Floating Candlefish Fly for Silvers

Last week there was a shoreline along the Puget Sound saltchuck with some nice sized silvers clasing candlefish up to the surface. I was getting them on the Clouser Minnow fly using an extra fast sinking line. The activity started to slow down so I thought why not try a floating line and a foam bodied candlefish with a 2" synthetic tail(olive/white)which I had tied up a while ago but never used. If I could get the fly to skate and wake nicely on the retrieve it was bedlam for an hour. Sometimes there would be several fish chasing behind the fly before one would slam it. The fly would sink several inches below the surface if not retrieved. Short quick retrieves with pauses worked but not as well as the skated retrieve. I think the skated retrieve with all the surface disturbance brought the fish up to see what was going on.

I am going to try using smaller/lighter hooks so that the fly will float better and also balsa wood instead of foam for the body. Has anyone used/tied and had success with floating candlefish flies in Puget Sound for silvers? I have seen some of the patterns that they use along the East Coast but didn't like the looks of them. Would like to hear other peoples thoughts.
Great to hear you did well. Troy Dettman at NW Anglers in Poulsbo uses a sliding foam combination similar to a billfish popper but on a much smaller scale.

You take some foam (try the pre-formed popper bodies) run a small tube through it and glue the tube in place. Run your leader through the tube, then string a small bead and then tie your fly in (Clouser, Deceiver, etc). I have caught many fish using this combination down in the South Sound.

Since I have shared this fly set up... where were you fishing? You can e-mail me.

Tight lines!


i use floating flies in area 9 west side use white hackles,blue bucktail on topwhite marabou with the white hackles in the back, red tinselfor thorax around foam bodies. do use green bucktail as sub. fish in rips or when fish are chasing herring or candlefish to shore or over eelgrass at low tide at incoming tide change