It was an early October day on the Vedder River, sunny with autumn leaves in full colour. My friend Dave Hesketh and I were Spey fishing a run that just promised spring or coho salmon. Dave had picked up an interesting fly in the river bank rocks and with a quick touch up to sharpen the hook barb, he tied the found fly onto his leader. A holler from Dave a few minutes later had me running downstream to him as he was also carried down river by an obviously large salmon! Some time later, in calmer water, we could see a 25 pound male spring firmly hooked in its top jaw, a sure indication that the salmon had slashed at the fly! The fly resembled a sculpin, small opportunistic fish that will steal salmon eggs at will. My theory is that the male spring salmon, guarding a spawning redd, slashed at the sculpin like fly and was then hooked! Forgive me if I am wrong but why not give this fly a try?
I like to weight this fly with a few turns of lead wire to start. Any red material will do for the tail but I have used red holographic tinsel to add attracting flash. Next wind holographic silver tinsel hook bend to near the hook eye, leaving enough space to later wind the elk hair head. If you are a duck hunter, long brown mallard feathers are hard to come by but they are available in fly shops to use as the wing material. The final step is to spin several pieces of deer or elk hair near the hook eye, then trim to form a head. A dab of black dimensional paint available in fabric shops will give the appearance of eye on each side of the head. An option is to use purchased glue on eyes or eye sets.
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