Review: Ace Hi Fly

By on March 26, 2006

During the last 40 years that I’ve been involved with the tackle industry, a number of new lures have come on to the market. Some we still use, and as you might expect many have disappeared.

We are now starting to see the effects of advanced technology in our everyday lures. Examples are the E-chip on Pro Troll, lures sending out tiny pulses of electrical current that triggers the strike impulse in fish.

Now comes the Ace Hi Fly by Silver Horde.

It is hard to test lures in Washington State. We simply don’t have the seasons or numbers of fish passing through to get a good feel on how effective a lure is.

So, when we first started fishing the Ace Hi Fly in Washington waters, while we caught fish, we weren’t sure if we could recommend it.

A trip to Nootka Sound certainly helped change our mind, as the Ace High Fly out fished our other lures for Chinook about 3 to 1.

Salmon University has also received input from several other sources in North America. Some of the guides in Alaska and the Great Lakes area have reported excellent results using the Ace Hi Fly.

What makes the Ace Hi Fly so effective? Well, it starts with a double glow head. The facets on the four sides increase the erratic action of the fly, when fished behind a dodger or a flasher. The way the insert puffs out the Mylar and plastic legs, gives the lure a pulsing action in the water. The Mylar itself reflects UV light. Salmon can see 3 more colors than humans, these all falling in the UV light spectrum. So, with the special tinsel in the fly, it literally lights up in the water. When bringing a fish to the boat, you see the fly long before you see the fish.

So how do we rig these? Much like we do a squid.

First, tie your hooks with 40# or heavier leader, so that the hooks are almost touching. While not necessary, I like to add a #6 Glo bead between the hooks for added attraction.

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Next, place 4 to 5 #8 Gold Star Glo Beads above the hooks. These act as spacers to make sure your tail hook is outside the Ace Hi Fly. Salmon are often short strikers, so by dropping back the tail hook you will increase your hook-ups by about 20 percent.

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Slide your Ace Hi Fly down over the leader and add Smelly Jelly to the head and hooks. DO NOT put Smelly Jelly on the Mylar, as you will lose the effectiveness of the pulsating action.

When fishing for Coho or Winter Blackmouth, we often desire a faster action.

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In this case we use one #8 bead at the head and four #6 beads above the hook as illustrated above.

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If you want really fast action for shallow, fall Coho simply use one #8 Glo bead placed 2 inches above the top hook. Hold it in place by inserting a toothpick into the bead and breaking it off.

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While the Ace Hi Fly works very well as we show rigged above, we often (primarily for fall Coho and winter Blackmouth) will add either a spinner blade or Spin and Glo above the fly.

We use the following leader lengths behind an 11″ flasher:

– Chinook – 38″ to 44″

– Winter Blackmouth and Coho – 30″ to 36″

Behind an 8″ Flasher:

Chinook – 22″ to 26″

Winter Blackmouth and Coho – 18″ to 22″

Behind a Dodger: 16″ to 20″

Tom Nelson
Tom Nelson is the publisher of Known throughout the Pacific Northwest as the “Dean of Saltwater Fishing,” he has helped develop and test tackle and gear for Scotty, Pro-Troll and Silver Horde, is a regular speaker at area sports shows, has taught more than 5,000 students how to fish during his classes at western Washington community colleges, and is the co-founder of the Puget Sound Anglers.