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I’ve known about flesh flies for a long time.  They always seemed like an Alaska phenomenon to me and indeed I’ve witnessed trout and char pick a freshly filleted coho carcass clean off the bottom of a clear southeast Alaskan creek.  It’s carvnivory in its rawest form.  I don’t know that North Sound bull trout necessarily line up to slurp the drifting flesh of rotting salmon below log jams like their Alaskan compatriots do, but they seem to recognize flesh flies as something entirely edible and I know firsthand that these flies account for their fair share of fish during the doldrums of December and January.  In my mind, it never hurts to sweeten the deal with an egg built into the fly, whether it simply helps the fly get noticed or just makes for a more well-rounded protein pack.  

Whatever the case may be, the Flesh Tuxedo is a pattern I like to fish this time of year.  I usually fish this fly on a modified swing with a sink tip, allowing the fly to dead drift and bounce along the bottom of the river, concentrating on areas where there’s a bunch of woody debris nearby that might collect a salmon carcass or two along the way.  If you’re as big a fan of Rob Reiner’s 1984 mockumentary, Spinal Tap, as I am, naming this fly was a no-brainer.

Flesh Tuxedo Recipe:

Thread:  White 140 Denier Ultra Thread

Rear Hook:  #6 Gamakatsu L11S-3H

Body:  Crosscut Rabbit Strips Flesh/Fl. Shrimp Pink Polar Chenille

Connecting Wire:  Grey Intruder Wire

Bead: 8mm Mottled Tangerine Trout Bead

Shank:  32mm OPST Steelhead Shank

Body:  Crosscut Rabbit Strips Flesh/Fl. Shrimp Pink Polar Chenille

Confluence Beer Pairing:  Once in a great while we abandon our hopped up beer-addled palettes and run with something entirely different.  Our pals over at the Flyfish Journal recently hosted a movie night and fish trivia benefit for North Sound Trout Unlimited at Bellingham’s Honey Moon.  Of course Brandon and I are suckers for both fish trivia and a good cider, so staying home was not an option.  Honey Moon’s Cranberry Ciderhead really tickled our fancy and kind of fits in perfectly with the holiday season. It is made with the flesh of organic cranberries from the Olympic Peninsula and apples from Whatcom County.

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