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A Handful of Flies from the Kola Peninsula: Part 6

The sixth post in a series of phone photos featuring the flies the author used during a week chasing Atlantic Salmon in Russia at the The Belousiha River Lodge. The beginning of the series can be found HERE

This is a tiny Red Francis tied on a tube. It didn’t hook a fish, but is a really cool little fly. In fact, it might actually be best described as “cute.”

This is a variation of the Golden Killer. In my mind, it is a perfect fly: sparse and simple with a touch of class. No wasted or extra material. I fished it with total confidence and it caught a couple salmon for me.

A couple of the guides in camp were Argentinean sea trout fisherman. They were working in Russia during what would have been their winter off season in the Southern Hemisphere because Faraway Fly Fishing, the travel company my friend is involved with, has connections with the camp in Russia. I got this pattern from one of the South Americans and in my mind I hear his accent whenever I talk about this fly. Phonetically, he pronounced its name as “Holden Keel Air.”

This stubby little tube fly was in one of the guide’s boxes. It is exactly the kind of fly that gives me no confidence whatsoever. Thick and tied with immobile materials. But he’s fished for Kola salmon many years, and I’ve only spent a few days there, so what do I know? It has probably caught more salmon that I ever will.

These two little flies were tied by an older Englishman who was fishing in camp. When the water gets warm and the sun is shining and the salmon get dour, experienced fisherman will move to tiny little bugs. Rationally, I know this is a smart strategy, and I know plenty of guys who do the same thing for summer steelhead, but I have a really hard time giving up the larger patterns, especially on big water. I have a hard time imagining a big fish moving for such tiny flies. That said, he caught a salmon on one of these flies. (I don’t remember which one.) When I complimented the flies, he gave me a couple of them before he flew home.

Part 7 coming soon!






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