Sunday, March 15, 2015

Colorful Salmon flies

I recently read an article about historic fly patterns used for Salmon fishing.  Salmon flies are nothing like the tiny drab colored insect mimic flies I have in my fly boxes.  Salmon flies are big, and bright and often mimic small fish.  I picked four beautiful fly patterns to paint for use on note cards.  Wet on wet was used to blend the base feather colors.  Additional details on the large feathers and the hackles were dry brushed.

The "Durham Ranger" is a quintessential classic pattern.  These intricately dressed flies were used for Atlantic salmon fly fishing during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Fly patterns from that time used colorful feathers from large, and often exotic birds.  Today, tying these flies is considered an art.

Bits of fur, feathers and shinny tinsel are carefully tied to a hook to imitate insects, fish, other foods or just something that will catch a fish's interest.  The "Policeman" was designed for Salmon fishing on the river Tay in Scotland.  In the water, this fly imitates a bait fish.  

Different patterns are used for different types of fish and for fish from different locations.  The "Rock Island" streamer is a modern fly designed for trout fishing in British Columbia (Designed by Monte Smith).

The "Copper Lake" is a modern classic in the "Ghost" style (Designed by Monte Smith).  The first of this style, the "Grey Ghost" pattern, was created by Carrie G. Stevens, a self-taught fly tier from Maine.  The streamer was designed to be used for river casting and resembled the bait fish found there.  It remains a popular fly pattern and is still used for Atlantic trout and salmon fishing.