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Pitcroy Fancy Spey From My Vise

Pitcroy Fancy Spey 

Here is a Pitcroy Fancy Spey from my vise. I was privileged to be asked by Salmonfly.Net Contributor Monte Smith to contribute to a Federation of Fly Fishers Spey Plate of the Pitcroy Fancy to be auctioned at the annual Northwest Fly Tyers Expo in 2012. This is one exercise that taught me a few tying skills or reminded me of more that I hope to attain. I have been lucky over many years to watch many Master tyers of full dressed Salmon flies and know how truly skilled they are. I mainly tie fishing flies for trout but love tying and canít help but dabble in all flies for all fish and all waters. I know I will never become a master at this style of tying but I enjoy the art of tying and learning from those who have spent the time to bring their skills to such a peak. I have tied a few Speys and know I need the practice of tying more of them with just a Mallard roof much less this wing. I looked at this Spey and thought it was a good challenge at the vise and a good incentive to sit down and do some long put-off practice at harder to tie flies that I admire.

One of the reasons I am posting one of my better attempts at this fly is to encourage other tyers to attempt things they have thought about but never tried or tried but werenít satisfied with and havenít tried again. I spent approximately 12-16 hours tying 8 flies and making mistakes but I learned a great deal about materials and various techniques. Another 10 or more hours were spent reading wisdom from past and present authors including Kelson, Frodin, Radencich and Salmonfly.Net Contributor Bob Frandsen. ďNothing ventured, nothing gainedĒ applies very well to my adventure in making this fly. I gained a lot in attempting a fly out of my comfort zone in tying. I thank Monte and Salmonfly.Net for inspiration to keep me learning to tie after 50+ years of practice.

Pitcroy Fancy Spey
Pitcroy Fancy Spey


Strombron  Variation

 The Stockholm Flies

Here are my variations of flies that I recently picked up in a remarkable fishing shop in Gamla Stan (Old Town) Stockholm. The place has been catering to fishermen for over a Century. It is a gear shop heaven but also has some flies for the locals as well as wall after wall of almost every plug known to man. I first found this shop 26 years ago on advice from the Stockholm Tourist Information office in downtown. They had one full dress Atlantic Salmon fly for sale in the tourist office but suggested if I really wanted flies to go to the Old Town fishing shop. With minutes to go before closing on a late Saturday afternoon I didnít buy their fly but hurried across town to find this great fishing shop. I made it just in time but had to laugh when I walked up to their fly section. They had no full dress flies but on the wall above their large fly selection they had a Fly Fishermanís Dream trout fly from my youth, tied on about a foot long hook. All their flies were from a supplier about 100 miles from my home in Oregon and looked remarkably familiar. He was located in western Idaho and used to stock flies in hardware and other stores around the northwest and I then I just learned around the world. I am sure many old flyfishers remember these big flies in the old sporting goods departments (before we had fly shops). I saw his huge ties of Royal Coachmen, Black Gnats, White Millers and others on display in the 1950ís and 60ís .

This time on their wall display they had a full dress Gaudy Atlantic Salmon fly tied on a blind eye hook over 2 feet long, but still no classic flies tied for sale. Most of the flies used there now are tube flies standard for Scandinavia. A great book on these flies is Hairwing & Tube Flies for Salmon & Steelhead: A Comprehensive Guide for Anglers & Flytyers by Chris Mann. This time they had a couple of small boxes of local patterns (tied for them now in Africa) under the counter. I love finding the unnamed or local flies in shops. You know the ones! There may be dozens of flies color coded, labeled, and almost filling large commercial fly displays. Then usually near the fringe there are some unknown flies with no label or something hand printed on a piece of tape over an original label for that compartment. I selected three patterns out of the few flies tied on hooks. The first two named flies came out of a box with about six Arctic Fox variations in color tied for different locations in Stockholm. The last one an unnamed fly was kept alone in a single compartment box. The original flies were tied on a straight eye strong carp hook favored both by Swedish Salmon tyers and tube fly fishermen. The closest match I could find for tying my versions on are bait hooks and they are still lighter in comparison.

The more things change the more they remain the same. I also checked out a couple of fishing shops in Norway but I had to chuckle when I walked in to find almost nothing for sale but the huge Plexiglas displays of Umpqua Feather Merchants flies. If Joneís Guide to Norway was written today the classic salmon fly would no doubt be a hair wing tube fly with only a nod for Icelandic trebles and a few European doubles. I guess it shows how lucky we are to live in an area where flies and materials from the northwest inspire other fly fishers around the globe and visa versa. I think these Stockholm flies are very applicable guide type flies that could find some use here among the Salmonfly.Net tiers..

  Stallis Variation
StallisVariation.
Strombron Variation
Strombron Variation
Unnamed  Stockholm Fly Variation
Unnamed Stockholm Fly -Variation
       

 

Bill Lovelace at Albany Exposition

Bill Lovelace really needs no introduction to Salmonfly.Net readers. His contributions to the site are now over 180 flies and articles. His  prolific submissions to these pages  make him a valuable resource not just to Salmonfly.Net, but also to the fly-fishing community in general, in particular those that wish to see a variety of salmon/steelhead flies and fly-tying styles.


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