Last month we talked about a coho salmon fly that didn't work well for cohos but did a magnificent job on dollies. This month we will look at a coho fly that has worked well for me on the Lakelse River, near Terrace, BC. A few years ago, during the first week of October, Skip Wheatley, Tony Lillington and I fished our way from Kelowna to Terrace, stopping at one or two lakes and also at some old favorite steelhead holes on the Bulkley River. The Steelhead were in short supply but those strong silver Lakelse cohos did not disappoint us, thanks to the fly that is featured in this month's article.
This is a very simple fly to tie. Start by securing your tying thread to the hook shank and half hitch in a 4 inch piece of gold mylar for the ribbing. Next tie in the blue green wool at the hook bend and wind forward to the hook eye and tie off. Then wind the mylar opposite to the wool but also forward to the hook eye using 5 to 7 evenly spaced turns. A sparse white polar bear throat hackle is optional and would be tied in at this stage but I have found the fly to be just as effective without the throat hackle! The next step is to work on the overlayed wing. First tie in 15 or so strands of bright blue krystal flash at the hook eye and layer it back as far as the hook bend. Then tie in a sparse clump of blue polar bear hair on top of the krystal flash at the hook eye, allowing it to extend perhaps 1/4 inch past the hook bend. Whip finish the head, cement and you have finished an excellent coho salmon fly.
Note that the hook size is small as I have found river cohos seem to prefer smaller rather than larger flies! In a river such as the Lakelse, quarter your casts upstream and use a quick sink tip line with a short leader that will ensure your fly drifts very close to the bottom where the fish are resting. If you don't have frequent bottom hookups, you are not fishing deep enough!
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