Fly Rods for BC Salmon

I have to admit, I have no idea what fly fishing gear to bring out to BC when we head there in mid-October… I hope to fish for salmon, and in the words of my buddy George Holford, “target coho”. Since I tend to do things on a “thrift store” budget, I’m somewhat at the mercy of the disgruntled owners who become sellers on kijiji and Craigslist!

I have found a couple of fly rods that will make the trip, and perhaps they are somewhat on the heavy side. One is a 10wt TFO Lefty Kreh Signature 9′ 10wt, which came with an Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock V reel, loaded with intermediate line.

I found a guy up in Orangeville who sold me a really nice Bass Pro White River Classic 9′ 9wt. I was thinking of using one of my old vintage reels, but after posting on one of the fly boards, Rob Heal talked me into looking for a Lamson Guru…. for which I just found a great deal on a used one at Angler’s Habitat. The owner, a guy named Wayne, has been extremely helpful in putting this all together for me, and is actually arranging shipping in time for my trip. I can’t say enough good things about their customer service!



Flies for BC Salmon

I’m travelling out to BC in October, and will be targetting Coho on the Vedder and Harrison Rivers. Several sources have suggested that I just bring two flies, and that I should tie up some Rolled Muddlers and Christmas Trees.

Wisely, the advice I got from one experienced BC fly tier was “It seems that some days anything will work when it comes to muddlers and coho, and other days it seems like they want precisely four hairs arching back from the head. Your best bet with the muddlers is to stick with tried and true colour combinations rather than dicking around with wild stuff–if you get out here and the word on the street is that they want electric purple versions, then just go buy them. This way you get something that will be useful for fish other than coho.”


The pattern I got for the Rolled Muddler says

Hook: #4 to #12 3-4xl hook (Mustad 9672 or equivalent)
Thread: 6/0 red or fl. orange
Bead: 1/8-5/32″ Gold/Black/Red (optional)
Tail: Splayed mallard flank
Rib: Wire or Oval Tinsel (silver)
Body: Flat mylar tinsel and/or braided flat mylar
Underwing: A few strands of Krystal flash or flashabou (pearl or transluscent shades)
Wing: Rolled mallard kept low and swept back
Collar/Head: Spun deer hair clipped close into an arrow head shape but flat across the bottom to expose the thread “throat”, with several fibres left long in the collar as an overwing.

Here’s a similar muddler being tied on YouTube…


I will use the same hooks for the Christmas Tree, but need several shades of flashabou, and more beads. That pattern says
Hook: Almost anything you can slip a bead on that will hook a fish
Thread: Almost any colour and thickness
Hackle/body/wing: Flashabou (almost any colour but mostly silver, gold, green alone or in combination)
Bead: Any colour 1/8th” and up


P.S. I will post some pics of the flies I tied when I have them!




A Thrifty Week!

I’ve had a pretty darn good week when it comes to all things fishing related…

It all started about a week ago when Al, the fella from the fly tying symposium, sent me a couple of pics of a 40 inch salmon that he caught with his niece last week

Took some doing to land it, AND it broke their rod!

Luckily, he only uses what he calls “Garage Sale” specials when he fishes for salmon.

Which, of course, got my thrifty mind to thinking, and I headed out to Cambridge on a hot Saturday afternoon. I scooped up a big honking fibreglass rod, a little Canadian Tire travel kit, and a couple of really fabulous vintage reels, perfect for salmon!

Reel number one was a Beaudex from Young.

Reel number two was a Hardy’s Viscount 150.

So I’m really stoked to fix these up, and actually go fishing with these old classic reels. I’ve scrubbed down the Hardy’s since I took the pics, and hope to get it set up as a 9wt… because I also found myself a sweet deal on a 9foot 9wt rod. There was a guy in Orangeville who was upgrading, and I got a slightly used fly rod for less than a third of the price at Bass Pro. Crazy.

I drove to Orangeville yesterday, and spent a few hours afterwards trout fishing on the Credit south of Caledon. A really wonderful, badly needed bit of relaxation, just me and the little swimmers. Oh yeah, I was wearing my new waders, and boots, from the Hodgeman Outlet Store. Yup, there’s an online outlet store for this stuff. It’s kind of hard for a Canadian to shop from it, but if you’re willing to put in some time on the phone, and have a US address to ship to, it can be done, and you’ll spend less than half of retail here in the great north.

This afternoon, Big Al has promised to take me fly fishing for salmon, and show me how he does it… I’m pretty excited. If I can get out a few times over the next month or so, there’s a chance I’ll enjoy my trip to BC a lot more!