Here’s the last pattern in Tom’s book; a Dee style pattern called the Jock O’Dee.
The name of the fly derives from the yellow/black body, the silver tinsel tag and the GP topping/Indian Crow tail; which are all similar to those on the Jock Scott built wing pattern. And that’s where the similarities stop. Everything else; particularly the placement of the wing strips, is different.
Dee flies are generally tied on large, heavy hooks (irons); the normal size hook being in the range of 1 ½-2 ½” or a #2 up to a #5/0. I tied mine on a #1 because I had a new hook that I wanted to try; a return eye Salmon style hook, but one with a much flatter eye, making it look more like a gut-eyed iron than what you find on hooks like the Partridge Bartleet CS10/1.
Here’s the step-by step. This pattern is similar to the Spey pattern in complexity, but I took a lot of pics of the steps and, therefore, I have to post it in two sections, due to restrictions on the number of pics that can be put into a single post.
So, body first:
1. Here’s the new hook. I really like it. I got it as a demo from John McLain at FeathersMC back in the late Fall. It’s simply labeled “Dave’s new hook”. I hope Dave keeps making them!
2. Thread the hook to the back. Then, tie in the small oval silver tinsel with 4 flattened wraps and form the butt with 6-8 turns of tinsel. Tie off the tinsel with 3-4 wraps.
3. Now, select a Golden Pheasant topping, prepare it by stripping the excess barbs off the feather and tie it in upside down with 4-5 flattened wraps.
4. Next, tie in an Indian Crow sub feather on top of the GP topping; tie it in flat with 3-4 flattened wraps. [Note: I let the Indian Crow feather sit hard on the GP topping; Dee style patterns are generally elongated and I decided to get some extra length out of this pattern by extending the tail outward way past the bend. It's just a personal choice.]
5. Now, form the underbody. I use white Uni Stretch; tied in at the head, and wound flat down to the tail bulge, then back up to the head and tied off.
You can smooth up the underbody with a burnisher, if you want to. You want to keep the body very thin, because that is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Dee style flies.
6. Now wind your flattened thread back to the tail and tie in the medium oval silver tinsel on the underside of the hook.
7. Next, tie in the flat silver tinsel on the underside of the hook; just in front of the oval tinsel. [Note: if you’re using flat gold/silver mylar tinsel, remember silver side up – wraps silver; gold side up – wraps gold.]
8. Next, tie in the yellow floss at a point 2/5th back from the eye, using 4 flattened wraps. Wind the floss down to the tail and then back up to the tie-in point using butt wraps. Tie it off with 4 flattened wraps, cut off the floss waste ends and bury them with 3 more flattened wraps.
9. Now, wrap the silver tinsel up the hook three times. At this point, turn the fly upside down and mark the underbody with a pen just behind the spot where the 3rd wrap meets the body on the bottom of the hook. Next, prepare a Spey hackle substitute, just the same way that you did for the Green King, by folding the hackle and stripping the barbs off the side the will be facing forward when the feather is tied in. Tie the feather in by the base, using 5-7 flattened wraps.
10. Next, wind your flattened thread back to the head and tie in the black floss with 3 flattened wraps. Wind the floss down the hook to the point where the yellow floss starts, then wind it back to the tie in point and tie it off with 4 flattened wraps. [Note: be careful in this and the next two steps not to trap any of the Spey hackle fibers with either the floss or the tinsels.]
11. Next, wind the flat silver tinsel up the hook to the head and tie it off with 3 flattened wraps.
12. Then, wind the oval silver tinsel up the hook; behind the flat tinsel and tie it off at the head with 3 flattened wraps.
13. Now, carefully wind the Spey hackle up the hook, following the tinsel wraps and tie it off at the head with 4-5 flattened wraps.
14. Pull the Spey hackle barbs diagonally down towards the hook point and pinch them into place with your right thumb and index finger (if you’re a right handed tyer).
15. Next, prepare a Widgeon feather for the throat; the same way that you did for the Green King Spey fly, by folding the hackle and preparing the tip for a tie-in. Tie the Widgeon in just behind the end of the Spey hackle and wrap it 2-3 times around the hook in the forward direction, keeping the barbs flowing back as you wind. Then, tie it off with 4 flattened wraps.
16. Next, pull down and pinch the Widgeon hackle barbs into place, the same way that you did the Spey hackle and change to black thread.
