Marc LeBlanc’s Green Spey fly is one of my favorite Spey flies. It bursts with color (which, in the depths of winter, is a great thing) and has, in the words of Megan Boyd, plenty of “life” to it.
The LeBlanc Green Spey pattern is also one of my favorite flies to tie. In the traditional world of Atlantic salmon flies, it’s a fly that’s somewhere between the formalism of classic salmon flies, and the disheveled mop of many modern Spey flies from the American West. In building it, with the arctic fox fur, and the overlapping teal or mallard flank, building the fly also has a great tactile quality. It’s a fly that’s structured yet messy, modern yet classic. It’s that sweet spot that I strive for in many things.
In learning to tie it, I’ve relied heavily on Dave McPhail’s tutorial video, below. This is one of many of McPhail’s videos. All of his videos on tying salmon flies are fantastic. (I suspect his trout fly videos are great, too, but I admit to not having watched them nearly as much.)
Now that’s you’ve seen those videos, behold two recent attempts: one is tied on a single hook, which is more traditional, while the other is tied on a double. I’m a big fan of double hooks while fishing for salmon, where legal, and so wanted to try this.
On both of these, I’ve had to make a few substitutions on materials. For instance, I didn’t have any UTC holographic green tinsel on hand, nor did my local fly shop, and so I substituted Chironomid braid in pearl peacock, which worked fairly well when pulled very taut so as to lay as flat as possible, despite not being flat like tinsel. I also didn’t have dyed green golden pheasant breast, and so I used a teal flank dyed green behind a legal heron substitute dyed a shade that is allegedly chartreuse. I think it came out well, but for the size of my heads, which are larger than I’d like.