Estez Flies are excellent flies for Salmon River Steehead, Chinooks, and Browns. The pattern is easy to tie and with the many snags you'll encounter in the river, are expendable because the ease of tying and cost. Did I leave out...the fish love em? Tied in a variety of colors, some favorites are orange, blue, red, chartreuse.
- Hook: Daiichi 2170 or Mustad 9174 Sizes 2,4,6,8
- Tail: Sparkle Yarn in red, yellow, orange
- Body: 3-4 Turns Estaz
- Head: Bead Eyes
Glo Bugs are another big favorite of mine. Another easy pattern to tie that Steelhead can't seem to resist. Again my favorite colors are Orange, Blue, Black, and Red. Once you have mastered tying glo bugs you can fill a box with them in just a few short hours.
- Hook: Daiichi 2170 or Mustad 9174 in sizes 4,6,8,10
- Body: Genuine Glo Bug© Yarn in Egg, Orange, Blue, Chartreuse
- Tying Instructions:
Place the hook in the vise
Start your thread in the middle of the hook
Cut 3 pieces of yarn approximately 2 inches long
Place all 3 pieces on TOP of the hook together
Make 5-6 wraps around the hook, securing the yarn on top of the hook
Lift all 3 pieces of yarn straight up, and wrap the thread around the base of the yarn, 5 times. Move the thread to the front of the hook, and whip finish. Cut off the thread
Lift all 3 pieces of yarn straight up, and with ONE cut, cut the yarn at a 45 deg. angle approx. 3/8 inch above the hook shank.
With a dubbing needle, tease the yarn around the hook till you have a perfect ball, closing the gap at the BOTTOM of the hook.
Salmon River Nymphs are another easy pattern. They can be tied quickly. Salmon and Steelhead both strike the flies with aggression. This pattern was introduced to me by local Salmon and Steelhead fly tyer, Gary Selig from Mertztown, PA. Gary ties excellent patterns for Salmon and Steelhead.
- Hook: Heavy shank nymph hook
- Tail: Goose Biots in Orange
- Tag: Orange heavy waxed thread or floss
- Body: Peacock herl
- Hackle: Black tied wet style
While this is only a small sampling of the many flies used on the Salmon River, I wanted to show you a few of my favorites. Other flies that work well are the more traditional patterns such as black stones, hares ears, hairwing salmon patterns, wolly buggers, and I have even used dries such as bombers. For a complete reference to Salmon and Steelhead patterns, two excellent books come to mind written by Dick Stewart and Fallow Allen. Flies for Steelhead and Flies for Atlantic Salmon. Look through those two pattern books and you'll find many more patterns to try on the Salmon River.