The Wally Wing style of tying wings was developed by Canadian Wally Lutz and looks fabulous both spent and upright. Here, Bruce Corwin is going to tie a Rusty Spinner with Wally Wings and a peccary body. Bruce is a member of the Hudson Valley Flyfishers, the Catskill Fly Tyers Guild, he’s a New York State licensed guide and a fixture at many of the tying shows. He was introduced to the Wally Wing by talented Dutch tier Henk Verhaar.
He starts with a TMC 2302 size 14 dry fly hook. With the hook firmly secured in his tying vise, he loads a bobbin with rusty brown 8/0 Unithread.
Start your thread on the hook shank immediately behind the eye and take thread wraps rearward all the way to above the barb before snipping or breaking off the tag.
A small amount of rust colored dubbing aids in splitting the tail. Here, Bruce is using Stalcup’s Rusty Spinner. With just a wisp of material, create a short, thin dubbing noodle on your tying thread. Use the noodle to build up a nice little dubbing ball right above the hook barb.
Bruce is going to use Red Brown Microfibetts to form a split tail but other tailing material will work just fine. Snip 4 or so microfibetts free from the bunch. Measure to form a tail about a full hook in length. Lay the fibers directly on top of the hook shank and take thread wraps to secure them. Hold on to the tail while you wrap rearward, splitting the tails into equal numbers on either side of the dubbing ball. You can then continue making thread wraps back up the hook shank to further secure the fibers and create a nice even underbody. Snip the excess butts off close, about 1/4 of a hook shank length behind the eye.
High quality, long peccary like on the left can be difficult to find but is a joy to work with. The shorter, more readily available material on the right will work just fine. Bruce is going to go with the good stuff. Select a single fiber and pull it free from the hide. Lay it against the near side of the hook with the tip pointing forward and take touching wraps of tying thread rearward to secure it all the way back to the dubbing ball. You can then snip the excess tip off close.
Apply a thin layer of CA Adhesive to the thread wraps and begin making touching wraps with the peccary over top of it. Notice how Bruce didn’t wind his tying thread forward and how it helps to hold the peccary wraps tight together. At about the 1/4 point on the hook shank, secure the peccary with tight wraps of tying thread. Make sure it’s bound down really well so it won’t unravel. You can then reach in with your tying scissors and snip the excess off close.
For the wings, Bruce is going to use wood duck but just about any waterfowl flank feather will work. Strip the lower fluffy fibers free from the stem. With the concave or back side of the feather facing you, get hold of the tip with your right hand and gently pull the lower fibers down toward the butt with your left. Make sure each side is even. With the fibers pulled back, squeeze them between the thumb and index finger of your right hand and then pass them to your left hand with your fingertips oriented 90 degrees to them, kind of like “don’t Bogart that feather, my friend”. Keeping the feather tightly squeezed, lay it against the near side of the hook and allow thread tension to carry it to the top. Use a liberal number of thread wraps to bind the feather down and then lift the excess butt ends up and snip them off close. Continue taking thread wraps rearward to secure and cover up the remaining butts.
On one side of the tip, get hold of a few fibers and very gently pull them down. This should split the stem to form the near side wing of the fly. Repeat the process on the other wing to leave just the center of the stem, which can be snipped off close and discarded. With any luck, you’ll be left with something that looks like this.
Push and then pull the wings rearward and make cross wraps between them to get them in a roughly spent wing position. Using tweezers or your fingertips, continue to manipulate the wings so they're properly oriented. Errant fibers can usually be snipped free without causing undo harm and the leftover fibers at the wing tips can be pulled or trimmed away. Getting the proper profile and orientation can take some finagling. Flattened tweezers can help in the effort. Don’t be shy here either, the wings are far more durable then they look.
Using the same dubbing you did for the tail, create a slightly larger dubbing noodle than before. This will be used to build up the thorax of the fly and further lock the wings into position. You can then do a series of half hitches or whip finish to secure your tying thread and snip or cut it off close.
A good quality permanent marker, here orange, is used to color the fly’s peccary abdomen. Once it’s completely colored, a light coat of Sally Hansen’s or here, the more upscale Clinique Top Coat nail polish, will increase the fly’s durability and add some shine. With a little bit of practice, Wally Wings just aren’t that difficult to execute and boy do they make for a nice looking Rusty Spinner.