The Bomber dry fly series of flies gained popularity on the Miramichi River, Canada in 1967. It is reported that they were first tied by Elmer Smith of Prince William in New Brunswick who originally designed them for Salmon Fishing.
BOMBER DEERHAIR SALMON DRY FLIES Hook size 10 - $US each
Gray Bomber salmon fly patterns are tied from spun deer hair, packed tight. These dry flies are surface flies, and usually fished by pulling or "skating" them on the surface, creating a "wake" as they cut through the water. The larger hooks are good general representations of terrestrials like mice, rats, voles or lemmings that have fallen in the river and drowned. They are a very popular North American fly that floats and will tempt the most cynical salmon or steelhead. Some fishermen call them "the locator" because even when finicky fish don't strike at it, they often come up to investigate the fly thus giving away their location to the angler. You can then, if they do not take the bomber, switch to something else to get them to hit.
I like to fish your bomber flies in and around cover. I cast it into a likely spot and let it rest for a moment. Give it a twitch and let it rest again. I then move it slowly controlling the direction with line mending. You would be amazed at how convoluted a path you can follow by mending line. I use stout tippets. I am always prepared for a take at any time. I apply floatant to help keep the bomber fly on the surface. There is nothing more exciting than having a large bass blow up a bomber just off the end of your rod as you were about to pick up for another cast. It can be especially heart stopping from a float tube, as you are so close to the action. By Connor Murray, VA, USA
I fish for Atlantic Salmon in mid summer during low water conditions. Depending on how fresh the salmon are, can dictate your tactics. However, low summer water makes them wary of any intrusion. Using floating line and a long leader, skating small dry flies or riffle hitched nymph will entice a salmon to strike the fly. Maybe start out with a dry that does not make a giant wake and is not too dark like a gray bomber. Adapting to the fish's disposition, climate, and river condition is always on the back of your mind when selecting tactics. That is the fun of it. Chris Johnson
Steelhead seem to like the dry skated. Many believe that it is the wake that triggers the response to rise and take the fly on the surface. By Chris Travis
For summer run steelhead, I have tried both waked and dead drifted down stream presentations with flies such as the steelhead bee. The waked fly out-fishes the dead drifted fly. Period. Here is a great exercise to try - dead drift your fly a few times through a known haunt or over visible fish. Most likely you will get no response, but keep trying. Then, use the same fly with a waked presentation, and hold on! For Atlantic salmon, the presentation I learned differs in that you are using an upstream presentation, and the fly is only allowed to dead drift for a few feet. It is a lot of work but the results are worth it. I tried this for steelhead with varied success. By Mark Kasumovich