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Author Topic: The Skykomish Sunrise  (Read 2641 times)

RalphH

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The Skykomish Sunrise
« on: December 03, 2022, 11:29:31 AM »

George McLeod first the Skykomish Sunrise for his father Ken. It is a West Coast classic and an example of fly design as art.
 
Ken's account was included by Trey Coombs in his book Steelhead Fly Fishing. Ken and his son, George, were driving east to the Skykomish River early one January morning in 1936. The sun was coming up over the snow capped Cascades, a splendor of red, yellow, and white.

ďTie me a fly with those colors in it,Ē Ken told his son.

That night George tied the Skykomish Sunrise and the next week he caught 3 steelhead including a 17 pounder in a pool of the Skykomish near Monroe Washington." As Ken told Coombs, 'The Fly became as sensation'.

It is also now used for sea trout in Europe and has proven itself a useful cutthroat & coho fly.

 

as tied:

hook: #6 black salmon hook
Tag: #14 silver mylar tinsel
Tail:  mixed red and yellow hackle fibers
Body Senyo's red dubbing mix
Hackle: red and yellow hackle
Wing: white arctic fox and pearl krystal flash



« Last Edit: December 04, 2022, 09:06:40 AM by RalphH »
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"Humanity, one of the countless species forming the biosphere, can perturb it, but we cannot leave it or destroy it without perishing ourselves. The cycles of the other species can be destroyed and the biosphere corrupted. But for each careless step we take, our species will pay an unwelcome price-always."

E.O. Wilson

coastangler

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Re: The Skykomish Sunrise
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2022, 12:27:24 PM »

Thanks Ralph. For someone relatively new to the sport like myself I haven't used those kinds of patterns that much. For Pacific Salmon pretty much everyone uses weighted (beadhead, cone or dumbbell) patterns these days and I don't see those classic flies being used as much. Do you think this shift will also happen with Steelhead or Atlantic Salmon flies? Do you need to fish a heavier tip to get those flies down or the slimmer body helps to keep it down - if that's the case though then I'm not sure why everyone uses weighted flies for Pacific Salmon - unless you don't need to stay down as much with Steelhead?
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RalphH

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Re: The Skykomish Sunrise
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2022, 07:59:07 AM »

You certainly are correct that patterns weighted with a bead, cone or dumbbells have become very popular. I think that is because they add weight and either flash or color. Used with a strip retrieve the fly has a pronounced jigging motion that certainly attracts most species of salmon. Combined with the equally common use of flashy materials such flies really are attractor jigs  They are also used on many steelhead patterns though these are usually fished with a swing or dead drifted. I don't think achieving depth for salmon is as important as for winter steelhead since salmon are usually fished when water temperatures allow them to be more active. Salmon will follow and even chase flies, which is far less true for steelhead.

While beads have been used in some fly patterns for over 100 years, they only became popular less than 40 years ago when beads that were double drilled became available. These allowed the bead to be slipped over the hook bend but not over the hook eye. Before that weight could only be increased by using a bigger hook, a hook made of thick wire or by wrapping the hook shank with lead wire. For smaller hook sizes those weren't effective and weight was added to the leader. Beads really made a very significant  difference on medium to small nymphs. beads could also be sized to match water conditions. Euro-nymphng techniques would be impossible without them.

It was only after about 1970 or so that very fast sinking lines became available but anglers did catch salmon and steehead with more traditional wet flies. Today the Mickey Finn, KCK, Rolled Muddler and Coho Blue when not weighted with beads, are examples of such flies.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2022, 08:01:00 AM by RalphH »
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"Humanity, one of the countless species forming the biosphere, can perturb it, but we cannot leave it or destroy it without perishing ourselves. The cycles of the other species can be destroyed and the biosphere corrupted. But for each careless step we take, our species will pay an unwelcome price-always."

E.O. Wilson

coastangler

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Re: The Skykomish Sunrise
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2022, 12:29:20 PM »

Thanks Ralph, all makes sense. Must be so cool to have seen the evolution of it all.
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"If it ainít chartreuse, it ainít no use"
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