Wet Flies

Spade, Plain
Tied By Alec Jackson*

Recipe

    Hook: Alec Jackson Spey hook.

    Thread: Black.

    Tail: Very fine Deer hair, DicDic, Impala, etc.

    Body: Herl twisted with fine oval silver tinsel.

    Collar: Grizzly.

    Head: Black.

*About Alec Jackson

Alec Jackson is the Jackson behind the Spey hook. Now retired he runs the Yorkshire Flyfisher and is a purveyor of silks and other fine tying materials. He lives in Kenmore, WA.

"There are more furs, feathers, and other materials available than 1 can count so I'll make do with mentioning those I typically use: deer hair, in as great a varity as can be obtained, the finer the better. Cock and hen hackle, from necks and saddles, in a wide range of sizes amid colors. Peacock and ostrich herl, preferably on the feather. Guinea, mallard, and teal hackle, some dyed. An assortment of wires, tinsels, dubbing materials, yarns, and silks. Substitutes for heron, such as blue eared pheasant and ring-necked pheasant. (God forbid that I should ever use synthetics—I'd rather commit some other form of adultery!).

From my point of view, steelhead flies require only three components: a tail, a body, amid a hackle. And I'm not sure about the tail and the hackle. All of my working steelhead flies can be grouped into four classes: Spades, many elaborations of Bob Arnold's original pattern; Pseudo Speys, simple versions of Spey and Dee flies; grubs and shrimps, adapted from those for Atlantic salmon; marabous, reliable steelhead flies which fish big and cast small.

The bodies of all my flies are made of peacock or ostrich rope. Store—bought chenille is just as good. Fish can't tell the difference. But it's ugly and I hate it. I'd like to be able to say steelhead like my rope better than chenille, but they don't. The only thing I can say is that the time it takes me to make my special body material allows no time for frequenting dark bars. Some day I would like to learn how to make elegant silk rope in the manner of Kevin Perkins. So please, Mr. Perkins, sir, take time away from your exotic birds and teach me how it's done so I can tell the world. I'll willingly give up my fancy feathers."

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