PNW winter flies? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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PNW winter flies?

Every year i want to reinvent the wheel...i am thinking sculpins this winter but always am wondering what others go to winter steelhead late fall flies might be?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 12:24 PM
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Winter conditions vary widely - and so do my fly selections. My faves are simple streamers like a bucktail coachman or muddler. But when the river is really ripping I fish weighted flies like moals and intruders with sinking lines and tips. I tend to think success is more about getting your fly in front of the fish than the specific pattern, but I would guess that at least half the time in the winter I fish a bucktail royal coachman.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 03:09 PM
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I don't fish out there with you guys...but it somehow pleases me to learn the the Royal Coachman in any form is still in the mix...and it works!!!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 06:48 PM
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I've gotten away from the big intruders and rabbit strip flies, and gone to speys and more traditional Atlantic salmon style flies. Two reasons: 1) less bulk means I can use lighter tips, and 2) I like picturing them in the water during the swing.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xgolfman View Post
Every year i want to reinvent the wheel...i am thinking sculpins this winter but always am wondering what others go to winter steelhead late fall flies might be?
From my limited experience, I’ve never been anywhere yet where rabbit and marabou didn’t catch steelhead!

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 10:13 PM
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Here’s my reinvented winter’s hope. I’m sure something like this has been done before. I’ve had good success with the original pattern but decided to play around and make a more Glasso style one I guess you could say? Size1 blue heron hook.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 11:11 PM
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Paul,

Iím like you as I change styles every couple of years. Of late it has been elaborate married wings on one extreme and marabou spiders on the other.

Duggan

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debarb View Post
I've gotten away from the big intruders and rabbit strip flies, and gone to speys and more traditional Atlantic salmon style flies. Two reasons: 1) less bulk means I can use lighter tips, and 2) I like picturing them in the water during the swing.
Bingo !!
My story is much the same
My switch over was to elaborate mixed wings and married wings with multiple ribs, multi-coloured floss and seal bodies.
Now stage two in my journey has me tying quite the opposite. Simplistic feather wings and hair wings seem more fishy-sexy than ever.
I look for the sink factor, colour, profile, movement and contrast. More boxes the pattern checks, the more confident I am swinging it and the more I feel the fly is fishy-sexy
I still rely on my Dee strip flies in winter, but substitute the heron for blood plumes from turkey or BEP
Old traditional speys, tied to Mr. Brown's call outs, Kings, Raichs and Speals ... a Carron fly and self patterned to the same style are still staples. I find the colder it gets in the GL's, the better these old speys produce for me.

Speaking of bucktails, just tied this the other night:



I don't have too many bright day patterns ... hoping this Mickey will entice a pull.
It checks every box


Mike

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 07:48 PM
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I've gravitated towards more earth-tones with a small florescent hot spot over the years. Both in speys and hairwings. For fishing flies I also look for the lightest colored JC capes I can find, then dye them florescent white (UV). The light JC nails really pop on any color fly.

Shannon
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GR8LAKES FLYER View Post
Bingo !!
My story is much the same
My switch over was to elaborate mixed wings and married wings with multiple ribs, multi-coloured floss and seal bodies.
Now stage two in my journey has me tying quite the opposite. Simplistic feather wings and hair wings seem more fishy-sexy than ever.
I look for the sink factor, colour, profile, movement and contrast. More boxes the pattern checks, the more confident I am swinging it and the more I feel the fly is fishy-sexy
I still rely on my Dee strip flies in winter, but substitute the heron for blood plumes from turkey or BEP
Old traditional speys, tied to Mr. Brown's call outs, Kings, Raichs and Speals ... a Carron fly and self patterned to the same style are still staples. I find the colder it gets in the GL's, the better these old speys produce for me.

Speaking of bucktails, just tied this the other night:



I don't have too many bright day patterns ... hoping this Mickey will entice a pull.
It checks every box


Mike
This twist on the Mickey looks very enticing. Nice.

Dan
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Which way to the river?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 08:41 PM
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I'm going for versatility this year. I have been tying up 'reverse marabou' tube flies ala Tom Larimer in black, olive, blue, etc. Most around 3". Some shorter a few longer. Super easy to get out of the water and cast unweighted. Can stack a couple for a bigger profile. Got some 1/16 oz tungsten bullets weights to sink them. Will get some in 1/8 oz too. Not a sexy as the couple flies above, but that's my strategy for this year...

Keep 'em wet
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 08:19 AM
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BTW, love that Winter's Hope variation Mr. Nickels
I had a few days late last season where all I swung were thin tinsel bodied saddle wing flies, influenced by the Winter's Hope. Man did those fish well !!


Mike

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-28-2019, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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i tied a couple or more tubes with various sculpin themes and did get a bull on one..but gp's and various dee wings are again invading my box...

Dee's get down and are easy to cast and i am not a heavy tip guy...looking back on my winter steelhead, a few have fallen for the dee more then others so sticking with it for now....though i love the action of the tubes...
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-28-2019, 01:19 PM
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Paul - If I am going to fish a tip, it's usually not very heavy and I rely more on a slimmer fly and a heavier iron. I will usually tie a smaller patern on a larger iron. Since I tend to favour more traditional paterns, Dee's are usually what I grab when going deeper. Dave
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Is this just another excuse for me to buy more rods ?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:53 PM
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i love fishing nicely tied spey flies but fishing them on a sink tip likely to make it down among the rocks it just doesn't make sense to me to use them that way.

I like getting cheap mustad salmon hooks and tying marabou spiders in all kinds of color combos, they sink fast and produce a lot of bulk without a much of weight , materials and tying time. these are sacrificial flies that i have no emotional contact with throw it in the rocks and break it off.. also the cheap mustad hooks are made of softer steel and are very easy to sharpen to a needle point. newer chemically sharpened hooks get dull when they see a rock and are much harder to sharpen..

that's my philosophy for winter steelhead flies
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