This is a blog about my becoming an Alaska fly fisherman. About how I came to challenge myself to catch each of Alaska’s game fish with one of my own fly patterns. It will chronicle the tying of the flies and catching of the fish. I hope you enjoy it.
Monday, August 5, 2013
The Flies of Sitka
We used two different flies , the Klag Island Squid and the e-FISH-ency Needle Fish when we fished the waters north of Sitka for Rockfish and other species. I will be showing you how to tie these two and a third one the Braided Herring, that we will try next time. On the Sitka trip, I was able to add four species of salt water game fish to my tally, the Black Rockfish, the Dusky Rockfish, the Quill Back Rockfish and the Halibut (though the halibut will need some improvement before I can give myself full credit for it)
My tally after the Sitka trip looks like this;
GRAYLING on... Spruce Worm Bud Moth, Egg Butt and Egg Head Scud, Egg Butt and Egg Head Nymph, Pink Bluff Chub and Salmon Fork Smolt.
RAINBOW on Egg Head Scud
SOCKEYE No name red salmon pattern I will call Noname (pronounced "No nah me")
NORTHERN PIKE Pink Bluff Chub and Salmon Fork Smolt
SHEEFISH Salmon Fork Smolt
BLACK ROCKFISH on Klag Island Squid, the e-FISH-ency Needle Fish
DUSKY ROCKFISH on Klag Island Squid
QUILL BACK ROCKFISH Klag Island Squid
HALIBUT (needs improvement) Klag Island Squid
At the top, left is the Braided Herring, top right the Non-Pelagic e-FISH-ency Needle Fish and bottom, the Non-Pelagic Klag Island Squid
We used a squid imitation and bait fish patterns. Since we were fishing near the bottom for bottom fish, snagging on the bottom was a problem. I had not tied any weedless versions for our first trip but I will be tying some in this tutorial.
Our most productive pattern was the squid immitation, on it we caught pelagic and non-pelagic rockfish. A pelagic fish species is one that lives suspended in the water colomn, not near the bottom or the shore. I will be calling my weedless version of the squid imitation the Non-Pelagic Klag Island Squid since it will be fished near the bottom and Klag Island is a major island near where we first used this fly with great success.
Tying the Non-Pelagic Klag Island Squid
main hook 3/0 spey hook
trailing hook 2/0 octopus hook
body white chenille
eyes brass dumbbell eyes and 3-D holographic eyes
tail and tentacles white marabou, white saddle hackle, pearlescent krystal flash, cashmere goat fur
weight .035 lead wire
thread pearlescent white
Begin by cutting the eye from the hook and dressing it to the bend with white thread Cut a section of trailing wire about 5 inches long and tie it down with about two inches extending past the bend of the hook. This will serve as both the trailing wire and the weedless loop.
Tie in some Krystal flash or flashabou for some sparkle in the tail.
Dress it with white marabou for action.
Tie in the chenille and the lead wire at the start of the bend.
Wrap the lead wire to the cut-off end of the hook. Use head cement on the lead wire to create a durable fly.
Wrap the chenille to cover the lead wire and tie it off. Loop the trailing wire along the side of the bend of the hook and tie it off at the cut off end of the hook to create a snag guard. Whip finish and cement.
Set the trailing hook aside to dry while you prepare the main hook.
Dress the shank of the main hook to the start of the bend with white thread,tie in the trailing hook about a inch away from the main hook with the hook up. tie in a three inch piece of trailing wire for the hook guard on the main hook and tie in the lead wire at the start of the bend.
Tie in all the tentacle materials, the cashmere fur, rooster hackle, flashabou etc.
Wrap the lead wire to within 1/4 inch of the eye and wrap the thread to a point one third the length of the shank toward the eye.
Tie in the dumbbell eyes at the one third point using figure eight wraps and finish wrapping the thread to the eye of the hook. Use head cement under the lead. I like to flatten the ends of the dumbbell eyes to give the adhesive eyes a flat spot to stick to.
Wrap the chenille to the eyes and around them using figure eights, then to the eye of the hook. Tie down the second piece of trailing wire to form a hook guard, whip finish and cement. Glue in the eyes, when the glue dries, put several coats of head cement over the eyes to make sure they stay on.
I have a really great trip to talk about in the next post so I will come back to the tutorial on the e-FISH-ency Needle Fish and the Braided Herring at a later date.