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Thread: Upper Chena update for the weekend

  1. #1
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    Default Upper Chena update for the weekend

    Go for it! I went up yesterday and the fish are finally pretty much where we expect them to be. The water is still pretty cold and they aren't super-hungry, but they're there and catchable.

    BTW, yesterday I stopped to fish for about 1/2 hour at the creek that crosses under the road between 37 and 38 mile, since I'd always wanted to give it a try but never had, and there were fish there (caught 4 dinks and one respectable fish) but it was not that nice a place to fish. One thing that made it a disgusting place to fish is that some *ssh*le had taken a crap right next to a tree on the creek. It wasn't dog crap - I have a dog team and if there's one thing I know, it's dog poop. This was definitely human. I run into this about once/year and I don't know what is wrong with people but some are definitely pigs.

    But other than that (and the red flag exercises out of Eielson - sonic booms plus foreign fighters chasing each other overhead), the fishing was really nice, there were fish back where you expect them to be, and summer in Alaska is awesome.

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    Once again a most generous update/report! Thank you! I'll be up there Sunday. Have to make some money tomorrow.

    And I know what you mean about how some folks can be quite careless and filthy. I just wrote a short piece for Hunt Alaska and Fish Alaska magazines on "How to Sh*t in the Woods."

    And how about the two carloads of absoulte jerks who, upon seeing me and about 10 New Zealand tourists alongside the road watching a nice young bull moose feed, felt the need to fire several shots from their guns into the Chena in an area clearly marked as "No Shooting Allowed", and who then drove behind us, revved their engines, honked their horns, and then flipped us off as the bull disappeared out of the pond and they sped off. Nice impression by village idiots.

    Let's be good stewards, enjoy the outdoors, and be nice to each other. Mlshore is a great role model. I vote for her to be our leader!

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    What section of the river would you recommend for a couple hour raft float with good fishing this weekend?

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    I don't float so I can't recommend a particular trip but I think the fishing should be pretty decent everywhere floatable, based on what I saw on Thursday and the USGS stream flow data from the second bridge. Basically, look for 1) a deep hole, 2) on an outside bend, with 3) trees/willow/other brush overhanging the bank. If you find two out of three of those you've got a shot, even if you don't necessarily see fish rising. If there's an obvious seam about two or three feet off the bank, over the hole, you should be golden. If you're not sure try drifting a heavy beadhead through the hole a couple of times and see what happens.

    Over the winter I read a couple of people quoting the same guy: "The difference between a good fisherman and a great fisherman is a couple of pieces of split shot." I don't like fishing with shot, both because I don't like the way it casts and because I tend to lose it, but I have been tying heavier flies this year (both with heavier beadheads, although it kills me to pay that much for tungsten, and with lead underwrap) and I believe that it's absolutely made a difference in the number and quality of fish I've been catching. There are a lot of fish hanging around that are hard to know they're there unless you fish deep, I think.

    I may see you up there on Sunday, Jim. The Chena Hot Springs Classic (bike ride) is today and it's probably a good day to get some chores done.

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    I'm a persnickety old fly fisher who shys away from bead flies whenever I can; which is most of the time. But for grayling I have a real hard time using anything but a dry fly. God made the arctic grayling for the dry fly fisherman IMHO. Okay, sometimes I switch over to a classic wet fly of one sort or another, but soon I'm back to the dries. Just me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim McCann View Post
    I'm a persnickety old fly fisher who shys away from bead flies whenever I can; which is most of the time. But for grayling I have a real hard time using anything but a dry fly. God made the arctic grayling for the dry fly fisherman IMHO. Okay, sometimes I switch over to a classic wet fly of one sort or another, but soon I'm back to the dries. Just me.
    I don't think it is just you - I know a lot of people who feel that way, and I'm a big fan of those "Dry or Die" guys in Sweden. But for me fly-fishing is at the intersection of craft, artistry, and just plain nerdy stuff. I'm kind of wired to try to figure out how things work and I like to experiment a lot (I once got an inflamed declaration of "A ROYAL COACHMAN IS A WET FLY" when I told someone I'd had a lot of success with grayling fishing them dry). There's a lot going on under the surface and one of the best ways to find out what it is is to see what happens when you try this or that. Also, given the water temperatures in the Chena, I think we've got just under three months of reliable dry fly fishing but probably 5 and half months of reliable fishing (late April to early October), and it's definitely been my experience that you're going to have a much, much, much harder time finding the fish during the early season and the last few weeks of the late season without fishing pretty deep. I don't use shot or indicators, for whatever that's worth - there *are* limits, after all.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Yes those bikes were a pain after 0900 hours but hey! Fish pushing well about 40 mile and in decent numbers. Water still high but clear lots of old and new debris in the water fishing was reasonable. Couple of fronts pushed through with higer winds making floating cold but then the Ole Sun popped out between and made things grand.

