January 19, 2013

Allen Afield: It's tying time again with visions of salmon

By Ken Allen

(Continued from page 1)

These days, my fly fishing leans toward micro-flies in size 20 to 24. In the micro-range for dries, I like Compara-duns, thorax patterns and Variants, but for emergers, a simple CDC Emerger in a mayfly or caddis style can keep a bend in the rod.

My Atlantic salmon flies also generate memories, and a bunch of Black Bear-Green Butts in sizes 2 through 12 offer a great example. In the late 1980s, the Medway River in Nova Scotia offered me superb June fishing, but the first year, guides swore that green never worked there and discouraged me from using my favorite salmon pattern.

Nevertheless, during my second June on the river, I slayed Atlantics with sizes 4, 6, 8 and 10 Black Bear-Green Butts, enough successes so that the Medway guides were hounding me for the pattern for years.

That fly works on the two dozen Atlantic salmon rivers I have fished in my life, which has prompted me to say many times that my four favorite salmon flies are a Black Bear-Green Butt in sizes 4, 6, 8 and 10.

Glancing at my fly boxes in the dead of winter generates memories of good times past -- a reward for those of us who tie flies while dreaming of warmer times around the corner.

Ken Allen, of Belgrade Lakes, a writer, editor and photographer, may be reached at:



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