As a boy, my home streams were the Little Campbell and the Nicomekl River. The Little Campbell ran through our property, a smaller stream than the Nicomekl and also much swampier with buckbrush laced beaver channels making fly fishing quite a challenge! The "Nic" as termed by my fishing friends, was contoured by dikes in much of its Langley to Mud Bay flow, undoubtedly limiting its fish producing potential. However, it still managed to give up trout, steelhead and coho salmon in season to determined fishermen. It was also a great place to practice one's fly casting as long stretches of treeless dikes allowed unimpeded casting! I recall spending many hours doing just this, especially when Coho salmon were running in late October and November. In those days I did not tie my own flies, depending instead on buying one or two from Bishops Sports store in Langley when I could afford it or on very rare occasions, a trip to the Army and Navy store in New Westminster netted perhaps a dozen flies at bargain prices!
A favorite fly from those days was the appropriately named "Nicomekl". I cannot remember where I obtained this fly but I do recall the strong pull of a Coho salmon as it fought my fly in its home river. I was devastated when the salmon broke my leader and disappeared with the fly, the only one that I owned! I can smile today at my long ago predicament and perhaps there is a silver lining to my loss as I can now share the fly dressing with you.
Tie in the golden pheasant tail first, then add the gold wire and a thin strip of orange wool to the hook shank. Wind the wool forward until it covers half of the hook shank where you will tie in a piece of burgundy chenille (or wool). Now wind the burgundy material forward to the hook eye and tie off. Next, wind the gold wire through to the hook eye in 6 or 7 turns to form a rib. A burgundy hackle is the next step, either by making a few turns of your feather at the hook eye and trimming the top or by pinching the material to form a throat hackle. Add a low brown mallard or wood duck wing, tie off, cement and you have finished the "Nicomekl" wet fly!
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