The original creator of the Silver Wilkinson Salmon fly is in dispute. In 1843 Mr William Henderson commissioned the salmon fly tier James Wright to tie a fly of similar description. Canon William Greenwell of Greenwell's Glory fame also tied a similar fly but it is Mr P.S.Wilkinson whose name has been attached to this now popular modern salmon fly.
SALMON AND STEELHEAD SINGLE HOOK FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 6 8 - $US each
A very good smoalt pattern. I have had great success with a Silver Wilkinson when fishing for Salmon in Canada, Scotland and in Sweden. Bait fish have to move quickly in order to survive and your fly must do the same. Ensure you maintain your retrieve until you feel your line stop Salmon do not slam into the fly like trout or bass usually do. With Coho especially you will sometimes see a wake following your fly. Although it is exciting and can be unnerving it is important that you keep the fly moving. Do not be tempted to slow up and let the Salmon catch up. This is unnatural behavior for a bait fish and may spook your target fish into rejecting your fly. I have found Dead-drifting around the edges of swirling eddies also brings takes with this fly.
FLY FISHING IN ALPINE MOUNTAIN LAKES
I know this sounds strange but this summer I used a Silver Wilkinson single hook salmon fly to fly fish for monster size trout in the Austrian and German Alpine Lakes with amazing success. My daughter was feeding the ducks with bread and I noticed a feeding frenzy on the surface and underneath the webbed feet of the ducks. The water is crystal clear and I could see the young juvenile baitfish. They were feeding on the bread that the ducks had missed. Many had brown backs with white tummies and others had blue backs. Silver Wilkinson was a spot on imitation. These lakes get deep very quickly and the juveniles defence mechanism was not to swim in the same direction or depth for more than a second. I mimicked their behaviour by retrieving and pausing. The heavy salmon hook of the Silver Wilkinson instantly sent the fly downwards on the pause. It was so easy to mimic the real fish's actions. Lurking near the bottom, eyeing the darting movement of the baitfish near the surface, were the dark shapes of the large predatory trout. Sight fishing like this was a real joy. I let my fly fall towards one of the dark shadowy shapes. Just as it got close I would suddenly retrieve in a jerking motion to imitate a small fish trying to get away from danger. It was a fantastic day. The sun was out, The scenery was amazing and the great beer was cheap. What more can a fly fishing enthusiast want?