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The Scottish Salmon Fly

By 30th September 2021

There are so many different salmon fly patterns available these days it can truly make your head spin. From what I've seen from decades of professional involvement is that effective salmon fly selection is of similar importance to the depth and swim speed of your fly.

Salmon Fly Patterns

With the thousands of salmon fly patterns that are available these days comes every imaginable combination of colour and materials with often the additional inclusion of modern day tinsels and special varnishes. Of all the components that are available the most important ingredient of all is the key ingredient of faith. Without complete faith in the pattern you're using you'll likely fish less effectively or quit earlier in the fishing day. Once you've established a pattern that's produced several salmon or more for you then stick to it like glue as it's trying to communicate with you!

Develop Faith In Your Salmon Fly

Here’s exactly how it works. Firstly a ghillie or a fellow fisher advises you of a particular salmon fly pattern that’s been effective on that particular salmon beat or river during certain water conditions. You take the advice on board and fish that fly and you catch a few salmon on it. Initial good advice is key to getting onto the correct footing with salmon flies but once you start to get a good idea of what works well at certain times of the salmon fishing season and which sizes to use during certain water levels then you're well away into creating a life long salmon catching friend!

Favourite Salmon Flies

This has now started to build your belief in the pattern and it becomes a firm favourite in your fly box. The more you use it the more it repeats its magic and that particular pattern develops into a 'must have' inclusion in your fly box. With those who can tie a fly it is often at this stage that a few subtle additions will be built in to the pattern which brings in additional sub surface attraction. Many of us will tie in known additional materials like a couple of thin stands of gold holographic tinsel into the wing or a coat of UV varnish on the body just to add an extra dimension into the fly's construction and some additional salmon catching effectiveness.

Effective Salmon Fly Patterns

What you have now is a salmon fly to fish that has everything you want and a solid proven track record you can virtually rely on to catch you a salmon. You’ve now also had them tied in various sizes to cover all the varying water conditions you’re likely to encounter on the salmon river. The irony of it all is that while the vital salmon fly ingredient of faith is step one of the crucial components that go into the make up of a fly a salmon is only ever going to take the one you’re using so there’s no real way of ever knowing if that particular fish would also have taken another fly or not! In saying that it doesn't really matter as long as the fly you're using is getting plenty of consistent sub surface attention!

The Copperass Salmon Fly

This above pattern was created by myself based on the exact same process as described above and was derived from the hugely successful Ally’s Shrimp ‘Cascade’ pattern with the additions of more mobile arctic fox to replace stiffer buck tail, a copper UV varnished body and 2 long strands of gold holographic tinsel in the wing. This hybrid has been a highly successful pattern for me which I named the ‘Copperass’ about 17 years ago. This pattern also works very well tied on a tube body and accounts for many early Spring and late Autumn fish too. Over the last decade this 'lethal' salmon fly pattern has also accounted for hundreds of salmon for fishing clients and for many other Scottish salmon fishers who I've put onto its salmon attracting magic! If you need any tied to my exact specification then expert fly tier Danny McLaughlin is the best man to contact; On a personal basis I wouldn't ever be without this trusted pattern in my fly box.