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Andora Spey
Mark Willigar Flies

This pattern has captured my fascination since described to me by Bryant Freeman one fine fall day on River Philip Nova Scotia. Bryant is well known in salmon circles, as a master fly-tier, and even better story teller, a great guy who always greets with a smile and a laugh, a true ambassador of the sport of chasing Atlantic salmon. He claimed that he could hook one of the stubborn salmon my buddy and I had fished over for 2 hours, and ten flies, without a raise. Bryant told us the story of the Andora as my buddy prepared to cast Bryant's rod, which just happened to have one tied on. He told us that the fish would move for the Andora, and he indeed did raise two of them, in the first three casts, and for me the legend of a fly was brought to light. He also took the time to explain to us exactly how to tie it, this is as good as I can explain it .

..An old Irish pattern I believe, tied by a fisherman many years ago, and named after his wife, Andora.

Andora Spey

Name Andora Spey
Category Atlantic Salmon
Hook #2 Tiemco TMC 7999
Thread Orange, best is 1/0 to build up underbody
Tag Silver oval tinsel
Tail Magenta or pink dyed polar bear, one body length, unstacked
Butt Small mound of tying thread, left visible by lightly dubbing over it first section of body
Rib Oval silver tinsel and palmered golden pheasant crest
Body Seal fur in three equal sections, from rear, cream, yellow, olive
Throat Red golden pheasant crest
Wing Bright green dyed Mallard flank

Tying instructions:

-Wind four turn tag starting directly above barb point, so as to leave an angle to the tail when tied in, pointing downward at a slight angle.

1When tying in tail, leave excess and tie down 1/3 toward toward eye, building body with thread, cut excess polar bear off at this point to leave rear third diameter larger than rest of body diameter.

-When dubbing body, leave dubbing loose and wind dubbing quite sparse for entire body, so as to be able to slightly see underbody of orange tying thread.

-Dub rear third leaving nearly no dub next to tag, so as to see the orange thread as a butt. Rib to 1/3 point.

-At this point prepare golden pheasant tippet by selecting a feather that will reach the hook bend from that 1/3 body point, cut tip out leaving V shape, to form eyes much the same as a General Practitioner, or many shrimp style flies. Tie in on top of body to veil entire rear body portion to back of hook bend. At this point you have the hardest part over with, almost.

-Tie in a long golden pheasant crest feather by the butt after cleaning marabou fuzz from it, so it's pure golden and easier to palmer. Dub next 1/3 of body with yellow seal fur, sparse, leaving the underbody slightly visible. Palmer crest feather three turns to front of front of middle 1/3 of body. Rib over this palmered crest with tinsel to tie down, pulling back crest fibers while running the rib.

-Tie in another crest feather, and dub front 1/3 of body with olive seal fur, repeat palmer and rib as in mid section.

-Tie in a red golden pheasant crest and wind as a collar, and pull down to form throat.

-To prepare wing, take a bright green died mallard flank feather, pull off all fuzz and cut out tip to leave split wing, be sure to use a feather that will be long enough to veil entire body. The best way to do this is measure from where you cut the tip out, to the back of the bend. Only leave 1/4" fibers on each side of flank feather from cut out tip back toward start of stem.

-Tie this in by soft looping over stem two or three times then pulling it in under these loops until it forms a tent wing over body, quite low set. If you are not experienced in this type of wing, the thread underneath where it's tied in, will determine the angle of how the wing sits.

-There are a couple of key steps to make this fly properly. First off, it's not meant to be tied within the boundaries of normal proportion and neatness, it's best when a bit messy looking, and definitely catches fish this way. You will appreciate it's beauty when it is wet, more than when it first comes off the vise. The palmering of the crest feathers can be frustrating, and they tend to stick out at every angle, but not to worry, you need to stroke the fly with moistened fingers, to get the barbicules to sweep back and as you run the rib you try to tie down at that backward sweeping angle, as explained earlier. You will never get them all to conform to flowing backwards as a palmered hackle would, but you can cut the ones out that stick out directly sideward.

 Next time you are fishing over a pool with salmon that are ignoring every fly they are shown, show them the Andora, chances are they've never seen anything like it!

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