The Silver Doctor was designed by James Wright was its designer back in 1850. It has a silver body that imitates the scales of young juvenile bait fish that are preyed upon by large trout, salmon, steelhead and sea-trout.
SALTWATER, SALMON & STEELHEAD TUBE FLY
$US each. Price does not include hooks.
I was fishing the deep pools of the River Tweed. I needed a fly that would fish deep and look like a small juvenile bait fish. My choice was the Silver Doctor 1 inch copper tube fly pattern. I carefully waded into the fast headstream of the Birkie Pool. The weight of the fly was spot on as it sunk to the correct fishing depth quickly. It also meant that when I paused on the retrieve it changed directions and sunk back down to the depths just like a darting small fish.
The silver body flashed as it caught the sun. It is a long pool and holds many fish. I had three investigations before I finally got a hit. The line shot off the reel as the fish realised its mistake. The reel screamed for what seemed like a minute as I let it run. Then I lifted the rod and set the hook.
I knew straight away that it was not a salmon and, sure enough, after several minutes I landed a hen sea-trout kelt of about 4 lb. It is surprising how many sea-trout kelts are caught in October and November and are mistaken for clean fish. Sea trout usually spawn far earlier than salmon and fly fishermen should be aware of that fact and be on the look-out for the tell-tale signs of a Kelt. They certainly retain the shininess which makes them look in good condition, but they are long and thin, with the vent protruding and the underside of the stomach flat.
These fish must be carefully returned at all times so, keeping my fish in shallow water, I quickly dislodged the hooks and she shot off into deep water. Sea trout kelts are sexually mature fish that have spawned and are heading back to the sea to feed and recover their condition. They will return again to lay more eggs. To keep the population healthy they should be released.