Location: Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
Re: Your Flies for Alaska Salmon Fishing
This is a winter Steelhead and Salmon fly. It is another in the family of the 'Alaskabou' flies. The front color of this fly did not come out true in the photo. It is really a deeper Cerise color than the pink it looks here.
Mustad 36890 size 1/0 to 2/0.
Flat silver tinsel from the point of the hook forward.
I like orange for most salmon applications and at the crack of dawn which sometimes is at 2:30 AM here I like orange the best. This fly is a dual purpose type. In low light conditions like turbid water and rainy days It makes a fine searching pattern for steelhead / trout also.
The Sunrise Special;
Hook: Single salmon #2 - #8
Tag: Narrow gold tinsel
Body: Black floss
Rib: Medium gold tinsel
Hackle: Front part of body is wound with bright orange spey hackle and is collared with jet black spey hackle
Wing: A pair of bright orange goose shoulder sections
When it comes to salmon (especially Kings) I keep it simple. These fish are hitters and a large brightly colored fly anywhere near a fish will often bring a strike. Kings are also big and some will break off (even with a 25 lb. leader) so you don't want to be throwing flies that take half an hour to tie at them. Here is a combination of materials that has put salmon in our freezer more than once.
The KISS FLY
Hook: Here I use a 1/0 single salmon, I tie these up to a 3/0 for Kings
Tail: A puff of Oregon Cheese Glo Bug yarn or similar
Weight: 10 - 15 wraps of lead wire on the shank
Body: Fluorescent pink chenille ribbed with a strand of bright red yarn
Throat: Same bright red yarn as the ribbing
Wing: A strand of that bright red wool from the rib is tied inside the Glo Bug yarn to form a wing.
Note: the bright pink body is reflected in the wing and tail material and making it appear pink also. The wing is Lt. Orange but you can do these any way that suits you and they will all work.
These are simple to make and the red stripe in the wing is just the left over yarn (no extra step) clip the excess and use it for the throat. Then split the Glo yarn and tie it around the red wool. Nice, and about 3 - 4 minutes each.
I dead drift these for Pink Salmon as you would a nymph. On the right day this color can catch plenty of salmon. An easy fly to tie and worth having in the box in as many colors as you can imagine. I will post just one variation. If you have a favorite color combo for this fly please feel free to put one up.
Chartreuse Green Comet
Hook: Single salmon sizes 2 - 10
Thread: Chartreuse mono cord
Tail: Small bunch of Chartreuse Green calf tail
Body: Flat silver tinsel ribbed with fine silver wire for weight and strength
Collar: Chartreuse hackle
Eyes: Large silver bead chain
Every now and then during the King Salmon runs I get the chance to swing big classic style flies at them. I began tying this pattern when I moved to Alaska and it finds its way onto my leader every spring. Taken from the colors of the famous Dare Devil Spoon I called this the Double Dare. I first tied it on double hooks for silvers and pinks but began using it for kings three years ago.
Ard's Double Dare single hook;
Hook: Here I use a 3/0 single hook
Tag: Heavy French Braid in gold
Tail: Two Gold pheasant crests dyed scarlet red
Tip: Rear section is scarlet red floss, front is black floss. This tipping makes up half the hook shank
Body: Black chenille
Hackle: A scarlet red spay hackle is palmered over the black chenille body and then finished as a collar
Ribbing: Beginning at the black floss tip heavy French Braid brought forward and covering the hackle stem for strength
Wing: Up top place a full bunch of white calf tail
Double Dare two point;
Here's that #6 Double Hook;
Hook: #6 double salmon
Tag: Medium French Braid gold
Tail: Scarlet crest or hackle barbs
Tip: Scarlet floss
Body: Black floss
Rib: French Braid gold
Hackle: Scarlet Saddle as a collar
Wing: White calf tail
More classic patterns on doubles
The Pass Lake was originated by the Native people of Labrador in the early 1900's and has made its way from there all the way to Alaska.
Hook: Your choice double size 4 - 8
Tail: Brown hackle bunch
Body: Black yarn or chineile, I use mohair yarn here
Wing: White calf tail, goat, or bear
Collar: brown hackle
Maynard's Marvel was developed in New England in the early 1900's and was tied as a smelt pattern.
Hook: I have used a Mustad #4 here
Tail: Red or claret hackle
Body: Silver embossed tinsel
Wing: Three materials, Gold pheasant body on bottom, then light blue buck tail top with bronze mallard flank
Collar: Red / claret hackle tied down to a throat
The Rogue River Special, I have seen this pattern tied with upright wings made with calf tail on fine wire doubles but I used a heavy hook and tied streamer style wing here. Originated on the Rogue River in Oregon for steelhead & salmon fishing. Based on the productivity of flies like Thor and Skykomish Sunrise that share this basic color concept with the white wing this fly will catch fish for me this year.
Hook: Salmon double, your choice
Tail: Orange hackle fibers
Body: Rear is golden yellow silk - front burgundy floss
Rib: Gold tinsel
Hackle: A few turns of dark furnace hackle the longer the better, mine is a bit short but I figure it'll work.
Wing: Choice of white hair, buck tail, calf tail, white bear or synthetic
Eyes: Jungle cock eyes
Originally produced as a steelhead fly this is another pattern that is definitely a dual purpose pattern. I will place it in both Salmon & Steelhead threads, you will note that this is another KISS pattern, very simple to tie.
Hook: Here I have used size 1 steelhead iron heavy wire
Tail: Bright Orange hackle barbs
Body: Most patterns call for claret red chenille but I have dubbed claret and black Australian opossum for the body
Collar: Brown saddle hackle long and soft
Wing: White calf tail
When I first came to Alaska the majority of my gear and all of my tying tools and materials were in storage and awaiting transport. So I went to a shop and bought some flies. One of those patterns was the venerable Egg Sucking Leech. I used it for silver salmon when fall rolled around and the flies caught a bunch of fish. After getting my tying gear here I made a few tweaks to the pattern and am still using it on both silvers and trout.
Hook: This is a single salmon 1/0
Body: Black chenille
The Leech: A strip of bunny fur dyed black and lashed on top of the chenille
The Egg: Two pieces of bright orange egg yarn, one top, one bottom. Stretch them and trim them to form the head.
This is another KISS pattern, easy and very effective.
Not really authentic because most that I have seen are simply tied to a bare hook. Just buck tail, Red & White and Green & White seem to be most popular colors offered for sale, and they are sold everywhere in Alaska. Good for all species I like the red & white.
Russian River Fly;
Tie one; Nothing hard about this fly, I have tried repeatedly to tie on the bare hook but have not been able to do it.
Hook: Single Salmon #1
Body: Wrapped with pink sparkle tinsel
Wing: Red & White buck tail, stack them and lacquerer them in well.