Big fish eat little fish. In some Vancouver Island lakes nothing typifies that more than Cutthroat trout chasing down Kokanee for a calorie rich meal. Lakes with a run of Sockeye salmon are good candidates to have Kokanee residing in them; both transient juveniles from the aforementioned Sockeye and a stock of home-bodies. Kennedy lake, Nimpkish lake and Muchalat lake come to mind. Other lakes like Cowichan and Antler have self reproducing resident populations. A good Kokanee imitation is handy to have to tempt these meat eating Cutt’s.

Big fish eat little fish… and this little fish imitation fills the bill.


Tying the Old School Kokanee

Hook – #4 long shank, eagle Claw 1197N or similar, de-barbed and sharpened.

Thread – 1/0 Unithread, black.

Tail – Peacock herl tips, fairly thick bunch.

Body – Gold twist tinsel, tightly wrapped around shank, clear lacquer over.

Belly – Polar bear hair, dyed bright red.

Underwing – Polar bear hair, dyed bright red.

Wing – Peacock herl tips, fairy thick bunch.

Head – Deer body hair, natural colour, spun and clipped as a “Muddler” head.

Note: a baitfish sized Kokanee is generally a darkish little fish with a pronounced reddish hue. The natural materials in this pattern convey those somber tones while still giving the impression of a rosy shine.