The Silver Bullet Herring was born of an observation that I was getting an unusual number of refusals on my traditional big white, olive and blue Tung in Cheek Herring pattern over the last few weeks. There's no shortage of bait around the west side of Whidbey this year, the salmon are there and feeding pretty heavily most days. The herring have been so thick, in fact, that when tossing my fly into the melee of a large bait ball I'll frequently snag a herring or two.
In looking closely at the naturals, they appear 2.5-3" in length and are much more silver-grey in color than the dark blue, green and purple-backed fish I'm used to seeing. As with many instances where you have a tremendous amount of feed, you often must often match the naturals in size and color or go with wild colors that stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of all those herring. Both tactics have been working pretty well, but the latter is a story for another day.
The Silver Bullet was my initial attempt at mimicking what I saw and work it did, accounting for a dozen nice bright coho salmon before the sun had barely risen high enough to illuminate the western shores of Whidbey. I'm certain it would have continued doing its thing were it not for a sloppy cast that dinged the kicker motor and blew up the head of the fly, dislodging those all-important baitfish eyes. The fly's name certainly speaks to its overall color pallet but I like to consider it homage to my wonderful dad, a lifetime Coors Light devotee and long ago employee at the brewery in Golden, Colorado.
Silver Bullet Herring
Hook: #1 Gamakatsu SC15
Bead: 5/32" Silver Tungsten
Thread: White 140 Denier Ultra Thread/Uni Clear Mono
Tail: White Bucktail, UV Pearl Krystal Flash, Lateral Scale
Body: Flat Silver Diamond Braid
Belly: UV Minnow Belly Ice Dub, White Laser Dub
Wing: UV Pearl Ripple Ice Fibre, Silver Holographic Flashabou, Bleeding Grey Farrar Blend, Baitfish Angel Hair
Eyes: 4mm Ice Living Eyes
Head: Thin UV Resin Loon or Solarez
Confluence Beer Pairing: The obvious pairing with this fly would have been Coors Light, but we're going to settle with a relative newcomer that seems to be the talk of Bellingham of late. Stemma Brewing's Aussie IPA is one of several fine IPA's I've enjoyed from this new Bellingham brewery in the last month. As a business owner, I know we don't always get things right just out of the starting gate and it takes a few attempts for everything to be dialed. Stemma's putting out some immensely drinkable brews from their earliest inception and we're excited to see what the future holds.