Here’s the follow-on step-by-step for the wing of this pattern. I’m simply going to pick up with the step after the last one in the previous post.
The wing on Dee patterns is set up differently than on either the classic featherwing Salmon flies or the Spey flies, in that it’s mounted relatively flat on the top of the hook. There are many theories for why this is so. One of them says that horizontal mounting lets the wing slips “breathe” in and out (move toward the body / move away from the body) as the fly swims through the water. There are others.
Here's the wing:
17. Start with two Cinnamon Turkey feathers; one right side and one left; or a good central feather. [Note: you can also tie this pattern with white wings, just like you can the Akroyd Dee pattern.]
18. Cut the feathers at the point where the barbs are as long as possible and where the edges are in good condition. Then determine the size of the wing slips that you want and cut each feather again, at that point; giving you a “V-section “of feather from which to fashion your wing slips.
19. Cut off the part of each V-section that you don’t want, leaving the stem attached to the part that you do want. This keeps your barbs from moving around while you’re mounting them and tying them in.
20. Before I go any further, I want to let you know that I cut back across the grain of classic Dee pattern wing mounting on the fly that I tyed. Rather than seeking to have both wing slips meet on the centerline of the hook, I crossed my wing slips in an “X” shape on the top of the hook. It’s not classic, but I like the appearance. So, if you want to tie in the wing slips in the classic manner, then follow the instructions in Tom’s book. If not, then here’s how I tied them in:
First, tie in the far-side slip on the top of the hook. First, hold the slip in place where you want it on the top of the hook with your left thumb or forefinger. Then, use a soft loop to get all the way around the slip and slowly tighten down, pinching the barbs together on the hook, by pulling the thread up (not down). Put on 2 more wraps, release the slip and see if you like it’s location. If you do, then take another wrap or two; if not, then unwind the thread and start over again. [Note: Turkey slips marry together very well and they’re pretty tough, so don’t worry if you have to set and mount your far side wing several times.]
Then, mount your near-side slip right on top of the far-sides slip; using exactly the same process.
[Note: Different tyers mount their wing slips in different orientations; Tom’s slips were relatively wide apart at the tips. Others tie them in so that the tips just touch each other on the top center of the hook. See what you like best and tie them in that way; there are no hard and fast rules. I used a close to the midline orientation.]
Here’s a view from the side:
And here’s one from the top:
21. Once you’re happy with the placement of the wings, cut off the waste ends of both slips on a slant; so that the part of the slip that’s toward the center of the hook is slightly longer, bind down the waste ends and start to form your head with tying thread.
22. Finish off the head and secure it with 2-3 half hitches or a good whip finish. Coat the head with head cement (I useSHAAN) and you have your finished fly.
From the top:
And from the side:
That’s the completed Jock O'Dee pattern!
It’s also the conclusion of the Salmon Fly Tie-Along.
For those of you who stayed with it to the end and tyed up all the patterns, I hope that it was fun for you, it certainly was for me! And for those who stayed with the thread, but may not have posted their flies, I hope that you got the information and techniques that you were looking for. As I said in the first post, I’m far from being a Salmon fly tying instructor, but I wanted to get these patterns under my belt for two reasons; 1. I think that they’re among the most interesting of all flies and 2. I think that what you learn tying more difficult patterns carries over to the less difficult ones and improves your overall fly tying skills.
I also want to thank Tom, posthumously, for putting together a book in the early 1900’s that teaches what I think are all of the essential basics for tying up Salmon flies. If you’ve tied up a grub, a strip-wing (March Brown), a whole wing (Black Ranger), a married wing (Silver Doctor), a built wing (Jock Scott), a Spey (Green King) and a Dee (Jock O’Dee), then you’ve at least have been exposed to what most of featherwing Salmon fly tying is all about.
And thanks to all of you for taking this journey with me. I hope that you have the opportunity to fish your new flies, soon!
I got to thinking about the way that I tied in the wings on my Jock O’Dee pattern and the more I thought about it the more it bothered me. As I said in the step-by-step, it works for me, but it’s not the correct way to do it.
So, here’s the correct way.
I tied these wings in on a flossed and ribbed body, but I did not go back and re-tie the pattern. I used red for the body because everything seems to stand out well against red in a photo. Use this technique and you’ll be tying a true Dee style wing.
