Spring Chinook flies ? Anyone ?
Anyone have a good pattern for Spring Chinook ??
I have been able to get a couple on black wooly buggers, but am looking for a more productive pattern if you have one to share.
I spent a lot of time trying to solve the springer enigma with flies and came to the conclusion the most important factor was the mood of the fish (given that they are in the pool). I caught them on natural, orange and purple bunny rats (see recipe), estaz bodied wet flies with marabou wings (orange/red theme and purple/black theme), tube flies tied in an extended spade style with a marabou tail (sort of squiddy looking), etc.
Some of them came to a fly that was held solid in boily water (no downstream drift) because the fish kept getting pushed toward the surface in the boils so I hung the fly down. The irregular currents danced it around and I watched a mid-20's chinook come up with a boil and eat my fly, will never forget that sight.
In the end, it was not a very consistent pursuit but the few I caught were spectacular. By fall, I took the approach of stopping before and after work for a few casts at the last pool affected by tide in a river near my home. Some days it would be full of fresh chinook and one would rip my arm out of socket on the second cast, hitting a swung fly like a summer steelhead - other days I could not buy a strike while the roe guys cleaned house.
Nothing consistent about them, except the fact that they were very moody. Fall fish seemed a lot easier to hook then springers. My best springer came from the North Fk Lewis. Those were fun days!
For many years I have had the same experience. Nothing is consistent for them. But now that the Cow is my home I am working on them. I know I know its a tough job but somebodys got to do it. :lildevl:
My grandson that just got back from Iraq will get here this afternoon and he and I will be flogging the water in the morning.
The few spring chinook I've caught were hooked on chartreuse comets (chartreuse calf tail, lime green braided mylar body, and chartreuse hackle, medium bead chain eyes), hot pink comet (hot pink calf tail, pink or silver braided mylar body, hot pink hackle, medium bead chain eyes), hot orange comet (hot orange calf tail, solver braided mylar body, hot orange hackle, medium bead chain) - I tie these on #4 and #6 stainless saltwater hooks.
My favorite for chinook, silvers, and chum a fuschia bunny tied on a heavy weight AJ spey hook #3 (body [also acts as the tying thread] is fuschia Unit-Stretch, wing/tail is fuschia bunny strip tied down above hook point and again just behind the hook return, then hackle the fly with 2 turns of the bunny strip after it is tied down behind the hook return, 3 strands each of hot pink and blue Kystal Flash on each side of fly tied in after bunny hackle is tied in and cut off). Very simply to tie and very effective.
The spring chinook I've caught all just picked up the fly fished almost dead drift on a sink tip in the throat of the hole. The takes were very soft.
Here is a scan of the fuschia bunny.
Thanks,, I will whip up some of the comets. I have the bunnies in every color. Odly enough the wolly guggers with a maribou collar seem to be the best. I put some green and blue flashabou in the tail. I will try a blue and black combo tomorrow. Gary at the M.H. seems to like blue and black.
The ones I have caught also took on the drift just prior to the swing. all of a sudden they were just there.
If you get a chance come on down for a day.
In my area the July/ August fish will take a small egg pattern drifted through deep clear pools. The clearer the water the smaller the pattern, three sixteenths of an inch up to three eights inch light pink or peach with a small red spot. Late September through to early November simple white Marabou fly one inch to 2 inhces in length. Early summer fish can weigh up to 35 pounds but it is not a large run, the later Fall run is many times more plentiful with an average size of 20 to 25 pounds with a good number of fish into the 40' and 50's.
Getting the fish to take the fly is not the biggest problem it is getting the fly right in front of the fish in deep fast running water.
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