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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default SImple & Effective Feather Wing (old school)

    The Light & Dark Spruce have all but disappeared from out nomenclature of flies as well as our leaders. It is true the in almost every instance of life and art the old must give way to the new but I believe by looking at these 2 patterns you may see why I keep some around. The wing feathers produce a most noticeable lateral line (present on many forage fish and the fry of game fish as well) when the fly is wet and sweeping along the currents. These fly patterns date back to 1918 /1919 and were originated in the Pacific North West for Cutthroat Trout harvest. They were originally tied on regular wet fly hooks with the long hackles streaming behind the hook bend. Over the decades that passed fishermen began to conceive of them as proper streamer flies and so lashed the materials to long shank hooks.

    Light Spruce;

    Dark Spruce;

    As you see they are indeed simple;

    Tails: Peacock Sword
    Bodies: Red silk 1/3 and Peacock herl (front 2/3)
    Wings: Golden edged badger for the Light & Furnace for the Dark
    Collars: Collar hackles are matched to the wing and tied back a bit.

    One of the simplest feather wings to tie yet pretty cool when they are finished. I liked these for Brook Trout.

    For the sake of authenticity I will add a third fly; this one tied more in keeping with the original pattern in that it is produced on a short standard wet fly hook having a down turned eye. Along with the fly I'll give you a bit of its history (courtesy of Joseph D. Bates Jr. as sited in his 1979 work "Streamers & Bucktails the Big Fish Flies'.)

    I Paraphrase: In or about 1918 / 19, two brothers name of Godfrey began to use this combination of materials for Pacific Trouts along the Northern Oregon coastal streams. For some time it was known only regionally and known as "The Godfrey Special'. The pattern was passed around and copied by hundreds of tiers and some where along the line it became known as the 'Spruce'. Many variations have been made over all these years but the Light & Dark are the 2 that endured.

    Shown here in the Light variation; the more I look at this I'll bet it would look rather different to a steelhead than the normal offerings.....
    Last edited by Ard; 11-02-2012 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Adding Original Pattern rendiion;

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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