Fly Fishers' Republic

Spruce (Light)

May 13, 2006

by Raif Killips

Spruce (Light)

Recipe:

Uses:

This tying of the pattern is fished for steelhead, though originally the Spruce was developed to catch sea-run cuttthroat. Tied on a standard streamer hook the Spruce is used for other species including rainbow and brown trout.

How to fish:

Use a traditional wetfly swing.

History:

Back in 1918 the Spruce was originally called the Godfrey Badger Hackle or Godfrey Special after a Mr. Godfrey to whom the pattern is now credited.

Variations:

The most original dressing of the Spruce is tied on a regular streamer hook with red wool (1/4) and peacock (3/4) body with splayed wings (E.H. Rosborough). This, and the version illustrated are sometimes referred to as the Light Spruce. A Dark Spruce variation replaces the silver badger hackles with golden badger or furnace. The pattern can also include a silver tag and a head over wrapped with red thread.

Further Reading:

Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing, 1995, Joseph D Bates,Jr., Stackpole Books, ISBN 0-8117-1702-X.

Streamers and Bucktails, the Big-Fish Flies, 1980, Joseph D Bates, Jr., Random House Inc., ISBN 0394415884.