My first post on this subject was "How to Fish with Flasher and Flies." That article covered all the basics, now we're going to dive in, and give you an in depth look at what it takes to make flasher and flies your go to baits for King Salmon. Most salmon fisherman understand the principal and basics behind flashers and flies. Let's look at the details you need to get them really banging.
For starters, if you want to become proficient with these baits then you need to fish them! Reserving 1 or 2 lines in a spread of 8+ lines is not going to allow you to learn their intricacies. There is a heck of a lot more at play (Leader length, Fly Color, Flasher Color) then when using a spoon or plug. In order to narrow down what's working no less then half of your lines should have flashers and flies. Any less and you'll struggle to develop a pattern.
There are three major variables at play: Flasher Color, Fly Color, and Leader Length. My first decision is what flasher to use, basic reasoning is....Chrome, Mt. Dew or Blue Flashers when it's sunny. Green Flashers when it's foggy, and White Flashers any time.
A word on UV: Everywhere you look in the fishing world you'll see UV baits. We're no different having the "UV Forward Tied Series" line of flies. We added UV flies to our line up because we discovered just how incredibly effective UV baits can be. For whatever reason King's go gagga for UV in the sun. Time and time again UV flashers and flies pound Kings on our boat under high sun. It's to the point I would never leave the dock without UV Flashers and Flies in my arsenal. They really are that deadly, so load up on UV Chrome Flashers and UV Flies when it's sunny. If you're not then you're missing fish.
Our favorite UV combos are the various UV Pro-Troll blades offered by Michigan Stinger paired with one of our UV Flies. That combo is a sure fire recipe for success under what is normally the toughest conditions to catch Kings. That said when it's cloudy or in low light I don't think UV makes one lick of difference. Like everything UV has a time and place.
I especially like white blade flashers with some added green as is the case with the above Green Skittles Pro-Troll. A white blade with green highlights often proves to be the best of both worlds. Once I've selected my starting line up of flashers I move on to my fly selection. This is a little tougher since I find the fly color far more critical then the flasher color. I let the depth and sun conditions be my initial gauge. Various greens with UV highlights work best on sunny days and above 70ft.
Blues work best on dark overcast days and down below 70ft. White, pearl and glow work best below 70ft and anywhere in the dark. Aqua works under all light conditions, and at all depths which is the reason Naughty Leprechaun is our most consistent fly. LBB is also a jack of all trades working on both sunny, and overcast days and practically all depths. UV LBB can be killer on sunny days. Bead color makes all the difference in the world with LBB. I like green beads, blue beads and sometimes yellow, but you need to experiment day to day.
Rubber "Frog" flies are also extremely important in our arsenal. For some reason hybrid rubber/tinsel flies really work well later in the season. My favorite patterns are Bullfrog, Superfrog and Sacktooth Frog. Bullfrog works under all conditions, and I like Superfrog and Sacktooth Frog when it's sunny. The last key to the flasher/fly puzzle is leader length. Here is my rule of thumb, in cold 42-26deg water leaders of 22"-23" work best. Once the water temp is flirting with 50deg then 24"-26" leaders should be tried. When chasing pre-spawn kings in warm 55+deg water 26"-28" leads rule.
Flashers and flies can be ran on any and every line in your spread. You'll find certain blade types work better for you on certain presentations. I like Spin Doctors and Church Revelators on leadcores and coppers. Pro-Trolls and Hotspots are the most versatile, and work anywhere for me. The more flasher fly rods you run the quicker you can find a pattern. Experiment with the different flasher/fly variables I detailed above, using my methodology and you'll soon become a believer!!!!