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Salmonfly.Net Salmon and Steelhead Fly Tying Guide  In Memory of Yuri Shumakov

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Tyers Series

The Flies of Eric Martin

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Eric Martin with a Bright Chrome Winter SteelheadThe newest contributor to Salmonfly.Net is perhaps the youngest, but takes he his steelhead fly fishing seriously. So much so, that he has developed some of his own unique flies and spends a great deal of his time on the river fishing them. Of course, having a steelhead river in the front yard helps - a circumstance that would make any serious fly fisherman envious to the gills. What better way to experiment with his creations and find the right combinations to match the circumstances. Winter Steelhead are Eric's favorite quarry, but you'll find a mixture here of winter and summer flies. Some are old and true patterns, but many are his own. Some may even raise your eyebrows a bit, so read on what Eric has to say about himself, then make sure take a look at his flies .

Having grown up in the small central Oregon town of Madras, my first introduction to the world of fly fishing was on the famed Deschutes River. I quickly expanded to everything from small creeks on the ranch I worked on, to the various ponds and lakes of the area. In these early days, it wasn’t so much about specialization in any one aspect of fly fishing, or the pursuit of a specific species, but more so the satisfaction of simply catching fish on a fly.

Growing up in the outdoors taught me something very early on. I knew my later paths in life must stay in the outdoors, for to spend my adult life slaving away as just another cog in the corporate wheel sounded about as appealing as plunking night crawlers for catfish. For this reason, I decided to attend Oregon State University, and its College of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

College is a time for endless parties, horrible eating habits, and mountains of homework, right? Well, I must have missed that memo, as my time was spent cramming study lessons at night, scheduling classes around fish runs, and taking more notes on river conditions than Calculus. Thankfully math was a gift, chemistry was even easier, and the majority of my professors fished. I had become hopelessly afflicted with anadromous-itis. Upon graduating with my Bachelors Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science, I celebrated as many others do, by binge spring Chinook fishing for two straight days without sleep, nodding off at the wheel on day three, and rolling my truck and drift boat across the highway. The boat was fine, the truck totaled, but I didn’t much care for that truck anyways.

Now I enjoy a career where I not only get to work with fish on a daily basis, but am provided with river front housing. When conditions are right, I am often able to start a coffee pot, go in the front yard, catch a steelhead, and be back inside before the pot is done brewing, then walk to work. Evenings are spent huddled under lamps at my tying desk, stockpiling reserves, experimenting with new patterns, filling orders or building rods to help supplement my meager salary. Life is good, not extravagant, but good none the less.

I would describe myself as specializing in winter steelhead, the ‘bread and butter’ of my front yard river, but will chase summers, especially late in the summer after the first early fall rains can bring phenomenal fishing, when time allows. The following patterns are a few of my favorites, some my own, others, existing productive creations that a steelheader can’t leave home without.

Enjoy, say “Hi” if you see me on the river!"  

Eric Martin

The Flies

Original Creations

SkrunkVictoria's SecretThroated Fuzz BugThroated Fuzz Bug (Pink)

“I've come up with a couple patterns for steelhead here in the Oregon coast range that I would be happy to pass on to fellow fishermen (fisherpersons!). One, a shrimp pattern, has even drawn the interest of Umpqua Feather Merchants, and has been used from Rainbow King Lodge to the Bahamas, I call it The Skrunk - why, I don't know. Shrimp was too normal, and my friend started calling them 'skrunks' and it went from there. The second (for the moment) is a spey-ish swing pattern called 'Victoria's Secret'."

Bead Heads

Black and Pink Bead HeadBlack and Red Bead HeadBlack and Purple Bead HeadRed and White Bead HeadPink and White Bead Head

Purple and Pink Bead HeadPink and Shrimp Pink Bead HeadPurple Bead HeadPurple and Pink Blend Over Pink Bead HeadHot Pink Bead Head

Bead Pink n' White Bead HeadBead Pink n' Tail Bead HeadCaballero Bead HeadShell Pink Shrimp Tail Bead HeadSingle Bead Shell Pink Bead Head

Egg Patterns 

Caballero Eggo (Shell Shock)Eggo (Pink)Estaz Egg (Pink)Throated Fuzz Bug (pale)
Estaz Egg, PaleVeiled Caballero Egg

Established Patterns 

Max Canyon (Tweaked)Coal CarSignal LightFreight TrainHome Run
Cone Head Bunny LeechConehead Bunny Leech - Pink

468 x 60 Fly Fishing 


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