What’s in your fly box?

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - ADAM RAN­DELL THE CEN­TRAL VOICE

As the province con­tin­ues its work in determinin­g the current favourite salmon fly used in New­found­land and Labrador, as part of its In­ter­na­tional Year of the Salmon cel­e­bra­tions, the Cen­tral Voice reached out to an­glers about what they keep in their fly box.

The re­sponse showed an over­whelm­ing sup­port for the Blue Charm, which comes with a golden crest tail, black body and blue throat.

There are, how­ever, vari­a­tions of this pat­tern, which in­cor­po­rates dif­fer­ent colour and wing styles.

Dwight Black­wood, pres­i­dent and pub­lisher of New­found­land Sports­man, has spent decades on the province’s rivers. He feels the Blue Charm is ef­fec­tive for fish­ing on any of them.

His pub­li­ca­tion, ded­i­cated to hunt­ing and fish­ing, re­cently asked read­ers about their favourite fly. Out of 225 re­spon­dents, Black­wood said the Blue Charm took the No. 1 spot, mak­ing up 20.4 per cent of sub­mis­sions.

“Con­sid­er­ing there are thou­sands upon thou­sands of dif­fer­ent flies to choose from, I would say it’s pretty de­ci­sive,” he said.

Since it’s a fly that has been used suc­cess­fully for decades, Black­wood feels an­glers have an es­tab­lished trust in the pat­tern.

“I swear by the Blue Charm, it’s tied to my line 80 to 90 per cent of the time,” he said. “But if you’re us­ing a cer­tain hook 80 to 90 per cent of the time, ob­vi­ously you’re go­ing to catch more fish with it than any­thing else.”

No ar­gu­ment from Gan­der fly tier John Sheppard. It’s a fly that dom­i­nates in his shop, as there’s a de­mand for the more than 50 dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions he ties.

“In over­all pop­u­lar­ity it cer­tainly ranks at the top,” he said. “I’ve been op­er­at­ing a fly shop since 1975 and I’ve sold more Blue Charm than any­thing else.”

On a per­sonal note, though, his favourite fly is the Sil­ver Cosse-boom — a sil­ver-bod­ied fly with a yel­low beard and squir­rel tail beard.

But it’s not a provincewi­de suc­cess. Sheppard said it works best on the west coast of New­found­land, where he does the ma­jor­ity of his fish­ing.

“It’s the most pro­duc­tive for me; it re­sem­bles a bait fish pat­tern, which is of course food for fish like salmon and trout,” he said. “But it’s not go­ing to be high in pop­u­lar­ity it terms of the best fly in New­found­land and Labrador.”

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