chum patterns?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by ChrisW, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. Any ideas on patterns to tie, especially given the low clear water we're having?

  2. The majority will probably say something with chartruse (sp or green. However, I have had more chum on with a weird "techno colored" egg sucking leach pattern. Size 6, long shank, hot pink marabou tail, hot pink chanile (sp) with silver tinsel, light pink egg wound around barbell eyes. I would try both never know! I have seen guys shoulder to shoulder on Whatcom creek tossing hooks dressed with chartruse yarn at the mouth...take it for what is worth, and have fun!
  3. Yeah, sure. Name it what you want to.

    Here's the recipe

    Hook-Any steelhead/salmon hook size 6-8 (go bigger in dirty water)
    Thread-Chatreause 3/0
    Body-Chartreause diamond braid (or chartreause vernille)
    Wing-Chartreause marabou


    Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
    (Sir Izaak Walton)
  4. Andrew, interesting point. I haven't been chum fishing down here yet, but almost everyone with an opinion on chum fishing in Washington seems to think chartreuse (or green) is the way to go. I did fish for chums in Alaska during the summer, and it was pink all the way. Occasionally they would hit something else, but if you definitely wanted to catch chums up there, pink would do it for sure. The killer pattern was something like this: a 1/0 hook, weighted, pink marabou tail with some strands of pink crystal flash, body of pink estaz or chenille, pink rabbit strip tied on top (with a decent part of it hanging off the hook bend as part of the tail), pink schlappen hackle as a collar, and barbell eyes. In anticipation of chum fishing here in WA, I've tied this same fly up in chartreuse (with a black schlappen collar) but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

    Anyone have an explanation why chums like pink in Alaska (or at least where I fished) but like chartreuse and green down here?
  5. Pete - I think that pattern will be killer.

    As for pink vs. green, I've always done my best using pink. On a recent trip to the vedder, pink was catching one fish after another, and when I would use convetional gear, pink jigs worked great. Another color that seemed to work here and in canada is purple or pink and purple together. I've been tying very simple chum patterns. A size 4 stout salmon/steelhead hook, medium hourglass eyes, a pink sculpin head out of wool and a pink or purple marabou tail. The flies are super easy to tie and are durable and maintain their shape after countless fish.

    good luck
    -crump :THUMBSUP
  6. o-mykiss

    The answer is simple my friend. Monkey see monkey do. You qualified it yourself... "at least where I fished"... I'd bee willing to bet that there were different colors used in other places in Alaska, that worked just as well, same as they are around here.

    That's not to say that water visability and other conditions are not important, because they are, but I'll bet everyone of us has seen another angler catch a fish and the first thing we want to know is..."whatcha catch it on" And nine times out of ten, if we have it, we'll switch over to it ourselves, and if we don't have it then, we will the next time we hit that same river.

    "Well I never catch any fish on a red & green fly!" ever use a red and green fly?...."Nope!" so there you are.

    I caught my first steelhead on an olive wooly-bugger. I can assure you that as a result, I have a great deal of confidence in olive wooly-buggers, even if it's been a while since the last time I caught one on it.

  7. Pete,

    Thanks for the link, that is a killer pattern! A little bit of both colors. Do you think flesh flies would work also?
  8. papa is right on:

    Case in point - southern BC silver fishing, age 16. Every Canadian using herring, noodle rods and "tyee" type mooching reels, with kicker motors backing them into the current. I blow in, pop a black and white 3" buzzbomb with my 6 foot spinning rod amongst some boats that were hogging a promising looking back eddy and a 15# silver grabs it and does a Michael Jackson right infront of everyone.

    Go to the tackle store in Maple Bay that evening - every single buzzbomb had been purchased. Next day, very few herring fisherman!

    Jim W
  9. Pete,

    Interesting think that would work on the Yak! Ha.
    BTW - I am heading over to Hood Canal this weekend...may try your spot you mentioned the other week. However, I don't have any report, but will let you know. Do you know, is Hoodsport just a battleground in terms of finding enough quality room to fish?? I certianly don't have any flies like the one you show, but plenty of green and pink variable to keep me busy.

