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Thread: Dry Flies

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Default Dry Flies

    Just wondering if many of you fish dry flies very much up here...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Just wondering if many of you fish dry flies very much up here...???
    Yes I fish them quite often in fact. Before the egg drop they can be very effective. Caddis, stone flies, gnats, mosquitoes, even a mayfly here and there. Dragon and damsel flies in still water. The Russian and many other area streams should see a caddis hatch here very soon. I saw a few floating above the water on the Russian last weekend. I've even caught grayling in October on dries. Not as popular as beads or flesh but def worth having an assortment in your fly box.
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    A bit off subject, but for fun try a skating fly sometime. I have had grayling and especially dollies go ape shet on a waller walker. Most seem to be grey and black, but I found some that were orange and they worked very well.

  4. #4

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    I fish them a ton but am probably the opposite of the usual. I still have never made it up to the upper Kenai or Russian to fish eggs/flesh patterns. I've caught a lot of fish on dries in small lakes and had a killer day fishing them on the Chena over Labor Day weekend last year.

  5. #5

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    You bet. Traditional dries for trout and such, but don't overlook "dries" for salmon too. Over the years I've managed to catch all 5 species of salmon on topwater flies. Probably catch more pink salmon on dries than wets- best about that is when they're thick you can avoid the snags.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    A bit off subject, but for fun try a skating fly sometime. I have had grayling and especially dollies go ape shet on a waller walker. Most seem to be grey and black, but I found some that were orange and they worked very well.
    Once again, spot on. I was up on the Chatanika some years ago and watched a grayling try to nail a struggling caddis fly. After that I tried mimicking the caddis with a humpy, and boom​. Still prefer nymphing but I'm not sure that there much that beats skating a dry fly for pure fun.
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

  7. #7

    Default alway bring some dries....

    95% of my fishing up there is swinging flies or drifting globugs.....but I do bring the following dries:

    -small mayflies (parachutes, cripples) for cutthroat on lakes, and grayling in rivers
    -pink gurglers for silvers
    -yellow stimulators for rainbow trout

    I don't think I have ever caught anything in AK nymphing with a natural. I guess too much eggs/flesh for the fish to be interested.

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    I love to fish dry flies on Dollies, Grayling, Trout. But contrary to what a lot folks might tell you, our fish can be just as finicky as fish elsewhere, so a complete selection of flies is in order. An often overlooked fly is the tiny Griffith's Gnat. For those of us who might get a bit sloppy with our casting and line mending after hours of casting and fishing, the elk hair caddis sometimes inadvertently becomes a "skater." I've had some great fun with a deer hair mouse for big rainbows on the Alaska Peninsula, but that fly is perhaps more appropriately placed in the meat category of fly.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Just wondering if many of you fish dry flies very much up here...???
    4mr.... In the 90s when I fished the Upper Kenai a lot I often fished dries there. I won't forget my first ever 24 incher (bow) came on a dry caddis in mid river while casting from shore at one of my old 'walk in' spots. While walking the shore just looking, I spied what looked to be a 'nice' rise out in the main current flow. Over the next ten minutes I noticed 3 rises in the same spot. Each time spaced in time by about 3 minutes. So I made my first cast at the approximate right moment. It was perfect. Up he came and when I saw the movement I struck quickly. Too quickly. Pulled my fly right out of his mouth. I could tell he was nice and I was stoked that my fly and cast got a response. I decided to move on as I didn't want to put him down for good. I moved downriver to a dolly spot and fished below a hundred yards or so for about half hr. I couldn't wait any longer and sauntered back to my casting spot and watched. Sure enough he was on his 3 minute rise schedule. Again, after watching him rising a couple three times I threw another accurate cast with the same Elk Hair caddis. He rose and I let him eat the fly this time. Success! Two casts to him, two rises. Couldn't have been a better script. Like I said, I will never forget that fish.
    There is a small yellow stonefly that came off the Upper every yr. It seemed to turn the fish on to the rise. And it was always the Elk Hair or a goofy extended body mayfly that took the fish there.
    There is a certain VERY accessible spot that was a joy to stop at and it was common to catch 10 to 30 bows in a certain hundred yard stretch. Most in the 12 to 15 inch but a few 17-18 inch fish. On the occasions that we lucked into something 20 or bigger they always ran for the big fast water on the middle of the river. Only a few of those were brought to hand. What easy fun. I'm sure that spot still fishes that way. It's in your neck of the woods if u want to give it a shot, it's right by the ..... Well, u better pm me if interested.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  10. #10

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    I don't use dry flies too much for most fish in AK. But for grayling, dry flies are my favorite way to catch them. Not only is it a lot of fun to watch a grayling come up and take your fly on the surface, but sometimes it can be a fish on every cast. Especially if you can match the hatch. I caught this 19 1/2" grayling on a dry fly. My biggest to date.

