Raspberryfisher's Blog

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Archive for the ‘Wet Flies’ Category

Wilson’s Spade SBS

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Pulling the from Picasa my SBS and referencing a much earlier overview of this patterns, so I can link to other forums, here is my SBS for Wilson’s Spade.  The  original Spade from Bob Arnold was based on somber colours (peacock and grizzly) and a thinner body (with no wing).  I have added onto the name  ‘Spade’ to describe this style, referring to other similar patterns created by AJ (Kent Helvie’s book – 9781878175854) – some (not all) with the name Spade.

One update ->   One of the Hackle’s I may use is not from Hen, but the wide and webby Rooster Cape hackles from Whiting’s American Hackle.

Materials. Recipes and patterns at https://raspberryfisher.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/the-spades-family/

My blog is based on a standard 700 wide pixel format, but I have maintained the original image size of the photographs (with the exception of the above cover image). The disadvantage the images in the bog has some resolution fuzziness to it, but the advantage, if you wish to look closer in, click on the photograph for a detailed look.

As stated in the original SBS, if I had to make one change, the tag woud be one wrap smaller.


Tools, but not illustrated are my pliers and the vise.


AJ Steelhead Iron 5. Note, I use a sewing ruler to help with sizing the body.


Tie in the tinsel – 3 wraps of thread.


Wind the tinsel back and forward, undo 2 wraps and secure with 3 wraps of thread. As noted, I went one wrap too far back. Though this was intentional at the time, upon review, the  tag is too large. Stop at the point.


Trim the tinsel (tag).


Add Golden Pheasant Crest (not someting I do well). I try to align the GP ends with the barb. I do use the ruler to validate alignment.


Add in the Laragtun Oval Tinsel. I note I have experimented with wire, it does not work as well and often cuts the material.


Tie in 4 Ostrich Herls, by the trimmed tops.


Pull the Ostrich and Tinsel together, tight, and secure with hackle plies (with a rubber pad).


Stroke the fibers lightly (free them), add a Shepards Hook and Spin.


Wind onto the hook like a chenile.




Repeat for the front half. Tie In, Pull tight, secure with  hackle plies, stroke fibers out and add Shepeards Hook.


Twist the Red Ostrich into a Chenile.


Twist the Red Ostrich into a Chenile.


Wind and Secure.



Add in back collar.


Fold and Trim


Prepare for second collar. I do not like crowding the eye.


Wanting things to show through, I removed a side of the front collar.


Wind and secure. Not shown is the finishing note and adding the head varnish (Cellire).


The finished fly.




Written by raspberryfisher

2013/04/13 at 04:18

Posted in Fly-Tying, Spey, Wet Flies

Fly Box Update – Spring Trout

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I still recall reading Dave Whitlock’s Aquatic Entomology Book, where in the Appendix his lists the 6 boxes of flies he tries to keep with him for trout fishing. Though, I did strive to achieve the same level of thoroughness, I have since made my life easier.

I effectively fish with one double sided box set – one built for the Spring and another for Summer-Fall. This is spring box.

So what will (and should) you see on the small side, working left to right (top to bottom):

  • Miscellaneous – in the case, some red-brown cripple-emergers
  • Parachute Adams – Size 12-16
  • Quill Body Dry Fly  – Sizes 14-16
  • March Brown – Sizes 12-14
  • Ausable Wulff Variants – Size 10-18 (light to Dark Orange with White, Pink or Orange Wings)
  • Dark Comparaduns – Size 12-16 (only 12s in the box right now)
  • Light Cahills Parachutes – Size 12-16
  • Miscellaneous Small Nymphs to float under a dry fly.
  • Red-Ginger Parachuts – Size 12-18


And in the large side:

  • Realistic Flat Nymphs (nod to Oliver Edwards)
  • Extended Body Long Nymphs (another nod to Edwards)
  • Stimulators – Size 12 to 18 > Perference is Yellow, Size 16 and 18
  • Klinkhammers – Natural Tone & High Visibility Searching Patterns (moving to Size 16 only for Spring)
  • Wet Flies – Seperate by Dry Fly Hook and Heavy Hook
  • Cone Head Muddler – Size 10 (more to be added)


and though I keep able to keep to a single box, as my Fishpond Pack can support two, I might add another box.  As discussed and illustrated last year, I do keep a set of nymphs and a few streamers on hand in my Fishpond pack on the foam patch provided.


