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Thread: How early to start nymphing?

  1. #1
    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Default How early to start nymphing?

    Let me lay it down...Last year was my first year flyfishing with limited success. I got the cast down pretty well and can present a fly but need more practice. I want to concentrate on fly fishing this year and get good at it. I fish a lot on the parks highway streams and was wondering how early I can get out. Can I catch fish right after ice out or will I have to wait until it warms up a little? I fished a little in April last year with no success. What flies work this early? Thanks for the advice in advance
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

  2. #2
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    I've only fished Kenai Peninsula streams in the spring, and I have yet to have an "epic day" that time of year. I have caught some fish in April and May, prior to the closure, but it's hit or miss. I have caught fish in the spring on everything from nymphs to streamers to beads and even flesh flies. I caught several fish in one small area on the upper Kenai a couple of years ago on opening day on a flesh fly. (It was well above the Russian confluence too, so I don't think it was in anticipation of the combat fillet buffet.) Go figure...I guess it's just a conditioned response, or maybe there was still some flesh floating down river from a late thaw that year, I can't remember, but I thought it was strange that flesh was the ticket.

    I wish you the best of luck "getting good" at fly-fishing this year as well. I've been at it for around twenty years and I consider myself to be an adequate fly-fisherman, at best, most days. I'm not sure anyone ever really gets good at it, but it's sure fun trying. I guess some guides, who dedicate every day of the season to being on the water can be considered good at it, but not even all of them get the award. There are a lot of variables to consider in this game. That's what keeps it interesting for me. If it were easy, I'd have given it up years ago!

    Anyway, welcome to the greatest way to spend too much of your time and all of your money.

    Fly-fishing is the key to happiness and spiritual enlightenment.

  3. #3
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    Default Early Nmypho's

    I usually wait until they are at least 18...... I think it's in the regs.

    Seriously though, you can fish after ice out, but it is generally slow. You will find most fish near the mouths of the rivers they feed into.. ie. where the Willow flows into the Susitna. I've found that faded flesh patterns or nymphs like a bead head pheasant work well. You need to look for good holding water or feeding lanes.
    Honestly, the valley lakes are usually better at this time, right at ice out. Some of the lakes hold very big trout. No flesh patterns on the lakes just nymphs or leeches/smolt patterns.
    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I was pondering the correct "verbage" for getting "good" at fly fishing. I am very experienced in all other techniques and I know this is the one type of fishing that NO ONE will EVER master. I search for techniques that will improve my skills. I just want to become skillful enough to be able to catch fish. It is one of my only passions in life...fishing. I want to become skilled in ALL aspects of the sport. I have studied and implemeted any and all techniques that sound like they produce fish. I love it, as all of us do on this forum. Any other tid bits of advice will be greatly appreciated. My #1 goal this season is to get all 5 species of pacific salmon on a fly rod, and be able to catch trout and grayling. I got all 5 on conventional tackle last year in about a month and a half. This year is solely dedicated to fly fishing. I am searching far and wide for tips, flies, and techniques that will inprove my chances. Sorry for the rambling, two growlers of rasberry wheat from moose's tooth have got me pondering the up-coming season and thinking about seasons past

    Tight Lines



    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsum View Post
    I've only fished Kenai Peninsula streams in the spring, and I have yet to have an "epic day" that time of year. I have caught some fish in April and May, prior to the closure, but it's hit or miss. I have caught fish in the spring on everything from nymphs to streamers to beads and even flesh flies. I caught several fish in one small area on the upper Kenai a couple of years ago on opening day on a flesh fly. (It was well above the Russian confluence too, so I don't think it was in anticipation of the combat fillet buffet.) Go figure...I guess it's just a conditioned response, or maybe there was still some flesh floating down river from a late thaw that year, I can't remember, but I thought it was strange that flesh was the ticket.

    I wish you the best of luck "getting good" at fly-fishing this year as well. I've been at it for around twenty years and I consider myself to be an adequate fly-fisherman, at best, most days. I'm not sure anyone ever really gets good at it, but it's sure fun trying. I guess some guides, who dedicate every day of the season to being on the water can be considered good at it, but not even all of them get the award. There are a lot of variables to consider in this game. That's what keeps it interesting for me. If it were easy, I'd have given it up years ago!

    Anyway, welcome to the greatest way to spend too much of your time and all of your money.

    Fly-fishing is the key to happiness and spiritual enlightenment.
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

  5. #5
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    lakes are great as soon as the ice goes out rivers are not so great. However early season its generally a better idea to get close to stream mouths and use sculpins or smolt. I've had some rediculous days up north in m ay but those days are few and far in between.

    The fish up north don't respond to nymphs as good as other places, although they might be worth a try, especially mid summer before the kings start spawning
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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