Fly Tied By: John
Home: Helena, Montana
John started fishing at a young age, but took a break
from fishing when his children were young. He got serious about
fishing again after fulfilling a childhood dream of learning
to tie his own flies. In
1998, he took an early retirement from Montana Fish,
Wildlife and Parks and is now self-employed as a natural
Here in Montana, I have had good success
fishing small brassies on the Missouri River. I often fish size 18's
in tandem with small parachutes during midge and BWO hatches, and I
have caught browns and rainbows up to about 20 inches on this little
fly. Thus, while preparing for my first (only)
Alaska trip, I was intrigued to discover that Alaska FlyFishers
included the brassie among the patterns recommended for salmon.
During the July 2000 trip, the brassie was the most productive
pattern in my box. I caught my first salmon on a brassie! I was able
to land several Pinks in the 3 to 5 pound range and a number of Chum
in the 8 to 12 pound range. I also hooked, but did not land,
one or two Sockeye that were in the 10 pound range... all on the six
size 8 brassies I brought on the trip.
The fly that caught the first salmon was
saved as a memento of the trip, and was the only brassie that came home with me. The other
five were lost, along with the fish that ate them. I have not yet
scheduled my return trip to Alaska's Italio River, but I already
have a couple dozen brassies ready to go.
Hook: Mustad 3906, #18
Abdomen: Three stands of fine
wire - gold, copper and green
Thorax: A single
peacock herl twisted a few times around the tying thread before
Tying Tip: Prepare the wire abdomen ahead of
time. Cut the three strands of wire to length, clamp the ends in the
vise and twist together to form a single wire. The resulting wire
should be long enough to tie several flies.
The Alaskan Recipe:
Hook: Mustad 9672, #8
Danville 3/0 monochord, chartreuse
0.25 guage copper wire
bucktail, trude style and sparse
strands of twisted peacock herl.
Tying Tip: To ensure more uniform fullness and
durability, I prefer to spin the strands of peacock herl in a
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