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    I like how u did that 'looking over the fence' thing that was always done on that "Tool Time" with Tim Allen comedy show. His neighbor never wanted to show his face either.
    ps.... Nice fish.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Like I said, I will never forget that fish.
    I love fish like that....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I don't use dry flies too much for most fish in AK. But for grayling, dry flies are my favorite way to catch them. Not only is it a lot of fun to watch a grayling come up and take your fly on the surface, but sometimes it can be a fish on every cast. Especially if you can match the hatch. I caught this 19 1/2" grayling on a dry fly. My biggest to date.
    GREAT fish...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    A big ole stimulator can drum up large rainbows, especially right before the salmon eggs show up. It's fun to see a fish hammer a big floating fly like that. Check out the pic: small fish, big fly. Love it.

    Dry flies for pinks? Never tried that but am very intrigued! What dries do they like? Same as trout? -Gr
    My signature is awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
    Dry flies for pinks? Never tried that but am very intrigued! What dries do they like? Same as trout?
    For years we used #4 Gami B10S Stinger hooks to make small pink deer hair Pollywogs with short pink marabou tails. Problem was, the pink salmon slimed them pretty fast and they'd start sinking, and have to be dried well or replaced. In the last 10 years or so we've been using a pink version of the Burning Man foam popper tied without the rubber legs and subbing a pink marabou tail, also tied on the B10S. Very fast to tie, floats well, and not so prone to sliming. That B10S hook is a dandy because it's light wire for floating, but wide gape and great temper for great hooking and holding.

    Coupla quick notes- Get chums holding in 3' or less of water in tidewater, and they're prone to grabbing them too. Kinda hard on light rods we use for pink salmon! Tie the wog version on a #2 B10S and see what happens when you can find kings lazing at the tailout of a hole early in the morning in a clear river.

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    I don't do much upstream dry fly fishing, but I will skate the bejeezus outta trout and char.

    'Bow on a skated smolt.


    Dolly, same.


    I also skate chums and pinks with pretty good success - find 'em in a riffle close to tidewater and they are often quite receptive to pink and chartreuse skaters.

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    Thanks so much you guys for the great pics and info...!!!

    Oh, and btw.....can you explain "skate" a bit more to me?

    Thanks.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    can you explain "skate" a bit more to me?
    The 2nd part of This Article is all about stripping and skating smolt for spring trout and char.

    You might recognize a picture or two

    In a general nutshell, skating is swinging a surface fly across a pool - there are minute differences in skating, waking, riffling, etc, but they are all tight-line surface presentations in moving water conducted downstream of the angler.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link to the article. I am fishing for smallmouth this weekend up on the New River near WV. Joe and I are taking his cat and I planned on skating some Waller walkers and sliders (pointed balsa bugs) from an anchored position just using the current and line belly. Some good insights in that article to be sure. Skating flies, while effective and great fun, seems under utilized for some reason. Up in AK, it drives dollies plum crazy.


    Dan

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    Smile Good memories . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    . . I spied what looked to be a 'nice' rise out in the main current flow. Over the next ten minutes I noticed 3 rises in the same spot. Each time spaced in time by about 3 minutes. So I made my first cast at the approximate right moment. It was perfect. Up he came . .

    I used to fish browns just like that years ago on Michigan's Big Manistee River, especially during the Brown Drake hatch and the "Caddis" (hexagenia limbata mayfly) hatch. Those big browns would move out from their lairs, take up a feeding station, and when the hatch was thick, you could time their rises nearly to the second.


    Biggest fish I ever caught ("biggest" as in "most memorable") was an 18" brown one evening that took my own Brown Drake on the first drift.


    Thanks for bringing it to mind . . .


    "In old age, our memories are like that place on the river,

    where we go to wait for the evening hatch

    and the last cast of the day."


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