I’m Mike Parr-
I was born in San Francisco and raised in Burlingame. As a skinny little kid, I caught my 1stsalmon aboard Captain Hank Schramm’s original “Salmon Queen” booked out of Caruso’s Bait and Tackle Shop in Sausalito. THAT ages me-
I remember fishing bait, and having to pull it up often to check it –and I just wanted my bait working. Bait is still key, but I knew I’d need an arsenal.
(for the same reason my wife brings 6 pairs of shoes for an overnight stay..)
I soon started to experiment with various lures.
Flash forward a few decades, and I fish for salmon a LOT, often in the gorgeous fjord that is Rivers Inlet in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, as well as several places in California and Washington.
I moved to the Rockies and about 15 years ago I fell into an old air brush kit and started to experiment painting salmon spoons. Our winters are long and the hobby got plenty of time to evolve and blossom. I built a Tuff Shed man-cave and with the heater, vent and flat screen, I’m all set. I’m a Project Manager for an engineering/manufacturing company and have access to all kinds of metal scraps, and industrial high-heat engine paints and metal coatings that the average hobbyist would have a hell of a hard time sourcing.
Most are a strong UV or fluorescent. The UV light spectrum penetrates water to a greater depth than the visible light spectrum, so these will be visible deep.
I started to experiment on metal scraps from work to see how paint behaved—running various electrical charges through the spoon blanks while I applied special inks and paint. I made a vibrating jig out of an old orbital sander which, in concert with the charge, makes these paints respond in very interesting ways, and got the colors to really pop. The spoons here are the result of hundreds of color combinations and design prototypes. Each has taken all kinds of salmon, from Monterey to the ends of Alaska, as well as in the Atlantic.
The blanks are U.S stamped; the sturdy hardware is all stainless, as are the no-nonsense Mustad hooks.
I have found these 7 to be the most effective, in both 4” and 5”— and the most asked-for. In the photo Left-Right, they are: Uncle Percy, Blue Spruce, Cop Car, Blue Wave, Sick Boy, Snail Trail and Tiger Prawn. Slick UV and fluorescent colors, many with a holograph top-coat.
Tie a 48”- 60“ mono leader to the swivel, with a swivel on the other end, and attach to the snap on the end of your main line. Send them under the surface, watch them as you adjust speed—2-3 mph, for that perfect, sexy waggle—you’ll know it when you see it, and then send them to depth.
I like to space them 15’ apart in depth, one port—one starboard.
Before pulling them up to switch them, I like to swap the depth—drop the high one and raise the low one. Sometimes that’s all that’s required to get a hit.
My real job keeps my production very limited. I’ll be painting them all winter—hoping to get 100 of each done to get ahead for next year, and even still, production won’t increase until I retire.
I ask for only 2 things in return…a beer when we meet—and a photo of any catch, hopefully spoon-in-jaw.
“Be well—make friends—catch fish!”