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Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

Thread: how many are committed to something besides egg patterns ? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-10-2004 05:18 PM
flytyer Peter,

The hackle on the Red Knight is blue-eared pheasant. The hackle on the Redwing Black Bird Spey is good old fashioned, much maligned schlappen prepared in the fashion Steve Gobin showed 13 years ago (I've got the directions for how to do it elsewhere on a schlappen thread).


I don't have a digital camera so I have to scan my flies to put them up on the forum. Unfortunately, not only does my scanner alter the color of florescent hues, when a fly is scanned, it gets canted a tad. This results in the flat-winged speys appearing like the wing is tented or laying right on top of the body. The wing actually rides up at a slight angle from the body (just like a wing on a G.P.) and when the fly is under tension, it helps to push it down in the water column.
11-10-2004 04:16 PM
topwater the question of color is an interesting one. i have always liked bright flies, although if i had to choose one color it would be black. while most of my fishing has been out west, i've had a blast swinging flies for the past month in the great lakes region. i've did well initially on black's and purple's... but just didn't find willing fish on brighter colors (orange, pink). and just in the past couple weeks, i've been playing with natural colors (olive, grizzly) and believe i've been doing much better, even in dirty water flows. whether that's because great lakes fish feed more (i really don't know) i started changing to more natural hues when i noticed the sculpins in the shallows and it has paid off for me.

but, i'm believe confidence is a key factor in flies... and that may probably has more to do with my lack of success with brighter flies. the better i do with darker and natural colors, the less i'm going to reach for something else during the lulls that happen throughout the day.

as an aside, you have one hell of a fishery out here.

11-10-2004 03:54 PM
Charlie Very interesting thread. I myself do not like to dead drift, with or without a bobber (aka strike indicator). It just bores the hell out of me and I think it looks silly when you do it with a spey rod. Some will say that dead drifting is more affective than swinging flies and in a number of cases they are correct. However, I have caught my share of Steelhead and it is no longer a numbers game for me. If I sound arrogant that is not my intention. I donít have a problem with anyone fishing the way they want as long as they are not rude about it.

As for the flies Peter and Flytyer put up, very interesting. And some nice ties. Did you ever think about standing the wing up at a slight angle to get it to plain down? Perhaps if you stacked a small amount of deer hair under the wing and trimmed the butts very close to the hook shank with the tips pointing back you might get the desired results. It would take only a very small amount of hair and would not ad to much buoyancy to the fly.

11-10-2004 03:50 PM
I Haven't read Shewey and some thoughts-

I haven't read Shewey's book, what is the title so I can go out and get it. Until I read Ververka's book, I was just hacking through some of the flies. I never knew how big the spey flies should be.

I have some some thoughts on the Great Lakes Tribs, especially in my area.

The make-up of our river bottoms are a mostly shale which creates hard ledges and areas which are hard to swing flies to because the heads of the pools may be 3 feet but two feet downstream may drop to 7 or 8. Holding water sometimes consists of funky little current breaks created by sharp pieces sticking up. It's not a very nice environ to swing speys. When I get to the pools, swinging flies seems to work as well as any other technique. One of the best ways to fish the shale is to nymph it. It doesn't seem like cheating to me, I spend alot of time fishing for trout this way with my four weight. Does it make me a bad guy?

Any thoughts?
11-10-2004 03:43 PM
Originally Posted by flytyer

Here is a scan of the Redwing Black Bird Spey.
Now that one would make a great Grand River fly, they're suckers for red and black or purple and black.

Where do you guys get such great hackle?
11-10-2004 03:38 PM
flytyer Shaq,

I have listed Veverka's and Shewey's books in my thread on salmon/steelhead fly tying books because I consider both of them to be excellent resources and essential books for those interested in salmon/steelhead flies. I have a preference for Veverka's book though because of his inclusion of a section on materials and material selection in the front of the book.
11-10-2004 03:35 PM
flytyer Peter-

Here is a scan of the Redwing Black Bird Spey.
11-10-2004 03:28 PM
Spey Flies

Also worth the price just for the color slides
11-10-2004 03:27 PM
Ververka's book

Hell, now I'll have to buy another one.
11-10-2004 03:26 PM
peter-s-c Haven't so far -- I'll have to look it up.
11-10-2004 03:16 PM
speaking of Fancies

Have any of you read Bob VerVerka's Book on Spey Flies and how to tie them? Really good sections on the conversion from Atlantic Salmon to Steelhead.
11-10-2004 03:14 PM
peter-s-c Very nice -- great looking hackle too.

Makes me think of a subject for another thread; the value of colourful flies, what the oldtimers in Scotland would've called "fancies" and the more drab flies that rely on natural hues. Obviously both work, but how they work will be different.
11-10-2004 03:04 PM
flytyer Peter-

Here is Don Kaas's Red Knight tied without the gadwall face hackle. Unfortunately, my scanner changes the colors of florescent oranges to a sort of pink, which is why the body colors appear to be all a light pink.
11-10-2004 02:16 PM
peter-s-c Flytyer

Sounds like nice flies -- any pictures available for them?
11-10-2004 02:02 PM
I wish

I wish I was committed to it but it has started to become integrated into my bag of tricks. I guess, because I have to drive 2 1/2 hours to hook a steelhead, I want to hook a steelhead and if that takes a mcfly foam egg to do it, that's what it takes. I usually spend a good amount of time trying popsickles and speys and the like but, since I have been using spey rods for only a year, the confident level isn't too high yet,.

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