Every fly has a story. This fly has one of the interesting stories I've ever had the fortune to experience.
I was fishing some year back in the Russian tundra for brown trout. Fishing was from out of this planet. We encountered amazing caddis pupa hatches and huge trouts head-and-tailing for the emerging pupas.
Later that particular week I decided to try my luck with the salmon. I knew that most likely there were some salmon on the lower stretches of the beats where we were fishing. It was a burning hot day, clear skies and no wind.
I walked couple of clicks down from the camp. Waded across the river to a pool where I had planned to start the fishing. I rigged my switch rod and attached a regular Sunray Shadow to my leader. Just as I waded into the water, I saw a good size fish standing close to my bank. I slowly backed out of the water and a got my 5-weight. Standing below the salmon, I started harassing him with my grey Bomber. I didn't get any reaction within the first 10 casts so I decided that it's time to give him a proper beating and hammered the fish for at least 50 casts. Sometimes the stubborn salmon need a lot of repetitions to get the reaction out of them.
I didn't see even a fin move so it was either time to move to another pool or to change the fly. I looked carefully in my boxes and this one little Klinkhåmer caught my eye. It kind of made sense to use a black fly with bright two-color butt in the sun shine. First cast and I saw the fish move. Second cast and I saw the fish rise half way to the surface. Third cast and the sucker came and inhaled my fly. I ripped the fly out of his mouth in the pure excitement and cursed myself at the Russian tundra. After the short disappointment I was sure the day wasn't over.
I walked to another pool and started fishing with great confidence. The following hour went down to as one of the most memorable moments in my fly fishing history. I lost one good size salmon, broke the leader with on huge salmon and with the last Klinkhåmer in my box, I managed to catch a good size resident salmon, a trout measured at 65 cm (+ a smaller one) and two arctic chars. The fish went crazy for my black Klinkhåmer and I was having the time of my life. After the hour I decided it was time to call it a day and head back to the camp.
The Salmon Klinkhåmer
Hook: Tiemco 2499SP-BL
Butt: pink and chartreuse fluorescent dubbing
Body: peacock ide dubbing
Wing: white fiber (anything that stays dry)
Hackle: grizzly hackle, parachute style
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Red Francis (or Frances) is one of those love & hate flies. Every salmon angler usually has a opinion about it. We think that you should carry a few always in your box. Read our tips for fishing with Red Francis and have a look on the step-by-step tying tutorial.