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Thread: Upper Chena Grayling

  1. #1
    Member AF EOD's Avatar
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    Default Upper Chena Grayling

    Couldn't make it south to catch a king so I opted for a late evening trip up the Chena Sunday night. To sum it up in one word...EPIC! A buddy and I caught between 60 and 70 (best guess...who knows when it's crazy like that??). About a dozen of them were between 16-18 inches, with one monster stretching the tape at 20". Good news: they've made it up to the skinny water that I love to fish around mile 50. The majority of fish were caught around mile 33, though. Soon those fish will push up as well. Panther Martins (yellow body, red dots/silver blade, #6) were the ticket...remember single hook. I somehow managed to forget my fly rod (many four letter words were uttered) and I was kicking myself the whole time...luckily I had the spinning gear hidden behind the seat for "emergencies". On past trips the best flies were the copper john and elk hair caddis or mosquito. Water conditions were PERFECT. Going again tonight...with my fly rod.

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    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    Wow! Thanks for the report. I've never fished to much up the Hot Springs road, I may have to go up there and try my luck.

    Thanks for the report!

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


    http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

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    Default Check flow rates

    http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/ahps2/hydr...ew=1,1,1,1,1,1


    Here is the link I use to verify how much water is flowing up there. It would suck to make an hour drive and find the water milky. It's been my experience that anything below 16.5 is usually fishable, and anything below 16 gets really nice. Man, that water is NICE right now...I was eyeballing grayling at the bottom of 7 foot deep pools. With the forecast heatwave coming this week, it might try to sneak back up if there is any significant snow/ice left to melt in the drainage system. Who knows?

  4. #4

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    well if you need a fly fishn partner give me a shout. I normally fish that area but havent the last few years due to guide commitments...been itching to get back up that way. For the record I know the area well so I dont need new areas, but good company is always welcomed!

    And thanks for the link...I know all to well what you mean, getting up there and finding dirty water ugg!

    I also work on eielson, for ces as a civilian.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the info and the report. I have been in Fairbanks for 3 years (military) and have not caught a grayling yet (spent all my time driving to catch Salmon). If you need a partner on an upcoming outing let me know.

  6. #6
    Member AK20's Avatar
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    Default

    Went up there today and man was is good. The fish were slamming the flies today, I had more than a few come all the way out of the water hitting drys...of course most just sipped them off the surface like usual but those other few...wheeeew! Also threw some spoons for the hell of it, did pretty well with those as well. Weather was hot like the fishing, worked between 31 and 43 mile...oh and like the OP caddis, skeeters, and gnats seemed to work well.

    Back to the slope tomorrow

  7. #7
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    Default

    were you guys just driving up there and stopping along the river crossings, or floating down? i guess either would work, regardless i need to get my butt over there and give it a whirl.
    sevenmag

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    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Default Chsr

    Hey guys,
    I've never spent much time on the hot springs road other than traveling. I do remember there being quite a few pullouts and a couple campgrounds, I'd like to take my 9 yr old up there and camp this Saturday and get him on some grayling. Any good campsites in these areas you're talking about fishing? I've got a slide-in so can park anywhere, I appreciate it.
    Cody

    Oh and do you think he'll need hip waders or is shore fishing feasible? I have some but they may be too small for him this year, wondering if I'll need to get him some new ones. Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Member AF EOD's Avatar
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    Default Fishing Spots

    It's tough to narrow down since every spot can/has produced for me. There is always the two stocked ponds as well...one at mile 48 and one a few miles before that...can't remember the mile marker on that one but it has a shot-up green ADFG stocked lake sign. Both lakes are on the right as you are going toward the hot springs. As you mentioned, there are MANY pullouts that can accomodate a truck/camper. One thing that I've noticed is that the further you go up the road, the fewer people you encounter. Once the fish make it up there (40 mile and above, and they have begun) you can take advantage of this. With the water as low as it is, it should be a pretty friendly environment for a 9 year old to cross the stream anywhere on the north fork (with Dad's assistance, of course). I would definitely recomend waders for him just to open up more options. Sorry I can't give you a specific but there are just so many options...do just a little exploring (bring your polarized glasses and you might spot some) and you will find them in no time. Certainly pull over and try any of the little braids/fingers/inlets of the river that you see as you drive up...they will hold in that small water as well as the main body of the river. Hope I helped somewhat...always good to see a young-un catch fish!

  10. #10
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I appreciate it ordinance disposal! That does in fact help, long as we can do some poking around and have a good chance to find something that's all I'm really looking for. Easy enough to move camp too when it's traveling around in the bed of the truck, I think he'll enjoy it. Thank you
    Cody

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    Member sevenmag's Avatar
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    grayling and trout from the chena river are strictly catch and release correct?

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    Default Catch & Release

    Roger...catch and release - single hook, artificial lure only. Just gotta clip the barbs off of any treble-hooked spinners or replace them with a single. It can be frustrating when the fish are few and far between...catch rate definitely drops. On the other hand, when there are many fish in a pool, it is very entertaining to watch them swing and miss, swing and miss as they literally fight over it! I was LMAO this last trip...

    Trout? I think they fall under general bag/season limits. 10 per day/possession. However, I've never heard of anyone catching any out of the Chena. I could be wrong, but I don't THINK the Chena supports a trout population...

  13. #13
    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=I could be wrong, but I don't THINK the Chena supports a trout population...[/QUOTE]

    Definitely Not....the only trout populations North of the Alaska Range occur in lakes, as far as I know. F&G released some Rainbow Trout into Piledriver Slough I believe, but I do not think there are any trout in the Chena. With the fishing pressure it recieves, I would bet that somebody would have caught one by now...

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


    http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

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    Default Chena Rainbows

    A few years back, fish and game considered trying to plant trout in the Chena and for whatever reason (assuming they decided they wouldn't make it through the winters) backed off on the plan. Wouldn't that be awesome? The Upper Chena is perfect trout water.

  15. #15
    Member bigcox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMac View Post
    A few years back, fish and game considered trying to plant trout in the Chena and for whatever reason (assuming they decided they wouldn't make it through the winters) backed off on the plan. Wouldn't that be awesome? The Upper Chena is perfect trout water.
    Yes, that would be pretty awesome! I hate driving at least 4 hours to get to a trout fishing stream. I wonder how it would effect the water environment if they did release them into the Chena.

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


    http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

  16. #16

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    personally I'd like to see them start stocking fish that has the potential to be something and get rid of those minisalmon they keep putting in....Instead of just dumping trout into lakes to make people feel good.

    The upper chena, I say leave it alone...the grayling fishing is too dang good. They've done well bringing it back even WITH all the crab*****ing going on about catch and release up there. personally I've loved it.

    And the burbot fishing here in town right now is pretty dang good too!

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