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Thread: Sockeye flies & technique

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    Default Sockeye flies & technique

    I'll be fly fishing the Kenai in late June, early July for sockeye. Any pattern suggests that the fish will actually hit? Technique suggestions?

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Sherman View Post
    I'll be fly fishing the Kenai in late June, early July for sockeye. Any pattern suggests that the fish will actually hit? Technique suggestions?

    Way to many threads and debates on this one. Grip em and rip em. Yea they bite. Alot of people here say they do. There are probably 50 threads on this topic. Do so research and let us know what you think. My motto. If I can see a red, he is dead. They dont hit. Once in a blue moon yes but flossing, lining, and snagging them in the mouth is what works. Flame away boys
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member muzzyman87's Avatar
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    Enough said!!!
    I am not against the flippin kenai, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering every other stream... ~Paul O'Neil~/~Wyo2AK~

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    If I can see a red, he is dead.
    There will always be the ONE that got away.

    That fish must have been the Einstein of sockeye. Neither of us could get him. We did ping pong him for a while.
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  5. #5

    Default I'll take the other side...

    Sockeye are the least aggressive of the five salmon to take the fly. You need to get your fly within 12" to 6" of them and at the same level. Not above them nor below them. They generally prefer sparsely tied smaller flies either on the swing or on a dead drift "indicator" type presentation. The boss or comet steelhead series will provide a basis... nothing bigger than a #4 and a #6 or even a #8 is probably better. Takes are LIGHT.

    There are some here that will argue they are ALL are snagged (and I'm not meaning to start a flame here) but I've certainly watched (chrome) sockeye move a foot to take a fly. There are other times that sockeye seem to have ZERO interest in any fly. Give 'em a half hour and see if their mood has changed.

    L

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    There will always be the ONE that got away.

    That fish must have been the Einstein of sockeye. Neither of us could get him. We did ping pong him for a while.

    He still had a heart attack from getting pinged and ponged though. I think I saw him giving us the finger up at the falls that day
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default biting

    seems to occur more as they get closer to spawning. I've caught quite a few in small clear streams while bead fishing for bows & dollies. I'm saying its a "bite" because of the action of the strike indicator. I've also had reds hit the strike indicator, grabbing it then releasing it.
    For catching fresh reds, I prefer a small fly (#4 - no more than 2xl) with lots of chartusse bucktail. Don't know if its biting or lining, I just get more legal hook ups with that kind of fly.
    Gary

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    seems to occur more as they get closer to spawning. I've caught quite a few in small clear streams while bead fishing for bows & dollies. I'm saying its a "bite" because of the action of the strike indicator. I've also had reds hit the strike indicator, grabbing it then releasing it.
    For catching fresh reds, I prefer a small fly (#4 - no more than 2xl) with lots of chartusse bucktail. Don't know if its biting or lining, I just get more legal hook ups with that kind of fly.
    Gary

    Very very true. June and I catch more big red maters in the jaw on a single bead when they are bedding up. Very very aggresive then
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default tie directional drift fly

    My work partner and I tried for most of the winter a few years ago to tie a fly that would drift with the hook in an exact direction, so that when fishing the left bank ( and an oposite tied fly for the right bank) the fly would drift down stream with the hook open facing level. this way as you floss the Red salmon, the hook would be in the right position to catch only the Mouth and not snag a back or belly or somewhere in between..
    I had flies that had wings on them, little floats, all kinds of variations, I had trailer tails and some crazy stuff.. we changed up how we tied the fly on the line, etc..
    We would drift the fly in moving clear water that would give us a chance to watch it drift and see if we could force the fly to maintain the same exact drift. Nope... I even had my underwater photographer from Japan lay in the water up at quartz creek for hours and photograph the fly's as we drifted them by him....... NOPE,, never did we make one that stayed level in flight with the open part of the hook facking down stream.. waaaaaa
    After a while we gave up for the time being as we just decided we don't have degrees in watervation, (the water version of Aviation) .
    I emailed a bunch of fly shops and such to find out if anyone had made any such fly before??
    I was met with lots of negatives at first when I would ask for help in developing this fly... many thought that it was just plane immoral for me to think about creating a fly that was used for ,, uh hummm Snagging...
    Many had never fished blue backs ( Sokeye) before so they did not understand the fishes lack of desire to strike on any regular basis..
    Non could help me,, so here is your chance to delvelop a new fly that would take the Kenai and other such places by storm...
    Let me know though if you already have such a fly and have been using it for years,, so I can put a gun in my mouth and end it all...lol
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Default

    Can't help you on the fly or bite, but I will tell you the biggest mistake is casting out to far. As for technique, our "Red Instructor" showed us that with a 9 foot rod, you flip it out with about 15 foot of line, sometimes shorter, including a four foot leader, bouncing down, rip it in, grap your line pull it out an arms length while flipping it out, and repeat........a lot.

    Grilled some and it was great, cooked some in tinfoil with butter and seasoning and it was the best fish I ever ate.

  11. #11

    Default REd flies

    When is first started fishing for reds on the Kenai in 1977 everyone just used the good old coho fly tied with deer hair. They work, but they just didn't sink fast enough for me so I tied up a chenille and marabou feather fly that is fast and easy to tie and can be tied in any color I wanted. The other thing that is very important to fishing reds is a good pair of polarized sunglasses and if you can bring one in gray and another in brown lenses that is even better. My mantra is for me is "I spot 'em I got 'em". I hope this helps and enjoy your fishing trip. June is getting here fast and I am busy at my vise too. Tight lines.

