Pacific Sand Lance are prevalent throughout much of Puget Sound and make up a popular menu item for our saltwater coho salmon and cutthroat trout throughout the late spring and summer. Sand Lance are slender, quite eel-like in appearance and snake through the water in sizeable schools. Predominantly hues of silver, olive and grays to purplish blue, they exhibit a notable color change when frightened by lighting up and flashing an almost neon pink along their lateral line. This most certainly happens when they are being chased around and watching larger predatory salmon and trout gobbling their peers by the dozens.
There are numerous good Sand Lance imitations around, the best of which are skinny, sparsely tied, work in prominent colors, have a little flash and a touch of pink. Bucktail has long been a popular ingredient for the tried and true Epoxy Sand Lance, as has Super Hair. The Arctic Goat is thinner and wispier, with a bit of translucence and works nicely into the pattern for better movement and sheen. #4 is my go to size, but a #6 is a great pattern for sea run cutthroat off the beach as well. Fish this fly on a floating or intermediate line off your favorite beach when Sand Lance are around and hang on for the ride. The Coho Sand Lance is pretty straightforward to tie and finish off. Just don't drink too much coffee beforehand, especially when applying the UV resin!
Coho Sand Lance Recipe:
Hook #4 Daiichi 2546
Thread: Uni Mono Thread
Tail: (from bottom) white Arctic Goat, UV pearl Ripple Ice Fiber, pink Arctic Goat, chartreuse Arctic Goat, peacock/chartreuse Minnow Shimmer Fringe
Body: Silver Flat Diamond Braid
Back/Tail: Olive Arctic Goat
Eyes: 1/8" Silver Stick On
Gills: Red marker
Overcoat: 2 coats of Loon UV Thin Resin
Confluence Beer Pairing:
In keeping with the pervasive August haze of BC smoke choking the Sound, we're going to recommend Sierra Nevada's Hazy Little Thing IPA as this month's beer pairing. It's a hop heavy, unfiltered IPA from a brewery that's been making good stuff for years and is sure to hit the spot during your next summer tying session.