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kennebago smelt at a maine fly shop

Kennebago Smelt

This month’s fly is the Kennebago Smelt. It was created by Bud Wilcox of Rangeley and is best described in his own words: “I first tied the Kennebago Smelt either in 1951 or 1952. This fly I worked to get it [right]. I had seen too many big fish follow a fly to the surface of the water and then turn and go back down. I knew something was wrong. I kept experiment until I finally came up with the fly I called the Kennebago Smelt and to this day I have never seen a fish turn away from this fly. They take it.”

The Kennebago Smelt works best in the spring when the salmon first come up the rivers. It is a good dark fly to alternate using with a white fly like the Black Ghost or Montreal. It’s also a good fly to troll on the lakes and has caught some of the biggest salmon ever caught on Rangeley Lake. The fly is also fun to tie with its many colors and steps.

Hook – 3665A   sizes 4 – 10
Body – flat silver
Rib – oval silver
Throat – white bucktail the length of hook, over which are shorter yellow hackle barbs
Wing – red bucktail over which is blue bucktail over which are 4 black hackle feathers or 1 good marabou feather
Topping – 4 peacock herl strands

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