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Christmas day at home would not be the same without dressing a classic Atlantic salmon fly. This years fly is the Sundal Black, from The Salmon Fly by G M Kelson. Relatively simple in construction, the tail was time consuming to get right. Consisting of Ibis, Guinea Fowl and tippets, to get the tippets to look right a little need thought is required. The method employed, used a small section of tippet including the stem and then the application of “soft loops”. I think that this technique worked well. The body, hackle and throat were straight forward and with a little help from the wing gods, the wing also mounted after a number of attempts. The wing veiling’s again need the soft loop approach and were deliberately left short so as not to make them look part of the wing (thanks Marvin). Veiling is in the eye of the beholder, I like them in this case at the top of the wing and not in the middle. The herl head just finishes the fly off nicely


Nothing like a personal critique (don’t be put of by doing this in public, its character building)

The tail could not have been any better, nice length and good neat construction. The body and hackle (by hackle we mean the body hackle as opposed to throat) are nice. One could say that I was over generous with the throat in that it hides the 5th rib, but that depth of blue adds needed colour to the fly.

If I could have lowered the wing slightly and increased its width a little, I would have been a little happier.  Notice the little shadow underneath the wing veiling, a sure sign that it is not tight against the wing. This could be due to sloppy work at the wing mount point.  The herl head is 90 % there, it could have been a little neater. Not as good a herl as I would have liked. Overall, a pleasing fly though.

Waxy threads and have a good Boxing Day




  1. Paul, a nice pattern and a beautiful fly. The more I tie and than look at your flies, the more I realize how much more I have left to learn. Again, a beautiful fly!
    Warm regards,

  2. Mr Little that’s why I call u Mr Perfect. I just wish I could tie a fly as perfect as you. Remember to us mere mortals they are perfect. Merry Christmas anne

  3. Paul my friend you are the reson i started tying Classic Salmon flies,I was lucky enough to meet you at Stoke fly fair and even though you had only tied a rusty rat to warm up,you still had time to critique my flies.
    What amazed me about your flies was the size of them,true to the originals Dressed on 2s and 6s they as is this one little Gems.Makes a change from the huge flies one see’s today.

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