|The "Pert'near," as it's known in some circles|
Usually, I like to provide a little bit of history when I post fly patterns. I have nothing to say in the history department this time. I can't find any information about the origins online. The name of the fly is so generic, Google isn't even helpful. It's not in any salmon fly tying books I own. The only time I've seen it published was in an old W.W. Doak catalog. Maybe the Doaks still sell the Almost in their shop, but it's not listed in their online catalog. I have seen them for sale at Curtis Miramichi Outfitters and I'm fairly certain the fly has Miramichi roots.
So why the name "Almost?" Is it because there's almost nothing to it? Is it because it's almost all black? Perhaps the name refers to the fact that it takes almost no time to tie? I could probably come up with plenty of guesses if none of those are correct.
In preparation for the upcoming Connecticut broodstock salmon season, I tied a few this afternoon. I have never tried fishing this fly any larger than a size 8. I carry them in sizes 8 to 12, with some tied very small on low water hooks. I've found a size 10 Almost to be the most effective, however. I fish it on a long leader and a light tippet, usually 6lb. test. I use it on both sunny and dark days. It's a very subtle, drab pattern, so it's a good choice when the fish are feeling spooky.
Give it a shot sometime. It couldn't be much easier to tie. Its simplicity is almost an affront to a culture accustomed to fishing overindulgent flies for fish who aren't even feeding. Regardless, it works!
Hook: Any (pictured above: Partridge Code M sz. 10)
Tail: Golden pheasant crest
Body: Black wool
Wing: Black bear hair or squirrel tail*
Throat: Black hen
*I use hair from a black-dyed fox mask for my small flies