We’re really lucky in that most of the fish we target at our locations are not overly picky about specific fly patterns. Our lodges are located (intentionally, we might add) in areas where lots of different flies work, so long as they share a few characteristics. It’s a creative fly tyer’s dream!
Here at Alaska West, our chum, pink, and silver salmon are extremely aggressive. However, like any fishery, some flies seem to work better than others.
For example, the fly above is not a secret fly. It’s called the Starlite Leech, and it’s easily one of the most popular salmon flies throughout Alaska. It works really well on our river for a number of reasons.. Those reasons being the following.
- It’s Pink. Both chum and silvers love the color pink. Sure, they eat other colors too, but pink is first out of the box almost every time.
- It Has a Bunny Tail. Bunny really comes alive in the water and creates a lot of action when stripped. Chums and silvers like action. Therefore, most chum/silver flies start with a bunny strip. They just like it!
- It Has Lead Eyes. When it comes to chums and silvers, the more erratic retrieve the better. When fished on a floating line, lead eyes create a ‘jigging’ action to the fly that drives salmon crazy. The heavier the eyes, the more action on the strip, and that’s a good thing.
- It’s Flashy. While at certain times we do think there is such a thing as ‘too much flash,’ most of the time a bit of flash is a good thing. Making them mad is the name of the game, and a flashy fly seems to do just that.
- It Has a Stout Hook. Our chums and silvers range from around 8 to 15 pounds and fight extremely hard. They’re also fresh from the ocean, and often times as hot as possible. A good stout hook is crucial to keeping him pinned.
- It’s Pink. Seriously, they really, really like pink.
Mark B. says
Silvers do love a jigging action. This is one of the reasons why patterns like the Starlight Leech, Psycho Leech, Cone Head Popsicle, Krystal Egg Sucking Leech, and P.F. Salmon work so well. And always choose pink or fuchsia as your first fly to throw.
Roger Olson says
And debarb that hook before fishing!