Pattern Pink Smolt pattern

That's a cool fly, I like how the mallard is tied in. Steve sent me a pic of a pink smolt, so I'm working on something as well. I know it was discussed the other night, but when should the pink fry head into the sound? Was it beginning of April?


Active Member
Kevin -
Your tie is similar to the one that I usually use.

Mine is even simplier
Tail - none
Body -silver tinsel or braid. I usually tie them a mustad 3399A hook so the tinseled body is a little longer
Hackle - sparse mallard flank tied spider style. I select for a well marked fine fiber feather that has fibers that as in your fly will extend well past the hook shank
Overwing - mixed chartreuse and blue - 10 to 12 individual hairs with 2/3 chartreuse
eye -none

Tied proprely the mallard hackle when stripped through the water forms a nice enlongated tear drop shape very similar the general shape of a fry. The sparse tie gives the fly the translucence of the fry. The fry in the river, estuaries, and early season on the salt beaches tend to be near the surface so have found an unweighted fly fished with slow strips swing with the current in the top couple inches of the water to be the most effective presentation. The eyes on the small fry are not exceptional visible - while adding eyes make for a more "finished" fly I don't find them necessary.

Size is spot on.

For chum or Chinook fry for the bucktail wing I use brown instead of chartreuse/blue.

While the above seems to appeal to the cutthroat and bull trout just fine if you want it can be dressed up a bit with a couple strands of krystal flash under the bucktail and a small "bump" of orange dubbing just behind the hackle and of course eyes.


Active Member
Here in north Sound the first pink fry will be emerging from the gravel in the next couple weeks and will be on the beaches soon after. They will be available to the cutthroat well into May. Once the fry hit the be beaches they will stay in the shallows feeding for a week ot two; once they gain a little size they move off shore into deep water and are generally out of range for the cutthroat. Fortuantely there is a more or less steady stream of fry heading down the rivers all spring; sometimes in schools of 100,000s. The result is there is not much of a need for different fly sizes. Because the fry are shallow and close to shore it is chance to fish with floating lines, longer leaders and your 4 and 5 weight rods.

With the numerous fry about it sometimes helps to fish a fly with the "enhancements" mentioned earlier though it has been rare that the original pattern was not adequate.


Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
kelvin, great fly that I am sure will catch fish. The photo that Steve Knapp mentioned was taken by Dave McCoy of Emerald Water Anglers and Dave McCoy Photography. It is a great photo of a Pink Fry that I am attaching. Curt, given the blue and chartreuse in the photo, I am going to tie some with your suggested materials as well. Thanks for sharing guys. As Jimmy LeMert remarked, "What is it about Sea Run Cutthroat and their aggressive feeding habits that makes you think you need a Pink Salmon Fry pattern?" My response is that the fly is for me. I just hope the Cutthroat like it as much as I do.

View attachment 48380

kelvin, the new fly from last night is awesome. I really like the colors and it compares nicely with Dave's photo.


Active Member
Kevin -
Sorry no photos - I so rarely catch or create anything worthy of sharing a photo so I have not bothered to get myself up to speed to down loading and post photos.

The fly is discribed is very similar (simplier) to yours. It is really no more than sparsely tied silver body Knudsen spider with 10 or 12 bucktail fibers as an over wing.

To tie -
Tinsel body for the lenght of the straight portion of the hook shank.

Prep a high quality mallard flank feather by laying it along the hook shank with tip towards the eye of the hook. Assuming that you will wind the hackle away from you strip the fibers from the upperr side of the quill (I always slect a feather that has the best/finest fibers on the side I will be using and whose longer fibers are approx. 1 1/2 times longer than the hook shank). Tease the fibers so they stick straight out from the quill. Tie the tip in at the point where the individual fibers are slightly long then the hook shank. Take a few thread wraps forward, double the tip back and wind back to just forward of the startign point. Trim the tip leaving the feather well anchored. Take 3 or 4 turns hackle/flank feather with each turn in front of the previous one resulting in fibers from each turn being slightly longer than the previous one. This results in that nice fry shape when fished by swing with the current with small strips.

Add the over wing and whip finish the head.

A very simple but durable and effective fly that I have fished for decades on now defunct Lower Skagit spring cutthroat and bull trout tidal fishery when the fish were targeting the pink and/or chum fry. Have found it works equally well on the salt beaches.

Tight lines


Active Member
Excellent looking ties Kelvin. I picked this fry up from the last pink outmigration couple years ago it had washed up on the boat ramp.

Dale Great photo!

Steve I think the answer is tie flatwings

I call this my Micro Flatwing Matcho Del Hatcho

View attachment 48464 View attachment 48465

Gami SC15 size 4 hook
holigraphic tinsel body
white craft fur underwing
holigraphic silver flash
blue hackle feather tied in flatwing style
epoxy head

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