Alaska may be the most famous place to catch Pacific Salmon. You’ve probably seen pictures of Silvers, Kings, and Sockeye Salmon from the greater Bristol Bay Region of Alaska. These Salmon migrate from the ocean into the rivers every spring/summer to spawn. After the spawn is done, these salmon die in the freshwater rivers. When they first enter the river, anglers target them with a fly rod and a multitude of techniques and flies. While Sockeye Salmon technically don’t ‘eat’ others like the Silver Salmon aggressively hit a streamer which makes them loads of fun to fish for. When these fish come in out of the ocean they’re silver, strong, and put up an awesome fight on a fly rod. To catch them, however, it’s important to have the right flies. Our Pacific Salmon flies are great patterns for targeting these fish.
While Alaska is the most famous destination for Salmon, they can be caught in other places, too. There are legendary King Salmon runs in South America and Salmon were even introduced to the Great Lakes. Every year, Salmon swim into the tributaries of the Great Lakes to spawn and can be targeted and caught on a fly rod. Catching a 20lb King Salmon on a small Great Lakes Tributary is loads of fun, too, especially on a fly rod.
A famous pattern in Alaska, the Dolly Llama Streamer, can be used to target Sockeyes, Silvers, and more. While the Dolly Llama is typically known as a Rainbow Trout pattern for post-spawn fish that are looking for a large meal, it can also be fished in bright colors for Salmon. The Pink/Purple color, for example, is a stellar Silver Salmon fly and works well in cloudy water conditions and tidal rivers. This fly is tied on a durable hook to help you wrangle the largest Salmon in the river. It also features some flash on the outside of the fly for attention-grabbing shine in the water.
On the contrary, if you’re fishing the Great Lakes run of King Salmon or Coho Salmon, one of the most popular patterns is an Egg Sucking Crystal Leech. When Salmon spawn, they get defensive of their eggs and their gravel ‘nest’ or redd. Sculpins, Leeches, and other baitfish often try to steal and feed on these Salmon eggs, and Kings often swipe at this pattern to defend their redd. This also doubles as a productive pattern for Steelhead who are feeding on eggs from the Salmon spawn.
While we only have a few patterns in our Pacific Salmon Fly Category at the moment, we’re always adding new flies to our selection so check back soon or give us a call at the shop if you don’t see the fly you’re looking for. If you’re fishing with eggs/beads, it’s also worth checking out our categories in Flies and Fly Tying for soft eggs, beads, and much more.