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Tying a Topwater Salmon Fly

alaskan silver salmon
Image courtesy of Cody Wegener

If you are looking for a dry fly to throw at silver salmon next year, give this one a try. 

Catching silver salmon on a fly rod is a great experience. They fight great and at times are eager to take a fly. Sometimes, however, they can be the most frustrating fish you will ever fish for.

There have been days where I was standing on the side of the river, watching fish jump all over the place. I will cast out to these fish, maybe even target a single fish I can see, and they will turn their nose up at everything. They might follow a fly in all the way to the beach and not bite. You can only go through that so many times in a row before losing your mind.

At this point, I usually start trout fishing. With the silver salmon run comes the peak of the sea run cutthroat run. I love catching trout on a dry fly so that is usually what I start with. One day after not catching any silvers I tied on my favorite dry I call a Purple Elk Hair Dry (found here). On the second cast, instead of the normal little circle and the fly disappearing, there was a big swirl and then the line was peeling off the reel. A coho had taken my dry fly and I was introduced to a whole new world.

After doing some research, I learned that I wasn’t the first person to catch a coho on a dry fly. It was a bummer that I hadn’t discovered some new tactic but at least there was a lot of resources on the subject. One of the most prevalent dry flies for silver salmon is the pink wog. There are a lot of different variations on it, but two things stay constant: they are big and pink.

This video is the first one I found and tied, and it is what I prefer to use.

If you want to catch a silver salmon on a dry fly, hit the vise and start planning.


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Tying a Topwater Salmon Fly