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Thread: Russian River Newbie...

  1. #1
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    Default Russian River Newbie...

    I am taking the family down to the Russian this week for the first time and am looking for any advice. We have a campsite for Wednesday and Thursday. I am familiar with all of the bear safety issues and clean camping so that is not an issue. Some of the questions I have are:

    What tackle? We catch most of our salmon on vibrax, is that the right choice for that river or should we try something else?

    Where on the river? Is there a place to walk in from the campgrounds or do we need to drive somewhere? I am totally unfamiliar with the river and surrounding area...

    Do we need waders?

    Fish processing? We are tent camping. Is there a local place that will freeze the fish for us? Since we will be there three days I would like to get it frozen rather than just on ice.

  2. #2

    Default couple of answers

    Tackle::: Coho flies is what you need for the reds and plenty of them LOL
    freezing fish :There is a place by guens that will freeze them and also one in cooper landing I hope that helps some .

    Have fun

  3. #3
    Member fishnngrinn's Avatar
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    Default

    Waders will be very useful, some spots to fish from shore, but wading will add flexibilty. Russian River flys in florescent green if you are fishing for spotted fish so you can see the fly. The campgrounds have walkways down to the river. I have fished Pink Salmon down to confluence, fish are usually packed pretty tight if the timing is right. Go up river, less compaction of both fish and fishermen. Tight lines.
    NRA Lifetime Member

  4. #4
    Member John_Pennell's Avatar
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    Default Do not use vibrax spinners

    on the Russian. The regs are very specific that this is a single-hook fishery. Pick up a copy of the regs and read up before you head out. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Technique & tackle

    Here's a video I did for the Anchorage Daily News which may help you understand the tackle and technique for "line fishing" Russian River reds. Enjoy.

    http://community.adn.com/mini_apps/v...ENRES=00003387

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aktrapper View Post
    I am taking the family down to the Russian this week for the first time and am looking for any advice. We have a campsite for Wednesday and Thursday. I am familiar with all of the bear safety issues and clean camping so that is not an issue. Some of the questions I have are:

    What tackle? We catch most of our salmon on vibrax, is that the right choice for that river or should we try something else?

    Where on the river? Is there a place to walk in from the campgrounds or do we need to drive somewhere? I am totally unfamiliar with the river and surrounding area...

    Do we need waders?

    Fish processing? We are tent camping. Is there a local place that will freeze the fish for us? Since we will be there three days I would like to get it frozen rather than just on ice.
    Hello,

    Here is the info I was given and SHOWN (thanks Brian).

    River location: The easiest way to get to the River, is to walk to the Pink Salmon parking lot. Its in the campground. If you look for the bathrooms in that particular parking area, you will see a set of stairs that will take you down straight to the River. When you get to the river, you can go left or right. I go wherever peoples stringers are fuller!! It doesnt really matter where you go I guess. There are people everywhere. Look for the guys with expensive gear. They 'usually' know what they are doing.


    Tackle: Buy AT LEAST 20 russian river flies per hard core fisher person. I lost 20 (at least) my first time out. They are not expensive. $0.75 for 3 flies at wall-mart. The color does NOT matter at all. You will not be enticing fish at all. You are trying to shove a hook in its face by being 'sneaky'...I cant help but laugh as I write this.
    Also, buy A LOT of 'split shot' weights. Not sure what they are called. They look like mini-pac-mans or mini-fish-cracker weights. They are the small round ones that you can bite down on to stay on the line.

    These fish fight harder than most people tell you. I lost alot of them due to hook shaking out even after SOLID hook-sets.

    I use 15 lb test. Others use 12 to 20. If I were you, Id use 20lb test.

    Fishing technique: Im no pro, but this is the way I use to catch them.

    1) Tie on a fly at the end of your line.
    2) approx 18 inches above that put on 2-3 split shot weights. The weights must be heavy enough that you can feel the bottom, but not too heavy that it will keep the fly planted at the bottom.
    3) The idea is to cast the fly upstream, and allow the current to take your fly downstrea. You're trying to get your fly bouncing along the bottom of the river. As its gliding/bouncing, you're hoping that those 18 inches (between the fly and weight) will slip into a fishes mouth, until the fly hits the fish in the face. When it does, set the hook.

    This is why its important not to have too little, or too much weight.

    You should feel your weight going 'tick tick tick' along the bottom.

    Waders: Yes yes and yes. Its possible to go without, but when you see a group of 5 guys catching fish in a pocket that can only be hit with waders, you'll wish you had them.

    Fish processing: DO NOT CLEAN AT CAMPGROUND. This is what I do now. I cut the guts out, take the head off. Carry the rest with me. A lot of guys filet right then and there. ME? I suck at it so Id rather take my time at home.
    If you want, but the head off, gut them, then take them to 'Kenai Cash' (I think they are called.

    When you exit the campground, head right as if going back to Anchorage. about 2 minutes into your drive, on the right, there are 3 or 4 buildings. One of them is Gwins'. Another one, is a sort of tackle/grocery store. Go in there. The dudes/gals in there are really cool and they filet (1.89 a pound I think) and freeze for up to 7 days (0.89lb I think) your fish for you.

    It seems like it was cheaper a few weeks ago, or maybe they thought I was a nice guy and didnt charge me as much.

    If you've got any questions, you can PM me. Im trying to give all the info I can because I was in your shoes less than 2 weeks ago when some awesome people on this forum helped me out.
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  7. #7

    Default

    Make sure your waders have felt soles or you'll be taking a bath. Felt soles make a world of difference on the slippery rocks.

  8. #8
    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    Default cliffhanger

    cant get your link to work. I would like to see it.

  9. #9
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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  10. #10
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    Default

    Polarized glasses too so you can see them. Unless the river is just full of them I take the first access point down and walk the river. If your with a family then find a good bank or "island" to camp on and watch for stringers, most people are more than happy to tell you where they caught them. Hope your good to go on your keni twitch.

  11. #11
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks to everyone for the great advice. We packed gear tonight and are starting to get excited. Hopefully I'll have a good report to post when we get back.

  12. #12
    Member arcticat500's Avatar
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    Default A Net isn't a bad idea

    Because of the high water, a net isn't a bad idea either. I was told to just steer them toward the bank and kick them up there, but many of the holes I was hooking up in were knee deep at the bank. Lost a number of tasty delights due to the lack of a net...
    Although some can call it Catchin', I still have to call it fishin'.

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