Fishing With Flasher And Hootchie Part 2

For all the thousands of hootchie color patterns out there along with dozens of variations of each of these patterns, it is understandable why most fishermen carry at least 40 different colors in their tackle box. A few years ago the Purple Haze craze swept the West Coast. It seemed like every other salmon was reportedly caught on some variation of the purple haze flasher or hootchie….

A few years later, the purple haze color was relegated to an interesting footnote in salmon fishing history. It still has a few diehard believers, but there are plenty of other must-have combinations that an “expert” fisherman mustn’t be without.

Here’s my opinion. I can walk down charterboat row and get the “inside” scoop from each charter boat captain, and 18 times of the twenty will each have a favorite color they swear by. Sometimes honest information can be a little hard to come by, as each fisherman has their closely guarded secrets. But the variation in colors leads me to the conclusion that there are as many “hot” lure colors as there are fisherman.

I can honestly say that I will consistently catch salmon on just about any hootchie you throw in my boat. I also say this without a touch of arrogance. I will probably add a few colored beads, and maybe some tinsel as well as my favorite hooks. I will also fish different colors at different depths. For example, if you challenge me with a straight black color, I would not fish it at 250 feet to start. Below 120 feet, I prefer at least some glow capabilities, depending on water color and light conditions.

In my books, leader length, boat speed in relation to the current, and flasher color rank more important than hootchie color. Is this to say that I don’t have my favorites? That I don’t have my “go to” setups for when salmon fishing is slow? Of course not. Every fisherman should have setups that they are confident fishing, or else they will spend more time changing gear and bringing their lines up and down than actually fishing. If you are continually doing this, then you have no time to effectively watch your sounder or GPS and fish the areas, depths, and structure that will produce results. If you are so worried about not having the right setup, how will you be able to keep track of staying with the current along a productive edge or shoal?

If you concentrate on the keys in Part 1, and fish with a simple white glow hootchie, you will measurable improve your success. More tips in the next edition.

Tight lines,
Ray Vandervalk