Because I fished these Duncan Egan BB (Black Bear) Flamethrower tubes on the Varzuga last month and the top one brought seven salmon on my final, Friday afternoon session.
Being a tube fly the tube tends to go up the line during the fight, preserving the fly’s good looks (I have never seen a fly more suggestive of a shrimpy crustacean which is why it must appeal so much to these fish so close to their arctic feeding grounds).
Mind you, just look at the other one (without the hook).
It’s the same fly, but it’s pretty mangled really isn’t it? Testament to the man who made it it has stood up to the punishment very well.
Punishment? I retired the fly after I lost one of only two fish I lost over the week from the 19lb fluorocarbon parting. If you look at the front, head part of the tube you can see the plastic liner is pretty mangled, in fact it’s only half there and I reckon a good fish I lost that pulled me down well into the backing at Bear Corner one day, where the Varzuga flow is very powerful, came away when the fluoro rubbed against a slight roughness on the brass and parted.
So I retired the fly honourably and stored it on my return to camp in an old polyleader plastic pouch with a note to accompany it to the salmon fly hall of fame (yes, he admitted, I do have one!). The note read: ‘Caught 25-30 Varzuga salmon on this fly!’
BTW, finally, the hook is a size 7 silver Salar tube double. I used these and the same hook in gold throughout the week. With barbs clamped shut they held the fish better than any hook I tried last year.