Don's Fly Tying - The Orange Spey Fly

[the Orange Spey Fly]

A good Lower Mainland rain came near the end of September and brought some salmon, springs and coho, into the Vedder River. My trapshooting friend, Dave Hesketh, who is a retired commercial fisherman and one of the best river fishermen that I know, met at the Tamahi Campsite the first week of October. I hooked and lost two big springs but if there is a fish in the river, Dave will catch it! Sure enough, he ended up with a nice spring and two beautiful cohos. With more rain a few days later, I did one of my early rises in Kelowna and drove down to the Vedder and back midweek for a day of fishing. The water was much higher and almost cloudy from all the rain, actually much better for fishing. True to form, I ended up losing five salmon and also landed three more, two hatchery coho and a wild that I released. However, the real story of that day was a visit by my Langley son Allen with his two kids, Laurel and Colin, plus my grandson Magnus from Vancouver Island. Magnus turned 12 years old this November 5th and had never caught a trout or salmon but is really keen about all aspects of fishing. I gave him a quick lesson on how to cast my float rod with a level wind reel, including a demonstration on how to untangle line snarls when your thumb does not stop the reel in time as the float hits the water. For a novice, he caught on amazingly well and proceeded to cast to a coho resting spot behind a large mid stream rock. Sure enough he surprised us a bit later when he hooked a bright coho but did not move back to keep the fish out of the fast white water. Gone!

Meanwhile, I toiled with my spey rod a bit downstream using the fly that we will examine in this article. I did hook a salmon but, no excuses, lost it in similar fast water! Then we heard a whoop from Magnus as a lively coho thrashed at the end of his line! He backed quickly up the bank, keeping the fish out of the torrent into calmer water near shore. Reeling in, he then slid the active fish into some shore rocks where we prevented the salmon from getting away! Loud cheers as Magnus caught his first ever game fish, a bright eight pound coho! You can bet grandpa was very proud of the young man! Now back to this month's fly article, float rods use a weight to get the hook down near the bottom but even using a 600 grain sink tip, my spey fly often sails along too high in the water. What to do? I figured if I used a heavy hourglass eye as part of the fly, it would get down deeper and faster where the fish are. Sure enough, I did hook a salmon with this setup.

The images below are my grandson Magnus learning how to float fish and the result, an eight pound coho!

[12 Year Old Magnus Learning how to Float Cast] [Magnus' first fish, an 8 pound Coho]



This is an extremely easy fly to tie! Start by crimping the hook and tie a needle knot (instructions are in previous articles) with clear leader line, I prefer 20 pound monofilament for fast water in the Vedder. Insert orange yarn (you can use just about any colour or combinations of colours if you prefer) into the loop next to the hook eye and then tighten up just leaving a small space to insert the hourglass eyes. Figure eight these with thin tying monofilament (or coloured thread if you prefer) so that the eyes are solidly fixed. Give the leader a strong pull with the hook fixed to fully tighten the yarn loop. Cement and you have finished a good coho spey fly, heavy to cast but it will run deep!

My book of true sport fishing adventures in British Columbia, "Willow Sticks, Earth Worms", is now available at Trafford Publishing or if you prefer a friendly voice, call their order desk at 1-888-232-4444 toll free in the USA or Canada. In Europe, ring the UK local order number at 0845 230 9601 (UK) or 44(0) 1270 251 396.

Do you want to see the previous fly tying articles?
Monthly Fly Tying Articles from November 1996

Your comments are welcome at " dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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