This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Doc Spratley Wet Fly.
This is a fly I used at Pennask Lake in British Columbia back in 2007. We stayed at Pennask Lake Lodge with friends who were members there. Yes, it was a few years ago.
According to Flies of the Northwest (1979) by the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club, the Doc Spratley was developed by Dick Prankard around 1949 and named for Dr. Donald A. Spratley of Mt. Vernon, WA. The fly is one of the very best searching patterns to be found on B.C. lakes. Prankard’s wife Dorothy tied the fly commercially for several years. In the book, she is quoted about the fly history. “She says he ‘called the fly Doc Spratley because the doctor came in the store at the time he was tying it and asked Dick what the name was and Dick replied, I think I’ll call it the Doc Spratley.'”
Part of my Internet research found a reference from Pacific Northwest Fly Patterns (1970) by Patrick’s Fly Shop, so I pulled out my copy and sure enough, there it was. To my surprise, it was listed as Dr. Spratley in the steelhead section. The narrative states:
“Started out as a good steelhead fly for all seasons. Now has become quite versatile and used for Canadian fishing as well as our own lakes and streams. Size #6 and 8 for cutthroat, #8 for Canadian lakes, and in the smaller sizes for streams in the Pacific Northwest. When not used for steelhead may use the regular sproat hook. Classed as super excellent.”
Enjoy…go fish, stay safe!
I first encountered this fly pattern in ” Fly Patterns of British Columbia”; although hardly recognizable when compared to your photo. The parts are similar but much more robust in there application in my offerings, with broad flat silver rib and much fuller beard guinea hen hackle and tail.