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Spoon Fly Pattern
by Ed Zaun

I saw this one in Fly Tier Magazine and thought it was really neat. They are really called "Nail Spoon Flies" and were invented, according to the article in the Summer '98 issue on page 8, by Marty Edgar. In my experience, this fly wobbles on a slow retrieve but rolls on a faster strip and rolls the other way on the pause to straighten out the leader. This means the fly is working even when standing still! These are very cheap to build and a breeze to tie, so make up a mess of 'em in every color combination you can think of.

 Photo Copyright  1998-99 E. Zaun & Tom Mann

Stuff you'll need...
  • Hook: Here you'll have to look in the box and see what you have. The shank should be just long enough to fit inside the curve of the nail, but leave the bend and eye exposed. That means a different size hook for each size nail.
  • Body: Dubbed wool or floss to take up the epoxy.
  • Shell: A Fake Fingernail, size and curvature are up to you.
  • Tail: Feathers, Floss, Crystal Flash, Flash-A-Boo... Basically, induldge yourself, this one is alot of fun.
Tie it up...
  1. First, bend the shank to fit neatly inside the curve of the nail. Open up that gap if need be to insure good hook-ups
  2. You might want to trim both ends of the nail and round them up a bit. The easiest way is with a pair of scissors ( not your good tying ones, the kitchen ones, your wife won't mind, trust me... ), then file the rough parts with an emery board.
  3. Place the hook in the vise and attach the tying thread.
  4. Tie in the tail. As you can see, I'm leaving this one wide open. This is a concept, not a pattern.
  5. Dub or wrap the body, coming to just behind the eye
  6. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down.
  7. Apply a whip finish, and cut the tying thread.
  8. Take a small blob to that tacky craft putty you can get at a craft store and use it to hold the nail, curve side up on your desk, place the tied hook in the nail, and stick it in with a little Crazy Glue or Zap-A-Gap. Hold it long enough to make sure the alignment stays true. Fill the bowl of the nail with epoxy.
  9. When the epoxy cures, decorate the outside of the nail with whatever you like. Some of my favorites are listed below to get you started. After that you're on your own... Oddly enough, nail polish seems to work well...

The best tails seem to be made from saddle hackles. They act like a rudder and keep the fly from spinning too much. I also use bucktail, floss, yarn, and any synthetic I can get my mitts on. Paint the tops in any color or pattern you like. The old stand by red/white/red of the Red Devil works very well. Remember to tie a few in subdued colors, sometimes you need to tone it down a bit. I always use a black nail with a white bucktail when flyfishing those formal occasions, and never, never, never use all white after Labor Day or before Easter.

Glitter and stick-on eyes can be applied before the last color coat sets, then clear coat it to hold it all in place. Cellophane tape makes an excellent mask for striped patterns.

Copyright © 1999 - 2013 Ed Zaun, All Rights Reserved
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