Ah, January, time to check out the Vedder River for that prize of North American gamefish, steehead! My friend Dave Hesketh's son Dan, has already had some marvellous days this fall at Terrace including a 16 fish caught and released day on the Copper River and several multiple steelhead days on the Kalum!
Most BC steelheaders float fish for these magnificant trout but there is no better thrill than to catch a steelhead on one of your own hand tied flies! Early this year I asked my friend, Bill Shea of Kenmore, Washington, if he could tie up a plate of steelhead flies representing our six (now seven with the Winnipeg entry) Canadian NHL teams. Knowing Bill's vast skill as a fly tier, I was not surprised when he quickly sent me a plate of the then existing six NHL Canadian hockey teams. We covered the first three as numbers 173 to 175, March, April and May, 2011. Now that steelhead season has again rolled around, we will detail the next three, starting this month with a fly I call the Bill Shea Canadien (note the French spelling, that should give you a clue of which team it is)!
Start by tying in a tail of white polar bear hair or equivent material if you cannot find the real thing. Next secure a length of flat silver tinsel on the hook shank and let it project past the hook bend. Now wrap bright red chenille hook bend to just before the hook eye, followed by well spaced wraps of the silver tinsel. Then select a soft white hackle feather and make a couple of turns just back of the hook eye. The blue ploar bear (or equivent material) wing is the next step. Complete the fly with a whip finish to form a head with your black tying thread. Cement, tie off, and you have finished Bill Shea's Canadien!
Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"
CANADA, a clean, spacious, scenic, fun place to visit!