1. After the body is complete, take two paired Cinnamon Turkey wing slips, with the stems still attached, (just like in Step # 19 above) and form them into the shape that you want for your wing. Then hold the far wing slip against the side of the body. Now, put your thumb on the top of the hook and put your index finger under the slip and against the hook, and move the inner edge of the far slip to a position in the middle of the hook. Press down with your thumb and index finger; this will be your “post” for mounting the far side slip. Next, put a soft loop around the far side slip and compress the barbs by pulling the thread slowly upwards; not towards you. Put on another soft loop and tighten it down the same way as the first. Then, remove your thumb and index finger and check the placement of the far side slip. If it looks good, the take 2 more tight wraps [Note: be sure that you’re using flattened thread when you compress the slip; otherwise your thread can act like a knife and cut the barbs as you tighten the thread down.]
2. Now, mount the near-side wing slip exactly the same way. This time, it will be easier, because the inner edge of the far side slip acts as a post or stop against which to tighten down the near side slip.
3. Next, cut off the waste ends of both slips on a slant; so that they form an arrow pointed at the hook eye.
4. Finally, form you head with tying thread and coat it with head cement; like SHHAN. Here’s the finished wing from the top:
And from the side:
Now you’ve got the correct way to mount these Dee style wings.
As always, post or PM me with any questions or comments.
Beautiful tie. I am way behind now, but plan to get these last two done. I haven't tied any since I last talked to you. I have been busy doing yard work before it gets too hot to do some of this stuff.
Finally got my camera back so here goes, I have to admit I never follow recipes. The wing got a tad squirrelly but I don't sweat it cause if you're fishing these flies about the 6th cast the wing blows apart and if you ask me I think it looks better. The head got bigger than I would've liked but a few turns of Ostrich herl gave it a decent look. I don't like using floss too much so I used Mohair for the body and the pic doesn't show but the flat embossed silver is followed by oval gold. The hackle is grey schlappen and throat is teal. My GP head is getting sparse in the crest area so I used three of the smaller feathers to get a look I'm happy with. Here's a few angles it may be no prize winner but its a fisher!
This was alot of fun and I want to thank Pocono for setting this all up, I can imagine all the work put into it and kudos are due!
Ard that is awesome!!!! Don't sweat the wing at they really dont last that long anyway. But I really dig that it looks mean and ready for action. Wait till you see them in the water blown wing and all, makes you wonder who really came up with the intruder! By the way is that a Bartleet hook, I really like the bend at the barb.
If any of you liked the hook that I tied the Dee pattern on, then here's the information on who makes them.
It turns out that "Dave's new hook" is made by Dave McNeese in Oregon. They're sold under the name Blue Heron hooks. Not inexpensive, but I like them better than the Partridge Bartleet CS10/1 hooks for longer Spey and Dee patterns.
Frank, Thanks for the information; you're right, that accounts for the steep price. I still like the hook, though.
Kelly, Good for you - that will work! If you're using a Partridge Bartleet CS10/1 hook in a #6, then the Spey and the Dee patterns are going to be challenging, since they're made to be tyed on much longer hooks. You can either try to get some 1/0 hooks, or you can try to use only the very tip portion of your hackles for hackling the body. I always struggle with getting hackles that are narrow enough to tie in on smaller hooks. But what you've got on the fly now will give you a great streaming effect in the water, which is one of the things that these Spey patterns are know for. Some people I know use lots of that old winging standby, saliva, to coax their mallard wings into position! Duck flank feathers; from any type of duck, are definitely not my favorite material to work with!
Ard my have some pointers for all of us on how to work with and tie in mallard flank feathers.
Allan, the reason I used the smaller hook is because my hackle is very short, although quite long. If I used a longer hook, which I have...then I would run out of hackle. I am toying with the idea of trying it again, on a larger hook. But I think my first fly is the one that made me decide that my hackle was not long enough. I have either a 1 or a 1/0 hook. Someone gave me this hackle, and I have it in a gray, and a purple color. That is all the spey hackle I have. I may try this again today, not sure. Now I have the Picket Pin to do today too. I will see how it goes. I also have that other Salmon fly to tie, I am way behind...lol. I may go fishing this afternoon, I haven't fished in ages now. Depends on the weather...