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Thread: I'm going to make the leap to fly fishing!

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    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
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    Default I'm going to make the leap to fly fishing!

    Just got back from caribou hunting the haul road. Not successful. On the way back to Fairbanks my commander and I stopped and fished a few streams. We found a nice grayling hole and he was slaying them with his fly rod. He let me borrow it to catch one, and I casted a few times and nailed the biggest grayling of my life. It was exciting. After that I did not even want to use my spincast anymore. So I decided to make the leap to fly fishing. I have been reading a few past threads on beginners. I do know I will probably need atleast 2 setups to cover both small fish and salmon. However we leave for Iraq in 3 weeks so I just want a setup to fish for grayling and trout. Thinking a 5-6 wt rd. Any advice on road weight, line, etc would be appreciated. I just want to get a little fly fishing in before I have to stow the rod away for a year. Thanks in advance.

    Sapper 2-6

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    As a fairly new person to flyfishing too, I would recommend the following: a 4wt for the trout/grayling/dollies, and a 7wt for the salmon (everything but kings, obviously). Once you get used to fishing, you can start varying the weights of your rod to target specific fish of specific sizes, but these 2 setups are a great all-around way to get into the sport.

    Good luck in Iraq. I just returned from there myself, and am spending my time off before I have to report back in for duty on a combination fishing and honey-do lists. Unfortunately, the honey-do lists do not include "catching fish for dinner". Odd, that. :^)

  3. #3
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default

    Thinking a 5-6 wt rd. Any advice on road weight, line, etc would be appreciated. I just want to get a little fly fishing in before I have to stow the rod away for a year. Thanks in advance.


    My experience has been that fly fishing is more productive than anything else. I've caught fish on flies when others flogging the waters with hardware weren't getting anything.

    I've been able to cover a lot of fish territory with a 6wt rod and floating WF line.

    For rods and gear at reasonable cost to get started, go to Cabela's. However, I would recommend getting your flies locally or even learning to tie them yourself.
    Now what ?

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I cannot speak for salmon fishing for the interior but as far as grayling go I just love a 5 wt and a 4 is even better. WF4 or 5 is a dandy line with 2 to 3lb leader. Enjoy those beautiful grayling and if your not keeping them please remember, pinch your barbs and take care of those big beauties. Good luck and come home safe and THANK YOU so much for serving our country
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  5. #5
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Fly shops can be excellent resources...

    Consider dropping by your local fly shop. They often offer better advice and service, but mostly have usually been local fly fishers for years. IMHO they're the best source of local fly fishing knowledge.

    Drop by if you can during hours when they aren't as busy, maybe when they first open on a Saturday or an hour before closing on a weeknight maybe. Tell them what you want to do and see what they say.

    The Alaska Fly Shop (on University Ave, just south of Airport Blvd and on the east side of street (phone# 456-3010) looks like a good place the few times I've been in there. They carry Sage, whose Launch rods are soft action rods of excellent quality, and perfect for Arctic Grayling and small-stream Rainbows. It can be a lifetime rod for approx $200. They also carry Temple Fork Outfitters' rods. TFO manufactures rods guided by Lefty Kreh, who left Sage for TFO because he said, he believed quality fly rods ought to be affordable to more people.

    I bought two of those Sage Launch rods (9ft, 5-wts) as gifts for my son and daughter, but have wanted one myself (for Grayling/small stream trout) ever since I tried theirs out fishing afterwards. Sage has a lifetime guarantee, and a fine reputation in Alaska for standing behind their gear. I'd skimp on the reel - maybe Okuma?.. for grayling.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default thoughts...

    Fly fishing is addictive. I have not used a spinning rod in three years. Best thing you can do is pick up a few books. Two excellent books are in the forum store here. Also can be found on Amazon. "Topwater, Fly Fishing Alaska..." by Troy Leatherman and "Fly Fishers Guide to Alaska" by Scott Haugen are two must haves. For rod/reel, a 5 wt would make a great first rod. Good for grayling and trout, perhaps pinks too. If you get into it, you could later add an 8 wt set up for salmon. A 5 and 8 wt will cover MANY fishing situations. I will make a suggestion below. Look at the 9 foot 5 wt 4 piece rod/reel combo. Comes with reel, line and backing for $109 (on sale). Go to a local fly shop and get some flies (purple esl with pink heads), fly box, leaders, and such and you would be ready to fish in 72 hours. Cabelas 2nd day delivery is fast. In Alaska, you should have it in 3 days. I was getting packages to Nome in 3 days from Cabelas with 2nd day shipping. Sounds like time is precious now. Get out and fish while you can and thank you for your service to our country. Good luck!

    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...457&hasJS=true
    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.

  7. #7

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    For trout/grayling 4 piece 5wt. is a great choice. If it was only for grayling I love my 3 weight. For a salmon rod I would go with 8wt. It gives you enough backbone to fight the bigger salmon/steelhead (Kings are a diff. story), also great for tropical for BONES! If you are in this for the long haul consider buying a rod with a lifetime warranty. I know I have used my warranty twice in the last 10 years, so well worth it in my opinion.

