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Salmon Fly Fishing on a Budget

Saturday, 15 August 2015  |  Simon

In the past salmon fly fishing was a sport for mainly for people with fat wallets – or poachers, if it comes to that. You only have to glance at some old books on salmon fishing to be impressed by plates illustrating the most and decorative of flies made with all manner of rare and exotic feathers. The cost of some of these feathers which are still available, can be high, as the old stocks of materials do not last forever. Take one material used in the past, the feathers of the Sonnerat Jungle cock, which were used as a cheek on many flies. This fowl is now a protected species.

There are a wide range of styles and types of salmon flies. Simple strip wings, for example, are easy to tie and have a single feather set back to back. Whole feather wings include the jungle cock, golden pheasant and peacock sword and are set back to back on top of the hook. The mixed wing is an ornate construction made from individual strands of different feathers joined to one another to form a multi-coloured wing. The Dee strip is a type of fly usually tied to large salmon irons and was originally fished on the River Dee in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Another which originated in Scotland is the Spey fly, used on the eponymous river and relied on ultra-large hackles, sometimes from the heron, with wing strips of brown mallard flank.

It’s not all bad news for your budget, though, since these days there are plenty more affordable alternatives to use in salmon fly fishing.

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