When we think of King (Chinook) Salmon, we often reach for big flashy patterns, and rightfully so. They work, and King Salmon seems to have an affinity for them. Interestingly, Scandinavian fishermen will often have great success fishing for our Pacific fish with their patterns, such as Temple dogs, FNS, Pot-bellied pigs, etc. I think there are a couple of reasons for it; One the fish get to see something totally different than what has been tossed at them week after week, but also as important is that these patterns are sleeker and sparser generally than our ‘intruder’ style flies we have become so accustomed to.
There are definitely times when a smaller pattern will outfish others, even in chinook fishing. Various reasons can play into this, such as high light levels, clear water, low river levels, pressure, etc. The Sunburst Scandi is a freestyle pattern incorporating some of the materials and techniques from the Scandinavian fly tying world. At the very least, it is fun to use other materials than what you are used to tying with and being creative. On the plus side, patterns like these can make the difference between an unproductive day or a hook up to a fish! Enjoy, and be creative.
Write up, tie Instructions, and photos by Alex Belonga. If you’d like to see more of Alex’s flies or want to inquire about custom flies, you can find him on Instagram- @straitsonthefly_customflies or Facebook- @Yooperfly.
- Nano-silk 50D (12/0) thread (semperfli)
- 1.8mm tough tubing (SRFS)
- 20-30mm brass US tube (SRFS)
- Blue ice dub
- Light blue dubbing
- Orange dubbing
- Sunburst bucktail (Nature spirit)
- Hot orange pheasant rump hackle (Nature Spirit)
- Teal blue Pheasant rump hackle (Nature Spirit)
- Blue/Opal Mirage Flashabou (Hedron)
- Purple and Blue Holo Flash (Hedron)
- Orange accent flash (Hedron)
- Blue Shrimp eyes (Aqua Flies)
- Blue Flat braid (Semperfli)
- silver oval tinsel (Semperfli)
- Sunburst American Opposum (SRFS)
- Blue Amherst (SRFS)
- 6mm UFO disc (Future Fly)
Step 1. Slide your 1.8 tubing through the brass US tube and melt a flange on the back end.
Step 2. Start your thread on the tube and work it back onto the brass tube. Start your blue dubbing a few mm away from the back end (this gives you enough room to slide your hook guide on).
Step 3. Lock in your flat braid on one side and your oval tinsel down the other.
Step 4. Wind up your flat braid first, then wind up your tinsel about three wraps. Add some more blue dubbing (I should be 3/4 up the entire length of the brass tube now).
Step 5. Reverse tie all around the tube a sparse amount of orange accent flash.
Step 6. Tie in all-around a clump of sunburst orange bucktail. Be sure to add some glue to your thread and secure it in.
Step 7. Tie in a few strands of Mirage Flash all around.
Step 8. Tie in your Hot orange pheasant rump hackle.
Step 9. Tie in your blue shrimp eyes. I like to crush a section with needle-nose pliers before tying it in. This makes it much easier to secure.
Step 10. Dub in some orange, dubbing up the remainder of the brass tube and onto the plastic tubing. I brush it out and leave it scruffy.
Step 11. Spin into a loop a very sparse amount of sunburst opposum (You could use arctic fox here in place).
Step 12. Add some blue amherst all around (this is a great way to use up your shorter amherst feathers!).
Step 13. Add just a few strands of purple and blue flashabou all around (Let this extend out a little past our amherst).
Step 14. Tie in a turn or 2 of teal pheasant rump hackle.
Step 15. Slide on your cone and melt a flange.
Final. Notice how sleek it is when wet! Very easy to sink this fly on even the lightest sink tips for pressured fishing and Scandi lines! If you tie everything sparse enough, there isn’t one element of this fly that isn’t noticeable in the water.
Other posts about King Salmon Flies: