The Pearl Mickey is a go-to fly pattern for Coho off the beach.

Sadly, created as a better mouse trap for sea-run Cutthroat trout in saltwater estuaries, it was a bust. In those same waters, however, Coho (silver) Salmon loved it, and I was awake enough to realize what they were telling me. Over thirty years later, the Pearl Mickey remains my “ace” fly pattern for sight casting to silvers milling off the beach. A clear, intermediate sink-rate fly line and fairly short fluorocarbon leader best presents and holds the fly at the right depth. A short, slow, jerky retrieve keeps the fly off the bottom and gives these non-feeding fish plenty of time to respond. In this color combination the pearlescent Flashabou picks up various hues and prismatically glows with an attractive electric blue-green aura. Fairly small, sharp, stout wire hooks are adequate to hold securely and not too big to frighten these shallow water “Bonefish of the Northern flats”.


Hook: Mustad 3666, Eagle Claw 1197N or equivalent, size 6.

Thread: Red, Uni-thread, 3/0.

Tail: None

Body: Silver, Polybraid or similar mylar material wound over hook shank. (clear coat for durability)

Wing: Sparse, layered Polar Bear hair, — 2/3 yellow over silver body — 1/3 red over yellow — 24 strands pearlescent Flashabou topping over all.

Head: Red tying thread clear lacquered/sealed.