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Thread: Red Salmon: Is there a technique?

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    Member AlaskaIsCold's Avatar
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    Arrow Red Salmon: Is there a technique?

    After reading the post about the ignorant fishers down in the Kenai area especially the parts that were talking about unlawfully hooked reds (in the tail or back) I was wondering what techniques you use for snagging the reds? People tell me that they don't actually feed when they are swimming up the river so you have to snag the hook in their mouths as the jig or fly drifts by. So how do you manage to do that? I would think that the refraction would make aiming pretty much impossible.

    I went fishing down there about a week ago and I either couldn't get the hook down deep enough to reach them or I couldn't snag them at the right point so when I brought them in I had to unhook them and let them go. I am going to go down there again if the 2nd run is strong, and I would like to know how you guys catch them. Maybe if I know the proper technique I could keep a few that I land.

    --Chris
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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default

    It's called "flossing" and "lining" among other things....you aren't so much trying to snag the hook in their mouth, as get the line between your weight and the hook to drift into their mouth. Then the current and/or the fish moving up stream and/or you pulling the line tight will force the hook in as the line is essentially dragged through their mouth.

    It ain't pretty, but some people are WAY better then others at this. I am not one of them.....

  3. #3

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaIsCold View Post
    After reading the post about the ignorant fishers down in the Kenai area especially the parts that were talking about unlawfully hooked reds (in the tail or back) I was wondering what techniques you use for snagging the reds? People tell me that they don't actually feed when they are swimming up the river so you have to snag the hook in their mouths as the jig or fly drifts by. So how do you manage to do that? I would think that the refraction would make aiming pretty much impossible.

    I went fishing down there about a week ago and I either couldn't get the hook down deep enough to reach them or I couldn't snag them at the right point so when I brought them in I had to unhook them and let them go. I am going to go down there again if the 2nd run is strong, and I would like to know how you guys catch them. Maybe if I know the proper technique I could keep a few that I land.

    --Chris
    Not sure how to go about explaining to someone how to legally snag a red. But....hit up the archives and do a search on Flossing. There has been so much written on this, the is no way I could approach repeating it. Basically, think bottom, think sideways, think sparse fly material or yarn and think very sharp hooks. Days get shorter now and from what I have seen, reds bite better at night. Last couple of years, the run has been late enough to run into August, few good hours of fishing from midnight to four AM.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    in short? Snag them... in or near the mouth...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Maybe we need a few members to put some videos together demonstrating their technique. We could make it a sticky, or perhaps add an entirely new forum devoted to various techniques for the variety of species we have. I'll put something on film next time I'm chasing reds - probably in late July sometime.

  6. #6
    Member ak_sierra's Avatar
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    Talking The secret is

    Practice practice practice practice practice

  7. #7

    Default

    I can try to shoot a quick video if I end up going to the Russian tomorrow. Can't decide if I want to try to brave the wave of displaced king fishermen.

    I'm definitely no expert in the practice but its pretty straightforward in my opinion. Basically once you get your line weighted right you just let it drift downstream and your line will go in the fish's mouth and you will feel it one it happens once or twice and you know the feeling. Then all you have to do is jerk your rod and set the hook. Before long you will be able to tell the difference between your line hitting the mouth or glancing off the body. Until you really get it down you're better off not aiming at a particular fish as you are more likely to foul hook it as a beginner. Best I can explain or say without a video/pictures to illustrate.

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    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    Post Concur...

    Quote Originally Posted by Twist View Post
    Until you really get it down you're better off not aiming at a particular fish as you are more likely to foul hook it as a beginner. Best I can explain or say without a video/pictures to illustrate.
    I hear a lot of folks talk about how much they enjoy sight fishing, but it's harder than it looks.

    I do better when I just focus on my technique and not try to target specific fish. I'm sure everyone has their own personal take on what works best, but here's a quick primer on the method that I've been successful with...

    I like a fairly long leader -- six feet or more -- since I figure more line increases my chances of swinging it into a fish's mouth. I also prefer flexible "slinky" weights and make my own.

    "Cast" upriver at a 45 degree angle. There should be enough weight on the rig to feel bottom about the time it passes directly in front of you on a downstream drift.

    At that point, lower the rod tip to just above the water's surface and keep a tight line while "following" the path of the rig with the rod tip as it continues downriver.

    You should feel the weight tapping bottom every few feet or so. If not, add more lead. The salmon tend to hug the river bottom and the fly needs to be in that "fish zone." On the downstream drift, you should feel the "tap...tap...tap..." of the weight as it bounces along the rocky streambed.

    In contrast, the sensation of a hookup tends to be a sudden "TUG!" or pause in the drift -- signaling a salmon on the line. After a few casts, it's fairly easy to figure out where the rocks are located and what they feel like compared to a fish.

    If your fly remains unscathed as it nears the end of the drift, slowly pull the line across the current in a smooth sweeping motion in preparation to make another "flip" upriver. Often times, fish will be hooked at this point. The key is keeping the line perpendicular to the current.

    There are a number of subtleties associated with this technique that are hard to describe here and can be best learned on the river. Hopefully though, this advice can get you pointed in the right direction.

    Fish on!

  9. #9
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    Default 10-2 or 2-10

    Long lead is key, 3-6 ft based on current. You will kknow if you have it set right by the people around you. Fish like the title based on current. You should feel the bottom with your rod. Key is not to get into a hookset at the end of your drift. Pull the line through the water not yank. With reds, they are not that far out in front of you and as stated below will normally be flossed at the end of the drift. Once the hook gets to the mouth is when you will suddenly feel the fish, that is when the hook set should take place. I actually set the hook during the fight when I figure it is in a good place, usually foul hooked fish will take off and fish in the mouth will maintain there position. When you feel a fish take off, stop your line and keep your pole pointed at the fish to pull the hook and try again. If the river is crowded, do not go a step past your neighbors, in fact stay a couple feet short. You want your fly to come out near them at a safe distance not to hookk them.
    "No man who refuses to bear arms in defense of his nation can give a sound reason why he should be allowed to live in a free country" T. Roosevelt

  10. #10
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    Have never fished reds before am looking forward to trying next year. Need recommendation for rod and reel. Also need some help on what to use for bank fishing kings rod ect. Do not want to hook something and be under gunned and be a pain in the a-- to others around me. Have been fortunate enough to make it to your great state three other times. Have always fished silvers and halibut. Look forward to this forum every day for the tips and info also to keep me stoked until next year.

  11. #11
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    Default one more thing to think about

    you aren't "casting", you're flipping. The Kenai reds typically swim very close to the shore line. If you're knee deep in the water, you should try to drift your fly over your toes. You should only be trying to flip 12' - 15' of line. As stated you flip at a 45* upstream and generally pull out at 45* downstream, to flip up. A lot depends on how close your neighboring fishermen are. You'll need to acheive some sort of rythem with the fellow immeaditely upstream of you when combat fishing. You need to keep your fly in the water & on the bottom. You need to follow the line with your rod tip. If the line stops, set the hook. Sometimes you snag bottom; sometimes you hook a tail or dorsal & sometimes you'll hook em in the mouth. When the fish jumps, you may see where it's hooked. If hooked in the body, point the tip of the rod at the fish & break it off. This will be less stressful for the fish, less stressful for nearby anglers and get you fishing for a legal fish quicker.
    Gary

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    i wont pretend to be an expert, but i have the process down pretty well. Dont remember what theya re called, but you can find the brass tri swivels with surgical tubing attached and the rolled lead. trial and error is the best bet for getting the weight just right, but tapping across the bottom lightly is the desired feel.

    keep a length of line out and like others mention, flipping it upstream to 45 to 60 * works well.

    try not to let the line get much past perpendicular as you are slowly pulling the line towards shore or "through" the area in fron of you that you are fishing.

    once you get the feel, a "bite" will feel like you have hung up and will generally start to run but I have had some just hold. As the fish begins to run, I set the hook. if you wait until then to do so, you will have more solid in the mouth hook ups.

    most folks try to get out as far as possible on the flip, that is area dependent also. more times than not, i am pulling fish off of people's feet or almost right in front of them. good luck

  13. #13
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    Default a couple of other factors

    Over the years I've learned that using a heavier weight leader will avoid a lot of snags. I use 25# or 30# test and seldom foul hook a fish. Dropping to a lighter weight hooks more fish but a lot more of them are snagged. Check the next fish you catch that already has one or more hooks enbedded in it. Odds are the line attached is fairly light test or missing where it broke off.

    The second factor is location. 10 or 20 feet up or down the river can make a big difference in sucess. Check out your location very early or late in the year when the river is low and you can note the location of holes and other spots where the fish pause for a rest.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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  14. #14
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    Default tips fore catching more reds

    1 keep youre hook sticky sharp 2 take a few steps back if youre in the water hopefuly everybody near you will stay out of the water if you can get everybody to back up you will all catch more fish. 3 use just enough weight to feel it tap the bottom a couple of times per flip. 4 use florocarbon leader its stiff and stays straight start with 5 feet and ajust for the hole youre fishing in. to ajust the leader I shorten it if Im snaging fish high in the back and lengthen the leader if im hooking fish low in the belly .5 tie youre own flysfor the lower river use a gamagatsu 3/0 spinerbait hook wrap the shank with red cheniel and use red flashbooto make a skirt. 6 make a stringer use a caribeiner so you can quickly hook youre fish to to youre stringer and get back to fishing while the school is still moving past you if you have to untie youre stringer for every fish you waste lots of time. 7 remove 15 yards from youre main line every day to keep youre line fresh also if youre leader gets rough replace it.

  15. #15
    Member trochilids's Avatar
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    Default Good weight, flies float...

    HI folks,

    A related question -- I've learned the lesson on adjusting the weight to tap the bottom a few times as the line drifts in front of you, but I can see the fly floating much higher in the water column, being pulled downstream by the weight. Not until the end of the drift does the fly tend to swing perpendicular to the bank, and in stiff current the weight rises as the line tightens more and the fly never really gets low enough, it appears. I'm using the WalMart Russian River flies. Are they to buoyant?
    Palmer, Alaska
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  16. #16
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    Default hooks

    Gama makes a specific hook pattern they sell as the "Russian River". I've used this hook and the similar Mustad with good sucess.

    I prefer the Mustad hooks as they have a bigger eye to thread my yarn through and a bigger barb. I do have to sharpened the Mustad hooks however.

    If the fishing is slow and you spend a lot of time flipping a fly rod is a big advantage. The longer rod and generally better feel make flipping easier and less tiring. Get a fly reel with a good drag- the Okuma Intergity and Helios are hard to beat for the money.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Default

    if i am using coho flies, i tend to thin them out or cut the bundle down to less than half. less bouyancy so gets to the bottom quicker.

    you may also have to adjust the amount of wieght or the leader length you are using.


    Quote Originally Posted by trochilids View Post
    HI folks,

    A related question -- I've learned the lesson on adjusting the weight to tap the bottom a few times as the line drifts in front of you, but I can see the fly floating much higher in the water column, being pulled downstream by the weight. Not until the end of the drift does the fly tend to swing perpendicular to the bank, and in stiff current the weight rises as the line tightens more and the fly never really gets low enough, it appears. I'm using the WalMart Russian River flies. Are they to buoyant?

  18. #18
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Default for reds

    We use a 50 fathom gillnet June-July for reds and for kings and silvers we troll.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
    www.kodiakcombos.com

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trochilids View Post
    HI folks,

    A related question -- I've learned the lesson on adjusting the weight to tap the bottom a few times as the line drifts in front of you, but I can see the fly floating much higher in the water column, being pulled downstream by the weight. Not until the end of the drift does the fly tend to swing perpendicular to the bank, and in stiff current the weight rises as the line tightens more and the fly never really gets low enough, it appears. I'm using the WalMart Russian River flies. Are they to buoyant?
    I started putting a small splitshot(dont remember the size but its very small) right above the fly the last few times out. This seems to increase my catch rate. I dont think it would be helpful with a shorter leader, but I tend to use a 6-7 ft leader and have great results. Anyone else tried this?

  20. #20

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by jsonn View Post
    I started putting a small splitshot(dont remember the size but its very small) right above the fly the last few times out.

    This seems to increase my catch rate.

    Anyone else tried this?
    Errrrr.
    No
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