Fly Of The Week
Silver Doctor
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Silver Doctor
By Deanna Birkholm, tied by Dick Talleur

This fly is a variation of the old Doctor pattern. The blue and black variations were created by James Wright, of Sprouston, Roxburghsire, England, at the World's Exhibition of 1862. Mr. Wright was awarded a medal "for very great excellence in the tying of salmon and trout flies." The silver variation may have come from Wilkinson or Henderson.

Quoting Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, "Who the Doctor was, I am not certain but it is possible or probable that the doctor was Dr. Holden, a fishing friend of Canon Greenwell, William Henderson, P.S. Wilkinson and James Wright . . .

Silver Doctors are to be seen in varied forms. Gather together four dozen and you will find hardly two of them alike. If the body is silver tinsel, it matters but little, in the opinion of many tiers, how the rest of the fly is made. There are patterns with whole wings and half wings; with all kinds of hackle and with none at all; and with and without tails . . ."

Materials as shown: Silver Doctor

    Hook:  Daiichi Alex Jackson Spey Hook 1 1/2 size, #2051.

    Thread:  Uni-thread 8/0 fire orange or red.

    Tag:  French silver oval tinsel 8/0 and one of four strands of bright yellow rayon.

    Tail:   One or two golden pheasant crest feathers, 2 imitation blue Kingfisher feathers.

    Butt:   Imitation red seal fur.

    Ribbing:   Medium oval silver tinsel.

    Body:   #12 flat silver tinsel.

    Underwing:   (Optional) Golden pheasant tippet.

    Wing:   Red, blue and yellow fine bucktail (Norweigian goat shown) and fox squirrel.

    Hackle Collar:   Two silver doctor blue hen or soft rooster.

    Hackle:   (Optional) Braham hen soft hackle or saddle feather as veiling.

Tying Steps:

1. Start thread as shown with a few wraps as base for tag.

2. Tie in french oval silver tinsel, make three turns, tie off. Cut tag long and bend forward.

3. Make smooth wraps as a thread base for the next step.

4. Tie in one strand, seperated from four-strand bright yellow rayon and wrap in a double layer over the orange thread base, back and forward, tie off. When the second layer of floss is finished, the bump created by the tie-on wraps can be eliminated by removing (backing off) all but one of those wraps of floss. Cut yellow off.


5. Lay a smooth thread base for the tail.

6. Match one or two golden pheasant crests, dampen (in mouth) and set on top.

7. Use a loose wrap to position, then, under moderate tension secure, overwrap.

8. Match two imitation blue Kingfisher feathers and lay on top of the golden pheasant crests, wet as above, follow the curvature of the golden pheasant crests.

9. Tie down and trim both the golden pheasant crests and Kingfisher.


10. Pick a very small amount of red seal fur for dubbing, apply to tying thread. Length of the dubbing on the thread is about one inch.

11. Tie in as shown, about three turns.

12. Tie in medium oval silver tinsel or ribbing, bind to the side of the hook, wrap thread neatly forward.


13. Continue to wrap the thread neatly to the head.

14. Tie in flat tinsel for body and wrap smoothly to the back. Tie in with the unwanted side up as the correct side will then be up, (as with gold/silver flat tinsel.)

15. Continue wrapping the tinsel back forward.

16. Tie off tinsel and trim.


17. Wrap oval ribbing (tied in at Step 12) forward evenly over the flat tinsel body.

18. (Optional), clip and fold a golden pheasant tippet for an underwing.

19. Tie in the first of four layers of wing, the red. Use the finest available hair, each layer of wing is about the length of the hook.

20. Tie in the second layer of the wing, the blue.

21. Then the yellow.


22. Finally the last layer of the wing, fox squirrel, fine bucktail, or Norwegian Goat as shown here. Even shape of head with thread wraps.

23. Tie in two Silver Doctor blue hen or soft rooster feathers to form a hackle collar, both tied as one.

24. Fold blue hackle in half, take two turns to form collar. Tie off and trim.

25. (Optional), tie in Brahma hen or saddle hackle as veiling. (Brahma hen feather used here.) Whip finish and cement.


About Dick Talleur

Dick Talleur at the Salt Lake show Dick is a delightful gentleman, and agreed to tie this fly for us at the 2001 Fly Tackle Dealer Show at Salt Lake. He was tying in the Folstaf booth. Dick has written 10 books on fly tying and fly fishing (none of which has been out of print) is a columnist for American Angler and Fly Tyer, and has produced 14 videos on fly tying. He teaches fly tying and fishes all over the world. He lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. Dick will soon release two special books as a very limited edition, 100 signed and numbered of each, with a matted hand-tied fly with each book. Visit his website at: www.dicktalleur.com. Be sure to check the "Uncle Dickie" page, there is complete illustrated instruction for the Klinkhamer as well as other flies!


For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.


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