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Ocean Flyfishing for Salmon Perhaps the most under-rated fishery in the world

Thread: Flies for new Pacific Salmon book Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-07-2006 05:39 PM
Salty Dawg
Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon

I am a friend of Les Johnson and I can provide some news. The book has been delivered to the publisher with a few minor updates that need completion. Les has a second hip replacement last week so he is home recuperating. I can tell you that we will all be very happy when this book hits the shelves. Lots of new patterns and more surprises then you can imagine.
Best regards, Steve Rohrbach
11-07-2006 09:25 AM
Eric Hi, Les,

I emailed for a form. Looking forward to the new, revised and expanded version of _Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon_. My patterns will not be original, for the most part, but were not included in the first version of FFPS.

I hope your publisher is considering bringing this volume out in hardback.

One more question: have you contaced Hank Pennington of the Alaska Flyfishers? Hank is an innovative tyer and has developed dozens of successful Coho patterns.


11-07-2006 05:36 AM
juro Not sure the update has occurred, the 1985 edition is still available I see (which I already own).

Les? it would be good to hear from you!
11-06-2006 08:02 PM
derbyshc Anyone have an idea when the book will be available or if preorders are possible?
01-26-2005 03:27 PM
striblue Les, I sent you a PM, but I see there is an e-amil address as well.
09-29-2004 01:14 PM
Grampa Spey
Originally Posted by Searun
I am spearheading a complete update of "Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon" with my colleagues Bruce Ferguson and Pat Trotter. The first edition of the book is now 18-years long in the tooth and going out of prine when remaining books have been sold. The update is actually an all new book that will have a completely new chapter on fly patterns for Pacific salmon.
If you have a pattern or two that you have developed for Pacific salmon since the first book, or a classic pattern that you'd like to submit, we would like to see it for possible inclusion in the new book. To submit your pattern or patterns you will have to fill out a form that must accompany your fly. To receive a copy of the form send me an e-mail:
I will send you a form that explains the details of fly submission. I would like to have all patterns in hand by the end of April, 2004. There are catagories for baitfish, zooplankton, squid and crustaceans. Also patterns are divided up by feeding, wating period and fresh water, so there should be a catagory for everyone. Thanks.

Good Fishing,
Les Johnson
Be sure to private message me when this "new" book is out.

I have a question. I will be in the Brookings area soon.

What flies would you recommend for the King Salmon at the mouth of the Winchuck and Chetco?

What flies would you recommend for the first half mile upstream for both rivers?

Then for the Rogue, what flies for Kings and Silvers in the estuary?

Then what flies up stream and any techniques re fishing with them?

Thanks and good luck with your new book!

Then what
05-10-2004 02:47 AM
splitshot being a drysider in washington i only fish salt about 4 days a year. i will have nothing to submit but i will buy a copy of your book in a heartbeat. love tying new patterns then if they dont work i dont care if they get hung up but they never do, why is that? a real catcher gets hung all the time, why is that? i love fly books. mike
01-06-2004 09:02 PM
Searun Juro,

From my minimal but pretty productive week of fishing around the shallows of Chatham, it really seems to me that there are spots in Puget Sound very much like that stretch of Cape Cod. We have a lot of flats, shallow bays and literally miles of open beachs where the resident coho salmon and cutthroat cruise. We will have to show you more of these places next time you are out this way. Our popular chum salmon fishery takes place on Puget Sound flats where we are wading less than knee-deep.

There are similarities in methods as well. When I was there, a huge hatch of sand lance occurred just outside of the Chatham boat harbor. I had brought my own flies and had a dozen or so tiny sand lance imitations on hand. The stripers had been a bit picky but when I saw the little hatchlings and tied on an imitation of the right size I connected with a nice striper right away. Later in the day Tom Rosenbauer hung into our largest striped bass of the week, a 30-plus incher that came up on top to hit a yellow Gartside Gurgler, a surface fly that makes about the same subdued commotion as Leland's Beach Popper.

Another time Capt. Biski gave us each a chartruese and white Clouser Minnow which he said was, "America's most popular fly." On my last day I left the remainder of my west coast sand lance patterns with Biski. Later I commissioned Tom Rosenbauer to write up an article on the fishery for Flyfishing & Tying Journal, the magazine I was editor of at the time.

Good Fishing,
01-06-2004 08:09 PM
juro Les,

I believe you are right - the ingenuity of a select team of pacific northwest flyfisher most likely preceded the wave of flyfishermen on the striper coast for a number of reasons. First, the cutt - a salter trout, just a perfect quarry for a flyrod. Then the sound, a giant inland sea accomodating to the fly angler with seasonal surges of big ocean-fed salmon of 5 species. Why the stripping basket is said to have originated in the PNW as well.

The rate of adoption in the northeast has nevertheless exceeded that of the PNW probably due to the behavior of coho and chinook salmon during the migratory push, when a deep vee with downriggers skimming 60ft over 300 or more feet of water is going to do the deed all day for the weekend warrior.

