Silver Salmon Tubes;

Ard

Administrator
Messages
19,734
Reaction score
942
Location
Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
I'm pretty sure they will catch other species but after having 15 seasons to cast all sort of flies and every color combination imaginable the results qualified by the number of hits narrowed the colors down to what you see here.



There are specialty color combos for kings that have a different type of build and they too are the result of the same length of testing all sort of flies. I have had trout grab onto both the silver combo and the king flies but the majority of trout & steelhead trout get caught on a totally different style of fly. The thought of using one of the vivid color combos never crosses my mind any more when I'm fishing for trout here.

What makes the flies shown above different than their predecessors is that they have artificial jungle cock eyes on them. I decided to give the Generation 2 eyes from Pro Sportfisher a trial run and found them to be about perfect for this style of fly. The entire product line comes out of Denmark and includes tubes and all the other components I use for tube flies.

Regarding the artificial eyes I found them to be very realistic, soft, very pliable and they do not affect the way the flies swim or travel while in the currents. I don't use them on my trout & steelhead flies but for salmon I don't have a problem with them. I've used sub par jungle cock feathers that needed to be treated with adhesives because they were splitting apart. Those feathers do become stiff due to the glue and will eventually come apart again so the artificial seemed to be OK for some applications to me.

There are numerous suppliers of tube fly components but having tried 3 different of the available products I settled on Pro Tubes as being the easiest to use. They are a one and done type tube, no need for liners or extension tubing when using the 40mm Flexi Tubes and that's a nice touch. The Micro tubes allow for much more compact flies (that's what is in the picture) the entire fly is all material and there is a very small and short tube involved.

The Pro Tube manufacturer has a wide range of various weights and cones available that allow you to fine tune these flies to any weight fly line so that the finished flies can be cast with ease while still having the ability to sink down to whatever depth needed.

Cost, everyone has cost somewhere on their mind when shopping fly tying components and these are not cheap. I can't break it down precisely to a per fly amount but if I said that with standard components and materials on my finished flies run about $2.00 The upside is that if you tie well so that they stay together under use they last for years. This year I lost just one tube fly and that was the result of my breaking the tippet at the knot while removing a hook from a salmon. The tube then was free to slide off the line and it fell into the current and I could not catch it before it speed away...….

Generally when you have a fish hooked on these things the tube with all the tying slides free from the hook and you simply slide it out of the way while removing the hook. Once the hook is free you loose the fish, check the knot and then just slide the tube back down the leader and seat the hook back into the rear end of the tubing. I'm sold on them and seldom revert to the many standard ties I have on hand which are tied on regular hooks.
 

flytie09

Well-known member
Messages
3,240
Reaction score
455
Location
VA
Interesting insight to the material and color selection for these flies Ard. Even with the various species you're targeting. You've definitely put alot of thought and r&d into them.

Using imitation JC can definitely cause quite a stir with some. While I'm partial to real JC.....these are fine alternatives. JC, real or fake, are definite focal points and add considerably to the overall design and presentation of almost any fly.
 

Ard

Administrator
Messages
19,734
Reaction score
942
Location
Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
They are weighted with what Pro calls a Drop Weight and the tubes are the micro size so the whole gob of marabou is tied onto a very compressed space. other than all the fluff there isn't much to them when you handle one.

The R&D came in part thanks to people who were clients fishing for silvers. Some days the fish just don't want to bite and I would encourage changing colors until someone started getting grabs. It became evident that flies of any type having both hot pink & blue or pink & purple were getting fish while other colors were not.

With that experience in hand I would go home at night and start making flies that were similar to what had caught the fish. Then you go try them the next day. After a number of days where the catching rate continues to go up you start thinking you have something that they are seeing as worthy of grabbing.

The downside is that once you have that as a plan and you rig 2 people with the secret weapon flies and they don't get a fish in the first half hour what do you do? Sometimes I move to a different type of water where I know the fish pass or hold and other times when you know there are fish where you are you stay the course and wait for one to break rank and grab hold.

I have seen days where changing to a black or dark olive Intruder brings fish when dragged along the bottom but generally the pink & purple looking stuff gets it done :)
 
Top