Fly Tying Patterns: Queen of the Waters Fan Wing

Ace of Spades - Fly Tying Pattern
  • Hook: Dry Fly up to #8
  • Thread: White for underbody, Black for Head 8/0
  • Rib: Fine Gold Wire or Fine Gold Oval Tinsel
  • Body: Danvilles Bright Orange or Burnt orange Floss
  • Wing: 2 x Mallard Flank
  • Hackle: Ginger or Red Game Hackle Plamered through Body, 1 or 2 hackles x1.5 gape of hook wound each side of wing

  • Tying Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Tied by D. Howard
  • back to the fly pattern library
  • Queen of the Waters Step-by-Step Guide

The Queen of the Waters is a pattern that dates back to the 19th Century. In Mary Orvis Marbury's book Favourite Flies and their Histories, it is mentioned many times and there there is a "family" to this pattern; a Feather Wing Streamer, a Bucktail Streamer (possibly two variations), several variations of the Wet fly, a Dry fly and this Fan Wing Dry.

The original Queen of the Waters wet fly it is considered to have been created around 1820 by Scottish Professors John Wilson (“Christopher North”) and his brother James Wilson.

There is little information about the fan wing version of the Queen of the Waters, although it is mentioned in the famous London tackle dealers Ogden Smith's catalogue dated 1911 where it was listed under "American Dry Flies", also in Eric Leiser's 1987 book The Book of Fly Patterns. It must be remembered that the taking of wet patterns and turning them into other styles has been common place for a great number of years.

One thing to note is that the rib is wound first and then the palmered hackle follows behind, touching (as close as possible) the rib whereas the modern method would be to counter-wind the rib to help protect the hackle. This method of ribbing dates back to at least the early 19th Century and some claim it to be as effective as the current counter-winding method.