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Thread: Fly's on the Russian?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Fly's on the Russian?

    I was just looking at some of the regs for the Russian and saw that is was flies only. Since I'm not a fly fisherman in any sense of the word can you use some kind of fly set up on a spinner or baitcaster set up? Could you please explain. I saw where the regs said something about a weight at least 18" away from the fly. Why would that make any kind of difference? I was considering giving this a try on June 14th after maybe giving Ship creek a try on sunday morning. Any thoughts or input, as always is greatly appreciated

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    My first year fishing the Russian I used a spinner rod with the Russian River flies, its doable, though after moving to a fly rod I prefer it for sure.

    As for why its the rules I couldn't say but it is. Flies and specific flies to boot with weights 18 inches up the line. You don't cast down there, you flip.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    A quick low down...

    Red salmon feed on smaller critters (krill, plankton, etc) primarily in the ocean. As such, they're aren't as aggressive feeders as the other salmon when they return to the rivers to spawn. They've been nicknamed "shy salmon." They will occasionally take a fly or lure, but it's not that common, and on pressured systems like the Russian River it's pretty darn rare.

    People catch reds by "lining" or "flossing" them. Basically you flip cast upstream with a fly approximately 2 to 5 feet above a sinker. The sinker and fly drift downstream (there's an art to slowly pulling the line to keep the line between the sinker and fly level with the bottom of the river) and the line ends up in the mouth of a salmon. When the fly hits the fish's mouth, you feel a weight or resistance, set the hook, and fish on!

    Many many people fish for reds in the "fly fishing only" waters with spinning gear and baitcasting gear. All you need to be legal is a fly on the end of your line. The fly has to have a hook gap less than 3/8 of an inch. Most people use "russian river flies" or "coho flies" which are just big bucktail streamers tied on a heavy streamer hook with 3/8" hook gap. You can pick up these flies cheap (couple for a dollar) just about anywhere in town.

    The reg of 18", in my opinion, is to keep people from too easily snagging fish in shallow water, but don't know for sure. Maybe someone else can chip in on that.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    a final note... if you decide to go, take ten or fifteen minutes when you get there and watch how other people are doing it. trust me, there will be other people there. ask questions - most people are happy to give you a tip or two. you'll get an idea of the rhythm and then it's just getting the touch and hooking your first fish.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Member slimm's Avatar
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    Wyo2AK did a great job of explaining the basics..
    I will add this,, Never go anywhere near the combat zone without some eye protection,
    it just ain't worth it.. also wear a hat or a hoodie..
    When you hook up yell fish on and the folks around you should stop and let you get your fish in, as you should for them..
    Also when you hear fish on give lots of room and don't put yourself in line with a flying weight or flie if they happen to loose the fish..
    Be courteous and help folks when you can and they will do the same for you...
    Lots of folks hate the combat zone,, but i think its a great time.. Just relax and take it all in, it's pretty cool..

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimm View Post
    Wyo2AK did a great job of explaining the basics..
    I will add this,, Never go anywhere near the combat zone without some eye protection,
    it just ain't worth it.. also wear a hat or a hoodie..
    When you hook up yell fish on and the folks around you should stop and let you get your fish in, as you should for them..
    Also when you hear fish on give lots of room and don't put yourself in line with a flying weight or flie if they happen to loose the fish..
    Be courteous and help folks when you can and they will do the same for you...
    Lots of folks hate the combat zone,, but i think its a great time.. Just relax and take it all in, it's pretty cool..

    And dont hook chuck in the head even if your and Idaho fan
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member slimm's Avatar
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    Red face

    Half a million folks on the river and i had to go and hook up on Chucks noggin..

    I will say this though he put up a pretty good fight, stressed the ol Fenwick to the max,
    dang near spooled me but i turned him just before he made it to the trees.
    I was just gittin ready to bonk him and steal his beer , but he was way to fast with the pliers. Last i seen of him he was trotting up the Russian with John mumbling something like it would be safer to deal with the Bears..

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    Default Into the zone...

