Great Lakes Salmon Patterns/Info - Fly Fishing Forum
Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

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Old 07-19-2002, 04:46 PM
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Great Lakes Salmon Patterns/Info

I was just wondering what is up there on your list for top salmon flies in the Great Lakes region. Now, usually I will get alot of different opinions with this question. Please mention your favorite pattern(s) and why you like it so much. Personally, I can't go wrong with an egg sucking leech, but I also favor small caddis. I throw egg sucking leeches to target the aggresive salmon. Caddis are always in my salmon box since they are so abundant in our rivers. With mass populations of Hydropsyche and Rhycophilla caddis in our Great Lakes region, studies have whoen they are the #1 forage for instream steelhead/salmon. I love fishing small nymphs for salmon as well(size 10's and 12's) to imitate Allocapnia and Taeniopteryx larvae, and the many species of Ephemerella larvae. I do alot of macroinvertebrate studies, so I get into tying the realistic imitations when I have time.

Oh yeah, why I am at it, I would like to mention this also.

I have heard from people that salmon don't eat once they enter a river to spawn. Well, I have been reaserching this for about year and a half, and I have found evidence that supports the theory that they do eat once instream. Although they cannot digest the food, they still will feed out of aggression, previous encounters at earlier stages, or out of instinct. Stomach samples done by the DNR, two universities(MSU and ???), online information obtained by watersheds conducting samples, and a few guides I know personally who have done there own stomach samples. Also, I always considered this...if they didn't eat then why do others as well as myself catch salmon in the mouth? Well, considering that some fish can be lined, the odds are still against people who say salmon do not feed once instream.

Just thought I would share some opinions with a few of you.
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Old 07-19-2002, 06:49 PM
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Here they are:

1) Caddis Nymph
2) Hex nymph
3) Stone nymph
4) egg flis (nukes)
5) streamers and wet flies (check out my PM Interceptor pattern in the winter steelhead swap, do a search for it and the thread should come up) Marabou streamers like the Cardinelle have also been good to me. "The Crick Fly: - Dave Richey, Have some custom speys with fluorescent eztaz bodies that are good at times. Have to try my new unproven glow in dark streamers in the upcoming season.

Note: Never used egg sucking leeches much, I guess I should add them to my arsenal. Will start tying some for the season thanks for the reminder !!

Do king salmon feed, yes , but I really think is their natural reaction to the presented fly imitating a food source "they remember".

Remember in the great lakes we get a shot at them in usually less than 50 river miles (sometimes much less) from the big lakes and maybe 1-3 days from the lakes. I think that makes a big difference in their willingness to be on the take. In PNW beleive the fly fishing opportunites are much farther inland 100 miles+ from the ocean and there mood can shift to you know " lock jaw".

Ever have a nice pool filled with fresh 20+ lbkings and they all go on the bite at the same time. Ahhh that is great, even though you will probably do an 0 for as they tear you and your tackle apart. But what fun ehh, as they jump into the bushes and trees and run through the log jams. Soon it will be time for that if you know where to go.

Thats my .02 cents


Last edited by pmflyfisher; 07-19-2002 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 07-19-2002, 07:49 PM
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dansteelieman dansteelieman is offline
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.......

Its happened to me! Can't wait to get them in the surf this fall. I am hosting 2 presentations, and now sell my baitfish patterns to three flyshops.

Well the kings are already running in a few rivers in Michigan. I can't wait!
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:56 AM
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Yes I have heard the same thing, and know the rivers they most likely show up in first. Zipperlips for sure

If you can find these fresh silver brutes you can have some unbelievable fishing, but landing them is a whole other story. I have gotten bloody knuckles and burned fingers a few times from these guys. 20 lb test leader is many times not enough. We left the river a couple of times 0 for 20 something each, and walked out saying what a great day that was, Alaska could not be better.

The lake michigan Chrome Warriors are preparing for battle with us now, schooling closer to the river mouths. Charter boats seem to be starting to get them regularly now.

Anytime from mid august on there will be fishable numbers in the rivers from my experience. However you have to know where to find them in each river, thats the big trade secret one had to develop through on the river experience.

I am not giving that out on the internet for sure.
:hehe: :hehe:
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:05 PM
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I agree....

I agree......kings will smoke you in the surf, better have a 9 or 10wt. rod ready, they can strip 250yds of backing in one run.....

Well, I know you know cause you expirenced it, what am I telling you!

I am not even thinking of bringing my single handed 8wt.......
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Old 07-24-2002, 11:04 PM
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Yes agree, got to hook a few in the surf this fall, thats a key objective for sure.
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