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

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Alaska Candlefish (Schwiebert)

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Alaska Candlefish (Schwiebert)

Name Alaska Candlefish (Schwiebert)
Category Pacific Salmon
Hook Size 6 to 3/0
Rib Medium Oval Silver Tinsel
Body Large Flat Silver Tinsel
Thread Black
Wing Bucktail or substitute in three layers, white, then olive, then light blue. Tie in four or five strands of red bucktail along the side as a long, "shoulder".
Head Black

Alaska Candlefish is a Pacific Salmon pattern attributed to Ernest Schwiebert. It's is a good pattern for Kings and Silvers in the salt or in the stream, so vary the hook accordingly. It is probably most effective in the "in between area", the estuary, or in the stream pools just above the estuary. I cannot post one of the flies that I tie lately without noticing all the imperfections, and today they can be used to point out some important elements of fly tying. I ran out of light blue bucktail, so I tied the top layer with calf tail instead. This one should have been tied with each succeeding layer of hair slightly longer than the one before but I couldn't cut a length of calf tail longer from the one that I had. That layer is also more noticeably curlier. The red "shoulder" should have been tied a little sparser so it doesn't overwhelm the other colors. The body should have been a little bit longer to more closely imitate the silvery candlefish (smelt and sand lance species) sides. I have found two patterns for this fly. The one above and one, that was probably closer to the original, calling for a few pink and purple strands of hair mixed with the blue, and a white head instead of black head. A while back I tied a marabou variation of this fly that shows more clearly the form that this fly should take, except that wing elements were tied more thickly (marabou tends to shrink to a much smaller size in water). See Alaska Candlefish (Variation) .

I've written about the imperfections in this fly so that you get the idea that not all flies you see are perfect, so keep in mind what you are tying for. Form and color are important elements, especially when tying baitfish or fly imitations. Color and action, as in marabou or rabbit strip flies for example, are more important elements for attractor flies.

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