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Thread: Finally my dream is coming true!

  1. #1

    Default Finally my dream is coming true!

    Well i just booked my first Alaska fly fishing trip for late August of this year. My family actually lived in Eagle River for a few years when I was young, until we moved here to Utah. I've been waiting my whole life to return, and I am beside myself I'm so excited. Looks like we'll be fishing the Kenai a little (of course), the Kasilof, Anchor, and probably a few others. My question for you guys is rod weight for that time of year. I have a 5 wt. TFO Pro I'll be bringing for the Rainbows and Dollies. And from what I've learned here, I think I am going to buy a 7 wt. TFO for the silvers, steelhead, and maybe some Reds if they're still around. Do you guys think those 2 rods should take care of me during that time? And if you guys could, post some pics of your good rainbows and Dollies, etc. Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Your 5 and 7 wts will be fine for rainbows and dollies. The reds in late august will be pretty blush but you could get into a chromer or two. IMO the 7wt is a bit light for silvers. I good 2nd run kenai red gives my 8wt pretty much all it can handle. I have hooked and landed silvers on my 5 6 and 7 but it is a strain on the rod for sure. Ill post a couple of pics and you can go to my profile and photo album and see more pics of june and I plus on the fishing thread i posted a couple of videos of us that i made yesterday. It is under A video collage of june and i or something along those lines. good luck and have fun
    Last edited by alaskachuck; 01-11-2009 at 13:16.
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Good Luck

    You'll get as many opinions on this as there are members on this forum, but IMO a 5wt is just a little light for most Upper Kenai Fishing. I like my fast-action 6wt for most of my upper river fishing, but I am quick to jump in the boat and give chase when I hook a big fish with it. I'll attach a picture of my biggest rainbow. I caught her on my 6wt, but we did chase her around a bit in the drift boat before finally landing her on a gravel bar. I have landed some nice 24+ inch fish just walking them down gravel bars as well, but I have also lost many to the strong current in the mid channel of the river.

    A 7wt will work o.k. for silvers and steelhead, but I would go-up to an 8wt myself. But, as I've said before on other posts, I just like even numbers.

    With your 5wt, just take it easy, fish the side channels as much as possible and try to land the fish as quickly as you can. They will be tired when you get them in with that rod. For fishing the mainstem, I would leave the 5 in the boat and use your 7 or 8. The current is smokin' in many places and the 5 just won't be enough rod to land a big fish in a reasonable amount of time. Lactic acid build-up from long fights does kill trout.

    Late August is the perfect time to come and I'm sure you'll have a blast.

    Good luck.

    Here are a couple of nice bows.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC01827.jpg   DSC03929.jpg  

  5. #5
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Scott those fat butts need to go on the biggest loser. Good god they were eating good in the neighborhood for sure. I am in total agreement with you on the 8 for silvers. I do like to fish a lighter rod than you (our 8'6 5 wts for bows) but the one thing we did miss on is alot of June and I's fishing is down the side braids too. We like you have chased many a fish down the river to keep them from getting over worked. You and i and june have to hook up this fall and chase hogzillas together one day. The one thing we both did this year was when the water was ripping in mid september is use on 6 and 7wts. When it dropped later in the month we downsized to our 5's. Im glad it was clear this fall because it sure was ripping like it was july not september for sure
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  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I would get an 8 wt for silvers.

    Below are some pics for you. Some small dollies and a silver...















































    .
    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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    Thanks for your responses guys. Looks like I should go ahead and leave my 5 wt. at camp when heading to the Kenai, and larger rivers. The last thing I want to have happen is work a fish to death. And like you guys, I'm all about working downstream with the fish, instead of trying to horse em back through the current. Awesome pics too. Keep them coming, I Love it! I really want to catch a few Dollies, especially if they look the ones you posted. Thanks guys.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Your TFO will hold its own with big rainbows if your drag is good and you use heavy tippet. My biggest rainbows have both come on the 5, the 7 sure makes it nice, but you'll get bored with the many 16 inchers around.

    I bet you'll find dollies on an uber secerate creek that flows in the kenai lake i bet with enough maps you can figure it out I mean nobody knows about it even though the highway crosses it.

