Flies Along the Salmon River

The steelhead and browns of the Salmon River in New York were tuned into two fly designs during the time I was fishing there. One was the Steelhead Flea. Amazing simple in design, it was amazingly effective, too. The other was the Roe Bug—basically an easy egg with a veil. On the first day, we fished a Roe Bug in chartreuse, and the steelies went crazy for it. The second day we used an Oregon Cheese color Roe Bug, and hit a few nice fish early on. Then we started using the Steelhead Flea, and found one fish after another. Mike took his big king on a size 12 Steelhead Flea, and I took my big steelhead on one, too.

The Roe Bug in chartreuse. Make a simple egg with yarn and add a wing of ultra fine material like egg yarn.

The Roe Big as it looks on the swing.

The Steelhead Flea begins with a chuck of poly yarn tied in to make a tail and forward pointing wing

Add a thin body of fluorescent red or orange yarn.


  1. Ryan says:

    What kind of hook is that red hook with the triple barbs?!? that thing is crazy!

  2. Gary Borger says:

    The red hook in question is a bait hook–I think its an Eagle Claw. I often revert to bait hooks when I can’t find fly tying hooks of sufficient strength or shape.In this case, the red color, in addition to the strength and shape, are important. I use red hooks when dressing Otter’s Egg flies, too.