In Alaska, after Sockeye Salmon enter the river, spawn, and begin to die, Rainbows key in on Salmon flesh. Flesh offers the trout a protein-filled meal, and protein provided by the Salmon is part of the reason Alaskan Rainbows are so large. Flesh flies can be swung or dead-drifted. Flesh flies are most productive during the month of September. But flesh flies can be used outside of Alaska, too. Wherever you can find a Salmon run where fish die and other fish feed on their flesh is a great place to use flesh flies. The Great Lakes gets a solid run of coho and king salmon every year and offers anglers another chance to utilize flesh flies to catch trout or Steelhead. While our flesh fly selection is somewhat limited at the moment, check back often because we’re always adding new flies to our catalog.
The Twofer Flesh Fly is a popular pattern in Alaska and beyond. This fly imitates flesh and has great movement in the water. It also has a bead that runs off of the back so the trout can get two meals in one. The Twofer Flesh Fly comes in a few different colors including Flesh, Peach, and Cream. These different colors imitate the different stages of flesh and eggs in the river and can be used at different times of the year to entice hungry trout looking for a big meal. These flies are hand-tied by Umpqua Feather Merchants and offer the very best quality.
Another flesh fly we carry is the Choker Fly. This fly, like the Twofer, has eggs tied into the fly to make it look like a combination of floating eggs and flesh. So if trout are eating eggs, they’ll likely eat this fly. And, of course, if they’re eating flesh, they’ll eat it, too. This is a durable fly that can stand up to many rainbow trout and offers a solid option for anglers fishing Alaska and wherever salmon are present. While some anglers don’t agree with using flesh ‘flies’, they’re extremely productive when fished properly in the right scenario. Many guides in AK carry a full selection of these flies in September because they help anglers catch large rainbow trout looking for a big meal before the winter season.
Some people fish flesh flies under an indicator and some anglers fish them in a swinging technique like streamers. Fishing these flies under an indicator can be productive during the early part of the salmon run when trout are pickier about what they’re eating and how it’s presented to them. As the season progresses, however, trout feed with reckless abandon and can be convinced to eat a swinging flesh fly. This, of course, depends on the watershed so I’d trust your guide or experience on which technique to use to fish these flies.
If you’re chasing rainbow trout or Steelhead behind spawning salmon, these are must-have flies in your box. Plus, they’re hand-tied by Umpqua for top-notch quality and performance.