Written by raspberryfisher

2013/04/02 at 12:09

Wet Flies – Close-Ups – 2 of 2

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And I keep a set of “wets” that are heavy, and the following were tied last year.

Typical construction techniques are:

  • Mustad 3399 or R90 Hook – Size 10 or 12.
  • Thead Body with a Wire Ribbing.
  • Ostrich for a Thorax.

The following is “my” March Brown, which has a little tail from a Golden Pheassant Crest.


Yellow and Orange Wet


and my Black Partridge.



Written by raspberryfisher

2013/04/01 at 19:59

Wet Flies – Close-Ups – 1 of 2

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Close-Up of the light wet flies, tied on dry flies. The typical recipe is:

  • Hook: Size 12-14.
  • Pearsall’s Gossamer Silk Thread for the body.
  • Squirrel Dubbing for the Thorax.
  • Wet Fly Hackle – Partridge, Grouse or other upland bird I have collected locally.
  • I may switch from the Pearsall Thread to a Uni-17/0 after the dubbing for small heads. This fine thread to hold in hackle and tie off at the head.



The Iron Blue Dun is a break from the pattern. I keep a red tag using the Persall’s silk, but dub in a dark (or sometimes a medium) dun from beaver. The feather is from an old skin of a Jackdw bird I acquired from the UK a decade plus ago.

I really like dark profile with the red hint. (Pearsall’s silk darkens in the water).



Written by raspberryfisher

2013/04/01 at 01:42

some wet flies

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And there will be some wet flies in my box. These being tied on dry fly hook size 12 and 14.

and I will have a few Size 10 Conehead Muddlers.  I am not fond of tying these, so I pick them up at a store, though they are not commonaly available in most stores.



Written by raspberryfisher

2013/03/30 at 23:19

Borden Special Fly

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As I was adding to my steelhead (spey) box, I was looking for some wet flies to compliment and contrast what I was doing. Up pop’s Andy Larkin’s Borden Special on Speypages, an answer to my search. Three images showing the build >



In Order of Use:

  • Hook: Partridge Size 5
  • Thread; Danville 10/0
  • Wing: Polar Bear
  • Tag and Rib: Small Flat Venard
  • Tail: Pink and Yellow Feather
  • Body: Teased Pink Seal.
  • Threar: Yellow Webby Hen.
  • Collar: Pink Hen.


For something different, a link to a Scott Howell variant.

Written by raspberryfisher

2012/12/09 at 05:33

Posted in Fly-Tying, Wet Flies

Fly Storage Storage Boxes

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Previous posts dealt with my fishing pack and my on-the-river fly boxes. As I tied flies in batches, I keep my spares in Plano 3600 boxes, and use these to refill my fly boxes as required. In the event of an extended trip, I may take some of these boxes with us to refill, as we go.

In previous posts about my man-cave, (older fisheye look), you can see my bulk storage above my fly-tying bench. It is in these Plano 3600 boxes, that I hold flies and other associated fishing materials.

My bass box. Iluustrating the most effective flies:

  • Dave’s Gorilla
  • Wooly Worms – Black and Green-Olive
  • Poppers and Sneaky Petes.
  • Janssen’s Dragonfly Nymph (I have better luck with the nymph than any dry I have tied ot bought)

Now, one very effective fly not in this box is Clouser’s Minnow – tied as a minnow or crayfish. It is a great fly to catch bass, but not as much fun as a popper to fish.



Written by raspberryfisher

2012/06/20 at 19:44