Burned Schlappen Spey by Nick Pionessa

featured, Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on December 21, 2010 10:09 am

This is a simple spey developed by Nick Pionessa for targeting steelhead. It can be tied on a tube or a hook At first glance it can look intimidating, but follow Nick’s detailed instructions and this could soon be you…

Daiichi 2450 hook— HMH hybrid tube — 1/2 copper tube w/ liner tube
Melt the tail end of the liner tube

Insert half of the tube (the end you just melted) into the hybrid tube

Mount your tube and mandrel into the vise.  Start your thread on the liner tube and work back to the hybrid tube.

Wrap a thin butt of hot pink SLF dubbing

Select a burnt purple schlappen feather.  Nick did a great article in the 2008 issue of  Hatches on burning schlappen. To get a copy of that issue and other back issues, visit our store Here.

Prep the feather for tie in

Tie in the burnt schlappen on the bottom of the tube, in front of the butt

Dub a thin and even body of black SLF.  Wrap forward covering the tube and one wrap on the liner tube.  Then tease out the dubbing with some velcro…

… so you get everything nice and fuzzy

Wrap your schlappen in three even wraps on the body and the final two wraps in front of the body

Tie off the stem on the bottom of the tube and trim, then secure any remaining stem

Use a bodkin to pick out and trapped dubbing fibers

Select a Teal flank feather

Prep the Teal flank for tie in

Tie in the Teal flank on the top of the tube

Wrap forward, making sure to keep the fibers back.  Tie off on the bottom

Clip the stem and pull the hackle to each side.  This will leave the top of the fly flat

Now it is time to think about the wing.  Select two matched bronze mallard feathers

cut matching strips from the pair

Check the hook placement, this will allow you to see the lenght of the finished fly and shows how far to extend the wing

Set the far-side wing flat and in position

Make three wraps with the strip

Set the near wing up against the far wing

Secure the near wing with two wraps and check the position

Make sure the the fibers are neat and clean, and the lengths are matched… then secure them

Trim the butt ends with a razor (or fine tipped scissors)

A nice clean trim

Whip finish and cut the thread (notice the clean line between wings)

Remove the fly from the mandrel and trim the tube 1/16th of an inch from the head

Trim a clean end on the butt of the hybrid tube

Melt the front of the tube for rounded and clean front

Coat the head with a thin layer of head cement

Finished fly…
Nick manages the Oak Orchard Fly Shop, just outside of Buffalo.
Visit Oak Orchard Interactive

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Rating: +18 (from 20 votes)
Burned Schlappen Spey by Nick Pionessa, 9.3 out of 10 based on 18 ratings


  1. John Bielinski says:

    You done it again!
    Great pictures. Easy step by step illustrations are a real confidence builder. Can’t wait until I try my hands on it both in the vice and learning how to swing it.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  2. SwittersB says:

    Excellent tutorial/photography…thank you.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  3. Simply gorgeous! Stunning fly.

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  4. IDRIS WELCH says:

    A really fish taking ideas are all built into this fly, by someone who understands what the fly looks like to the fish in the stream, or pool below the rpids as the fish are getting ready for their run up the falls or rapids. Well thought out Nick, it’s a credit to you. Pity we dont get salmon in OZ.Like we did in Scotland. tight lines Idris Welch

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