These small Streamer patterns work well in the Spring in Michigan. These flies represent two very important baitfish patterns in the diet of our cold water fisheries in the Great Lakes Region. The Salmon Fry and the Smolt pattern. In the Spring thousands of wild King Salmon fry hatch in the Pere Marquette River. These small minnows become a huge staple in the Brown and Rainbow Trout’s diet until the insect hatches begin. These fry sit along the banks in huge numbers allowing Brown and Rainbow Trout to slam them in the shallows. Almost like witnessing a blitz in salt water where a big fish is attacking the bait. In the Spring the Smolt of these King Salmon and Steelhead of two years of age, start to school up to make their long migration back to Lake Michigan following the adult Steelhead after they spawn and head out to the Lake. These become a big piece of protein for a giant Brown and Rainbow Trout as they try to ambush them on there way out of the river system. Another major food source for our resident Trout is Sculpin’s. The Pere Marquette River and other Great Lakes tributary’s are full of these baitfish. You can find them hiding everywhere, especially rivers full of woody debris.
In the last two Springs I have been playing around with smaller weight size switch rods and short Airflo Scout heads. This system is a ton of fun to cast and hook fish on. Swinging not only for the resident Trout but for any Steelhead that might be left in the river later in the Spring. I find fishing these smaller flies, can be even more effective, then stripping giant Streamers off the bank at a much faster speed. Swinging these small flies is more of a match the hatch scenario and do to the fact your presenting them at a much slower speed with cold water temps on the swing, can trigger more strikes. You give that big trout a little more time to react to a fly in the cooler water and due to the smaller size and life like look they are willing to take it. These flies are all simple to tie with not a lot of steps or materials involved. Good luck and Tight Lines, Jeff Hubbard
Hubbard’s Flash Fry
Hook: Heavy Wire Long Shank Nymph Hook Size 6
Tail: 3 pieces of Pearl Fringe
Body: Peacock Ice Dub Wrapped towards eye of hook and use more as a shoulder.
Wing: Tie in a reverse piece of Olive Artic Fox or Craft Fur, fray out with fingers and pull over Ice Dub shoulder and Tie off. Then add three more pieces of the Pearl Fringe.
Collar: tie in a nice piece of Mallard Flank natural by the tip and palmer towards eye of hook.
Eyes: Gold Bead Chain Eyes small or medium in size tied on top with Ice Dub , dubbed around them towards eye.
Finish off eye with whip finish.
Hubbard’s Swinging Smolt
Hook: Daiichi 1750 size 4
Tail: two soft grizzle hackles tied in Matuka style off the back of hook.
Body: Green Caddis Ice Dub , dubbed towards front of hook putting more on towards front to form a shoulder.
Wing: Tie in reverse Artic Fox White. fray out with fingers and pull over Ice Dub shoulder. Two strands , one off each side of Lateral Scale Pearl (1760 is the number).
Collar: Tie in natural Mallard Flank tip first palmer towards eye of hook.
Eyes: Medium Silver Bead Chain Eyes.
Head: Clump on Senyo’s Laser Dub Silver Minnow Body to form head, trim and form with scissors’ around Bead Chain Eyes
Tie off and whip finish.
Hub’s PM Parr “little fry”
I developed this fly long ago for Nymphing , learned lately it swings well too.
Hook: Daiichi 1750 Size 6 or 4
Tail: White Grizzly Marabou
Body: Olive Ice Dub with Mallard flank palmer to front of hook
Wing: Grizzly Marabou pulled over top
Eyes: Med Red Eyes
Head: Shrimp or Orange Ice Dub
Mini Pugsley Sculpin
Hook: Daiichi 2461 Size 2
Body: Peacock Ice Dub wrapped towards front of the hook then make a shoulder of dubbing.
Collar: Tie on a sparse amount of the Rubber Bass Skirts this color is Green/Pumpkin Orange.
Collar: Tie in brown shlappen by tip palmer towards eye of hook.
Wing: a few strands of Red Flashabou tied in behind the Sculpin Head.
Head: the key part for any Sculpin pattern. Tie in a clump of Rusty Brown Senyo Laser Dub and trim to give the Sculpin head your looking for.
These Fly Patterns are a Copy Right of Outfitters North Guide Service 2017
Can also be found at http://outfittersnorth.com
Jeff has been a full time professional Fly Fishing Guide in West Michigan now for 20 years. He spends a majority of his guiding and fishing time on his home river the Pere Marquette. Jeff provides all his own flies on his guide trips, he ties a lot f patterns from Swing Flies for Steelhead to Hoppers in the summer. Operates and owns Outfitters North Guide Service. http://outfittersnorth.com where you can find other great fly patterns for Trout, Salmon and Steelhead. His favorite method of fishing is Swinging Flies for Steelhead November through March.