July FOTM: Brougham’s Nicomekl

 

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The Brougham’s Nicomekl or Cohoe is a largely forgotten wet fly used for fall run sea run cutthroat and coho on southwestern BC’s Nicomekl river and others as far back or earlier than the 1920’s. Its namesake river is a small, short, muddy, highly abused low gradient stream that winds and turns through rich farmland and flows into mud bay near the US border. It is a ghost of what it used to be it and for a time was used as an open sewer for the nearby township of fools Langley, which from all reports pretty much extirpated the river’s salmonids by the 30’s. In spite of receiving far far more abuse over a much longer period of time than headline rivers such as the Thompson or Coquihalla, each fall a decent run of coho return here along with vestigial runs of sea run cutthroat, chinook and others. A small volunteer hatchery is partly responsible for these returns and has been a force for education and the protection of this river.

http://nicomeklhatchery.com/cgi/wp/

Nicomekl sea run cutthroat

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An old pattern that still very much works, if your looking to tie up some older sea run patterns start with this one

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Hook: size 6-8 standard wire streamer or wet fly hook

Thread: Black or dark brown

Tail: A few strands of GP pheasant tippet topped with a small bunch of red swan or goose (or whatever you have, like dog or cat hair)

Body: back half yellow floss

front half claret/burgundy wool, seal or other spiky dubbing

Rib: medium oval gold tinsel

Hackle: Claret or burgundy (in other circles known as dark red)

Wing: matched bronze mallard strips or if that’s a bit tough (on small flies like this it certainly takes practice) a small bunch of darker duck flank or bronze mallard

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You will find a thorough history of this fly and it’s creator amongst many others in Art Lingren’s Fly Patterns of British Columbia (I believe the fly is in most editions). You should definitely read it if at all interested in the history of sea run cutthroat fly patterns.

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The usual suspects

Well, life’s been a touch crazy lately, and since I last posted the feds rubberstamped Enbridge Northern Shitway to the shock of absolutely no one, the Chilcotin band’s legal decision regarding native title on land outside of treaties has blown the whole concept of crown land and maybe mega projects like Enbridge on it’s head (or so it seems), and an endless lack of rain has pretty much shut down the whole summer steelhead thing, at least for those of us with a conscience. However in spite of the many obstacles I have still managed to get out for a good amount of fishless outings, so life is good, no?

Lots of these around

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Sea runs have been slow at all my usual haunts but there apparently are a few uneducated specimens still left

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Too many muddlers, not enough time

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