    Also the anchor can be pretty good...




    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9
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    The mistake most people make is thinking of your fly rod mainly as a tool to land fish, but in reality its main purpose is to be an effective tool in presenting the fly to the fish. A light rod will land any size fish if done right, but a light rod won't have the ability to cast, mend, etc. in a way that is necessary to be most effective. In other words, a 5 weight is plenty or rod for landing big rainbows, but not usually enough rod to cast a weighted nymph/indicator rig, or weighted streamer, in the wind. It can be done, but not with as much ease as say a fast action 9'6" 6 or 7 weight, which is what I would go with for trout. My favorite rod is my 9'6" 6 weight Loomis GL3, but there are many other rods that will get the job done as well. An 8 weight for silvers and reds would also be beneficial as compared to a 7, but it really depends upon where you'll be fishing.
    I'd go with a 6 and an 8 weight, but maybe that's just me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails rainbow pic.jpg   Big bow coburn 005.jpg  
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  10. #10
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default We'll have to agree to disagree

    I think you and I agree on most of this Mark. I too think a 6 and an 8 are the best two rods for the upper Kenai. Yes, in the right conditions, you can play any size trout with a lighter rod. I landed an 8 lb rainbow a few years ago in an unnamed lake on a size 18 adams with a medium action 4 wt, but I still argue that in heavy current it is irresponsible to use a rod that doesn't have the backbone to land the fish quickly. IMO a 5wt is borderline for the Kenai. It's perfect for many of the smaller trout but a big fish in heavy current will be tough, hence my suggestion to bring the 5wt, but not to use it in the main channel. Most of the side channels have slower current and more eddies to land a fish-in and although there are some hogs hiding in the shallow water in these channels, in my experience, most of the fish average a bit smaller.

    I usually fish most of the day with my Sage 6wt RPL+ but I always bring an 8wt for swinging streamers along the banks and in the deeper runs of the main river and the odd silver I may want to chase.

    Randall, you will likely catch good numbers of both rainbows and dollies in the upper Kenai and as another poster mentioned, there are other small streams between Soldotna and Seward that are worth fishing and don't get near the pressure the Kenai does.

    I would also recommend enlisting the services of a guide for a day on the Kenai, or at least renting a raft to float the river on your own. Fishing the Kenai from the banks, if you don't know exactly where to go, can be extremely frustrating and time consuming.

    Here's a nice shot of an upper Kenai Dolly and a gorgeous lower peninsula steelhead. (remember, you're not supposed to remove these beauties from the water, even for pictures!)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_3215.jpg   IMG_3239.jpg  

  11. #11
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Which ones Chuck?

    Scott those fat butts need to go on the biggest loser.
    BTW Chuck, you were just talking about the fish right???!! hahahahaha!

  12. #12

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    Thanks again for your opinions, and picturesall of you have some good info. It's awesome to have access to you guys being that you live and fish there daily. I wish I had the extra cash to buy a 6 and an 8 wt, but I think my wife would kill me. So I think I'll compromise with a 7wt. Like I said, we'll be there for 7 days, and will probably only fish the Kenai a day or two. I think most our fishing will be on Kasilof, Anchor, Swanson, and few other smaller rivers (in comparison to the Kenai.) Do you guys think this is a good idea? I'd hate to buy an 8 wt. and be over kill for alot of the fish, and way under with a 5. Thanks also for the tip on those smallers creeks for Dollies and Rainbows. What I'd really like to do is catch one respectable Rainbow, Dollie, Steelhead, and Silver. Then do a recreation of each for my basement man cave. I have an Uncle that does AMAZING hand carved/painted fish. One other thing I though I'd mention is that if I do feel like the 7 isn't handling those silver like I want, our guide said he has a ton of good rods we can use. My guide will be Rick Serena. Do you guys know Him? He sounds like a real knowledgeable guide.

  13. #13
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    The one thing we all want from you is pictures. So remember to post pics for us when your trip is over. We love to see the fish our friends and members catch.


    Hey Scott. There were fish in those pictures????????? LOL back at ya buddy
    Last edited by alaskachuck; 01-07-2009 at 16:25. Reason: to mess with scott
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  14. #14

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    Go with an 8wt for salmon.

