Late fall is the time for large rainbows from Shuswap Lake to congregate in the Adams River to feed on sockeye eggs. The Adams River sockeye run is known world wide, especially at the four year peak when salmon by the hundreds of thousands make their long journey to spawn in the clear water of the Adams River gravel beds. A popular viewing area has been constructed for public education as many people come to witness the miracle of procreation in these waters. However, when the salmon run is well underway, huge predator trout also visit the salmon spawning beds for a share in the spoils of eggs tumbling along with the river current!
The lower Adams is open to fishing although it is catch and release only with a bait ban in effect. My favorite spot is where the river flows into Shuswap Lake. The current here is rather strong and great care must be taken with your footing as you wade out to the best fly casting places. I recently made a trip to this spot with my friend, Richard Haavik, who during the summer season operates a fishing lodge at Nimpo Lake. It was a fresh November day when we arrived, with a breeze that hinted of cooler weather to come. However, we did have some great action on those big rainbows on a couple of flies, one of which we shall look at in this article, a fly that I call the Adams River Rainbow Special.
Start by attaching a very short tail of red embroidery yarn. My favorite body is gold tinsel but silver tinsel also works well at times. If using gold for the body, first secure at piece of silver tinsel for the ribbing and allow it to project past the hook bend. Then wrap the gold tinsel from hook bend forward in a solid pattern to the hook eye, followed by a counter wrap of the silver tinsel in five turns also to the hook eye. Next, tie in the tan mallard flank on top of the hook shank at the eye and ensure that it flows back low to the shank to about the end of the floss tail. The final step is to make a turn or two of brown hackle at the hook eye, tie off, cement, and you have finished the Adams River Rainbow fly!
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