Flies of the year 2009.

This season was not as good as the previous one, but there were still enough bent rods and angry runs to conclude that some flies were more effective than others. I basically missed the June fishing due to lots of work. I fished one evening during June, and that evening I lost a nice salmon which took the good old Red Butt tube.

Part 1 of this traditional series of articles will be about a totally different salmon fly, namely the Sunray Shadow with a muddler head. When I attended the Trout & Salmon fair in Scotland I saw these flies for the first time, I instantly liked what I saw so I made sure to bring a few of these back to Norway.

Deadly flies in the fly box.


During the past ten years there has been a great development with regards to various cone headsto attach to the fly, and I fully believe that it works, both in terms of balancing the flies, but also with regards to the new Turbo cones in that they create added movement in the materials of the fly. I also like to use muddler heads on smaller flies, I have fished quite a bit with a Black and Silver salmon fly tied with a muddler head on a size 6 double hook. This fly has provided good times along the riverbank on several occasions. I have also observed that more salmon fishermen test various tube flies tied with muddler heads, exciting stuff!

This will infuriate the salmon.


When I saw these Sunray tubes tied with muddler heads I had no doubts at all – these flies would most definitively provide me with great experiences at the river. The muddler head ensures that the fly moves in a different manner on its way towards the bank, this material makes the water “bubble” around the front of the fly, creating added life and also some noise. This is also what the Turbo cones do, and this is why salmon can become very aggressive when faced with such a fly. And considering how angry a salmon can get by a normal Sunray tube, I quickly realised that the combination Sunray and muddler head would result in hook-ups. And talk about getting quick feedback on the theories I had for this fly choice, I had a hook-up after a short while at the river with this fly attached to the tippet. And several times during this season it was this fly ensuring a bent rod and good times. Another thing which I appreciated was the fact that these flies turned out to be big salmon catchers, and nothing can be more exciting than that?

No wonder salmon gets irritated by this.


Try hem with different colours in the wing as well.


At times when I could see salmon entering the pool I was quick to change to the biggest of these Sunray Muddlers, the fly worked very well on fish on the move as well. It even worked on fish arriving in large groups heading upstream at high speeds, a scenario in which it is usually quite difficult to entice the salmon into taking a fly.

Those times when salmon would stop in the pools, I firstly fished with another fly in a smaller size, and then I fished the Sunray Muddler on the next round. And it was not rare to get a reaction with this strategy, thus this soon became a standard procedure for fish which had stopped.


In other words; these flies are most exciting to fish, and they will work in a wide variety of conditions. I actually fished them after the summer flood had peaked as well, and the salmon would often take the fly very close to the bank as I began stripping line when the river was high and quite coloured. Try these flies with yellow, orange or blue underwing as well, plus some Krystal Flash. This turns the flies into perfect attractor flies, combining several established factors provoking salmon. Man I cannot wait to the next time I am at the river with a Sunray Muddler attached to the tippet!

The next and last article on the flies of the year for 2009 will be posted in October.

Jan Erik.

jørem vald namsen

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