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Spey Flies - The "Hot Peacock Spey" - pattern provided by "Quality Flies Tied by G.G.B"

By Gerald G. Bartsch, 🕔Mon, Mar 21st, 2011


Spey flies can be labeled as some of the most beautiful and rewarding fly patterns for both salmon and steelhead. While the conventions for tying these flies are somewhat many, their sleek design is often characterized by long-flowing, soft hackle that provides effective movement through the water.

There is some controversy over dating of the first spey fly, with accounts placing the origin of these patterns somewhere between the 1700's and the 1800's. What is assuredly known is that these patterns were originally developed for fishing in the highlands of Scotland, on the Spey River. Since that time, spey patterns have become widely used by salmon and steelhead anglers around the globe, and are today, recognized as one of the best utilitarian patterns for these species.

Special thanks goes out to Gerald G. Bartsch of "Quality Flies tied by G.G.B.", who has kindly provided us with the following spey pattern, aptly named, the "Hot Peacock Spey":

Hot Peacock Spey

HOOK: Partridge Bartleet Traditional Salmon CS10/1 - Size 4 to1/0.
THREAD: Danville - Black. TAG: Flat silver mylar tinsel.
BODY: 1/3 Floss - Danville 4 strand nylon - Fluorescent fire orange and 2/3's Peacock herl.
RIBBING: Fine oval silver tinsel - Lagartun's.
HACKLE: 1 Medium Blue Eared Pheasant Feather - one side stripped.
COLLAR: 1 Teal feather. WING: Bronze mallard.

Step One:

Tie in thread at front of hook and wrap it back to the middle of the shank. Tie in flat silver tinsel and wrap it back to the point of the hook. Wrap the tinsel forward to the tie-in and tie it off.

Step Two:

Take 8 inches of 4 strand floss and separate it into 2 strands. Tie in the floss at the middle of the shank and wrap back. Leave a 1/8th inch tag of silver tinsel and wrap the floss forward to the tie-in. Tie off floss.

Step Three:

Tie in fine oval silver tinsel on the bottom of the shank. Tie in four peacock herl leaving 1/4 inch of floss exposed. Twist the herl with the thread and wrap it forwards to the middle of the shank. Tie in one medium blue eared pheasant feather.

Step Four:

Tie in four more peacock herl, twist with thread, and wrap forward to the return loop of the hook. Make 3 evenly spaced wraps of blue eared pheasant. Make one turn at the front and tie off. Reverse wrap the tinsel 4 wraps forward to reinforce the blue eared pheasant hackle. Tie off.

Step Five:

Tie in the teal feather by the tip and make 1 1/2 to 2 turns. Tie off.

Step Six:

Tie in the bronze mallard wing using 1/4 inch segment of one right and one left feather. The wing should be the length of the hook shank. Make a small neat head. Whip finish and cement.

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