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    Default Salmon rods

    A 7 or 8 wt with an Okuma Integrity reel is a good inexpensive starting rig for salmon.

    I've bought a number of inexpensive rods from Sierra Outfitters and off Ebay for $25 - $50 that work great for salmon. I was using a cheap 7 wt Tues. and Wed. in the Russian and Kenai and was able to land many pretty big reds - some snagged -in swift water. You can pick up some nice Chinese rods for less that the replacement fee on the more expensive name brand rods.

    The curse of heavier rods - even an 8 wt. - is that they are harder to flip and the extra stiffness works against you.

    I use 40 lb. monofilament instead of fly line for salmon. It sinks much quicker and is much cheaper than any fly line.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Sapper, I two words for you pal...Garage Sale

    Seriously don't go and drop a wad of cash. Pleasant flyfishing can be had on the cheap without resorting to cheap gear.

    You need a rod with a mdium-fast action, a reel, some line plus backing), a leader and a few flies. You need to learn a couple of knots--leader knot or whip finish (or you can buy leader eyes) and the Blood Knot.

    Since you are in Fairbanks and will be fishing for grayling/trout locally the 5-6 wt is a good starting rod. Since they're popular you can probably pick one up at a PSC sale already rigged. Buying flyline is relatively easy--the lines are matched to rod weights. For a beginner I'd recommend a Weight Forward Floating line. For grayling a 6-7 foot leader of 4lb mono with a 2lb tippet.

    Tie on some bead head nymphs and enjoy. Lots of nice Grayling streams in the Fairbanks area.

    For salmon you'd be better served with a 9 foot 8-9 wt rod.

  10. #10

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    ..............and your life will never be the same. What Eric said. A garage sale or Craig's list should get you going. Good luck on your venture into the realm of fly fishing.

  11. #11
    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
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    Thanks to all that replied. I picked up a 6 wt rod and reel combo and set it up and went fishing with it. Caught my first fish on my own fly pole, about a 8 inch grayling on a No. 16 mosquito fly. Just the beginning...


    Sapper 2-6

  12. #12

    Default Hey Sapper...

    I have nothing to add on the flyfishing issue (I am a complete novice, never even seen a grayling yet!), but thanks to both you & your Commander.
    Jim

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    Member Sapper 27's Avatar
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    Default The Dark Side

    So I see you've decided to join the dark side...excellent. I think I already told you that I bought the TFO combo @ Sportsmans. I picked up the 8/9 for Salmon and for the Metalheads to be slayed when I make it to Yakutat. A 5 wt. should be really good for Grayling. Hit up the Chena just upstream from the Baily Bridge on post. I caught some nice Grayling there. I tried my luck today for Bass...no luck.

    Former 2-7
    Now known simply as Mr. J

  14. #14
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Sapper 2-6,

    You are wise to expand on tacics and techniques in pursuit of the salmonoids.

    Do not forget your past as you move into the present. There will be a time when traditional casting methods work better than a fly rod. Your new fly rod will provide you with more opportunity at certain times. Much like differences between when to use your the light saber or a blaster or using the Force.

    Catch fish and share your experience and you will be rewarded well.

    Fish ON!! TSS
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    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
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    Update,

    Caught 3 bows today in a pond on post. Various flies used. Had many hit the fly on the surface with no hookup. Wondering if this is common or is the hook to small to get a hookup or etc???

    Sapper 2-6

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    Member 9601's Avatar
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    I have not dry-fly fished here in Alaska yet, but when I used to fish Idaho the trout missed the fly quite often. I would see the take, raise my rod tip to set the hook and nothing. If they're rising to your fly then you're doing something right.

  17. #17
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapper 2-6 View Post
    Update,

    Caught 3 bows today in a pond on post. Various flies used. Had many hit the fly on the surface with no hookup. Wondering if this is common or is the hook to small to get a hookup or etc???

    Sapper 2-6
    You might have a bit too much slack in the line. if you try to keep it fairly straight, the hookset will be quicker and you shouldn't miss as many. Just lift the rod tip--don't try to yank 'm out of the water though.

  18. #18
    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    I'm going to make the leap to fly fishing!
    Be careful, its a deep pool, that I waded into myself last year. But hey, the water warm. Been loving every since and have a ton to learn.

    Take a look at alaskaflyfish.net its a wealth of info.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapper 2-6 View Post
    . However we leave for Iraq in 3 weeks so I just want a setup to fish for grayling and trout.
    Sapper 2-6
    Sorry for bringing an old post back to life, but I thought I'd pass this on to you. There's a fly fishing club in Baghdad if you happen by there.

    http://www.baghdadflyfishing.com/

  20. #20
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapper 2-6 View Post
    Update,

    Caught 3 bows today in a pond on post. Various flies used. Had many hit the fly on the surface with no hookup. Wondering if this is common or is the hook to small to get a hookup or etc???

    Sapper 2-6
    in england they say "god save the queen" before they set the hook with a dry fly, usually a good idea
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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