The Salmon River Flea a.k.a. the Steelhead Flea is a really simple but effective pattern for fishing the large salmonids that occupy the 13 miles of New York’s Salmon River. The pattern calls for Poly Yarn, but I will often substitute it for Ep Fiber or Congo Hair.
The fly is one you can pull out when nothing else seems to be getting a look. It’ll save you from a skunk day. The fly is good for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown trout and both strains of the steelhead (Washington and the Skamania) that call the river home for a while.
You can tie the fly in a variety of egg-themed colors, but don’t forget to add some blue and black variations into the mix. Hot pink, red, orange and paler offerings all work well, but the Salmon River seems to like the blue colored flies, and I often get requests from clients to tie standards in blue. If you are into the simple flies, also look up the Frammus fly for your next trip out to the Great Lakes tribs.
Salmon River Flea fly pattern recipe
Hook: Mustad S82-3906B #8-12
Thread: Fl. fire orange (140d)
Tail / Wing: White Poly yarn
Body: Medium chenille