Steelhead and Salmon fishing guides - Kitimat, British Columbia
Steelhead and Salmon fishing guides - Kitimat, British Columbia


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The Fly Shop

Manny's Minnow

This fly is designed to mimic a newly hatched Alevin and often, it will outfish any other minnow imitation ten to one.I suspect it is the movement of the marabou. I use a streamer type hook for this fly, the length matched to whatever mallard flank I have available (friends who are hunters give me duck carcasses and as such, I am uncomfortable requesting a specific feather size.).

No tail.

Body: Silver tinsel (I throw in a silver rib out of habit, but it is superfluous I think), tied to the hook bend.

Beard: Red wool (I use steelhead yarn in several different colors that will never exist in nature)

Underwing: White mallard flank, tied to extend to the end of the hook bend.

Overwing: Eight or ten strands of olive marabou, tied to extend to the same length as the mallard.

That's it! All parts of the fly are listed in order of when they are tied in. This fly works great all winter long, but especially in early spring ­ when all the fry are hatching en masse and trout are feeding with abandon. I have fished pools in mid March when it looked like it was raining from rising fry ­ all being chased by marauding cutthroat below.

Have fun, Archie.

The Story behind Archie's Hottest Trout Fly!

Rain mists down from a sky of clay colored clouds and shape-shifting puffs of fog. I can feel a trickle of wet inching down inside my shirt, along the left side of my neck. I know already that my shoulders will ache of lumbago tonight.perhaps I will light a fire and re-live the day with my back turned toward delicious waves of heat pulsing from flickering alder. First the day though.

An incessant wind loops my line in an unplanned and unwanted ellipse of disorder and I wait a millisecond longer for my rod to load up before starting the forward part of my cast. The fly rolls over perfectly, landing like just one of a million other raindrops, across the top of the promising looking riffle in front of me. Visibility is down to something just under two feet and the river is still rising.something had given my fly a sharp tug on my last cast and this toss is measured to take the line through the same wafting drift. The exact second the final foot of my upstream mend straightens at right angles to the river's flow and my line begins its' sweep toward the near shore, my arm is jarred by the electric shock of a fish hammering my offering! In a heartbeat - line starts tearing free from my reel.

It is late October, I am fishing the Kitimat River and I can't stop myself smiling at the thought of all of you.sitting in back straining, art-deco chairs in stuffy offices - straining to stay awake through the monotonous, nasal drone of some half-wit talking about something so irrelevant it makes every listener want to cry. A grouse thrums from beneath the trees and Ebony whines at my side. The rain has stopped now and magically, a hidden trap door opens in the sky and a shaft of sunlight stabs down from the heavens at the same heartbeat the cutthroat leaps free of the current in front of me. The fish flashes as if electrified.and I am transfixed by the beauty of the moment. I thank God I never chose to become a lawyer or accountant.

I am fishing with a three weight T & T and cursing the wind. The rod casts beautifully when the air is calm, but I silently curse that I didn't go with a heavier rod. The Kitimat is gin clear and full to near overflowing with Sea Run Cutthroat and Dolly Varden. The Cutthroat run as big as five pounds and fight as hard as Jack Springs.every fish fools me into thinking it is much bigger than it really is and several have already taken me into my backing. The Dollies fight hard as well and look like small, silver-plated footballs.each a clone of the other. There must be hundreds of fish in front of me! I do this every year. I think of it as my 'secret season'. Most of the other anglers have put their rods away. The Coho have finished their run and now hold, ripening in virtually every deep pool in the river. The trout now all lurk in the current below their larger cousins, sometimes poking at the sides of the much larger salmon with their noses ­ trying to force the expulsion of an egg or two. I have watched this behavior many times, marveling that the trout know somehow, to prod only the females.

I am using a very simple, single egg pattern, tied on a scud hook. I weight the fly slightly with a couple of turns of lead, then tie in two or three wraps of orange chenille.just enough to represent an oversize egg. Then, I finish the fly with a hackle of white the water; it is impossible to tell it from the real thing. Anything imitating a minnow works well also, but the hottest pattern this day is by far this simple pattern. Ebony whimpers at the jumping fish and steps out into the current, barking her encouragement. The Cutthroat is easing up on its' struggles now. I don't bother going to shore.barbless hooks make releasing the fish an easy task. This little glowing package has other ideas though, and just as I reach for the leader it shoots away in a twenty foot burst of power and leaps free of the current below me. I can see the fish flashing like a beacon in the current, contrasted by the olive tinge of the rocky bottom. A dark shadow drops out of the sky, falling it seems, from the sun itself! Startled, I stumble over a hidden boulder, falling to my knees and water rushes in over the top of my waders. The eagle hits the water like a sledge hammer! When the bird takes to the air, my line trails after it ­ screaming from the reel in protest. My four pound tippet is no match for the massive, white crested bird. Instincts honed over dozens of years caused me to rear back on my rod without thinking, even as the spectacle of the bird clutching my fish burst back up into the heavens. The bird twisted slightly in mid-air at the sudden drag on its' claws, but the line parted as if made from spider's silk, possibly assisted by the razored edges of the eagle's talons.and like a ghost, the bird is gone as quickly as it appeared. I turned to Ebony and said, "Did you see that?"

I have seen many strange sights over thirty plus years of avid angling, but this bird making a supper out of my catch beats it all. I considered tying on another fly and working over the bottom of the run, but it somehow seemed a bleached out mockery and insult to what had just transpired to do so. Instead, I collapsed my rod and headed for my truck, smiling and shaking my head in wonderment. I will store the memory with others.of otters playing mid-stream with my dog, wolves barking for my catch from twenty feet away, a grizzly bear standing on its' hind legs and growling from across a twenty foot stretch of river (I thought we were all dead), and a friend catching a coho by hooking it through the swivel of a lure hooked to its' jaw. Those memories are here for the taking.a phone call and a plane flight away. See you on the river.

For those of you who feel like using a fly designed to imitate salmon roe is akin to cheating, here is another pattern that works almost as well.