Chinook Salmon Fly Patterns


Between veteran salmon biologist Jay Nicholas, fly tying innovator Barrett Christiansen, and all around stud Rob Russell, The Oregon Fly Fishing Blog is the destination for learning how to create flies for chinook salmon in Oregon. See a list of fly tying videos below:

19 Responses to Chinook Salmon Fly Patterns

  1. Gary Sheridan says:

    Always on the lookout for another good king salmon fly and noticed the box loaded with chartreuse and red flies. This past season I found, tied and used a pattern called the Chartreuse Striker (Northwest Fly Fishing May/June 2010) on Kenai Peninsula kings entering the rivers bright from the salt…it really did the job and one I’d take along any place for kings. Thank you for the great web site as it keeps me in the loop even though I don’t get to fish in OR.

  2. Jason Taylor says:

    try a little sky blue hackle mixed w/ peacock green tinsel sparse black buck tail Miragebou in a blue.very sparsely tied. killer pattern for fresh nook that are still on the feed. If the bite is off you gotta switch it up. there’s no such thing as a bright green or orange salmon or steelhead fry. tie your bug on a 2- owner cutting point, if the water is clear try a 1-. also do try non weighted patterns of all the bug’s in you’re box. good luck and tight lines.

  3. David Swart says:

    Looking back through your old blogs & found this one, I have to say you guy’s are a delight to read,nothing real serious just good info & how to tye videos,my favorite king salmon fly is one I found in an tying magazine called the orange admiral TMC 700,or mustad 9672 #2-6,hot orange marabou tail silver krystal flash highlights,hot orange cactus chenille body,hot orange marabou wing silver krystal flash highlights,dazl or bead chain eyes,3/0 hot orange thread,that’s it.

  4. jason taylor says:

    crushing the kings at winchester bay! landed a bright hen on a #6 clouser green /white. a seal snatched her up by the head, the seal must’ve been full because it let go for a second. that’s all the time i needed and a few seconds later my bright hen was on it’s side. ten pound maxima is some tough leader boy’s and girl’s. patiently waiting for the south coast to start kicking into high gear. i need more bug’s for my box. winchester bay kicked my butt. next year need more bugs. lot’s of jetty rocks love to eat fly’s and break em.

  5. Davy says:

    its chinook season here in bella coola bc and i just caught a monster 45 pound buck on the baby boss, man that was an hour of fun!! thanks guys

  6. mike o'brien says:

    Hi Guys-been following your blogs and reports. VERY impressive! Anyway,
    going to tie up some new salmon flies for our Or. costal rivers. You gave me some fresh
    ideas. Those fish are excited about those old style flies about as much as I am—
    like the same old hotdog. I’m thinking a fresh steak or ribs for them to try now.
    Know you guys need to pay for all your salmon outings. Drop me a message on the
    costs for an old retired gentleman to guide on the Winchester bay or where they’l be . Been fly fishing and tying 45 plus yrs. You don’t
    have to babysit. Again, thanks for all the info on the web. It’s been fun.
    Regards +
    Bend some hooks

  7. seth haga says:

    hi guys, just found this site, its great, im looking to drift the elk and sixies this season. I was just curious what flies have worked for anyone here that has tried it before. I do tie my own flies and any pictures would be great , thanks for any help!


  8. alex white says:

    I also have been curious as to what flies to use on sixes and elk I have lived and fished in the area my entire life (bandon) but I have always lure fished or used bait this year I am learning to fly fish FINALLY but I am completely clueless to what flies to use on these rivers I do not know any fly fisherman I am capable enough to tie my own I just don’t know where to start it would be so great if any of you guys have any advice for us because landing a salmon on a fly rod would be amazing

  9. rick itami says:

    Alex, the Elk was low when we fished it in mid-Nov. and a chartreuse Comet pattern caught more fish than any other pattern in my boxes. A chartreuse Clouser minnow pattern also works. A simple Kelly green bucktail over white bucktail is usually what we go to with better flows.

  10. Sean says:


    I’ll be heading to Patagonia this coming winter to chase kings in a couple rivers. The fish are there in big numbers, I was there this winter and saw it firsthand, but nobody is chasing them at all. Kind of at ground zero here and looking for some tips. As far as presentation techniques; I’d certainly prefer to swing for them, but I’m also open to suggestions.

    Thanks much,

  11. Kevin says:

    Hi, from New Zealand

    I have a problem, lot’s of Chinook about that have become spinner shy in gin clear water. I’m looking at hitting them on the fly and was wondering what would be the most effective colours to use when tying a pattern up? Is it best to use more natural colours in the clear conditions or better to still use bright and flashy materials?
    All advice most welcome


  12. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Kevin: advice follows. Go small. Go dark. Black. Search for my Baby Boss pattern on our Youtube channel. Try very small dark nymphs or buggers. Small Clousers. Just keep trying. Let me know if anything works. Remember there are bite periods too, so try to figure out when these are. Best luck, Jay.

  13. Rusty Rat says:

    I just found your site. Great stuff. You got me inspired to go and try my Spey rod for Clearwater Springers. Tight Lines to all !!

  14. Gene Parrish says:

    Been fly fishing the Southern Oregon Coast since 1962, caught more salmon on flies & fly rod than any other method. My best, 42# on the Elk River chrome bright buck.
    At 75 years young it is time to pass the rod to the younger guys, besides, there are so many guides & other fishermen on those South Coast streams it is not enjoyable anymore. In my experience over the years orange flies on the Sixes, green on the Elk. The famous King Shrimp was a killer on the Chetco & Sixes. Go get em guys….

  15. Grant Baugh says:

    Just found your site and am looking for ideas. I am headed to Campbell River, BC in August to self row the Tyee pool trying, like all the others there, to catch a Tyee (30#+) Chinook.

    I plan on using a fly, but all the other fishermen use a 4-5″ plug or spoon. What size fly should I use…and what fly? I have caught four of the five species of Pacific Salmon on a fly …and “the time has come to speak of many things said the walrus”….including go catch a Tyee…

    Would much appreciate some wisdom about Chinook

  16. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    I would recommend a very large Clouser with trailer (stinger) hook. The Pattern is shown in my book SEA FLIES but you may email me at and I’ll send you a photo of the fly if you wish. I’m quite convinced that you have a good chance at catching a big king on one of these flies, you will want a fast sinking fly line, preferably with low stretch. My best wishes to you. JN.

  17. Brian says:

    Awesome blog! Looking for some expert advice as too where to fly fish for fall chinook here in oregon. I don’t have really any idea on what flies to use for chinook. Any help would be appreciated.

  18. Noel Murphy says:

    Hi Guys,
    Really good looking patterns, now I’ve got to test them here in BC, on newly arrived springs, I will let you in on the results.
    I really appreciate the connection and the patterns. NM>

  19. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    NM: thank you for your note. Best wishes on your angling ventures, I am quite sure you will find success on at least a few of these flies. JN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *