Fly tying of Paul Slaney

My name is Paul Slaney and I live, work and fish in the Usk Valley, in South Wales, UK. I may be biased, but the river and landscape here is a constant source of inspiration for me. I’m a lucky guy.

Many years ago I was captivated by a photograph of a box of Canadian salmon flies tied by the late Warren Duncan. This started me down the path of tying and fishing these bugs and when I heard that Warren was coming to the UK, I tied a box just like his and traveled to his demonstration to show him.

I quickly sensed that I was in the presence of greatness and instantly realized with some embarrassment that my offering was a parody of the real thing. However Warren showed nothing but interest and support and took the time to help point me in the right direction.

I’ve wrapped a lot of hackles since then and somewhere along the way I’ve worn the finish off the jaws of my vice, but after all that time, it still amazes me that a dry written recipe in a dusty old book, can be turned into a beautiful Salmon fly that inspires hope for the big one.

Tying flies (any flies) and researching their history became an obsession that has stayed with me all my adult life and I’m honored that Paul contacted me for some photos for this great blog.

http://flytying.me

Email Paul at flytyingcrazy@gmail.com

Hairwings:

A variation on the Usk Grub.

A variation on the Usk Grub.

Made famous by the late Lionel Sweet of Sweets Fishing Tackle in the town of Usk in Monmouthshire. It’s the archetypal Usk Salmon fly. Some say the it’s the fly that all other shrimp flies are based on. I don’t know about that? but ask any fisher around here and they will have a few in their box. This is how I like them.

The Leslie Peters

The Leslie Peters

Another local fly to my area, the Leslie Peters shows the black and yellow colours that are also popular on our river. And I dare say, anywhere else salmon or sea trout swim.

Silver Stoat

Silver Stoat

If I only had one fly!….. well this is it. Well perhaps a Blue Charm as well.

Rutledge

Rutledge

A beautiful fly from Canada. Where many fantastic tiers uphold a long tradition and style of tying that I admire. This just screams to be put on the leader in clear, cold water.

Laxa Blue

Laxa Blue

A striking fly from Iceland, this variation is a great fly for Sea Run Browns here in Wales.

Cascade (variation)

Cascade (variation)

Born from the famous Ally’s Shrimp, this must be one of the most popular Salmon Flies in the UK and I suspect in many places worldwide. A wonderful combination of materials and colours.

Arndilly Fancy

Arndilly Fancy

Originated by Megan Boyd, this one has always been a favourite of mine. Alan original would be a collectors item.

McConomy's Goat

McConomy’s Goat

A new fly to me, one I found recently in a modest book by Jimmy Younger. I need to contact Jimmy and find out more about it. It’s got to be a killer.

4 Comments

Filed under Hairwings

4 Responses to Fly tying of Paul Slaney

  1. dazzyd

    Paul is an excellent tyer and a nice guy too:)

  2. Kirk Dietrich

    Very nice ties! Simple materials but skillfully tied for perfect balance and appearance!

  3. Appreciate the comments guys. Thank you.

  4. Kevin SLANEY

    Hi Paul,

    I too have been tying flies for the past 40 years but mostly Atlantic Salmon flies. Like you site but mostly because you are also a SLANEY. (lol) Hello from the beautiful Province of Newfoundland/Labradour, Canada.

    Kevin SLANEY
    Winterland, NL, Canada