This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Pray’s Silver Demon steelhead fly.
C. Jim Pray (1885 – 1952) of Eureka, CA is known for starting fly fishing for salmon and steelhead on the heavy winter waters of the Eel River and other Northern California rivers.
Joseph Bates, Jr in his Streamers & Bucktails The Big Fish Flies (1950, 1966 and 1979) quotes Pray as he explains the Silver Demon.
Late in 1935 or 1936 I brought out the Silver Demon, with silver rope tinsel body, barred wood duck tail, orange throat, and a wing of barred gadwall feathers. This fly originally contained no jungle cock cheeks. In its first year on the Eel and Klamath rivers my shop records show that the Silver Demon outsold the Gold Demon by 1,300 to 300. It still is a very standard number for steelhead trout on all coast streams.
Other flies he created include the Black Demon, Thor, Carter, and Optic series of steelhead flies.
For more information about Pray’s steelhead flies, be sure to pick up John Shewey’s book Classic Steelhead Flies.
Here is a link to Shewey’s book:
Enjoy…go fish, stay safe!