Why are they Different?

The original Speys, Dees and Tays were distinguished mainly by the slender, long shanked hooks, the materials used in the construction of the body, hackle and the wing, and often by multiple flosses and tinsels used in complex ribbing patterns, as well as by the arrangement and alignment of the wings themselves. Of course there were exceptions to these criteria, but those came to be more in later flies, not the early ones. The main criteria I will introduce here in the introduction though is the wing arrangement and the long hackles. All of them were simple strip wings, to use Pryce-Tannatt's vernacular. The Speys however were winged with a pair of bronze mallard (usually) strips, humped low over the body, producing an effect like a "keelless racing-boat placed upside down." Dees usually had a narrow strip of cinnamon or white turkey, tied horizontally, splayed wide in a V, and Tays, the best way to describe them would be to send you over to http://nwflytyer.wordpress.com/ and look at Monte's rendition of the Black Dog.
Most of them used either herons hackle, tied as long as possible, or Spey cock hackle. These days heron has given way to smaller hooks and Blue eared pheasant as a sub, and Spey cock is now schlappen, our best guess at what Spey cock was back then. There was a certain group of Dees that even used eagle thigh feathers or marabou(from the marabou stork), neither of which we can use today at all. Fortunately, turkey thigh 'marabou' is indistinguishable apparently from the real thing, so we have that covered also.
I shall show examples of all of these styles, with exceptions eventually as time allows for tying, writing and posting.
For those readers wanting a complete, in-depth, up to date history with tying instructions, of the Spey flies, I urge you to visit the best site I have seen for this: http://nwflytyer.wordpress.com/tying-notes/an-introduction-to-spey-flies/ It has everything.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Jock o'Dee

"How to Dress Salmon Flies," by Dr. T. E. Pryce-Tannatt lists only eight Dee flies, with two of them being found no-where else to my knowledge.  The Jock o'Dee is one of them.  Obviously based on the Jock Scott, this pattern is equally as lovely, in my opinion, though as he writes nothing about the pattern other then the actual pattern, I do not know if it was as successful as its parent fly. 

The Jock-o' Dee as per Dr. T. E. Pryce-Tannatt - How to Dress Salmon Flies, 1914

Tag: Silver tinsel.
Tail: A topping and Indian crow.
Body: Two-fifths, lemon floss; remainder, black floss.
Ribs: Flat silver tinsel and twist.
Hackle: A grey heron’s hackle from third turn of tinsel.
Throat: Widgeon.
Wings: A pair of cinnamon turkey tail strips (set flat).
Hook: 1½ to 3 inches.

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