In late March, the gravel bars in many of our British Columbia rivers begin stirring with the mystery of creation! Salmon eggs that survived being swept away by winter floods or gobbled up by predators begin hatching! The tiny salmon called alevins then face a gauntlet of hungry creatures that would like nothing better than feasting on newly hatched fingerlings! Among such predators are large rainbow and cutthroat trout that indeed are of considerable interest to a fly fisherman! If you are lucky enough to cast a fry imitation into early season waters holding an abundance of salmon fry, you can experience some extremely exciting fishing!
Fly tiers today are fortunate to have some excellent materials available especially for tying salmon fry imitations. Years ago, I tied a salmon fry fly with plain flat silver tinsel and orange or red wool to represent the remaining egg sack in the alevin. Yes, the fly did catch fish but now we can buy materials such as holographic tinsel and translucent larva lace that literally beg those huge trout to strike! This month we will examine a salmon fry imitation tied with such materials that is so effective I call it the Hot Fry fly!
Start by tying in a wispy flat tail of orange or light brown wood duck. Next wrap a body hook bend to eye of holographic tinsel. Near the hook eye, make about three wraps of red or orange larva lace to repesent the remaining egg sack of the alevin. Now select a thin flat piece of pheasant tail without bars and tie it in at the hook eye so that it curves back to the tail close to the fly body. I have also used golden pheasant crest feathers for the wing. The final step is to make a head with two or three wraps of mirage tinsel (it is silver but reflects a hint of colour depending on the angle of viewing). You can finish the head with black or orange eyes marked with a waterproof pen. Cement, tie off and you have finished a fry imitation that is indeed hot!
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