Each fall, many of our rivers in the interior of BC see healthy runs of Sockeye & Chinook salmon that make the journey from the ocean to their home river to spawn and eventually die. This not only provides a huge amount of nutrients to our rivers, but also the resident and adfluvial trout and char that reside in these waters.
Usually once November rolls around, trout will slowly begin to turn off of eating eggs but still willingly grab pieces of decayed flesh tumbling down the river. Though it’s not an appetizing thought to you or I, it provides a huge amount of nutrients to get them through the winter. Flesh is usually the first thing I will fish through a run in the months of November through January.
My favourite method of fishing flesh is with a swung presentation on a ten to fifteen-foot sink tip with a short piece of ten-pound fluorocarbon. Cast straight across or slightly downstream, mend (or don’t) accordingly and allow your fly to track slowly. Water is often cold at this time of year which can make it hard to get fish to move on a swung fly.
Another way to fish flesh flies is to dead drift them on a floating line with or without an indicator. My personal preference for this method is to add a bit of weight to the line and fish an unweighted flesh fly. Fish this presentation exactly like you would an egg imitation and you will be pleased with the results.
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