Sherry spinner - messing at the vice

running bear

Well-known member
Oct 23, 2009
North County Dublin
I've never been happy with sherry spinner imitations, especially those in small sizes.

1. Traditional dry fly hackles twist really fine tippets when used in fast glassy water when there's a need to let the fly go downstream past fish before lifting off - much of this depends on river speed and angle of approach/bankside vegetation, but it can be unavoidable. Fine for targeting a single fish with a single cast, but sub optimal for many casts over many fish at different angles.
2. Some of the split wing types are also prone to spinning. Additionally, spinners don't all sit with wings splayed as fly catalogues might suggest, many die with their wings folded into one, or even at 90 degrees.
3. Naturals are curved, curved hooks can add to all the above headache.
4. CDC spilt wing versions are great, but in the frantic 30 mins of a spinner fall, they are a pain to dry and get back out there. Even with threaders and pre-tied tippets, it's a pain in the short dark window of opportunity.

So, my design requirements are;
Small (18-22s)
Minimise twisting effect
Floats well (in the film) and quick to dry/refloat after a fish.
Quick to tie
Can be seen (as well as expected)

Mark 1 is below - I really do see imperfections in zooming on such a small fly, these are at the extreme of my eye sight capability.

Hook - 20 (Wizard D2)
Tail - CDL (I see one fibre longer than the others, but I can't see it even with my glasses on!)
Body - Vevus 14/0 CO5, tied round the bend
Rib - Hends 0.09 CWS-33
Thorax - SLF fiery claret
Wing - Aerowing tan (next will be tied with dun I think)

This lies as I want in a glass, I'll hopefully get this tried at the weekend to see how it fishes.

Does anyone have ideas/interesting patterns they use in these circumstances


  • P1110481 (2).JPG
    P1110481 (2).JPG
    217 KB · Views: 48

Whinging pom

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2021
Stuart Crofts came up with great Sherry spinner pattern I’ll see if I can find an old one to get a photo. The hook was an SLD 16 or 18
His wings were made from threads of gold organza ( from a small piece of organza cloth or gift ribbon) this is used for the tail too.
His observation of the Spent BWO is that the bodies are always twisted which adds to their particular drag downstream. So he bent the shaft of the hook to make his Cranked spinner. The SLD Bends pretty easy.
:- the fly bellow is scruffy as hell sorry, it’s one of half a dozen survivors that were made 10 years ago and have been fished for that week or two of the BWO falls each season since that I’ve fished. It’s had a few fish in its time !