Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Nimiuktuk

  1. #1

    Default Nimiuktuk

    Would like to fish on the Nimiuktuk in the Noatak Preserve during a float caribou hunt in late Aug/early Sep and would like advice on the right flies, gear and techniques.

    5 weights okay? Floating or sinking lines? Nymphs? Leeches?

    I primarily nymph for trout and steelies, but I have 8 weights also for straight line swinging.

    My understanding is there are grayling and char there. We are plannning to go into the Seagull Creek area and float down.

    Any information is helpful.

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Nimi...

    I have floated the Kugururok and Kelly. They are the two tribs below the Nimi. We were there in late Aug ourselves (2004 and 2006). I am floating a nearby river this Sept. Wonderful place NW Alaska. The fish you will be fishing for are dolly vardon and grayling. Arctic char are similar to dollies, yet not the same.

    As for fly fishing, we did best on purple esl with pink heads. Also caught lots on battle creek specials and polar shrimp. The only fish in that river year round are dollies, grayling, and slimy sculpin. The sculpin are 3-4" long and olive green. They hang out on the bottom. Since learning this, I will be taking a few dozen olive leech patterns on our upcoming trip. Fishing them on the bottom with a swing. We made good use of floating and sink tips (class III-IV). Most places the WF was good, but the deeper holes required sink tips. I like the Scientific Anglers Mastery sink tip. It has a 15-18 ft sink tip. A 5 wt may work ok. Especially if it is a faster action. I use 6-8 wts up there. The dollies can get big. My wife caught a ten pounder. I am hoping to break into the teens on our next trip. I will be taking my Scott S3s 8 weights. But for average dollies and all grayling, the 5 wt may be enough. Hard to say. We use larger flies, size #2-4. The grayling will hit anything so don't bother taking special flies for them. They eat what the dollies eat. With that being said, zug bugs and bead head prince nymphs in size #10 are deadly on grayling. I have had great luck with #4 bead head olive woolly buggers. I mean GREAT luck. That will be good for the dollies too. I used 3-4 ft leaders of 0x on my sink tips and 7.5 ft of 0-2x on my floating lines. These fish are not leader shy at all. Finding them all but guarantees catching them. 80% of our fish were caught in deeper holes along the river. Many in the deeper runs too and often we found dollies hanging out behind rootballs along the rivers edge. Also found some up by the cutbanks in the few places where the banks were present. Most all the rivers edge up there is gravel and gradual. Not alot of banks. But there were stretches where the willows grew right up to the edge of the river and that is where we would find a 3-4 foot bank that was steep and cut out. Not many, but when you find the banks, stop and fish them. If there is a rootball that has fell in the river, fish right by it as there is likely a fish behind it conserving energy waiting on dinner to float by. Like a fish buffet of sorts. Some of our bigger dollies were caught just like this. Also, in the holes, we found the biggest fish on the bottom. In the middle of the water column we would get lots of grayling and 2-3 lb dollies. The bigger fish were almost always directly on the bottom. If anyone is using spinning gear (like my wife does) have them take 3/8 ounce Panther Martins and Blue Fox Vibrax spinners. Silver, gold, and metallic blue (of all colors) worked best. We also caught lots on the fire tiger, chartreuse, and flourescent green and pinks. But silver and gold did most the work for her. If you will email me, I will email you back some pics of our flies. I have some images saved in my hotmail. Not sure what your experience level is, but if you want any suggestions on food, stoves, bags, tents, etc... let me know. We have impoved on our gear each trip and it is all set up for NW Alaska trips. I bought an electric fence the other day. This will be the first trip that my wife and I do alone and I thought a little extra protection would be worth having. I had two buddies go on previous trips. Peace of mind perhaps in buying the fence. I also have a S&W model 500 with 4" barrel and stainless Marlin Guide gun 45-70. Both sport Buffalo Bore ammo. We have had bears in camp on two out of three float trips. We did not see many on the Kug, but we saw 21 on the Kelly. Good camping practices are recommended. If you are going on the Nimi, I am sure you already know this, but thought it worth mentioning at any rate. One thing with tents. Be sure you have a free standing tent. You will be camping on gravel exclusively. We use rock bags instead of stakes to keep the tents tight in the wind (it can really blow up there). Windproof clothing is the cats meow up there too. The rock bags are just cheap ($5-8) bags from Campmor that we fill with gravel and attach the drawstring of the bag to the loop of the tent corners. We just do one basic over hand knot and pull the bags out away from the tent. This works like a charm. I would suggest a wind resistant stove or at a minimum use a windscreen. Assuming you don't have a cannister stove that is below the burner that is. I hear they can blow up when used with a wind screen. I got the MSR Wind Pro and it is a great stove for that area. Just mail the cannisters to the bush pilot ahead of time as you can not fly them up. Eric Sieh, who works for Hagland Aviation in Kotzebue is THE man. Use him if you can. Great pilot and he knows the area better than anyone. The other full timers, Jim Rood and Buck Maxon, have retired. Eric is the only full time guy up there. The rest just show up in Kotz to make a buck during hunting season. Choose carefully as some are better than others. I lived in Kotz for 6 months in 2004 and there are lots of hunters up there in Sept. The pilots (for the most part) are just there to make a buck and are not overly familiar with the land (or where the bou are). Anyway, email me if you want any other info. Below I will put a link to the rock bags. I will also put a link to some images from the Kelly and the Kug. When you click on the Flickr (photos) links, just click "slideshow" in the upper right of the page.

    Below are some products that work well for our trips...

    I could not help but to put links to some of my favorite items. The MSR filter is awesome. Very simple and durable. We fill the LL Bean packable bucket with water from the river, walk to the camp chair, sit down and filter water from the bucket to our 32 ounce Nalgene bottles. The MSR filter screws on to the top of the wide mouth Nalgene bottles for easy filling. This is a great system. The LL Bean water bucket is the only one that will stand up well. The other models I have used tip over all by themselves. Useless. The Wind Pro stove is great in the wind obviously. The rock bags I put a link to come in about 5 different sizes. We used a large duffle bag style one to hold all our fishing gear. It will hold 4 piece rod tubes and such. Keeps all the rods/reels/fly boxes and such together, yet quickly accessible.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts