Three weeks into the Russian season and the spring floods are fining down. The water temperature is up to 6 degrees and the salmon are starting to move. You no longer need to bump along the bottom, but the water is still coloured and you need a large bright fly. You reach for the Heavy Water Willie Gunn.
The Willie Gunn was created by RAF officer Flt-Lt "Dusty" Miller, based at Kinloss in Scotland. Having tied a few for the local shop, Mr Willie Gunn bought a couple on his way out fishing. Willie proceeded to catch 6 salmon on this new fly the first day and four salmon the next. This catch was amazing even for the 1940's and the fly has been forever named for him.
I tie the Heavy Water Willie 3 inches long, using a 2-inch plastic glitter tube from Tubeworx. The fly is made of Veniard's orange and yellow bucktails topped with black fox, super-glued in place and highlighted with golden flash. The two front hackles are taken from Orange and Black Whiting 4B hen capes. The head is finished with Jungle Cock and metal cone or flow cone depending on river depth and flow.