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Thread: What would you consider to be a Fly fishing caught Halibut?

  1. #1

    Default What would you consider to be a Fly fishing caught Halibut?

    Ok. I know the answers are going to vary here fairly widely. Please, I'm looking for personal opinions so I doubt that anyone can be wrong about that. Different perspectives? Sure!

    So always on the quest for new challenges, I have been pondering "fly fishing" or at least something that resembles fly-fishing for halibut.

    At what point would you consider yourself to have caught a halibut "fly fishing"??? I could put a pound of lead and a herring on a my 10wt....nah. How about a dodger in front of my fly with a 4 oz sinker? Probably not. Do I have to cast all my line out? Can I drift? Can I troll? Can I use lead? (C'mon I know a LOT of folks toting flyrods use split shots!! too! )

    The current set up I have is a 10wt with floating/sinking line with an additional 30ft section of t-20 flyline. I know IGFA and such have rules, but to be honest, I think they are pretty ridiculous. I don't care so much about that. I'm not trying to be a purist, but I'd like to say with decent confidence that " I caught a halibut fly fishing." and have some justification for making such a statement.

    Just wondering what average folks on a fly fishing forum would think.

  2. #2
    Member Ak Laker Hunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    That would be fun maybe have to chum water to bring fish up maybe. as far as split shot on fly tried once never again for me felt clumsy. my thought was just grab spinning rod if gonna use weights . 20lbs butt would be awesome though
    Got to look good even in defeat. IMAGE is everything.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    I think a shot of t-20 would be what i would consider flyfishing, if you are crimping on more than a couple split shot, it's just jigging or drifting with an innefficient rod. But, you also have to be able to cast it.

    Considering how far up in the water column butts will come, and also how shallow they can be found on the bottom, I'd say you could target areas 60 foot and less and drift around. The flies would be fun to tie.....just call it the "Half a Chicken".

    good luck to you, sounds fun.

  4. #4


    In cook inlet we routinely catch fish in less than 35ft of water. So in theory I could just cast 40 ft and wait for the line to go near vertical. That is if I could get 40ft of T-20 out there. Sounds like a really long day. Lol. Ok. I'm lazy. But I guess that's why I ask. One likely scenario is strip off 60 ft of line while moving then settle in to let it sink. So maybe more specifically, would I have to cast before I caught it fly-fishing as one example of "line" in the sand as to whether it'd be fly fishing or not.
    My personal pages...I'm not a guide.

  5. #5
    Member DannerAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Whiskey River


    Heavy flies and long sink tips. I have a Jim Teeny line with 30' of fast sink tip in front of 70' of floating line. It roll casts very well with my 10 wt and gets the fly down, fast.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

  6. #6
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    I have type 4 full sinking line, 6" a second. use to use it to dredge teh channels for flounder back on the East Coast. Not hard to cast, I could shoot the entire line on an 8wt. Out of a YAK might be a little tougher tho.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
    Kodiak, AK

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    At what point would you consider yourself to have caught a halibut "fly fishing"???
    I just go by the IGFA regs. Pretty straight forward and easy to sort from other kinds of fishing guys might try to claim as fly fishing.

    One detail of the IGFA regs, you can't fish deeper than the length of your cast. None of this simply feeding line over the side with a weight and jigging, then calling it fly fishing. They also don't allow harpooning or shooting.

    On the practical side, I've always had the best luck for halibut when anchored, and using weedless flies to ease skimming the bottom without snagging. Our "light" halibut rods are 10WTs, with which we use 12# class tippets and a shock tippet. We use 12WTs for 16# tippet and 14WTs for 20# tippet. Seems to work out about right. Our favorite lines are Rio Leviathin 26ft Sink Tips. Long as the currents aren't smoking, they get it done down to 60' or so on the 10WTs and deeper for the 12's and 14's.

  8. #8

    Default What would you consider to be a Fly fishing caught Halibut?

    Thanks for all the info. I'm going to give it a try later in the year. I'm trying to hone my technique and possibly utilize during my halibut hunt in Kodiak at the end of August. I understand we should have decent shot at good halibut in shallow water as they chase the silvers in closer to shore.
    My personal pages...I'm not a guide.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post they chase the silvers in closer to shore.
    It's actually the pink salmon they're after- both the inbound fish and the washout carcasses.

  10. #10


    well we screwed around with this while I was at a remote hatchery in southeast shortly before I started guiding. My buddy put me onto a fly, was a gigantic deal, you weren't going to cast it...basically a huge herring imitiation. Used a deep water express and threw it out, gave that up pretty quick and just dropped it down. STill have the rod its a 10-11-12 fenwick III...nothing fancy but it's got some serious backbone. More than my 10wt loomis megarod but its not as fast of a rod as the megarod is.

    The hardest part was telling when I had got far enough. I have no idea what happened to that line, sure wish I still had it, he!! I probably do LOL! Ended up putting some lead on to try and feel the initial contact with the bottom...landed some small and I mean REAL small chickens LOL gave up trying to catch a monster with it, we couldn't get to anywhere with enough slack current (chatham) to get to them. The nice thing about chatham, you don't have to be deep to get a true monster! The fish I've seen coming out of 80 fow would blow your mind after guiding for a number of years out on the ocean side. I fished chatham my first year on the salt for fun, and than as a guide my last year for part of the if I could go back!!!!

    The fly was basically a gigantic deceiver with no weight and no feathers for a tail. I'll have to try and find the letter he sent me, I'm not sure I still have it. Made out of synthetics plus the peacock on top. The fly turned into a royal mess with little use....kinda like those hippy hair do's that never wash for years on end with crap crawling in and out of the braids lol.

  11. #11
    Member ptarmigan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Sou'west Anchorage


    A few years ago I was fishing off of Anchor Point and the thought of using a flyrod crossed my mind. We were fishing in about 60' of water and over a ton of fish. Every time we would bring one up, 20-30 others would follow it right to the surface. If I would have brought a stout flyrod it would have been as easy as just hanging it over the side of the zodiac and I would have hooked one in seconds. A big flesh pattern or something similar would have been the ticket I think. They were not huge fish, but 10-20 pounders would have been fun.


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