Atlantic Salmon Fly of the week – Lafrancois
The Originator of this Bomber like fly, George Maul of St-Rene de Matane, Quebec, created it in the mid 1960’s. It was originally called the Whiskers but was later renamed by an outdoor writer after George’s nephew Ovila Lefrancois. This fly originally became popular on the Matane river and later throughout Quebec.
Hook: Up eye salmon dry fly hook.
Tail: White calf tail.
Body: Spun and clipped white deer hair.
Body Hackle: White or light badger cock hackle.
Hackle: White or light badger cock hackle.
Wing: White calf tail.
I,, and I alone,,, fish this and others of the same gene pool on Prince Edward Island for the early run on the Morell. Another gem is the Le or la Crevette. Now kindly sshhhhh!!!!!;) Nice tie Charlie,,,as usual.
SalmonChaser..... it's my Number 1 fly, too!!! :roll:
I think you have that one in your box! I know it's not in mine anymore.
While thumbing through this archive, I stumbled upon this fly and read the story. I met Olivia Lefrancois several times on the river back in the 70s. He almost exclusively used drys on the Matane. He could cast and drift a dry a "country mile". Although he was one of the most successful fisherman on that river, his story was tragic, and he wound up commiting suicide. No one I know knows why.
In any event, this fly was also called a "Hairy Harry" and fished my most of us. It seemed much more effective than the traditional bomber. Another great dry fly fisherman of that era was a gentleman named Cole Wile. He fished this fly exclusively. Most of the time it was tyed with white calf tail wings and tail, a medium brown clipped deer hair body, and Rhode Island Red hackle palmered and collared. It was tyed on sizes #2 - #8 Wilson light wire hooks.
I ty them in all colors and combinations using all colors of dyed deer hair, hackle, and calf tail. Some I ty with bright coloured egg sacks. But the usual killer is the brown and white, and the all white. It seems like a secret that everyone knows.
I remember thinking when I first saw this fly among the sample flies you sent me a few years ago that this would make a terrific steelhead fly, and it does.
Nice tie, as always, Charlie,
Got me wondering though. I've been told that dry flies, such as Bombers, are ALWAYS fished on a slack line and never waked or skated, as we steelheaders commonly do with our dry flies.
Since Atlantic salmon will rise to a riffled hitch wet fly, why not to a skated or waked Bomber or Green Machine or Whatever?
Or are there hectics who do fish their dries on a tight line downstream and across?
Great background on the fly and very interesting story.
There are Atlantic salmon fishermen that are starting to use skated flies for salmon and, your thoughts are correct, they work well. When I first sent some bombers to Russ they were tied with upright wings for dead drifting. Knowing that I was also a steelhead fisherman Russ advised that I should tie the wings slanting forward so I could also use them as skaters for steelhead and this is now how I tie them. It makes no difference how the wing is tied for dead drifting the fly and now if I feel the situation calls for a skated fly I can use it for that purpose.
Man ... I've skated Bombers on salmon rivers in three provinces and never moved a fish to this presentation. I fish them dead drift all of the time now.:confused:
It could be argued that I've just not been persistent enough with skaters. However, salmon fishing is a matter of faith and confidence and it's hard to persist when you feel that you are wasting both time and casts.
My basic tendencies are to fish wets whenever there is enough flow to work the fly, and use dead-drift dry flys in the relatively slow spots in pools. Not too revolutionary - I've become more 'traditional' over my years on salmon water.
We refer to all of the Lefrancois-style dries (deer hair body with a Wulff-style hackle) as 'Gaspe Bombers,' to contrast them with 'Miramichi Bombers' (the classic cigar shape with no concentration of hackle at the head). I love the look of the Gaspe Bombers, and they have become my favorite dry fly salmon patterns. I've got a mild spectrium of body and hackle colours on these flies, but the Lefrancois colour pattern has been very kind to me.
One more thing - I really don't like clipping deer hair bodies! Bits of hair all over the house. Anybody have any tying secrets for keeping the hair bits from flying all over the place?
As always, a very nice Charlie-job on the fly.
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