Hook: Tiemco 206, Mustad 37160, Gamakatsu C12U, size 10
Body: Pink Edge Brite
Tail: Golden pheasant crest
Hackle: Golden pheasant crest, 3-4 turns. Pink Dyed Guinea, 1-2 turns
Wing: Pink Crystal Flash, 3-6 strands
It was midday, but the fog was still resting on the water. This late fall day was pretty typical for the Northwest. Gray, wet, the kind of day where it could be any hour. As I treaded across the matted grasses, careful not to step in the hidden channels carved out by the tide, I could see them. They were just under the surface, disturbing the water in that way old salty fishermen seem to be able to spot from a mile out. But these fish were not a mile out, they were close, just a few yards from the beach. I lay my cast out across their path and counted. My fly was light and small. The intermediate line carried my fly down and then came tight.
This little scene was brought to you by Gary Oberbillig…sort of. At the October 2011 SSFF general meeting the club had a tie-in. It was a chance for everyone to get together and tie flies, share ideas and tell stories. I took the chance to tie a few of my favorite Chum patterns. As I walked around after tying a couple Chum Candy, Gary Oberbillig’s vice caught my attention. Well, honestly it might have been his Dremel and peculiar way of de-barbing a hook. Gary was tying a modified version of his Guinea and Gold Sea-Run Spider, a fly that Les Johnson published in his book, Fly-Fishing Coastal Cutthroat Trout. I handed him one of my Chum Candy in hopes he would do the same with what he was tying. Thankfully he did, what I nice guy!
A couple of weeks later I was on the water with Gary’s Guinea and Gold “Chum” Spider. The previously mentioned scene played out and a 15 pound Chum buck was lying at my feet. As I sent him back on his way, I thought to myself, “gee, I would have never guessed that would have worked.” To me, the fly just doesn’t look like your typical Chum fly. But who am I to argue with results. In fact, I fished that pattern for the rest of the season.
Instead of orange as in the book version, Gary uses a deep pink Guinea hackle and a pink Edge Brite for the body. Also, the fly is tied without dumbbell eyes. I’m sure you could tie it with the eyes for certain situations, but I like my Chum flies to be light. I feel like a light fly is less likely to get lodged into the back of a fish. Edge Brite can be hard to come by. If you don’t know what it is, it is a semi-stretchy plastic film that collects light from its broad side and emits it from its edges. The edge of this stuff literally glows. It comes in sheets, and you can just cut strips off the sheet with a razor knife. Strips about 1/8” work well for this fly.
Now is the time to tie a few of these beauties up and put them in front of fish.