Another factor that might have aided the rate of adoption here is the shore fishing. Stripers love to frequent the shoreline, where many salmon roam currents with no regard to the bottom structure.

In any case, I don't think that the legacy of striper fly tying is necessarily better than the saltwater flies legacy for the PNW, it's just that there are more percentages are at play.

Thanks for this opportunity Les!
01-06-2004 05:03 PM
Send for those submission forms

Sparky, if you want the butorac Flashy Lady in the new edition of Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon, by all means tie it up and submit it. That will save me from tying it. Joe was a dear and long-time friend of mine and was featured in "Tube Flies" the book I co-authored with Mark Mandell. Send it in a couple of colors.
The first edition of Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon actually sold a few thousand copies along the northeast coast to saltwater striped bass fishermen since it came out before Lou Tabory's saltwater books. They used the techniques, flies and equipment for striped bass fishing.
When it comes to saltwater fly fishing, it was happening in Washington and British Columbia back in the 1930s, from boats and beaches. I have recently researched the history of fly fishing in Washington and British Columbia extensively. From what I've discovered, Washington fly fishers Letcher Lambuth, Roy Patrick, Wesley Drain, Enos Bradner, Dawn Holbrook, Eddie Bauer and others of the time may have been the most cutting edge group of fly fishers anywhere, bar none. They were incredibly talented and inquisitive but extremely unassuming individuals a way out on the west coast where people didn't know of the alchemy they were brewing in salt water flies, fly line design and saltwater fishing techniques. This history will be expanded considerably in the new edition of Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon.
I do not demean the landmark contributions of east coast fly fishers, because the east coast certainly has its own list of great ones. I am probably a little biased because I live here. However , I did spend a week fishing out of Chatham on Cape Cod in 1998 for stripers with Tom rosenbauer of Orvis and a marvelous guide named Tony Biske(sp). We had a wonderful time catching stripers in a great area. I'm planning on going back one day.
I didn't begin casting flies for salmon and cutthroat in the salt until I returned from the Marine Corps in 1955. I was coached by a man named Jay Foote, owner of Foote's Sporting Goods in Federal Way. At the time Jay had been casting flies to coho near Redondo since 1937.
Good Fishing,
01-06-2004 02:38 PM
topwater you mean to tell me there are other flies in existence that people use for feeding salmon besides chartreuse/white clousers

it'll be interesting to see the fly plates in the new book. i agree with juro that the east coast striped bass flies are pushing the envelope more than west coast flies(unlike steelhead/atlantic salmon flies). i don't know if that will change with the huge difference in numbers of fishermen (plus shore access to the best fishing is imo not available on the west coast). being a fly thief, i welcome the chance to view patterns i otherwise wouldn't.

01-06-2004 06:00 AM
juro Les -

It's great to hear you are putting this book together. I will definitely submit some patterns for your consideration and appreciate the opportunity.

I was living in the great northwest when you were at Swallows Nest and know you helped so many people including myself - it's a chance for us to say "thanks" not to mention the excitement of getting a fly considered.

I remember when I was the only guy at Neah Bay with a flyrod in the 80's, I mean the entire town. I'm sure Les and others were there but I don't think the same day. It's grown a lot yet remains the most under-rated, under-exploited and most exciting fishery I can think of anywhere.

My saltchuck tying was initially inspired by striped bass fishing then adapted to coho, then more recently the coho patterns were re-adapted to stripers again upon moving. There is a huge parrallel in terms of imitations, fly sizes and colors, etc. Although hook position is different, atlantic gamefish patterns provide a big source of experimental possiblities since it's historically been a generally older and broader practice. But of course this is about to change!

Doublespey I've seen your creativity at the vise and you should definitely submit as well! How else will I get the inside skinny on tying them too.

I hope everyone who has a good pattern in their pocket submits to this cause, we really need more literature on this topic. Saltchuck flyfishing in the pacific northwest is perhaps the least practiced yet one of the absolute most exciting and productive. I believe a book like this will be much to get more stewards of the shoreline voting for protection of access, cleanliness, and welfare of salmonids en route as well as in the rivers.

Great stuff Les!
01-06-2004 01:56 AM
So many duplicates

I hope Juro sends in a few of his Tried and True. He introduced me to Seiku's Coho many moons ago and had some fabulous patterns that worked very well, both cast and trolled.

And I know you'll have some of those funny looking floating things with the big heads in there too .

I'd submit some of my tube flies, but most of them were inspired by patterns I saw in your Tube Fly book.

Oh well - gotta keep looking!

01-05-2004 11:02 PM
NrthFrk16 I dont have any of my own flies to offer up but I would hope that my late great freind Joe Butorac's Flashy Lady ends up in there.
01-05-2004 10:26 PM
Flies for new Pacific Salmon Book

It is my hope that I will receive requests from readers of this BB to submit flies for our new Pacific salmon book. Please send all requests for fly submission forms to me at:
I look forward to hearing from you.
Good Fishing,
Les Johnson
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