    We gotta go out and fish soon? Skykomish? Let's chat next week.

    - Bob :THUMBSUP
  10. Here's a killer in all conditions

    tie on some purple marabou on a gamakatsu hook = K/P chum fly

    saltwater flyfishing in the northwest is a science as well as an art
  11. I actually heard it was that the fish straight out of the ocean like pink, and those that have been in fresh for awhile like green.

    Or is it the other way around?
    Genetic pollution damages wild
    stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
  12. I have a lot of friends on this forum and I hope my ideas here to do not offend them. But I think I've got to say a few things and I could be (frequently am) just plain wrong. But I never get confused with facts.
    Chums are plankton feeders and do not eat bait fish. All salmon eat almost nothing once the spawning urge has started. Certain salmon, mainly steelhead, are very aggressive and will bite at things just because of this. Chums are the least aggressive of all.
    Green is a good color because it imitates various weeds and pieces of green matter found paractically everywhere in esturine conditions. Thus, Chums will allow green flies to approach them much closer and more often than flies of any other color. Weighted flies, particularly those with a split shot tied about 6" up the leader, when fished with an indicator tied anywhere from 1' to 4'above the fly will be the most deadly. That is, the most likely to snag a chum.
    My thinking, based on a lot of observation, is that chums travel in very tightly packed schools, moving about very rapidly. When a fly is presented into this school, it is whipped about rather violently by the tails (caudals) of the fish it touches. Sometimes this whip causes the fly to be snagged somewhere on the chum, the dorsal fin or the mouth being the most likely.
    Thus, I don't enjoy "hasseling" the chums and I greatly prefer my silvers, cutts, and steelhead.
    But then I'm a snob. So be it. At least, I'm me.
    This is not meant to bum anyone's ride. We all think and do what is best I guess. For me, no chums. Also, when I do "hook" a chum of 15 or more pounds, it's off to the middle of the Hood. I'm spooled. It's a lot of fun and I suppose it does not hurt anything. But... :AA
  13. What do I know---I'm just an old man

    I'll throw something else in here on the pink thing. The reason that they like the pink thing is that they remember what they ate in salt water and most of the time it was pink,like shrimp. After they have been in the fresh water for a while it all goes away and strike out in anger. Just like us old men. I used to remember something pink but now that I older I forgot what it was.

  14. Boblawless - i'm sure others here will help me set you straight, but I just thought I'd point a few things out based on my own non scientific experience. If you were talking sockeye, I'd probably tend to agree with you, but...

    As you stated, chums in the salt are primarily planton eaters and not very aggressive in general. As they move toward their spawning grounds (still in salt) they, like most salmon, start eating with more urgency. In this mode, they will often eat baitfish. In fact, a popular way to catch chums in the salt is with herring - trolled, mooched, or under a float.

    Chums in rivers are about the most aggressive biters of all. A popular technique for chums is plugging (like large k14 or 15 kwickfish - bait wrapped often). Chums nail these like you wouldn't believe (fished back trolled, cast and retreived, or simply holding in the current while the boat is anchored waiting the traveling fish to come by). And I assure you, that's no accident. Another popular technique is floats and jigs - again, agressive strikes and pretty hard to accidentally hook a fish this way. And in my favorite hole on the Stilly, it gets loaded with chum and silvers. We just lean over a log and cast small black flies (weighted) about 10 to 20ft out at the most, let it sink in this froggy water for a second, strip in 6 inches, pause for a few seconds, repeat, and in this hole during the right time you'll actually see the big chums swim up from the bottom and nail the little fly. Only 1 out of 10 fish would be a silver. Everytime the fish came to the fly - visually confirmed.

    Maybe the water you fish tends to support more lock jawed chums? Kinda like the often lock jawed silvers on the sky...

    And many guys I know use cerise and purple over green. But what has worked well for me is black (often combined with other colors).

    Chums are aggressive biters and great fighters. They just taste like s#$%^...

