Tommy Brayshaw was one of British Columbia’s well known fly fishing pioneers. He was born in Yorkshire, England in 1886 and moved to Canada in the early 1900s. Not only is he known for developing a series of flies, but he was an acknowledged artist and carver of trout and steelhead. In fact, in 1998, Canada Post issued a series of commemorative fishing stamps including Brayshaw’s Coquihalla Orange! His fishing career took him to many of BC’s famed trout lakes such as Knouff Lake in its early thirty heydays! Brayshaw retired to Hope and became very familiar with, at the time, one of BCs most productive steehead rivers, the Coquihalla. He created five steelhead flies just for fishing this river, the Coquihalla Red, the Coquihalla Black and Silver, the Coquihalla Silver, the Coquihalla Orange Dark and the Coquihalla Orange. Tommy Brayshaw passed away in 1967 but if he were alive today, he would no doubt be disappointed to witness the steelhead decline in his favorite river! We can only hope that restoration efforts currently underway will gradually bring back the Coquihalla River to its former glory! I believe we would be honored to review one of his favorite flies, the Coquihalla Orange!
Begin by tying in a short tip of fine silver tinsel at the hook bend. Next make a tail of golden pheasant tippet although golden pheasant crest can also be used. A turn or two of black ostrich just at the start of the hook bend forms a butt. Before starting on the body, tie in a piece of gold tinsel just ahead of the butt as this will be used for the rib. Now turn bright orange yarn from the butt to half way up the shank and continue with dubbed orange polar bear underfur if you have it. If not, complete the body with the orange yarn. At this point, wind the gold tinsel in spaced turns hook butt to near the hook eye. Next, tie in a fairly short throat hackle of red hen feather. The wing is next in three stages, an underwing of orange polar bear, and overwing of white polar bear and finish with cheeks of jungle cock as an option. A final touch before cementing is a few turns of black shiny thread to form a head. In days when even summer steelhead flourished in the Coquihalla River, Tommy Brayshaw successfully used this pattern and there is no doubt in my mind that his fly can still catch fish!
|Monthly Fly Tying Articles from November 1996|
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