September and October are the salmon months on most western rivers and streams. For the dedicated angler, cohoe salmon are upper most in their minds at this time of year. I recently made a trip to the Skeena River, west of Smithers, BC, to fish for fall runs of both steelhead and cohoe. Although I took both drift and fly rod equipment, I ended up fly fishing exclusively for cohoe and a successful fly for me on that trip was the Jungle Cock Cohoe. A heavy sink tip fly line is needed to get down to the bottom water layer in order to entice a strike by a salmon but repeated casts into good holding water with the right fly will result in explosive strikes by wild fresh run cohoe salmon. This month, we will examine the Jungle Cock Cohoe that worked well for me in the special release only waters of the Skeena River.
A few raps of lead wire near the hook eye will help to keep this fly near the bottom where it must be fished. Next add a tag starting part way up the hook bend and continue to about 1/4 of the hook shank length towards the eye. You can experiment with various tinsel colors for the tag but the fly shown is red. At this point continue wrapping the body with black wool or chenille. Next secure one or two clumps of black marabou behind the hook eye and allow it to flow just past the hook bend. Now there are two overlays to make on this marabou wing. First, tie in a cerise (purple) dyed mallard flank feather over the marabou and at an equal length to the marabou. The second overlay is a jungle cock eye, one on each side of the wing. The hackle, a red pheasant feather is actually a third overlay as most of the hackle should be positioned to flow over the wing between the jungle cock eyes but also place a smaller amount as a sparse throat hackle underneath. The final step is to add a peacock herl head, tie off, cement and now you are ready for the wild Skeena River cohoe salmon!
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