    Maybe smolt and oleander are just afraid of their big nasty teeth??
  15. I can confirm the above. When you put a fly in front of a fish and strip it away and it chases and grabs it in its mouth, it is not snagging and whether the fish attacks it for territorial reasons, for food, or for some other curious reason matters little. The fact is that I have induced every salmon but a sockeye to aggressively attack a fly moving AWAY fron the fish.

  16. Boblawless

    I can set you straight myself. Especially having had property on some prime Chum rivers, and having spent many a day fishing them over the last 20+ years. They are my favorite fish to catch, and I know for a fact they bite.

    Biggest I've caught was 28#'s. Only wish I had him weighed, never realized it was a state record back then. Biggest I have a picture of is a 24# buck. Both of them, and all the rest I've caught, were in mouth, not foul hooked. In fact, I can only remember a few times I've foul hooked a chum. I myself won't use strike indicators. If I'm going to use a SI and a weighted fly, I'll grab my jigs and long rod and go jig fishing. I will normally either do a standard wet fly swing or a slight subsurface drift on a floating line. I'll twitch the line. I know that when I get hit, I GET HIT. They yank that line. Not a slight pull like a fish was lined, but a solid yank, usually followed by a rolling chum as if it was striking and turning back to the hole. I use alot of pinks in tidal flux, but will also use alot of pinks and greens in the upper rivers. I feel, pound for pound, chums are the hardest fighting salmon that I've caught. Since I've caught a silver, king, steelhead, and chum all in the 23=24# range, I can attest to the fights of each. The king may have solid power, but that's it, no finesse usually. A silver will be all jumps and flips, but more keeping slack out of line then solid pumping of the rod. Steelhead, a nice mix of the two, but just minimized. Even the big native bucks I used to catch when I first started in the 70's were no match to the chums I've caught. Pure power and agility. I've snapped a few cheap 7 and 8 wt's on chums. I've really pushed my higher end rods to point of snapping at times. Only reason, because one minute they'll be jumping, cartwheeling, and making you crank trying to keep tension. Then next they are ripping backing off like a king, crushing all the muscles in your arms.

    Well, I know I'm off subject, but still, chums will hit. I too can attest to them hitting baitwrapped kwikkies. I have run K16's on the Sop quite a few years back trying to hit big kings. I caught quite a few chums nailing with the ferocity of a pissed off king. Almost pulling my plug rods out of the rod holders. Same with bait tipped jigs, and just plain jigs. You can usually tell (if you've used them long enough) if a salmon really hits your lure, or simply lines itself on it. I realize it was an observation of yours, but I've caught enough legally caught chum over the years to know they'll hit out of aggression. And will DEFINITELY hit out of feeding instincts in tidal flux/salt conditions. My favorite tidal flux fly is a GP conversion. Basically a ghost shrimp fly. I've literally watched fish come up and attack it while I'm twitching it. Chums especially. They LOVE shrimp.
  17. Here's a killer in all conditions

    This is my favorite "Go to" chum killer. I've used it for years, and is my primary fly bug when hitting the Sop or Nooch (especially the Sop, the chums aggressively attach this one). It's my own "chum bug". I've calling it this well before I knew there was a chum bug (or something similar to a chum bug in name). It's buggy looking, and you can change colors. I use it in mostly green, but have tied them with pink and orange underbodies. Here's recipe (goes with picture I posted)

    Any size hook, for big water I use 1/0-4, low water 4-8 standard steelhead hooks

    Tail: black bear (or any black fur, but always black)
    underbody: floss in prefered color
    overbody: clear ribbing (can use colored ribbing, I prefer clear)
    throat: palmered matching color hackle/schlappen (and black works good too)
    bead chain eyes (don't want alot of added weight, just for looks)

    Use any thread you like, I always use black colored though.

    This is an excellent fly. Can vary the body color anyway you want, or do multicolored. This is a great fly. I have tons of faith in it, and so have alot of guys I've converted to it on the Sop and Grays Harbor tribs (even a few on hoodsport before it became a zoo).

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