Wiggle Bug For Silver Salmon

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Who doesn’t love watching a big silver salmon rushing towards a fly and crushing it?

I’ll tell you who, an Alaskan guide who’s already unhooked three dozen of them for the day.

Alaska West - Silver Salmon - Photo By: Louis Cahill

I used to really enjoy guiding first time silver clients in Alaska. You wouldn’t believe the praises you’d get as a guide after they landed twenty or so. It was sometimes hard keeping a straight face, smiling and saying, thanks man! But in my head I’m thinking, it’s not brain surgery, this is about as easy as Alaska fishing gets. Seriously though, I really did enjoy the high fives and genuine remarks I received during those trips. Silver fishing did get a little monotonous at times but it was always an easy day of guiding, something guides cherish after months in the bush. Silver salmon are super territorial and aggressive during the spawn, making them eager to chase and attack flies that enter their field of vision. It’s not technical fly fishing by any means but a lot of fun for fly anglers wanting action all day long. The only thing I truly hated about silver salmon fishing was the beating my hands took from trying to handle them death rolling in the net. If you ever get a chance take a good hard look at an alaskan guides hands. It’s not a pretty sight. I never thought my hands would look the same after that season in Alaska. Thank God for utter cream.

Articulated Wiggle Bug

When you’re guiding silvers its more important that you find the fish than how much skill your clients have. LOFT really doesn’t play as much of a role in success like it does for other species. When you locate fifty to a hundred fish your virtually guaranteed to get bites, and if you don’t, you go find another pod. Don’t get me wrong, there were some days when I could hardly get any silvers to eat. Especially late in the season, when the same pods of silvers were being pounded day after day and there were no fresh salmon coming in. When I found myself in this situation I’d break out my secret weapon, an articulated wiggle bug. The diving wiggle action seemed to even get fish with lock jaw to eat.

Tie some of these up before your next trip to Alaska, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s the only place this killer fly pattern will work. If you alter the colors and hardware it will catch fish just about anywhere. In most cases I prefer fishing it with an intermediate fly line which allows me to keep the fly a little deeper during my retrieve. Tie the fly on with a loop knot and make sure you cut the front of the fly even. Otherwise, the fly will not swim and dive correctly.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com

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9 thoughts on “Wiggle Bug For Silver Salmon

  1. Thanks for the fish porn. I am gonna tie this fly tonight. I have had the worst luck lately. Been hitting this large creek by my house in SC. I have caught nothing and it is making me crazy. I refuse to move on until I conquer this nothing stream. I am gonna try this pattern in chartreuse.

  2. When I guided on the Copper River (the one that flows into Iliamna) in the mid-1990s, the Wiggle Bug was THE fly for big rainbows and produced every fish over 30″ caught that season. There doesn’t seem to be any wrong way to fish it. Larry Tullis had guided there the year before me and was responsible for bringing the WB to prominance on the Copper.

  3. Hi Guys. Thanks for plugging the Wiggle Bug (pun intended). I like your articulated version. I have Rainys Flies tying “Tullis Wiggle Bugs” commercially for me now (in various colors including purple and pink). Also an articulated swimming snake version as well for pike & bass. The standard Wiggle Bug in purple or pink is still my best silver salmon fly. Some swear by white for kings. I’ve kept track from my personal use and reports from others and the Wiggle Bug has caught over 70 game-fish species now, including most of my biggest Alaskan rainbow trout (bows mostly caught on yellow, white, black or purple WB’s #4). Other variations imitate minnows, damselflies, crawdads, scuds, annelids, shrimp etc.. Tight lines!! Larry Tullis e-mail: flyfishxprt@aol.com

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