Comet patterns for fall chinook salmon on the fly

In these two videos, Barrett Christiansen shows you two variations of the classic salmon fly pattern, the Comet. These flies have accounted for a lot of fall chinook salmon over the decades and are probably the best all-around pattern for fly fishing Pacific salmon.

Rob's Lay Salmon

The two videos show the standard comet and a low-water version.

Chartreuse Comet

Chartruese Comet

Hook: Size 4 Gamakatsu L11S-3H
Thread: Ultra Thread
Eyes: Medium silver bead chain
Tail: Chartreuse Calftail
Body: Flat silver diamond braid
Collar: Crystal chenille
Hackle: Chartreuse webby hackle or schlappen

Barrett’s low water comet

Orange Comet

Hook: Size 2 C14S Globug
Thread: 6/0 uni thread
Eyes: Medium gold bead chain
Tail: Black calf tail
Body: Antron hot orange crystal chenille
Hackle: Black webby hackle or schlappen

Barrett says fish green/chartreuse in the morning, orange in the afternoons. The run is on. Go get ’em.

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6 Responses to Comet patterns for fall chinook salmon on the fly

  1. jay nicholas says:

    The Comet is a vastly overrated fly. It will, however, catch carp. Don’t listen listen to Barrett. Don’t tie Comets. Don’t use Chartreuse or Orange.


  2. b-christ says:

    I can’t believe it took you this long to chime in!

  3. Michael Webb says:

    Thanks Barrett.
    Jay – you mean that’s not one of your boxes at the top of the post?

  4. jay nicholas says:

    Oh OK. Yes it is my small Comet box. The one with the least useful colors to fish for salmon here in Oregon. My go-to box is four times larger and will NEVER be photographed. EVER. Not even Matt and Rob have seen it.


  5. Thomas Purtzer says:

    The Comet has caught lots of salmon. I talked with an elderly gentleman who used to fish the Smith River in Northern California from an 8 foot pram, full sinking line, fiberglass rod and Phleggher (sic) Medalist reel and a sparsely dressed Comet. He told me that he used to hook up to 30 Chinooks a day. He showed me all his gear. This was in the 1950s. He said the fishing started to go downhill after a laudatory article in the Field and Stream magazine that caused a massive influx of fishermen. He said the final death blow came with the invasion of the spinning reel. He only fished his simple Comet fly!

  6. Rick Itami says:

    I used the chartreuse Comet for the first time in 2013 on the Elk River near Port Orford, OR. Water was low and clear just upstream of the mouth and that Comet was the only fly the big fall Chinook would hit with any regularity.

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