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Thread: Favorite flies for silvers?

  1. #1
    Member Seabass417's Avatar
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    Default Favorite flies for silvers?

    As peak silver fishing quickly approaches, curious to see what everyone's favorite flies for cohos are. Favorite silver fishing locations?

  2. #2

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    Claussers offshore, right up tight around the kelp beds. Wahoo!

  3. #3
    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Flash flies
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

  4. #4

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    Flash Flies, Clousers, Black Bunny Leech, ESL. Depends on if your fishing in the salt or the river your in.
    Piscor Ergo Sum

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    articulated bunny flies big and ugly stripped fast!

  6. #6

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    Lotta guys never tweak to this, and their catch rates show it:

    Watch your light intensity. As it changes, silver color preferences will go right with it. Have a wide range of colors in your flies, and move between them until you find what's what for the current light. If you'll pay attention, you see that when light levels change, the silvers will suddenly go "off" the color that's been working for the last two hours. By changing colors you can usually get them right back onto the bite, even as everyone around whines about the end of the bite. Make up a bunch of Woolly Buggers and Bead Head Woolly Buggers in every possible color and color combos, and keep them in a separate box. By working through them you'll quickly find the colors that work best, no matter what everyone else sezz is best. Some interesting surprises have come to me as a result. One of the very best colors on bright days and low water is olive. Kelly green will hammer fish on bright days when you can't buy a hit on the usual purple, pink or orange. Blue is a close second.

    Similarly, tie up Egg Sucking Leeches in every color you own. Early and late in the day with really low light, white ones with cerise eggs are killers, with chartreuse a close second. Gray with orange egg will knock them silly when they're tired of dodging the purple everyone else is using. Blue hackle on a white body and tail with a cerise egg is wicked in bright sunlight. Good luck finding the materials, but probably the best overall Egg Sucking Leech for all conditions is lavender with a cerise egg. You have to search far and wide for the materials, but when you've got them you're golden. Steelheaders I know call them "dashboard" flies. They put their purple ESLs on their dashboards all summer long to fade them. You'll lose fingers and friends if you reach for an ESL on a serious steelheader's dashboard. Easier and safer to track down the lavender.

    Another variable, more to do with water color and visibility, is fly speed. Basically the better the visibility, the faster the fly, and the worse the visibility, the slower the fly.

    Finally, in heavily fished waters keep tabs on what everyone else is using. Odds are the silvers will quickly learn what to avoid, so if you show them something new that no one else is using, you're in business.

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    Member Seabass417's Avatar
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    Awesome info BrownBear! I've heard the light level tip from a couple of guys now, so I'm definitely going to give that a shot. I've been up here for a couple years now, but I always have a full class load in the fall, so I haven't had much time to hit the silvers. This year I'm only taking a couple of classes, so I'm planning on hitting them hard. Do you usually tie your ESLs as a prototypical woolly bugger style or do you use more of a rabbit zonker leech pattern?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seabass417 View Post
    Do you usually tie your ESLs as a prototypical woolly bugger style or do you use more of a rabbit zonker leech pattern?
    I generally don't resort to the rabbit until late in the season when they're deep in lakes. Then they really go for BIG stuff. Until then it's almost always just a bugger and egg affair.

    BTW- Just got a shipment of lavender hackles and marabou (turkey) from a new source. Awesome and cheap! Check them out! How can you beat strung marabou for $5.50 per YARD and strung bugger hackle for $6.95 per YARD!!! Looks like they're out of the lavender hackle since I ordered, but I won't claim I bought it all. Shipping on my order was only around $3.

    Warning- Wandering around their site can add up to buxx, even in small bites.

  9. #9
    Member Seabass417's Avatar
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    Awesome tip! I just ordered a bunch of marabou and hackle.

  10. #10

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    I have noticed differences in what works as already mentioned, the best 4 patterns are:

    1. Hareball leech in bubblegum

    2. Hareball leech in black

    3. Starlite leech in white (orange head)

    4. Purple starlite leech (orange head).

    All of these have various forms of flash (chenille, polarflash, flashibou etc.)

