Wake fly and wake fly fishing
Wake fly is the shared name of a large group of salmon and steelhead flies that is rooted in the surface hunting abilities of the salmonidae family and the insects they eat. Skating flies, Riffling Hitch flies and poppers are all members of the wake fly group – All designed to work in the flow of the water surface.
Here the super effective Steelhead Beetle wake fly, tied on Hitch tube. Fly designed by Mr. Chad Black
What does this type of fly represent ?
Juvenile steelhead and salmon find their food within the river system and have developed skills to detect and track the various groups of insects and other water animals. Some found in great numbers, others when they occasionally visit the river .
It could be that some of these accidental visitors make wakes on the river surface – but it is foremost the inhabiting aquatic life that create the revealing wakes that get salmon & trout going. Both the Stonefly and Caddisfly is known to make wakes – when they leave the river to become fully mature insects – and later again when they return to lay eggs
The wake fly in fishing history
A 1960`s original Hugh Falkus Surface Lure. Made out of a 1,5 Inch piece of cork. Bulky surface flies like this one was also fished just below the surface, using a sink tip or intermediate line. Fly was then stripped in fast.
The first wake fly I learned of was a fly made by sea trout anglers in Wales where I spend my summer holidays in the early 80`s – A old sewin angler (welsh for sea-trout) pulled a big and very filthy looking wake fly out of his fishing bag – The fly was made up of: half a wine cork tied to a big single hook, other hooks tied to wire was protruding from the cork – left and right – nothing more - The angler told me that the fly was so effective that it was baned on many rivers in Wales – Such wake flies was over time produced in many shades, or rather shapes. The famed angler and author Mr. Hugh Falkus helped popularize the use of the wake fly among sea trout anglers in the UK. In his book Sea Trout Fishing he dedicated a whole chapter to this special and very productive sport.The Wake Lure from Hardy Brothers late 50`s early 60`s This the No. 1 Lure made with the shaft from a big feather – Hardy also did a No. 2 that resembled a reversed pike plug.. Today most wake lures will be made with some type of closed cell foam – simple efficient flies Resident trout and sea trout entering the rivers system has a weakness towards rodents – frogs and others that take a swim. I have on more than one occasion seen unlucky haired critters being pulled out of the mouth of trout – Maybe the great effectiveness of big trout- wake fly patterns is down to the hairy taste of mice. We make big rodent imitations on tube – The ultimate wake fly if your targeting fish like Taimen pike or greedy brown trout – doing flies like this on tube is the obvious solution to a huge long shank hook See our different rodent imitations
Fishing with wake fly for sea trout is foremost a nocturnal sport and the general guideline was: To keep the fly in the box until- one could not see ones own hand – using it in those golden hours on warm summer nights when the fish was thrashing through the dark surface.
Even though night time, still is considered the right time for surface lures, Danish anglers will use the wake fly during day time and catch sea trout on a regular basis -Black Dog Wake Fly from Fishmadman is tied and designed by sea trout specialist Mr. Dan Karby – who fish the Vejle River in Denmark where big sea trout is plenty – and surface fishing with a big wake fly is a favored sport – Fly 60 millimeter – Buy flies
Big Atlantic salmon caught on a Chernobyl Ant wake fly
Chernobyl Ant: a wake fly with a subtle attitude
The Atlantic salmon is not overly attracted to flies making big wakes – but will happily rise to slowly moving surface flies making diminutive wakes – A fly like the Chernobyl Ant with its rubber legs and low-key wake can have a very strong effect on Atlantic salmon.
See the Newsletter on Chernobyl Ant’s on tube
On the top for steelhead
The steelhead is a highly surface active salmonidae and fishing them on the surface is regarded to be the top of fly fishing. During summer and long into Autumn (Fall) the steelhead will react aggressively to flies fished actively. Steelhead anglers have been building flies for this fishing for decades – Flies that will work on the top – in rough and calm water. Wake fly patterns like Waller Walker, Wag`s Walker, The Ska-opper – and The Grantham Sedge, to mention but a few
The Waller Walker a icon in the world of wake fly designed. Originated by steelhead angler Mr. Lani Waller. The story goes that the design was forced through by film maker Mr. John Fabio, who was filming Mr. Waller fishing steelhead on the top. Mr. Fabio wanted a fly that would show up on the surface – so it could be seen clearly on film when attacked by steelhead. Here we have taken the liberty of transforming the fly to a Tube Waller Walker
The Grantham Sedge
Here a version of the Grantham Sedge wake fly that we have designed to our Riffling Hitch tube. This is a very dependable way of getting a fly pattern to pull to the surface. Particular big and long fly patterns benefit from this transition as the tube fly fitted with a small wide gape hook (like a coarse fishing carp hook) – will weigh less than a conventional fly tied on a long shank hook – furthermore tube fly patterns do not have issues with leverage that so often is associated with flies tied on bigger single hooks.
The Riffling Hitch tube has the leader coming out of the belly of the tube – this will evidently make the fly pull to the surface
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