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Thread: Fly fishing Prince of Wales in May?

  1. #1
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    Default Fly fishing Prince of Wales in May?

    My wife and I will be on Prince of Wales Island the last week in May. Our plan is to visit Hollis, Craig, Klawock, Thorne Bay, Coffman Cove and Whale Pass while we are there. I will bring along a spinning rod and am thinking about bringing my 7 weight fly rod with floating line as well. There are several problems with that, the biggest being that I know almost nothing about fly fishing! Iím not even novice level.

    Iíd appreciate anyoneís thoughts/guidance who has a knowledge of POW and fly fishing. Will there be opportunities to catch fish in streams there the last week in May, and if so, should the 7 weight work? Will floating line work, if so what should I look for as far as flies or streamers? Should I bring sinking line too?

    Iím going in blind, so any help would be very much appreciated. Donít be afraid to say that I should stick to the spinning rod or just stay dry and eat berries!

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    bring smolt patterns, lots and lots of smolt patterns. Fish stream mouths, please don't pull steelhead off redds.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default Thanks for the advice.

    Thanks ak powder monkey, I appreciate and understand your concerns about the spawning steelhead. I will see what I can do about finding smolt patterns.

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    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default late May

    The Steelhead peak in April and drop off fast in May.

    There will be Cutthroat fishing at that time in some places ... it is possible to come across some early run Dollies also.

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    Default Cutthroats and Dollies

    What type of fly would you suggest for them?

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    Default Predators

    Both Cuts and Dollies are predator type fish ...

    the Dollies are in following the Steelhead and then again when the Salmon run. They feed on eggs along with their regular diet. Eggsucking leach; Egg patterns;smolt patterns like AK PM suggested ....

    Cuts are aggresive and will take lots of offerings ... match the hatch or sometimes I put on some fly that I had for years and caught nothing ever with it ... "Cut on" ... the bigger fish seem to come up from the deep hidy holes in late evening and feed into very early morning.

    Rent a Canoe and do the Sarkar ... you won't be disappointed.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    cutts take classic wet flies pretty readily as well.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Thanks to both of you for your help. I will bring an assortment of flies and see if I can outwit a fish or two while checking out the various communities.

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    Default Smolt patterns?

    Where can I order some smolt patterns...what do they look like?

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    If you're flying in to Ketchikan you can pick them up at the "Hook-Up". It's located downtown.

    kingfisherktn

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truesdale View Post
    My wife and I will be on Prince of Wales Island the last week in May. Our plan is to visit Hollis, Craig, Klawock, Thorne Bay, Coffman Cove and Whale Pass while we are there. I will bring along a spinning rod and am thinking about bringing my 7 weight fly rod with floating line as well. There are several problems with that, the biggest being that I know almost nothing about fly fishing! Iím not even novice level.

    Iíd appreciate anyoneís thoughts/guidance who has a knowledge of POW and fly fishing. Will there be opportunities to catch fish in streams there the last week in May, and if so, should the 7 weight work? Will floating line work, if so what should I look for as far as flies or streamers? Should I bring sinking line too?

    Iím going in blind, so any help would be very much appreciated. Donít be afraid to say that I should stick to the spinning rod or just stay dry and eat berries!
    My first thought is if you are not even novice, you need to get past that with some practice before gearing up at all, and hoping you will figure it out. If you are a distant relative of Lefty Kreh and have some of his blood in you, then maybe, but otherwise, you need to learn how to do it before going.

    a) yes. 7 wt is fine
    b) a floating line will work with dry flies, but not very well at all with streamers.
    c) yes. you need one other line, a sinking line should be brought. but not a full-sink. you will need a sink-tip. The length and weight of the tip depend on the depth and current of the water, and the weight of the fly. I mostly use a heavy short line (10 foot type V) because most streams are small and casts are short, but also a longer lighter one (15 foot type III). Go to a fly shop with experience in this. I have a longer 200g head with running line (AKA "teeny") for casting into still water such as lagoons and such.

    The other thing you can do is get a "multi-tip" line. This includes floating and several lengths and weights of heads, usually with a stiffer, wider diameter belly section near the connection, and so forth to minimize "hinging". I personally haven't been attracted to this system, but others use it, and it obviates the need for multiple spools. You would certainly spend a whole lot less money on a multi-tip than on several lines and spools. You decide.

    d) If you don't want to mess with sinking lines at all, you can bring a bunch of split shot and worm weights, splice on some stiff maxima with a bunch of weight, and try to sink that whole mess. I see it done, done it myself, and there are casting/rat's nest issues.

    e) the other thing you can do with a floating line is "nymphing", involving a float and small split shot, and a "nymph"

    e) Just bring a minimal set of basic flies - a few ESL's (egg sucking leeches), a few flash flies, a few zonkers, and some small dry flies (light and dark cahill's, olive e/c caddis), some basic nymphs (prince, hare's ear) and call it a day. Sometimes cutt's bite, sometimes not. egg patterns work, but I'm not sure that they will work in may - - - I am guessing naturals could be good - - - someone else like Muskeg would know best.

    Frankly, I've not had much luck with smolt patterns - but I haven't tried this in may, so if someone wants to post a picture, that would be terrific.

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    Wink Prince of Whales fisher.

    Truesdale, i admire you for making such venturous plans. I have lived and fished on P.O.W. since 89, pm me if you want local knowledge

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    I made a trip there the same time of year eight years ago. I caught lots of fish off of simple smolt patterns. Rainbows and dollies at stream mouths in the lakes. I caught more cuts than I could count on stimulators on the Thorne river. Fish it right above the bridge. You can also pick them up on bead head pheasant tails but the stimulator just killed them. I caught at least 100 fish that day. A seven weight will work but I would take six myself. I fished over nice little green stonefly hatch on the Klawock river and did well also. I only fished for dollies and trout so I can't help with the steelhead.

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    Default Helping the economy!

    Thanks to all who replied with all your suggestions and experience. Iíve compiled quite a pile of different types of flies based on your thoughts and now will buy a new arbor for my reel and put some WF sinking line on it. Now, if I can just locate some retarded fish who donít realize what a novice I am......

  15. #15
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Truesdale View Post
    Thanks to all who replied with all your suggestions and experience. Iíve compiled quite a pile of different types of flies based on your thoughts and now will buy a new arbor for my reel and put some WF sinking line on it. Now, if I can just locate some retarded fish who donít realize what a novice I am......
    It might take them awhile to catch on you're a novice, but they'll figure out you're from NY immediately.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jodunk84 View Post
    Where can I order some smolt patterns...what do they look like?
    I'll tie you some $1.25 a fly

    They look like little fish
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  17. #17
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    Default Wild New York!

    It might take them awhile to catch on you're a novice, but they'll figure out you're from NY immediately.

    They will figure out very quickly that it is ďUpstate New YorkĒ where we have mountains, wild trout, bear, deer, rattlesnakes and coyotes!

  18. #18
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    If you can catch fish in Catskills, you can easily catch the dollies and cutts.
    The dollies are like overgrown brookies.
    You will encounter many more bears on POW though.
    No snakes though (St. Patty made a brief visit).

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