    For the upper Kenai you can get by with a 5wt for trout/dollies. But, a 7 or 8 might be a better rod for someone not too familiar or experienced with the river. I definetely missed a few nice fish this fall because I was using my 5wt. You wouldn't want to miss that nice 25-30 incher.

    An 8wt would be a good all around rod for trout, dollies, and salmon below Skilak. A 7 is a little light for the salmon and an 8 sure is nice to have for trout over 25". In that portion of the Kenai I don't even put the 5wt in the boat. Just the, 7&8.

    I fish mostly a 7wt for rainbows/dollies all over the Kenai and use my 8wt for salmon. It's also nice to have for back up and to change up bead/fly. Both of the fish in the pics were caught on my 7. Definetely would not have had much of a chance with my 5wt on them.

    It would also be worth doing a guided trip for atleast one day. Hope you have a nice trip!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chad4.jpg   034.jpg  

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    Hi
    This pictures are really great one i love to do so but its really a tough job .Keep it up Guys .




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  16. #16

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    Well guys I'm going to take your advice on the 8 weight rod for Salmon and trout on the Kenai. I might be a little heavy for some of the trout, but if I do lock into a good one, it sounds like I'll want it. Between talking to you guys and my guide it sounds like an eight will be best for the silvers, reds and steelhead. Especially because he said were going to be catching some BIG steelhead. Whats your guys preference between a 9' or 9'6" rod?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by RandallT View Post
    Whats your guys preference between a 9' or 9'6" rod?
    At least a 9.5' and would even consider a 10 footer. I now use a 9.5' in my 7wt and looking at getting a new 10' 7wt this spring. I have a drift boat so the 10' will come handy there and will allow me to cover just a little more water from the gravel bars.

  18. #18
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Randy I sent you a private message
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  19. #19
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default I like a 9 footer

    To be honest, I've casted a couple of 9'6 and 10 ft rods at Worldwide Anglers but I've never fished one. I've heard the extra length can really be an advantage in some instances, but all of my rods are 9 footers and they work great. I guess I do have one 7 1/2 for small, brushy streams, but all the rest are 9's. I'm not sure it makes that big a difference. The action and line weight are most important IMO. I wouldn't pass-up a good deal on a rod that casts well just to get the extra 6 inches.

    If you're buying from a "real" fly shop, I always recommend casting the rod in the parking lot or a casting lawn (if they have one) before spending your hard-earned money. Many shops even have demo rods they'll let you take to the river to try before you buy. This is also a good option for a less expensive rod. After the current model is discontinued, you can sometimes buy these slightly used demo rods for a fraction of the cost of a new one. In my experience, the warranty still stands on these rods as well. I don't know if all manufacturers will stand behind the demos, but I know I've never had Sage ask questions on any of the warranty repairs I've had done. That's the biggest reason nearly all of my rods are from Sage.

    Anyway, as I've said in other posts, not every fast-action 9'6 8wt will cast the same. You might like one model over another, even from the same manufacturer.

    Cast the rod first, if at all possible.

  20. #20
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    For rod length, be sure to take Scott's advice. Cast the rod before you buy. It may surprise you at how differently a 9' or 10' rod casts. Most my rods are 9' (as are 70% of the ones made), but I have a 4 wt that is 8.5' and two seven wts that are 10'. I find the 8.5' very easy to cast, yet the 10' are a bit tricky. All this is compared to my normal preference of 9'. The length of the rod, and the action of course, will effect your timing. Proper timing is what makes a "good" or "bad" cast, irregardless of the rod. The problem I found was that the timing needed for a 10' med/fast rod was drastically different than the timing needed for an 8.5' or 9' fast action rod. So much so that I left the 10 footers in their tubes most of the 13 day float trip I had taken them on. Resorting to my faster action 6 wt which was a 9'. Long story short, you should not run out and buy a 9.5' or 10' rod because some guy on a forum suggested it. You may be opening a can of worms in doing so. Give some real consideration to what benefits/drawbacks a 10' rod would offer, then cast some 9' and 10' rods, then decide which route is most appropriate for your intended usage.
    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.

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