    That confluence area is legendary. Easily, it is the most popular spot on the globe for higway acessability to angler imersion into fish migration. In all my research, I know of no other location that comes even close.

    You will hear busted lines snap like the crack of a rifle. You will observe wayward lead fly through the air propellled by the release of that tension.

    The line of anglers is legendary and it is growing. It never gets smaller and always gets larger. Somewhere in it is your spot, and with reason and sensibility you have earned the right to step right into it.

    I won't define behavior on this forum, but trust me, you'll see all types.
    Get in, get out, have fun, and move on.

    I invited Andrew Zimmern in to experience the zone in a coming summer just the other week.

    I have yet to hear from him...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  9. #9
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimm View Post
    Half a million folks on the river and i had to go and hook up on Chucks noggin..

    I will say this though he put up a pretty good fight, stressed the ol Fenwick to the max,
    dang near spooled me but i turned him just before he made it to the trees.
    I was just gittin ready to bonk him and steal his beer , but he was way to fast with the pliers. Last i seen of him he was trotting up the Russian with John mumbling something like it would be safer to deal with the Bears..
    Thats funny slimm. True and funny. good story. That was a good morning on the river last year
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    You can buy some yarn, the appropriate size hooks made by Gamakatsu, and with a salmon egg loop, you've got yourself a red killing rig. They are much sharper and stronger than any russian river fly, BUT I do not believe they are legal in a "Fly Fishing Only area". If your not in that area, I would try this rig.
    Last edited by pike_palace; 04-10-2010 at 10:40. Reason: eliminated confusion.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  11. #11

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    I agree with "pike_palace" below. I've caught as many reds on just "glow" orange and/or chartreuse yarn just tied to a hook. If you shop carefully you can get bare hooks with the proper 3/8" gap and just tie yourself a salmon loop leader (if you're unfamiliar with it do a Google search for "tie salmon loop" and you should get some hits).

    Generally most people seem to believe that reds don't actually "hit" your offering as Wyo2ak says. I have caught them on Pixies, but I sure wouldn't swear they weren't just opening their mouth just as the Pixie got close to it. And I have caught some while trolling. Some people actually target them that way out in saltwater using bare red hooks and flashers. The hook emulates the little krill that they normally feed on. But it's generally believed that when you catch a red somewhere like in the Kenai/Russian area you are just "snagging" them in the mouth. So it really doesn't matter what you have as a fly other than the "fly" material acts as a "cushion" or "buffer" for your hook to keep it in the current properly. I like the "glow" yarn because you can actually see what your "fly" is doing down there. Reds tend to hug the bank so you can catch them just 5 to 10 feet in front of you. I've had them hit my waders as I'm standing there in just a foot of water.

    Oh, and regarding the equipment. I prefer using a nice stout casting rod and reel when I'm in "combat" because it allows you to hook into your fish and get it in quickly without having to bother other people too much. If there's more room I LOVE using my fly rod instead, but it's kind of a situational sort of thing. I have found that the casting rod also is a lot easier to deal with in the "flipping" situation than a spinning reel, though I'm sure this is just a personal preference. You'll see all types, that's for sure.
    Last edited by Muttley Crew Fishing; 04-10-2010 at 12:37. Reason: Added some text.

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    Member John_Pennell's Avatar
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    Default One more tip

    When you pick someone to watch to learn how to do it, make sure you pick an angler who is catching fish. There are tons of folks down there who do not have a clue.

    Also, look for an angler who is catching fish legally -- not snagging them all over the body because he's doing the smokehouse jerk.

    If in doubt, ask questions. The majority of the anglers there will gladly share their knowledge.

    John
    "My rod and my reel, they comfort me."

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    You can buy some yarn, the appropriate size hooks made by Gamakatsu, and with a salmon egg loop, you've got yourself a red killing rig. They are much sharper and stronger than any russian river fly, BUT I do not believe they are legal in a "Fly Fishing Only area". If your not in that area, I would try this rig.
    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I would like clarification on the above. Doesn't "Yarn + hook = fly"??? Regardless of how it is tied??? I'd like to get a solid Yes/No on this one.

