Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bison for Salmon

Like me, my oldest fishing friend Colin has just turned 40. He continues to target Atlantic Salmon in Scotland, while my move to New England took me away from such pleasures and towards a new affair with saltwater stripers. Since I recently took up fly tying, I said I'd attempt some salmon flies as a birthday gift, and I wanted to tie the very simple Sunray Shadow, or the "moustache" as we call it - a killer top water salmon fly. Flies like this - the Collie Dog being the most famous - are quite long and undulate in the water as they're stripped in short pulls across the surface. I've fished seemingly dead salmon pools and had fish on every other cast slam this fly. Converting takes to hooked fish is another story, but the Sunray certainly causes a stir. 

I didn't have the Kashmir goat hair required of the original, but I had some nice goat wool, yak hair, bucktail, and some Bison, the latter donated by Andrew from his chum Steve Rinella (a piece from the very buffalo of his book, American Buffalo - In Search of a Lost Icon.) I tied the flies with variations of these materials. It took me some weeks to source the other materials - the small bore aluminum tube and the rubber hook inserts where finally located in the excellent hardware store in Old Saybrook, CT. 

They might just work, and I'll report if and when Colin manages to hook a salmon with one. Obviously I'm hopeful that an Alaskan buffalo proves the downfall of a Scottish Atlantic Salmon.

Close up - the brown buffalo hair (middle) has an eel-like waviness that I like.


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