    Tight Lines.

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    a buddy of mine and i floated the upper chena last night. the fishing was phenomenal; best i've ever experienced on that river, hands down.



    chris

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    Care to share which section you floated?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    Care to share which section you floated?
    put in at the slough just above 33mi and took out at the slough that runs past the chena river cabin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crmcd79 View Post
    put in at the slough just above 33mi and took out at the slough that runs past the chena river cabin.
    Thanks crmcd79

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    Just got back from a nice float. Sunburned a bit, but I can't really complain about that. Just before 34 mile back to Rose Hip campground. My maiden trip in my new SOAR Pro Pioneer raft. I think I already like this new raft, can't wait to go out again.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    I thought I saw a Rock Lobster out there in a blue boat!!!!! "Soar Pro P. Magic Canoe you mean" :-) Sorry I am a dork! Big storm came in hard about 4:30 up North Ouch talk about Dark blue sky!

    G.S. Glad your enjoyed your new toy! Use it well! Shoot me a PM I would like to know if you went with the Saddles or did you put a Mini frame on it and since it has nothing to do with Fishing! If you want shoot me a PM so I don't bugger the thread.

    Tight LInes.

    BMR

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    Really packed with people up there today! My 19 year old daughter went with me so I did more fly fishing instruction than anything else, but we didn't move that many fish. Surprised me, to tell you the truth. But we had fun until that same storm Moose mentioned chased us off the river. I'll be back up there again sometime this week when things are wee bit quieter and I'm alone and able to get serious.

    Cheers!

    Jim

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Jim Don't know how high you went up but fish were really pushing the North Fork this weekend. Some of the larger grayling I have seen recently on the Chena i.e. the past few years. With all things grayling as the Bio dudes tell us the prime fish move for the most part high up into the system so for all of you fans follow the yellow brick road.

    I have to many things going on Sat Jim but migh tbe able to do a turn and burn in the morning on Friday. Shoot me a note if your looking for someone to splash all the fish away I might be able to have a little fun between gigs.

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    I headed up mid-afternoon, fished at the very beautiful fast-moving slough on the east side at 42 mile and caught a bunch of small graylings (both nymphs and dries). When the storm hit I thought I'd be clever and head north to get behind it, and once I got up past Angel Creek I couldn't find a fish for love nor money, not even on places I did well on Thursday. Eventually headed back to the first bridge where a ton of fish were feeding right under the surface in the rain. Very odd day.

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    Just got back from a great trip up to above 50 mile where we caught countless grayling on dries. Definitely some decent size, but nothing amazing. Very happy with how many fish we found in all typical water rising to pretty much whatever we threw at them...the way it SHOULD be!

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Water is fine. Fish have made it up and beyond 50 Mile. Don't float Angle Rocks down to 44 miles unless you wish to walk through the-woods with your Kayak because of a nice log Jam. :-) Lots of fish in the deep holes for those willing to fight the bugs!

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    My daughter and I were way up on the river tonight (Sunday) and pretty much got our butt's kicked. We caught two fish, rolled a couple of others. I had to resort to the Griffith's Gnat in one particular hole again to take a nice 16 inch fish. No hatches seen the entire evening. Strange year in my opinion, but I'm lovn' it.

    Jim

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    It's definitely a strange year, and I've been wondering if the almost-a-flood changed the river enough so that places that were extremely productive in the past are less so this year and new places are starting to stand out. That said, I've caught more really big grayling this year than I have previously, but I'm also doing a lot more serious nymphing. Still, I was having no luck whatsoever in this one hole where I'd had a lot of success previously, and figuring that since what I was doing wasn't working I might as well try something completely different I tied on one of Rosenbauer's hare's foot emergers, which was immediately nailed by this big guy I didn't know was there. I moved on to another hole with the same fly and it was a fish on every cast. The fly got pretty soggy and I switched out, and it was game over - nothing.

    It's definitely been an odd year but the fishing has been excellent enough that I'm going to start to carry a tape measure and a camera. I do think that some parts of the river have been substantially reshaped.

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