True to form of past years, this past mid October, I was out of bed before 3:00 AM and after a quick breakfast, was on my way in the dark morning to an annual meeting with the Vedder River at Chilliwack. Because of success in past years, I always start fishing at the upper or east end of the Tamahi Rapids. Again, true to form, I started fishing with my Spey outfit, although I did carry my float rod with me. As it turned out, I never did unleash my float outfit although with the hundreds of fishermen on the river, and about 99% of them using float equipment, I feel confident that I can do just as well and sometimes better than the float guys! This assumes that I can find a spot to cast my Spey rod between the hordes of float fishermen who, I admit, do cover a lot of water. With tree covered banks in most areas, I am limited to roll casting my Spey line but find no problem reaching out 50 feet or so which covers most of the water that I want to fish.
My early going was kind of tough as there were two other fishermen covering my favourite pool but with about 30 feet of separation, I was able to take my turn with roll casts although not always exactly to the water I wanted to fish. I did lose a large spring, brown in colour when it thrashed to the surface, so it was a release fish anyway. I was using 17 pound fluorocarbon and the leader neatly snapped at the hook. I did not see one Coho, either caught or in the rather low water, so rather disappointed, I gave up after a couple of hours and went back to my car to head east. I walked into the lower Borden pool where in years of good Coho runs, fish can be seen negotiating the shallows as they move up river. I was surprised to find only one other fisherman there and I guess the reason was, we never saw one salmon! I tried casting for an hour or so but no luck so I then headed back to Tamahi. By then, after parking at the bridge and walking to the same pool, the two fishermen had left although there were still several plying the water both upstream and across the river. Back to roll casting with my spey rod but this time just a bit upstream where I could drift my fly easier through the water I wanted to cover, a fact known from past experience. I soon lost another large spring, again not a keeper, with my leader departing at the hook. I was even thinking of untying my float rod to cover more water closer the far bank, when bam, my line suddenly went crazy as a salmon raced all over the pool! Up to that time, I had only seen one other Coho landed, further up the river. After a short but spirited fight, I was able to direct the Coho near shore where I could check if wild or not because the Vedder hatchery fish have clipped adipose fins. Yes, it was hatchery so I carefully eased the fish out of the rapids and into a small shore indent in the rocks. Oh, I almost forgot, what was I using? A blue and white with silver fly that I call my Vedder Blue Coho fly and it will be the subject of this month's article!
The fly shown features blue ice dub as the over wing because I was out of blue UV polar chenille when I tied the display fly. However, the Coho in this article was caught on a fly with both blue and silver polar chenille for the wing. For the budget conscious fly tier, I have recently found my favourite clear cement to finish the head, Sally Hansen, Hard as Nails, to be rather costly at regular drug stores. The other day I happened to be in a local Dollarama discount store and noticed a display shelf with Sally Hansen, Hard as Nails products in various colours at a marvellous price of $2 each! I did not hesitate to buy two small bottles in black and pink. Anyway, this is a very easy fly to tie. Start with a body wrap of holographic silver tinsel. Next cut a piece of silver UV polar chenille long enough to make a couple of wraps near the hook eye and let the material flow back past the hook bend for the under wing. Then fashion an over wing by tying in blue UV polar chenille at the hook eye and shape it to flow back over the silver chenille. Keep both the blue and silver wings about the same length. The final step is to dab some black Sally Hansen cement under the the head, leaving the start of the blue over wing still showing. Will this fly always catch Coho salmon? One small one did as shown above (what looks like an adipose fin is really the rock background) so good luck with your pattern!
Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"
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