Monday, June 20, 2011

The Night Hawk Spey Pages Challenge

HOOK: Alec Jackson 1.5
THREAD: 6/0 Fire Orange (Uni Stretch underbody)
TIP: Small Oval tinsel - silver
TAG: Yellow Floss
TAIL: Golden Pheasant Crest w/ Hen Saddle Dyed Blue at the base
BUT: Red wool
RIBBING: Small Oval Silver Tinsel
BODY: Holographic Silver Tinsel
BODY HACKLE: Golden Pheasant dyed black
THROAT: Pheasant Rump dyed black
WING: Goose Shoulder dyed black
TOPPING: Golden Pheasant Crest
SIDES: Jungle Cock nails
CHEEKS: Hen Saddle Dyed Blue
HORNS: Macaw

Frank G Swarner III offered to do a step by step of the Night Hawk for June's Monthly Challenge on Spey Pages. If you are not familiar with Frank's work he is very talented in the area of spey to say the least. Be sure to check out his blog too . This is the Brad Burden "Spey" variation of the Night Hawk hairwing pattern that was designed by Stanford White. I had searched the pattern out when I heard Frank would be doing it. I was hooked instantly and had to try it. Disclaimer: this is by far the most involved fly I've tied to date. Though it's not a full dress salmon fly, for me it might as well be. I had intended to have my version done before Frank's but it didn't happen. This was a blessing because Frank's step by step was detailed that I avoided major pitfalls by reading his tips. I had to substitute a few materials which is par for the course. I replaced the kingfisher with hen saddle dyed blue and the macaw horns should have been red. I also counter-ribbed the hackle to make it more durable. Thus the body hackle doesn't look neat and tidy, but more buggy and I intentionally got a little fluff from the collar hackle for the same reason. Things that I screwed up in my eyes (yes I'm sure there are more).....the bulked up underbody was a bit much. I tend to overwrap everything so I should have left that part alone. The oversized head was my fault for not reading Frank's instructions more closely. This was totally avoidable but I was so happy that the goose shoulder wings came out acceptable that I didn't bother to read his tips about tapering the trimming of the wings. Overall I was happy with the outcome and always welcome a new challenge. Please feel free to comment.

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