Swedish version

The Boss
By Bob Kenly

The Boss (black)
The Boss (black)

  After the War of 1812 Great Britain decided America wasn't worth any more of their time or resources so left us to wander around the wilderness without their help, besides they had a pesky French Emperor to deal with. Except for adopting the English language it seemed to the colonies to be a good deal, America could become whatever the desired without outside interference. We never adopted Cricket (too slow), drank our beer cold, put ice and mix in our whiskey (horrors), drove on the right side of the street, generally turning our backs on British traditions. That is until fishing became popular and since we didn't have a history of fly tying we swallowed our misplaced Yankee pride and looked back at Europe especially Great Britain for flies. Most of our flies, in particular Steelhead and salmon patterns, can trace their roots to Europe. Flies seem to migrate Westward from Europe but in general not from America to Europe.

(Photo: Lasse B with his Norweigan salmon)

Lasse B with his Norweigan salmon  One place in America where fly tying seems more isolated is Alaska, except for Canada, America's West Coast and Kamchatka Alaska flies seem to be relatively isolated in their usage. So, when 34 year old Lasse B from Oslo, Norway asked if he could have some Alaska flies for Atlantic salmon to say the least I was intrigued by his strange request. He had chosen the ridiculously simple pattern known to everyone who fishes Alaska, The Boss, an all purpose fly tied in many colors but most commonly with a black body and red collar. I asked Lasse if using an old Alaska fly might put him in danger when his friends saw him using such an odd fly he laughed and said that he was a big rig truck driver and could certainly handle anything that came along (I can believe that seeing him). Despite the howls of derision (more like, "What the hell is that thing") Lasse's flies worked so well for him that they became a favorite of his.

  I've always wondered why Lasse had such good luck with this fly but Yuri Shumakov shed some light on the subject when in 2004 he wrote me in Alaska and asked me if I knew the reason salmon developed the hooked jaw when they enter freshwater, of course my answer was to fight with. True, but Yuri explained that when salmon enter fresh water they sometimes go on a genocidal killing spree to rid the waters of egg thieves an the hooked jaws prevent their mouths from closing thus allowing small fish to escape. He and I have never witnessed this action but he talked to several salmon authorities that have seen it in person. It made perfect sense to me especially in Alaska where I have seen and caught fresh salmon using very sparsely tied flies like the Mickey Finn just as the salmon enter fresh water. I suspect that the adventurous Norwegian, Lasse B, experienced this phenomenon when he fished the Boss.

The Boss
The Boss

Tying The Boss (tube version)

Tube: 1 inch (25.4 mm) fine brass. (I prefer Rooney Tubes for this fly)

Tail: Arctic fox the color of the body (my preference but you can use any other hair)

Body: thread Covered with epoxy (being addicted to epoxy that’s how I make mine but there are other options such as dubbing or floss)

Ribbing: Fine tinsel

Collar: Webby hackle

Eyes: Bead chain

  When fished with treble hook the weight of the eyes will sometimes cause the fly to swim upside down, not any big deal which is the beauty of this pattern, it looks good either way.

By Bob Kenly 2007 ©
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© Mats Sjöstrand 2007

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Mats Sjöstrand, Sweden

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