Lefty's Right On
September Fly Fisherman has a quote from Lefty Kreh
"It it ain't chartreuse, it ain't no use" I could not have said it better myself.
I learned that in 1980 my first year of steelhead and salmon fly fishing fories into Michigan's blue ribbons waters. I was an eastern trout fisherman learning steelhead techniques.
When I saw several of the Michigan experts picking them off with chartreuse Spring Wiggler nymph flies my conversion began.
I went on a business to Vancouver, BC for three weeks in 1985 brought the steelhead gear. Went to Ruddick's Fly Shop in Burnaby, BC bought some items and the steelhead experts there wanted to see my great lakes fly wallett. Brought it in and I can still remember their eyes enlarging when they saw all of the chartreuse flies. As I recall there were no chartreuse flies they had for sale then in their steelhead fly cases. I gave them a few.
Hey thinking about it maybe I introduced chartreuse to my PNW colleagues and I did not even know it. But I think Walt Johnson had the Springer Green pattern before or by then but perhaps he kept it to himself ? R.H. Brown I think also had some chartreuse patterns. Trey Coombs 1976 book Steelhead Flky Fishing and Flies fly plates has 1 green bodied fly in it , the Green Drake. Just about all of the others are red, orange, black, brown or yellow colors. Thats why I got skunked initially in Michigan using PNW patterns and colors thinking our steelhead would take these consistently. Boy was I in for a big learning curve. Which took about a year and a half before I figured the techniques, fish, and rivers out. That was a great two year period going through that learning curve before connecting and landing the first wild michigan steelhead. To me the pursuit it is the more exciting part of steelhead fly fishing than the actual catching.
If you don't have chartreuse flies in your steelhead and salmon fly wallett, you are missing out on a hot color.
Believe the saltwater fly fishing crowd has been using it for quite a while but really that area has just really grown over the last twenty years.
If I could use only two colors believe it would be black and chartreuse for andramous fish.
Tight "Chartreuse fly color" lines to all !
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