British Columbia weather August through mid October was much drier than usual, strange after such a wet spring! Rivers around the province became very low by October, especially on Vancouver Island. While visiting our daughter at Cobble Hill on Thanksgiving weekend, I took two of our grandsons to the Upper Cowichan walk-in fly fishing pool only to find that the whole river was closed to all angling on October 5, 2012, due to the extremely low water conditions! My favourite October stream, the Vedder River, near Chilliwack, BC, was also low but still open to the usual hordes of fishermen. With no rain in sight, I fished it on three occasions with only marginal success prior to the rains that started on the October 13 weekend. I then heard a report from a friend that the rains had brought on a significant run of Coho, both hatchery and wild!
I could hardly wait to give those salmon a try so my friend Tony Lillington and I left Kelowna at 6:00 am on October 16 for a day of fishing at the Vedder! My trap shooting friend, Dave Hesketh, from the Christian Valley, was already on the river so we met him at the Tamihi Rapids shortly after 9:00 am. Dave gave us a very encouraging report of many Coho hooked although few were landed both the evening before and early that morning. I decided to Spey fish with flies although I did have my float gear with me. I am happy to report that I did hook several Coho but only landed two in the turbulent Tamihi water, a wild that I released and a prime hatchery fish that I did keep. A few Chums and the odd large Spring salmon certainly added to the excitement! Thanks to Dave's experience on this trip, I have a fly that proved very good for the big Springs which we will examine next month but some new fly tying materials helped to create a fly that the Cohos sure liked! I call it my Hot Coho fly which will be the topic for this month's fly tying article. Oh yes, my friend Tony took a snap of me late in the day fishing the Tamihi water although you will notice that I am using float gear because the leader end loop on my sink tip attached to my Spey shooting head simply gave out a few minutes earlier!
The fly shown has a few wraps of Cabela's lead free wire but this may not be needed if you are fishing slower water. I first tie in a short length of peach yarn a bit back of the hook eye, then I loop the yarn back to the starting point and secure it there. This yarn is a new type, at least to me, with a stringy sparkle material laced throughout the yarn! I then trim a thin piece of fluorescent pink edge brite, a rubbery material, to make an elongated head. Finish the fly with a radiant pink short hackle at the hook eye, tie off, cement and you have just created a winning Coho fly!
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