    5. Plain black leech with a red head (body weighted only, no eyes).

    Usually heavily weight with 0.30 lead wrap, and lead or nickel eyes, sometimes with ceramic eye color. But can go with very little weight (usually doesn't work, but it can). Hooks matter; #1/0 or #1, styles such as 7999 or 7979, highest quality Tiemco or similar. Not worth wasting time with junk hooks.

  11. #11
    Member Ak Laker Hunter's Avatar
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    Pink Flys drifting right thru schools of pink,and chums salmon last weekend at Montana creek . All of sudden a silver would come crashing thru to destroy the fly. It was epic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Laker Hunter View Post
    Pink Flys drifting right thru schools of pink,and chums salmon last weekend at Montana creek . All of sudden a silver would come crashing thru to destroy the fly. It was epic
    Love it when that happens! One fly that has worked for me in the past (on bright sunny days) is a small plume of brown marabou wing w/a red saddle hackle tail and bead chain eyes. I call it the Texas Brownie named in honor of some guys from Texas who told me about it. I added the red tail.
    I am no longer surprised at what I am no longer surprised at ---Bill Whittle

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seabass417 View Post
    Awesome tip! I just ordered a bunch of marabou and hackle.
    Long as you're ordering, here is my source for lavender chenille. Another site that will get deep into your budget!

    If you doubt it, have a look at this dandy tool. If you like Puglisi Anadramous Brush and such things, you can make your own from flashabou, Krystal flash, craft hair, you name it. One clue- Buy lots of brass wire, cuzz you'll really go through it with this tool on your tying bench!

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    Member Seabass417's Avatar
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    Does anyone fish tube flies much for silvers? I've been thinking about getting into tying tube flies and I like the idea of being able to slide any color/size bead ahead of a tube-tied bunny or marabou leech. Until now I've been mostly tying/using bunny leeches or bunny ESLs and starlite leeches with a chenille wrapped egg.

  15. #15

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    I know a few who followed it as a fad for awhile, but have pretty much drifted away to an assortment of string leech styles and techniques. As for sliding a bead on ahead of it, you can do that with any fly. I see more tube flies in saltwater than fresh in this area, but even there they're a pretty minor component. Not trying to discourage you, because they're certainly fun to tie and work well. Just not something I've seen anyone stick with for more than a season or two.

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    Member Seabass417's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I know a few who followed it as a fad for awhile, but have pretty much drifted away to an assortment of string leech styles and techniques. As for sliding a bead on ahead of it, you can do that with any fly. I see more tube flies in saltwater than fresh in this area, but even there they're a pretty minor component. Not trying to discourage you, because they're certainly fun to tie and work well. Just not something I've seen anyone stick with for more than a season or two.
    Any particular reason why they didn't stick with the tube flies? I'm definitely going to give it a try; I was able to pick up a tube-tying attachment for my vise for just $5, so the financial investment is practically nil. I don't really have any experience with them and as such can't really speak to the pros and cons of tube flies.

  17. #17

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    Dunno for sure, because the tubes certainly work and their string leeches resemble them broadly. Like I said in calling it a "fad" for the guys, they just kinda drift on to other things without actually "abandoning" the tubes. Could even be that their assortment of tube flies got so big they ran out of room and needed to move on to something else, in order to keep tying!

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    I like that brush maker. Anything about it a guy couldn't throw together? Hard to see detail.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by GOL View Post
    Anything about it a guy couldn't throw together?
    Once you saw it in detail, I don't think there's a thing your couldn't do yourself if you were a little handy. Maybe that's why the pic isn't bigger? My problem was round to-its. I could have made one, but never got around to-it. Buying was the better answer for me.

  20. #20
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Good advice here: I like flash too, and pink flies. Friends have suggested high-contrast flies; red/white, etc. Here are couple of old threads on same question: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...es-for-silvers, http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...es-for-Silvers. Good luck.

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