Winter Flies / Colours / Sizes - Fly Fishing Forum
Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

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Old 12-15-2004, 09:19 AM
peter-s-c peter-s-c is offline
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Winter Flies / Colours / Sizes

Now that we're getting to the days cold, clear, low waters -- just wondering what people like to use in these conditions.

I don't have a picture of the fly, but a small, yellow wet similar to this one:

http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharles/steelheadwet.jpg

has worked for me quite well on the Credit River in these conditions. Though yellow patterns don't seem to be a high on the steelhead fly dressers list of favourites, it has worked for me with some consistency.

Some rivers get associated with a particular colour fly -- purple is the big hit for the Grand, but I wonder if this is mostly due to the predominant water colour. The Grand is usually stained through the Brantford/Paris/Caledonia stretch so big and purple usually works. Once the staining reduces, lighter colours work well. Pink and purple is also a good colour combo for the murk. I've been told a number of times that red & black are good colours for this stretch but that's a combo that's never worked for me.

The milky green colour of the Catt seems to favour pink flies while the slight olive stain of the Credit seems to fit yellow/chartreuse.

Always makes me wonder if there are relationships between flies, water, sunlight, and time of year, or is it a case of anglers fishing flies they believe in and then rationals are built around why they work . . . .
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Old 12-15-2004, 11:11 AM
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snaggletooth snaggletooth is offline
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Purple and Black have both been strong producers for me in murky water, and Olive and White are my top colors for more clear water. I definitely agree with the idea that my confidence in a fly plays a major role in how successful I am with it!
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Old 12-15-2004, 12:21 PM
Gillie Gillie is offline
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In the winter I love swinging bunny speys, anywhere from 4 to 1/0. White in clearer water and black or purple in off color. This is a Rick Kustich pattern.

Gillie
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Old 12-15-2004, 12:32 PM
Gillie Gillie is offline
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Black Bunny spey with peacock black ice dubbing.
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Old 12-15-2004, 12:54 PM
peter-s-c peter-s-c is offline
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Very nice -- never think to combine bunny with spey. I have both Rick's books, with his patterns in it and I never think to tie them.

On the colour plates of "Fly Fishing for Great Lakes Steelhead, the "Petite" series by John Valk is the same fly as I mentioned above.
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Old 12-15-2004, 01:20 PM
Shaq Shaq is offline
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As you guys know

As you guys who have been reading some of my posts know, I am relatively new to the swinging thing, on a recent trip to the Salmon River in extremely high water, I had a moment of insanity and grabbed the single hander. Reqretted it all day. I can no longer return to those days as the only fish hooked was on the swing after bouncing a large nymph through the pool. Also saw two fish hooked on the long rod that day. I have developed some speys based on patterns I used to chuck and duck like a prince nymph tied with long spey like legs and some rubber legged stones to swing for the winter. I am interested in the results and for input on winter patterns. Thanks
Shaq

ps: Also saq a fish hooked at6 the end of a swing, while the fisherman was pumping the rod back and forth at the end. About 15 sec of this back and forth motion and the fish grabbed it. Right accross the river from me, got a good look for the whole thing. It was cool
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Old 12-15-2004, 04:49 PM
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Gillie,

I tried "Red Fly" in the Archive of Salmon and Steelhead Flies, but came up with nothing. Am I in the wrong place?

CK
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Old 12-15-2004, 04:56 PM
Gillie Gillie is offline
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Smolt,
I'm not sure why it didn't come up in the search but it's the fourth or fifth thread down on the Archives of S+S flies now. Let me know what you think.

Gillie
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Old 12-15-2004, 06:41 PM
peter-s-c peter-s-c is offline
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Ever try to make a fly and nothing works? Spent some time this evening trying to make a yellow fly for those cold, olive stained conditions and crap came off the vise. Still, it gives a general idea as to what I'm after.

Kicking around this idea that flies that are too bold will spook fish in clear, cold conditions so I'm trying to get something that is "subdued, bright" as opposed to just bright. The spey hackle on this fly is just way too bright. Looking to make something that says "yellow" without saying "YELLOW".
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Old 12-15-2004, 07:13 PM
Gillie Gillie is offline
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Peter,

I have a yellow fly that I think will fit your needs. I don't have one readily available but if you follow this thread I'll post one either late tonight or tommorrow.

Gillie
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Old 12-15-2004, 07:38 PM
peter-s-c peter-s-c is offline
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Thanks, will do . . . .
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Old 12-19-2004, 06:28 PM
Jamey McLeod Jamey McLeod is offline
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undetaker variant

Undertaker tags and body, palmer the peacock with a whiting farms spey hackle(black) collar another one in front of the body, dyed black mallard flank collar black arctic fox wing.

Or, purple ice dub body, palmered with the same hackle as above, collar a purple spey marabou(only 1 or 2 wraps), then another black spey hackle, collar a dyed purple pheasant rump feather, final collar of dyed purple guinea.

also add a bit of purple K-flash on each, two strands.

Numerous takes over the past two weeks.
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Old 12-16-2004, 11:05 AM
Smolt Smolt is offline
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Gillie,

I found the Red Fly by searching the Archive for your posts. I now remember seeing the post earlier this year. Very nice fly.

CK
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Old 12-16-2004, 02:18 PM
peter-s-c peter-s-c is offline
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Gillie

In warmer weather, I'm like your friend -- if the fish hasn't hit after the fly has "turned the corner" then it isn't going to hit. I can only think of one solid take in the past year or so that occurred on the dangle in water in the 40s or higher. I started out as a firm believer in letting the fly work on the dangle but that technique has only resulted in takes when fishing the Credit River in the middle of winter (it's one of the few easily accessible Southern Ontario rivers that has an all-year open season on one stretch and is likely to have ice free periods).

This past November, every single hookup occurred as the fly "turned the corner" and none on the dangle. Sometimes I'd leave it there and sometimes I'd pick it up sooner -- no change. I also pick up very slowly at first, just in case there's a following fish and he grabs it as the fly lifts -- didn't get a single take. I fish mostly minnow patterns so this may have an effect as well. So, now I'm only using the delayed dangle and/or the lift and drop in cold weather. I'll be out Sunday so I'll try the slow swing and long dangle to see if it picks up any hits.

Last edited by peter-s-c; 12-16-2004 at 06:31 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-18-2004, 10:51 PM
smallmouth smallmouth is offline
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Question Eyes on Steelhead Flies

Here's a tie I use for bass and trout. Do any of you put eyes on your steelhead flies? Do you think they would add to the fly or are they unnecessary. I'd appreciate your opinions on this as I am just starting to get into the winter steelheading.

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