  12. #12

    Default a riffle hitch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    My work partner and I tried for most of the winter a few years ago to tie a fly that would drift with the hook in an exact direction, so that when fishing the left bank ( and an oposite tied fly for the right bank) the fly would drift down stream with the hook open facing level. this way as you floss the Red salmon, the hook would be in the right position to catch only the Mouth and not snag a back or belly or somewhere in between..
    I had flies that had wings on them, little floats, all kinds of variations, I had trailer tails and some crazy stuff.. we changed up how we tied the fly on the line, etc..
    We would drift the fly in moving clear water that would give us a chance to watch it drift and see if we could force the fly to maintain the same exact drift. Nope... I even had my underwater photographer from Japan lay in the water up at quartz creek for hours and photograph the fly's as we drifted them by him....... NOPE,, never did we make one that stayed level in flight with the open part of the hook facking down stream.. waaaaaa
    After a while we gave up for the time being as we just decided we don't have degrees in watervation, (the water version of Aviation) .
    I emailed a bunch of fly shops and such to find out if anyone had made any such fly before??
    I was met with lots of negatives at first when I would ask for help in developing this fly... many thought that it was just plane immoral for me to think about creating a fly that was used for ,, uh hummm Snagging...
    Many had never fished blue backs ( Sokeye) before so they did not understand the fishes lack of desire to strike on any regular basis..
    Non could help me,, so here is your chance to delvelop a new fly that would take the Kenai and other such places by storm...
    Let me know though if you already have such a fly and have been using it for years,, so I can put a gun in my mouth and end it all...lol
    Max
    AKcanoe:
    I assume you are trying to get the fly to swing with the line coming out at abut 90 degrees, hook pointed down stream... right?

    For fishing steelhead on the surface with a waking fly, some people tie in a half hitch on the head of the fly (called a riffle hitch - some use two half hitches) so the line comes out at 90 degrees to the shank of the hook....

    Next time your in this situation, you might just try a green #6 or #8 comet and see if they just don't bite the dang thing! Now, if it's combat fishing, the fish are probably not interested in biting any junk coming there way......

    L

  13. #13
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2PawsRiver View Post
    Can't help you on the fly or bite, but I will tell you the biggest mistake is casting out to far. As for technique, our "Red Instructor" showed us that with a 9 foot rod, you flip it out with about 15 foot of line, sometimes shorter, including a four foot leader, bouncing down, rip it in, grap your line pull it out an arms length while flipping it out, and repeat........a lot.

    Grilled some and it was great, cooked some in tinfoil with butter and seasoning and it was the best fish I ever ate.
    Well said... except for the "rip it in" part. No need for the rip (aka kenai twitch) at the end of your flip. All that results in is foul-hooked fish.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    My work partner and I tried for most of the winter a few years ago to tie a fly that would drift with the hook in an exact direction, so that when fishing the left bank ( and an oposite tied fly for the right bank) the fly would drift down stream with the hook open facing level. this way as you floss the Red salmon, the hook would be in the right position to catch only the Mouth and not snag a back or belly or somewhere in between..
    I had flies that had wings on them, little floats, all kinds of variations, I had trailer tails and some crazy stuff.. we changed up how we tied the fly on the line, etc..
    We would drift the fly in moving clear water that would give us a chance to watch it drift and see if we could force the fly to maintain the same exact drift. Nope... I even had my underwater photographer from Japan lay in the water up at quartz creek for hours and photograph the fly's as we drifted them by him....... NOPE,, never did we make one that stayed level in flight with the open part of the hook facking down stream.. waaaaaa
    After a while we gave up for the time being as we just decided we don't have degrees in watervation, (the water version of Aviation) .
    I emailed a bunch of fly shops and such to find out if anyone had made any such fly before??
    I was met with lots of negatives at first when I would ask for help in developing this fly... many thought that it was just plane immoral for me to think about creating a fly that was used for ,, uh hummm Snagging...
    Many had never fished blue backs ( Sokeye) before so they did not understand the fishes lack of desire to strike on any regular basis..
    Non could help me,, so here is your chance to delvelop a new fly that would take the Kenai and other such places by storm...
    Let me know though if you already have such a fly and have been using it for years,, so I can put a gun in my mouth and end it all...lol
    Max
    Now that's just funny... I applaud your efforts!
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Agreed...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyo2AK View Post
    Well said... except for the "rip it in" part. No need for the rip (aka kenai twitch) at the end of your flip. All that results in is foul-hooked fish.
    Sage advice to avoid the "flip 'n rip" technique...

    At the end of your drift, a slow, steady cross-current pull of the line will lead to plenty of legal hook-ups -- and more fun. Fish on!

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyo2AK View Post
    Well said... except for the "rip it in" part. No need for the rip (aka kenai twitch) at the end of your flip. All that results in is foul-hooked fish.
    It can also result in a ticket for attempted snagging. I watch those get handed out regularly on the Kenai. The sound of the rip alone will generally draw the look of enforcement.

    As to sockeye, if you're fishing from the bank, the general rule of thumb is that if the water is above your ankles, you're too deep. Sockeye run tight to the shore, the further out you wade, the further out you push 'em.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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