreuse floss with a waist joint of black ostrich herl
    Wing: I have used Black Bear hair
    Hackle: Spey hackle your choice in chartreuse


    KISS Gray Spey; Keeping it simple sometimes is the best approach. I like to be able to show a fish a bunch of colors, however if they are not impressed with the flashy stuff some basic earth tones help to round out the offerings.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying:

    Hook: Single salmon #2 - 6
    Tail: A little puff of gray marabou
    Body: Gray wool with a waist joint of gray spey hackle at the mid point of the body
    Rib: In front of the waist I wrap black tinsel just to satisfy my urge to complicate things, skip it if you like
    Wing: Two black hackle tips
    Hackle: Gray spey hackle
    Your done, and they work well on rainy days.


    Rail Bird;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Short shank having a wide bend, this is a size 4 but I tie down to an 8 on these for low water
    Tail: A long Amherst pheasant crest or hackle tip in claret red
    Body: Red silk ribbed with a palmered claret hackle
    WIng: Grey Fox body hair or similar
    Collar: Lemmon yellow saddle hackle tied back
    Cheeks: The ever popular Jungle Cock


    Little Olive Spey: I've been tying these awhile and have always created many original patterns. Here's a circa 1985 fly in unused condition from one of my boxes. I tied these for Great Lakes steelhead summer fishing on the Salmon River of New York.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: single salmon #8
    Tag: Flat gold tinsel
    Butt: Generous wind of two peacock herls
    Body: Olive green floss palmered with olive spey hackle and ribbed with fine gold wire to secure the hackle
    Wing: mMatched golden badger hackle tips
    Head: Olive silk


    Another KISS Patern, Brown Spey;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook Single salmon #2 - 6
    Thread: Black
    Tag: Flat copper tinsel
    Tip: Olive floss
    Body: Olive Leach Yarn palmered with a dyed (brown) mallard flank feather
    Rib: Embossed copper tinsel over all and securing the palmered duck feather
    Hackle: Collar it with a long fibered mallard flank feather dyed brown. Hint, burn yours better than I did this one and you will get better action in the water
    Last edited by Ard; 01-03-2014 at 01:38 AM. Reason: Adding pattern

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  5. #3
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    Default Some More Well Known Patterns;

    If you have not read the text of the first post to this thread, please do. I am working on a thread that will supply us with a scroll down fly pattern catalog and would welcome the help of members. You can post a pattern and then continue to add patterns to that post forming your own group of patterns in the catalog. Here is an old favorite for steelhead.

    The Green Butt Skunk; spey dress

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: #4 single salmon
    Thread: Black
    Tag: Flat silver tinsel
    Tip: Light green floss ribbed with flat silver tinsel
    Tail: A bunch of red hackle fibers
    Body: Black dubbing (choice) palmered with a black saddle hackle and ribbed with heavy oval silver tinsel
    Collar: Guinea hackle
    Wing: White Skunk hair


    Umpqua Special;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: #2 single salmon
    Thread: Black
    Tail: White buck tail
    Body: Rear half yellow wool or spun fur, front half red wool or fur
    Rib: Flat silver tinsel
    Wing: white & red buck tail stacked
    Collar: Medium brown hackle tied back


    Skykomish Sunrise; Everyone has heard of this one and you should tie some.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon #2
    Tail: Orange & yellow hackle barbs, stacked
    Body: Reddish orange wool, chenille, or spun fur ribbed with heavy gold tinsel
    Wing: White buck tail or Polar Bear
    Collar: Orange and yellow hackles wound in that order, orange first.
    Head: Red


    White Wing Akroyd; a difficult tie but the pattern has proven itself as a producer. It does lend a finishing touch to the steelhead box.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying:

    Hook: I use a #3 steelhead Iron here
    Thread: Black
    Tag: Flat gold tinsel long
    Tail: A bunch of golden pheasant tippet fibers over which is a gold pheasant crest
    Butt: Black ostrich
    Body: Rear, lemon yellow dubbing, front is black dubbing
    Ribbing: Wrap the front (black) body with a black spey hackle then wrap a heavy oval gold tinsel over the whole body
    Collar: Long mallard flank
    Cheeks: Jungle cock angling down a bit as shown
    Wing: Over all is a white pair of quill slips turkey or goose


    Freight Train;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon Partridge #4
    Thread: Black
    Tail: Dyed purple hackle fibers
    Body: Rear is split (half orange floss half red floss), front is black chenille
    Rib: Medium oval silver tinsel
    Hackle: Purple hackle tied down
    Wing: White calf tail


    While I have a handfull of those purple feathers handy..................

