A few years ago when I started using a Spey rod, I had some success on all species of West Coast salmon except for Springs! I kept track and would you believe I lost, except for a couple of jacks, my first 20 spring salmon hooked. They were all Vedder River fish with power to burn and in various ways, I lost every one! Some tore off down river and forced me to clamp down on the reel to save expensive fly line set-ups. I use a floating line with ten feet of 600 grain sink tip all attached to a running line with backing. Others simply broke the leader or fly which made me wonder if I could ever catch springs with a Spey outfit. I still lose my share of those magnificent salmon but I did break the ice a couple of years ago with a nice 15 pound fish although many of the fall Vedder springs are much larger. What on? Well, I have found there is no guaranteed fly for springs but more like steelheading, it is a matter of placing the fly deep in a run where the fish have schooled near the river bottom. With so many fishermen on the Vedder during peak times, it is hard to find those spots when Spey fishing but over the years I do know where a fly fisherman does have a chance. In addition to the Egg Stealer (October 2016), fly colours in peach, deep red and orange all work to some degree and a fly I call the Vedder Orange has at times produced for me. Enough so that with winter now in full swing, we can tie up a few for next season!
Cut a piece of the mainly orange rabbit not more than 1/2 inch length of skin, with the attached hair flowing back about twice as long. Firmly tie the rabbit leather on top of the hook shank so that a tail is formed around one inch long. The leather skin should end just ahead of the hook bend where you will now attach a black hackle feather of medium length tip first. Also at this point tie in a piece of large black chenille and proceed to wind it forward to near the hook eye. Next wind the hackle feather in spaced turns to the hook eye. Half hitch here but before tying off, carefully and very snugly, wind your tying thread back through to the hook bend and then forward to the hook eye. This ensures the hackle will stay firm when a salmon tries to tear it apart! The final step is to wind a bright orange head of either rod tying thread or floss. Tie off, cement and you just might catch a spring salmon with this fly!
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