Every spring, mind-blowing scads of juvenile salmon wriggle out of the gravel river bottom, and along with hundreds of thousands of their brethren and closest friends, make their way downstream and into the saltwater to feed and get bigger and hopefully one day return all grown up. This mass exodus of fry gets noticed by just about anything with an appetite, especially at a time of year when food has been relatively less abundant. Whether on the river or on your favorite Puget Sound beach, when the water sparkles and glints with schools of chum or pink fry, you won't have to think too hard about what type of fly you may want to be fishing.
Puget Sound saltwater fly fishing guide Justin Waters with All-Waters Guide Service came up with the Chumbody's Baby to take advantage of the early chum fry outmigration and cutthroat feeding frenzy on the protected waters of Puget Sound and Hood Canal. It has the spareness, movement, prominent barring, noticeable eyes and a little bit of subtle flashiness that I look for in an effective chum fry imitation. I've changed a few small bits and pieces to suit my owning tying style but the main ingredients remain the same. Tie some big, tie some small. When cutthroat are seeing and eating a lot of fry, they can get picky about size. Sometimes a pair of scissors and a beachfront haircut can really save the day. It may be true that "all that glitters is not gold", but it could actually be chum fry glittering, so you'd better tie some Chumbody's Baby's and see what happens.
Chumbody's Baby Recipe:
Thread: Brown Olive 140 Denier Ultra Thread
Hook: #6 Gamakatsu C14S
Body: Opalescent Lateral Scale
Wing: Lateral Scale, Chartreuse Barred Predator Wrap, Red Fox Squirrel
Gills: 140 Denier Fl. Red Ultra Thread
Eyes: 1/8" Black/Silver stick on with UV resin
Confluence Beer Pairing: Wander's Plum Bob Foeder Aged Plum Sour has little or nothing to do with tying the Chumbody's Baby, though adult chum salmon flaunt a hint of plum coloration in their fall spawning dress, so we'll establish a pretty weak connection there. If you don't like sours, this beer's probably not for you. If you do, like us folks at the Confluence, you'd better give it a taste while it's available as a specialty tap at Wander Brewing, because it's simply out of this world. A cold can of PBR would do as well, but you'd be totally missing out.