    Signal Light Spey;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: I use a Jackson #3 Steelhead Iron, these are about the same size as a Partridge #4 but heavier.
    Tag: Flat silver
    Body: Rear = orange floss, Mid = yellow floss, Front = black chenille
    Rib: Over the two floss sections with narrow oval in silver
    Hackle: Palmer the chenille with three turns of a purple spey feather, then wind two turns of black marabou as a collar
    Wing: top the fly with 4 matched black hackles as the wing.
    Head: Black


    The Black Herron Spey:


    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: I use a Partridge #4 here
    Body: Rear 2/3 flat silver tinsel (the metallic kind) Front 1/3 is dubbed black seal substitute. Rib it all with oval silver tinsel
    Hackle: Black Heron substitute, collared with Guinea fowl that is tied down as a throat.
    Wing: A pair of black goose quill sections

    Note: The design of this fly is for it to have rather long and flowing hackle fibers. I have used a prepped marabou quill that I dyed and stripped for this dressing. The fly sort of reminds me of one of my original creations 'Ard's Nine Three Spey'. I like the Black Herron and they aren't that hard to tie so go for it.


    Sol Duc Spey; Glasso pattern

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: #2 single spey
    Body; Rear half orange floss, Front half orange spun fur or dubbing of choice, this is spun fur.
    Rib: Flat silver tinsel followed with a yellow spey hackle, then with oval tinsel to help secure hackle
    Collar: Black saddle hackle
    Wing: Four matched hackle tips - orange


    Santiam Spectrum;


    [IMG][/IMG]

    Here is another tied more full; these have been catching some nice Char for me here.



    Tying;

    Hook: AJ. #2
    Tag: Half silver, half gold, flat tinsel
    Body: Rear is red floss, front is dark purple dubbed hair, your choice
    Ribbing: Flat gold counter wrapped with oval tinsel
    Hackle: Purple spey feather
    Collar: Purple saddle with Teal flank
    Under wing: 2 strands each of red, pink, and orange floss
    Wing: Brown mallard flank

    Good luck with that, I don't find these easy to tie.
    Last edited by Ard; 09-06-2013 at 07:40 PM.

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  7. #4
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    Default The Coal Car

    Another established pattern for steelhead and salmon. Many of the flies in the steelhead thread are in fact dual purpose flies when applied to Silver Salmon. The silvers are very likely to hit a fly that is swung near and this is one of them. Not my best effort at tying a fly but it is new and gives the general idea of the look when in the vise.

    Coal Car

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Single salmon #2 - 6, here I have a size 5
    Tail: Black hackle barbs
    Body: Bright pink with a small bright red behind a build of black chenille
    Ribbing: Oval silver
    Wing: A few strands of black Krystal Flash topped with black squirrel tail, (note) I use Black Bear here
    Collar: A black hackle tied back
    Head: Black, try to make it a little neater than mine here

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    Default The Flesh Fly

    All over Alaska when the salmon stream into the rivers and creeks a contingent of really large Rainbow Trout seem to tag along. Are these really steelhead or simply big trout that dwell somewhere that keeps them safe from hook or view until their sea faring cousins come home to spawn? Some of my fishing grounds are way to close to the salt for me to believe that these trout have never tasted it, but does it really matter? As the salmon die off and pieces of meat are drifting in the channels this will attract the steelhead / trout for you as well as an egg. The one in my picture is used and has caught fish.

    For late summer and fall fishing drifting one of these will bring more than one fish to shore. I try to keep them bouncing the bottom in deep runs and fish high stick style in shallow ones. Remember, Dead Drift like an egg.

    The Flesh Fly

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tying;

    Hook: Long shank streamer hook or single salmon sizes 1 - 6
    Tail: A large bunch of red hackle fibers or red yarn or red bunny strip
    Body: I wrap 10 turns of lead wire before dressing with lightly bleached brown bunny fur
    Head: Tan mono cord with lacquer
    (Note) you can find bunny strips at your fly shop or order them. You need not mess around bleaching your own.

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    Default Steve's Green Butt;

    A pattern created by Steve Burk of Washington state and added to my box as soon as I discovered it. My renditions are a little fuller in the hackle than those of the originator. Steve is a dedicated steel-header with a knack for developing good ties.