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    Member ksaye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlchris2 View Post
    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I would like clarification on the above. Doesn't "Yarn + hook = fly"??? Regardless of how it is tied??? I'd like to get a solid Yes/No on this one.

    I believe yarn secured to the hook via an egg loop does not constitute a fly under the states definition of an artificial fly. Since it was not tied under traditional fly tying methods.....thus, it is not a "permanent" shank to thread weld when using an egg loop. An egg loop is simply using your fishing line to secure the yarn to the hook.

    {{5 AAC 75.995
    (1) "artificial fly" means a fly that is constructed by common methods known as fly tying, including a dry fly, wet fly, and nymph, and that is free of bait as defined in (36) of this section; materials and chemicals designed and produced primarily to cause flies to float or sink may be used on artificial flies;}}

    However; if you tied (knotted) the yarn to the hook's shank; I guess that would be legit....?

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    Default one more "tip"

    If you'll be combat fishing use enough line. I'm talking 20-25lb test. And set the drag. A real ALaskan's idea of "ultra light" fishing is: a 4 foot long rod w/small reel & 20 feet of 60 lb test. Hook fish, throw rod tip over shoulder & run uo the bank until the fish is grounded.
    Average fish size is around 6lbs, there is heavy current and with the numbers of fellow anglers, there's not a lot of room to let fish run. If the drag isn't set tight enough, a fish will quickly be downstream, past 50-100 people. when that happens, someone will cut your line. It's one thing to disrupt the fishing for 4-5 folks on either side, but another to thoughtlessly interupt the fishing for someone far downstream.
    One other thing - learn to say "Fish On" in German, French & Italian. Learn how to say, "Get the h**l out of the way" & "Go Home" in French.
    Gary

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlchris2 View Post
    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I would like clarification on the above. Doesn't "Yarn + hook = fly"??? Regardless of how it is tied??? I'd like to get a solid Yes/No on this one.
    I think the egg loop counts as thread, so as long as you are using a snelled egg loop one could argue that its a fly. If you were to tie yarn on with mono and half hitches it would definitely be a fly.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksaye View Post
    I believe yarn secured to the hook via an egg loop does not constitute a fly under the states definition of an artificial fly. Since it was not tied under traditional fly tying methods.....thus, it is not a "permanent" shank to thread weld when using an egg loop. An egg loop is simply using your fishing line to secure the yarn to the hook.

    {{5 AAC 75.995
    (1) "artificial fly" means a fly that is constructed by common methods known as fly tying, including a dry fly, wet fly, and nymph, and that is free of bait as defined in (36) of this section; materials and chemicals designed and produced primarily to cause flies to float or sink may be used on artificial flies;}}

    However; if you tied (knotted) the yarn to the hook's shank; I guess that would be legit....?
    Yeah, if you really wanted to get technical about it I'd have to guess an "egg loop" would be illegal by the law stated above. I always have just tied the yarn directly to the hook shank. A few quick whip finish knots usually will do the trick.

  18. #18

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    ksaye,

    thanks, I was just reading thru the reg book and found that as well. I was told by a guide friend of mine (guided for 10 years in AK) that is what I should do. Ive got a lot of good flies tied up (ESL & several other popular... I may just stick with them or tie a few "generic" yarn & hook combos just so I'm legit.

    thanks for clearing that up.

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I think the egg loop counts as thread, so as long as you are using a snelled egg loop one could argue that its a fly. If you were to tie yarn on with mono and half hitches it would definitely be a fly.
    Regulations state fly tied w/ tradition methods and materials..... You can just wrap thread on a bare hook and it is legally a "fly." Not sure the egg loop knot holding on some thread would be considered a "fly." But it is likely that a enforcement officer would not make a fuss about it.

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    What about the Gamaksu salmon rigs you buy up there? They even make one for the Russian river and it does not have ANYTHING tied to the hook just a small amount of material on a tube just ahead of the fly. They are legal

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