Yellow Lady trout and salmon lure
By John Hey
A few seasons back I had been fishing for salmon with a lure, a feathered lure, some being English Hairwing style, and while not having a lot of success early on, I decided to read up on how salmon were caught on the fly in the United States. Collecting American Flyfishing magazine, I started reading back issues on all the fly fishing for salmon, from rods, reels, lines, to reading the water.
I even got videos from the United States on flyfishing for Steelhead trout. I spent the whole winter watching those videos. The next season I bought a Kilwell saltwater fly rod (9ft long) and a System Two – 11wt reel. The fly line was a 10wt shooting head, hi-speed, hi d, and spliced that to a floating backing along with 100 yards of Dacron. There’s no way I was going to lose a fish through not having enough line! A short 15 lbs leader to the fly. Now I was ready!
Many a kahawai had succumbed to this setup, so I knew it handled fast hard fighting fish. Bring on the salmon!
It was February, the first day of my annual holidays when Keith and I had heard the salmon were in the surf at the Hurunui River mouth. We started out fishing the surf and it wasn’t long before Keith was into a good salmon – a nice 15 pounder. By mid-afternoon, Keith had his two, and being the kind chap he is, decided to boil the billy. We left the surf and went back to the Suzuki as I had only caught one fish. I decided to give the fly a go.
There were a few salmon playing in the lagoon. At the time Keith was filming with his video camera capturing the salmon rising. I was casting across and down, then mending the floating line back upstream, when suddenly on my fifth cast the line stopped. Could it be a STRIKE?
Then the unmistakable head shaking of a salmon. A quick yell to Keith and he pressed the record button on his video camera. Not only a salmon on the fly but I had it on video as well. There was no chance to see if it was a fluke as that was my second salmon and limit for the day.
We returned the next Monday and I fished nothing but the fly just to see if it would work again. With not as many fish rising it would be hard, but again late in the afternoon I hooked and landed a salmon. The first was 13 lb and the other 11 lb. The outfit handled very well with plenty of control, neither fish took me into the surf. Mind you I didn’t foul hook them either.
I tie the Yellow Lady salmon lure on upturned salmon hooks. First tie in a tail of red whisks. Then a silver oval tinsel rib followed by yellow chenille. Tie in four yellow hackles on top, then wind your tinsel through to the head. Next, I tie in some copper coloured Flashabou on either side of the head. Then I tie in some yellow Krystal Flash before winding on a yellow throat hackle and finishing the head in black. Some anglers might say you don’t need the fancy trimmings, but hey, if it catches salmon! Tight Lines John Hey.