    Steve's Green Butt;



    Tie it;

    Hook: Partridge #4 single
    Tag: Medium flat silver
    Body: Rear is Chartreuse chenille, Front is black chenille
    Hackle: That is a rump feather from a ring neck pheasant, palmered on the front quarter of the black chenille
    Rib: Flat silver over the black front section and over the feather quill to protect from teeth
    Wing: Natural bronze mallard
    [Tying tip] Be sure to lacquerer the butt of that mallard wing or they will come off during use
    Last edited by Ard; 08-30-2013 at 04:45 PM.

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    Default Thunder & Lightning;

    Another pattern many of us have heard of but perhaps not seen lately. This fly is more commonly tied with a long orange throat and brown buck tail for the wing. I have accentuated the orange here and minimized the brown by using turkey for the wing. I like the long flowing hair like feathers and fish like orange.

    Thunder & Lightning;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tie one;

    Hook: This is a size three
    Tag: Flat silver
    Tail: I use two gold pheasant crest
    Body: Black wool yarn or spun fur
    Hackle: I start an orange spey hackle on the shoulder area of the body and wind forward finishing it as a collar
    Rib: Medium French Braid (easy to work with) in silver
    Wing: Dark molted turkey or brown buck tail, choice
    Cheeks: Jungle cock, I angle these down like little peck fins

    Thunder & Lightning conventional pattern tie;

    This is the original pattern showing the buck tail wing and hackle throat.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tie one;
    Hook: Single salmon size 4 here
    Tag: Flat silver
    Tail: G.P. crest
    Body: Black spun fur or yarn this is spun fur shown
    Rib: I use French Braid in silver, pattern calls for flat silver but.......
    Throat: A bunch of long soft hackle barbs in orange
    Wing: Brown buck tail
    Cheek: J.C.
    Last edited by Ard; 04-22-2010 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Adding another fly;

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    Default Thor steelhead version;

    A true dual purpose fly for Salmon & Trout; for Steelhead / Trout fishing I like a slightly smaller hook thus a smaller fly. This is not to say that the fish will not slam a large fly but sometimes smaller is better. The Daiichi Alec Jackson hooks run smaller than their cousins in the standard salmon and steelhead hook lines. This fly is tied on a size three but would be comparable to a #6 in some single salmon irons.

    Thor;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tie one;

    Hook: Daiichi 2055 #3 gold
    Tail: Red wool yarn / per Franks preference
    Body: Claret yarn or dubbing, I dub this body and build to suite
    Hackle: A nice full Dk. Brown saddle hackle as a collar and swept back a bit
    Wing: White calf tail

    [Note:] You may notice that I make little distinction between trout and steelhead when writing about the applications of a fly. This stems from the fact that many of the indigenous rainbow trout visit the Ocean Inlets and grow to a very large size. Whether or not they are actually a pure genetic steelhead makes little difference when you hook into a trout having the same proportions as a Coho Salmon, this is my rational.

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    Default Sunshine Su;

    By now you have guessed that I just make this up as I go. I tie flies and then each year I go to see what will catch a fish. This tie is meant to be fished in the riffles and I know right where to test it. I understand that not all our members have either all the materials that I use in some of my creations or have reached the level of tying where these would be fun to produce. I post them to the list to inspire you to experiment and expand your fly tying horizons. I hope it's working.

    Sunshine Su;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Tie it;

    Hook: I use Partridge Bartleet #4 here
    Tag: Flat gold tinsel
    Tip: Claret floss long
    Tail: Crest feather of an Amherst Pheasant
    Butt; Black ostrich
    Mid body: Orange yellow floss
    Front body: Dark claret dubbing
    Hackle: A bright yellow spey hackle palmered over the claret dubbing and collared back
    Ribbing: Medium French Braid silver over the mid body and covering the feather quill for strength
    Throat: Very dark red / claret hackle fibers long and soft
    Wing: Golden Pheasant tail matched sections

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    Default Chester's Spey ;

    The first acquaintance I made while fishing for steelhead really liked my streamer 'The Grand Laker' so I made a couple for Chester. When I started to use more of a soft hackle 'Spey' style on some of the flies I Incorporated the color concepts of the feather wing streamers that were productive. The results are seen in the flies that are posted here, (the ones you've never heard of) here is another.

    Chester's Spey;

    [IMG][/IMG]

    How to;

    Hook: I use gold or bronze #5
    Tag: Fine gold French Braid tinsel
    Tip: Burnt orange floss
    Butt: Olive Ostrich herl
    Body: Olive brown floss
    Ribbing: First a rib of burnt orange floss followed by the fine French Braid, these are wound over the stem of the hackle also
    Hackle: A brown spey hackle
    Throat: Olive hackle collared and tied down to form the throat
    Wing: Bronzed mallard
    Cheek: J.C.

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