fry pattern

Our Easy Fry Pattern for Bull Trout

Fly fishing on BC’s south coast picks up in the Spring months. This is a great time to hit our local rivers with warmer water temperatures signalling the salmon eggs from the previous Fall to hatch. As the salmon emerge from their embryos they are called alevin. Alevin resemble fry, but still have their yolk sacs attached. As a few weeks pass, they lose the sack and become fry.

Fry are packed with protein for resident rainbow, cutthroat and bull trout. Trout gorge on them well into the Summer months, as the fry migrate into the estuary. It is crucial to have a good number of fry in your box while fly fishing in the Spring months. Having a variety of salmon fry patterns is ideal.  When should you starting swinging some fry patterns?  Keep an eye out for numbers of small minnows swimming in the rocks, it’s a great indicator to switch your program to salmon fry patterns.

First off, the materials you’ll need to tie the “NoProxy Fry” salmon fry fly include:

  • Small cone head (Orange bead, lead eyes will work as well)   
  • Mustad Size 4 straight eye hook (R75SNP-BR-10-25M)
  • Olive 140 denier thread
  • Olive mallard
  • Crystal braid
  • Medium red yarn
  • Green crystal flashabou
  • ⅜ Hologram eyes
  • Rapid Fix Liquid Plastic Adhesive (Can find a Canadian Tire)
  • UV FlashLight

salmon fry pattern

Step #1:  First, jam knot your thread from the eye till just behind the point of the hook. This will build a solid base for starting this fry pattern.

salmon fry pattern

Step #2:  Take a strand of your flashabou and double back a few times to create a flashy tail. The tail on this salmon fry pattern doesn’t need to be long.

fry pattern fly tying

Step #3:  Take your mallard and tie it in with your flash to create a defined tail. This will not only be the tail of your fry but as well as the back of your fry.

fry pattern fly tying BC

Step #4:  Next tie in your diamond braid and wrap it up the shank to the eye of the hook. This will build the body of the fly.

fly tying fry patterns

Step #5:  Tie in your red yarn. This is to imitate gills of the fry. Make a few wraps then tie it off.

easy to tie salmon fly

Step #6: Now pull your mallard so it is flush with the diamond braid. Pull tight and tie off.

salmon fry

Step #7:  Use your thread to build up a head for the fry to place your fry eyes on. Add a dab of head cement to seal the thread.

salmon fry fly

Step #8:  Take your eyes and place them on the thread. Next take your RapidFix and evenly apply it throughout the body of the fly. To evenly coat the fry you can rotate the fry on your rotary vise. A little goes a long way with this stuff.

salmon fly tying tips

Step #9:  Next take your UV light and rotate your fry as you shine the light on it. The stuff dries instantly so make sure you have the sealant evenly applied before you put the light on it.

fly tying salmon fry fly

Step #10:  There you have it. One of my favourite fry patterns to tie while not dealing with epoxy. It is a very durable pattern and has a UV pop when swung through the water column. You can swing, skate and strip these fry to entice a bite!


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About the Author

Austin Heffelfinger is a full time fly fishing guide with Chromer Sport Fishing, a guiding company and booking agency based in British Columbia. He is also an accomplished photographer with works published in many notable fly fishing publications. You can follow him at the links below.

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