This small Streamer pattern works well in the Spring here in Michigan. This fly represents two very important baitfish patterns in the diet of our cold water fisheries in the Great Lakes Region. The Salmon Fry and the Smolt pattern. In the Spring thousands of wild King Salmon fry hatch in the Pere Marquette River. These small minnows become a huge staple in the Brown and Rainbow Trout’s diet until the insect hatches begin. These fry sit along the banks in huge numbers allowing Brown and Rainbow Trout to slam them in the shallows. It’s almost like witnessing a blitz in salt water where a big fish attacks the bait. In the Spring, the Smolt of these King Salmon and Steelhead around two years of age, will begin to school up to make their long migration back to Lake Michigan. These baitfish become a big piece of protein. Big Brown and Rainbow Trout hide out and ambush these little pieces of food as the smelt make the journey out of the river system.
I have been playing around with smaller switch rods and short Airflo Scout heads. This system is a ton of fun to cast and hook fish on. Swinging not only for the resident Trout but for any Steelhead that might be left in the river later in the Spring. I find fishing these smaller flies can be more effective than fast stripping giant Streamers off the bank. Swinging these small flies is more of a match the hatch scenario. With colder spring water temps, presenting these patterns on the swing, at a much slower speed, can trigger more strikes. Using a fly representative of the food source, and giving trout a little more time to react to a fly in the cooler water, can solicit a strike.
These flies are simple to tie. There are not a lot of steps or materials involved. Give one a try this spring! Good luck and Tight Lines, Jeff Hubbard
- Hook: Heavy Wire Long Shank Nymph Hook Size 6
- Tail: 3 pieces of Pearl Fringe
- Body: Peacock Ice Dub Wrapped towards eye of hook and use more as a shoulder.
- Wing: Tie in a reverse piece of Olive Artic Fox or Craft Fur, fray out with fingers and pull over Ice Dub shoulder and Tie off. Then add three more pieces of the Pearl Fringe.
- Collar: Tie in a nice piece of Mallard Flank natural by the tip and palmer towards eye of hook.
- Eyes: Gold Bead Chain Eyes small or medium in size tied on top with Ice Dub , dubbed around them towards eye. Finish off eye with whip finish.