Tied By Alec Jackson*
Hook: Alec Jackson Spey hook.
Tail: Very fine Deer hair, DicDic, Impala, etc.
Body: Herl twisted with fine oval silver tinsel.
*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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