I recently returned from a trip to Terrace, British Columbia, where with my friend Dave Hesketh and his grandson Dakota, we fished the nearby Skeena River. The water levels in all BC rivers this year are high and the Skeena was no exception! In fact, I have never seen this fantastic salmon river so high and coloured! In mid to late July, usually fishing for giant spring salmon is excellent but this year few of these magnificent fish were being caught. However, seven to eight pound sockeye were numerous, bright and silver fresh run fish!
The gravel bar that we fished did not have large rocks and this allowed "bottom bounce" fishing with drift rods without a lot of lost gear. Even though the water was brown from the muddy high water run-off rather than the usual blue green, we had numerous sockeye hook-ups fishing this way! I did take my spey rod on this trip and I spent about half of my fishing time trying to hook sockeye salmon with a spey fly. I must admit that drift fishing resulted in more hooked salmon because your lure would be in the water many times longer than a typical spey fly drift but the joy of a salmon vigourously dancing on your spey line more than made up for slightly less hooked fish! Shown at left are a brace of sockeye I caught while spey fishing and I want to share the fly pattern I used with you!
Tie in a few strands of green or silver krystal flash and cut very short for the tail. Next cut a length of pearl mylar piping to fit hook bend to hook eye, pull the center filling and slip the outer weave past the hook eye. Cinch tight at the top of the hook bend and the same at the hook eye. I then flip the hook in my tying vise to tie in the bright red throat hackle of craft cord. Place the hook upright again and finish the fly with a very short top wing of pearl blue diamond braid. The resulting fly is therefore red, white and blue so I have named it the All American spey fly!
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