Tying Video – Greenwell’s Glory

This weeks fly is the Greenwell’s Glory.  I chose it for two reasons.  First, I like wet flies and wanted to start another series of wet flies.  Second, I began reading The History of Fly Fishing in Fifty Flies by Ian Whitelaw about a month ago which talks about the Greenwell’s Glory.  I find it very interesting how this fly came to be and the fact that it is every bit as popular today as it was so many years ago; both for the fisherman and the fish.  The book is a wonderful read that starts out explaining how fly fishing got started (to the best of our knowledge) and how it has evolved.  It focuses on the flies used and what is so intriguing is one can see how the early flies that were used not only fit the bill for the day but are often still around today.  Some in their original form and some have evolved into other popular patterns.  The Greenwell’s Glory is one of those patterns that worked well with the current equipment used at the time and it also spawned many other patterns based on it’s “design”.  Anyway, I am very much enjoying the book and the historical information as well as understanding a little more where some of our modern flies come from.

In regards to tying the Greenwell’s Glory, it is a pretty straight forward fly.  The original fly used Blackbird for the wing but most versions tied today use Starling.  The Starling is the only real challenge to this fly.  Due to the fact the Starlings feathers are small and the resulting length of the barbs used for the wing of the fly are shorter and softer it can take a few attempts to start to become comfortable with tying the Greenwell’s Glory.  If it is too much and you find yourself too frustrated, or you can not get Startling, use a light Gray Mallard feather instead.  Other than that, the rest of the fly is pretty straight forward.  There is no tail on the original although some people add one these days.  The original was tied with fine Silver wire but the majority I have seen are now tied with fine Gold wire.  The body and head are simply the Pearsall’s Primrose Yellow tying silk as they were in the original, although it was not Pearsall’s specifically.  The only other thing about the Greenwell’s Glory I am not certain of is the hackle and how it is applied.  The original recipe simply calls for a Red an Black hackle, generally thought of as some sort of furnace hackle or a reddish brown badger hackle and usually a hen and not a cock.  But in the artwork from the book it looks like the hackle is tied in as a throat but most videos and descriptions I found have it tied in as a collar.  I chose to tie it in as a collar but am curious if anyone know if this is how the original was tied or if it was applied as a throat.  Lastly, I have seen the fly tied with the wing on top of the hackle and the hackle on top of the wing.  I suppose it is up to you.  A fun and simple fly either way.  A good one to get started in tying wet flies if you are interested. – Enjoy.

Hook:Mustad 3399, #12-#16
Thread:Pearsall’s Silk, Primrose Yellow (non-Affiliate)
Rib:Danville Gold Wire, Fine
Body:Pearsall’s Silk, Primrose Yellow (non-Affiliate)
Hackle:Brown Badger Hen
Wing:Starling or Light Gray Mallard Wing
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If you would like to purchase some Greenwell’s Glory wet flies there are a number for sale (while supplies last).

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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!

Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.

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