Let's start off 2013 with a big fly for big fish, spring salmon or as our USA friends would say with reverence "Kings"! I had a ball last fall fishing the Vedder River for both coho and spring salmon. I found a fly that worked very well for both species, the coho fly being featured in the November 2012 article number 193, "Don's Hot Coho". Now we will examine a large fly that really attracted those monster Vedder fish, some up to 40 pounds, spring salmon! I found a purple hue using different but bright shades of flashabou did the trick, and I now would like to share that secret with you! We will examine the fly construction in two stages as shown.
We will explain the fly construction in two stages, in part, because I like to tie the fly with a shank wrapped leader, ie, a leader pre-tied using a bait loop. I have found those big springs are just too tough to hold when I tie my leader using an improved cinch knot directly to the hook eye and a pre-tied shank wrap will hold better. The first step in stage one is to crimp the hook barb and slide the heavy bead through to the hook eye. Next push a leader through the bead hook eye to hook bend of poundage to your liking (I use a 20 pound 3 or 4 foot leader for my spring salmon fishing). Fix the leader to the hook shank with a bait loop and tighten against the bead. A trick to firmly secure this knot is to cut the end short and burn it as close as possible to the wrap thus leaving a small melted bulge that will not slip under pressure. Complete stage 1 with a few turns of lead wire to your liking since most of your salmon hookups will be at or near the river bottom.
Since you now have perhaps 4 feet of leader projecting past the hook eye, all further steps will mean that you must pull the leader free from your tying thread as you wrap or half hitch the fly body and wing, a bit of a nuisance but you will soon master the trick of doing so. The first step is to secure a bright purple braid just behind the last lead wrap. Wind the braid back to the hook bend, securing it with your tying thread as you go. I then like to wind the braid forward to the starting point, all the while clearing the leader and half hitching all along the way. You then wind your tying thread to a point just behind the bead at the hook eye and apply several layers of flashabou for the wing. I start with gold, followed by green, blue and a final overlay of purple flashabou. A strand or two of blue, silver or purple krystal flash for additional attraction in the last overlay will add a bit of sparkle to your fly! Another trick that I use for each wing layer is to start the flashabou wrap at the hook bead and fold it back past the hook bend. I make a wrap or two plus a half hitch to secure it then I fold the flashabou forward, again half hitch, then back again and so on until I reach the end of the flashabou strands, usually about three loops. Now cut the loop ends so the material more or less trails past the hook bend about a half inch or so. A final step to finish the fly is to make eyes at the side just behind the bead with black dimensional fabric paint. If you like spey fishing as I do, this big fly will really do the job on big spring salmon hookups for you!
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