What is your favorite historic Sea-Run Cutthroat Fly?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Steve Rohrbach, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. toddr

    toddr Member

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    I like Preston's list. The Knudsen Spider in yellow or red are two favorites. I've had good success with an October Caddis nymphs this year as well.
     
  2. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    My first searun I ever caught was in Hood Canal on a Spruce Fly. My other go-to fly for many years was the Allard Yellow. In fact, Allard Yellow and Orange were also my steelhead in the salt flies along with the Polar Shrimp.

    Leland.
     
  3. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    I guess an old favorite for me is the Silver Brown by Roderick Haig-Brown. I'm like you guys, I need to put some of these old patterns back in my box. I used the Silver Brown a few years ago very successfully in an estuary on coho also.
     
  4. Tom Bowden

    Tom Bowden Active Member

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    The Rolled Muddler is still one of my top flies for saltwater fishing. I tie it sparse with silver diamond braid ribbed with reinforcing silver wire for the body. For stream fishing in the fall, my favorites are the Borden Special and Pat Trotter's K-Special Orange.

    Tom
     
  5. Olyfly

    Olyfly -

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    Another shout out for the Borden Special as it is one of my sentimental favorites. I first started coastal-SRC fishing on the Alsea River in Oregon when I was going to school in Corvallis. I took a fly tying class hosted by the Scarlet Ibis fly shop and one of the patterns they taught us was the Borden Special. Not sure what it is, but there's something special about the yellow, pink, and white combination that really works well.
     
  6. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Great thread Steve, thanks for posting it, and great responses all. Now,I'm off to the book case to find these patterns.

    Chris
     
  7. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    :thumb:

    Roger
     
  8. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    A great topic for a winter day which I'm sure will provide "fodder" for a number of fly tying tables

    As another "old-timer" if fish mostly the "classic" patterns. I just checked my two go to cutthroat boxes and between them there were more than 150 Knudsen spiders in a wide variety of sizes and colors. I fish mostly freshwater for my cutts and typically 95% or more of my fish take a "spider". In the salt the spiders continue to be successful though probably less than 1/2 of my "salty" fish come on spiders; rolled muddlers and other muddler minnow variations have long been other go to patterns.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  9. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Here are pictures of some of the flies mentioned above: Haig-Brown's Silver Brown, Ken McLeod's Skagit Minnow (probably the first imitation of a downstream-migrant pink or chum fry), the Rolled Muddler, a wool head sculpin, the Spruce Fly and Ferguson's Green and Silver (this one actually tied by Bruce himself). Most of these will work well in fresh or salt water.



    View attachment 46596 View attachment 46597 View attachment 46598 View attachment 46599 View attachment 46600 View attachment 46601
     
  10. SaltyCutt

    SaltyCutt Beach Bum

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    Great thread, Thanks Steve. I have poured over Les's books and always intended to start tying some of the older classic patterns. Looks like that time has come. In my short time fly tying and fishing, it's amazing how fast an effective fly moves to the bottom of the box, or even out of it completely. Each week I re-invent and re-design flies, which is the best part of this obsession, but I need to make sure the effective flies stay in rotation.

    One way I have used to pick color combinations is pouring over Letcher Lambuth's, and Art Limber's bucktailing flies. The sparse blending of 4-5 colors has helped me design my herring and sand lance flies when using synthetics. I am going to tie some traditional Lambuth Candlefish and re-introduce them to the salt. There is something about buck tail that I love.
    -Steve
     
  11. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Thanks for posting this thread Steve. This is great!
     
  12. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks for those pics, Preston. This is a great thread, by the way. I've been wanting to get back to my bench and tie up and fish some of these same patterns that have been mentioned, and this is good motivation to hear the wise old heads and top-notch cutt anglers discuss 'em.

    For a long time now, I have planned to tie up some "faux" Silver Browns, substituting something I can scrounge up for the "Indian Crow" feather on the tail.

    The Rolled Muddler is another that I've been meaning to produce in a bunch of various shades, since I'm almost out. I've caught a few on those! I need to fish them more often!

    I have fished the Borden Special and found it to be a good fly for cutts above the head of tidewater here, and for fishing the pools on my way back down as the tide dropped. I had a couple that I bought, but eventually lost 'em. Should try to tie some up!

    The fly I have fished most around here for searun cutts has been the Reversed Spider, but the last two years I have been tying and fishing more traditional Knudsen Spiders, too. I think it is becoming my favorite. The "white ghost" version with some red in the tail has been very effective. I have also been toying with the recipe. I tied up a variation with a small red beard (omitting the red in the tail for that version), and trimmed the hackles on the underside a little to expose the beard better and help make the fly ride upright, and then tied one with a beadhead to make it a better trolling fly off a floating line. Turned out to be an effective pattern for trolling in my favorite estuary, and worked fine casting and stripping, with or without the beadhead. A size 6 has been my "go to" fly for cutts down in the estuary and in the tidal reaches.
    I haven't had as much luck with the Spruce, but I haven't fished it all that much.

    Others that I plan to tie and fish include the Ferguson's Minnow, Johnson's Partridge Spider, and the Silver Minnow.
     
  13. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

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    Nice brace of flies Preston, picture perfect representation of classic coastal cuttroat flies.
    I’ll throw in another streamer pattern that works very well particularly in the estuary’s and that would be another spruce type classic called the Purple Joe.
    For top water I am also a big fan of the Blue Winged Olive particularly in an emerger style and of course Al Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis.

    It’s easy to see how varied coastal cutt patterns can be and it also shows the aggressiveness of these fish that we are blessed to have in our rivers and off our beaches.
     
  14. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Thanks Dale. Jim, the feathers I substituted for Indian Crow (actually South American Fruit crow) are back-to-back, red-dyed hen hackle tips and don't look at all like the real thing. Real Indian Crow feathers are actually pale orange, darkening to a reddish-orange at the tips of the fibers. I once had a recipe for creating a good-looking imitation but it involved several steps involving acid baths and dyes and, after taking one look at it, I decided it was way over the top for me. At any rate, red hen seems to be acceptable to the cutthroat (and coho, and even the occasional steelhead).
     
  15. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks, Preston, I have some red hen hackle. I was also thinking of using Golden Pheasant tippet, but then it would no longer be a Silver Brown, although I think it would work really well.