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Thread: Help with Sockeye Fishing

  1. #1
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    Default Help with Sockeye Fishing

    Hey guys,

    Need some help with Sockeye Fishing. I'm fairly new to Flyfishing and completely new to Sockeye fishing. I have purchased flys for sockeye but the problem is the method for fishing for them. I have heard you need weights and strike indicators, but i dont understand why? Can anyone shed some light on this and maybe gives some tricks to catching them? Thanks guys!
    I Wish i could change my name to Shimano, because i recently started hating Ambassdor Abu_Garcia.

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    Well honeslty for reds......... any fly will work, better to tie your own I say. With that being said most people do the flip, were they throw it up and more or less jerk every time there is bump. It all depends on were your going to be fishing, this method is fine in fast water but slow water not to much. If I was you I wouldn't mess with a strike indicator until you have the river figred out or how to use one, they are very good if you get a good drift though.

    I would go to the gravel bars on the Kenai below the Russian and flip and figre it out, don't sit heavy on the bottom because you loose a lot of "feeling" and before you know it you will get a feel for the "zone" once you do, repeat it. In other places you will find when you have line out that you need to mend your line to keep the drift and work the holes. Figure out how to use the water to your advantage. And for god sakes don't use sinking line, it will drag your fly under the fish. Heavier is not always better! Hope this helps.

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    Hey thanks for that but im still confussed... i thought Reds striked hard and fast but the problem was getting them to strike??? i wont be fishing any big rivers, mainly a small/medium sized creek thats not to fast moving (in most spots).
    I Wish i could change my name to Shimano, because i recently started hating Ambassdor Abu_Garcia.

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    Sockeye will not usually feed when they get to the fresh water. I say usually bc I have had them hit flies while fishing trout on the Russian. Not common by any means. Maybe 5 times in all the years I have been down there.

    I am not sure where you will be fishing, but here are the gear restrictions for Fly Fishing only section of the Russian/ Kenai River
    Gear in fly-fishing-only waters
    One unweighted, single-hook, unbaited fly with gap between point and shank of ⅜" or less is allowed. The fly must weigh less than oz. Artificial flies are defined on page 5.
    If weights are used, they must be at least 18" ahead of the fly.
    Beads not attached to the fly are not allowed in fly-fishing-only waters.

    I use a Gamagatsu long shank hook with a little bright marabou tied to it.
    I keep my weight higher than a lot of people. I usually do 2 to 4ft plus or minus. It really depends on the deph and speed of the water. Play around with the amount of weight. You want enough weight for it to sink quick and just tick off the bottom.

    I also use a different technique than most of the people. I don't do the kenai Twitch. 10-2 and yank hoping to hook a fish in the mouth.
    I cast up stream about 10 oclock then let it drift until my rod is perpendicular to my body (12 oclock) then I stop my rod and let my line swing. halfway through the swing I will then follow the line down river until about 2or 3 oclock. By following the line down river this allows the fly to stay low in the water column. if you jerk at 2 then it will pull the fly upward resulting in a foul hook a majority of the time. If you have the correct weight and distance from the fly you will hook them in the mouth everytime. You will know when its a fish rather then the bottom. When that line is in their mouth you can feel them moving. Thats when you want to set the hook.
    hope that helps.
    Good Luck
    Matt

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    If you are talking windfall creek, ignore everything about indicators and specialty flies and all that stuff. Yes, they do have their place, but that place is not windfall creek. All you need for there is straight 12lb leader, some split shot, and a bunch of sz. 4 gamakatsu. There is just not enough current for normal flies and flossing techniques. Cast out, and slooowly bring it back towards you. Bring polarized glasses.

    If you cant catch a sockeye on just a gama, tie an egg loop and add some green yarn. Sometimes it does make a difference.

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    Default Crazy sockeye

    One time at the Russian, Years ago I witnessed a large red that I thought was a rainbow sitting behind a big rock in rainbow trout, move about four feet and absolutely crush my flesh fly. Weird I know but it happens. I was sight fishing and could not tell it was a red due to the current and the depth of the bucket. Landed him and let him go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post
    The sad part about that video is I see guys that claim they know what they're doing pulling that crap all the time, and keeping fish! Everytime I see it I make it a point to say something and if I see someone keep one they snagged I call fish and game. No need for that crap. I called one guy "jack the ripper" at the russian a few years ago and had everyone in the hole laughing. "Hey look, jack's got another one. You got that one snagged in the butt hole to jack?"
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

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    99.9% of the time reds don't feed in the Russian. but have been proven wrong 3 or 4 times.
    I don't fish at the mouth, dangerous & well it's dangerous & not fun.

    Russian river basics 101

    Use polaroid sun glasses. It take a while to learn to see the fish.
    Find a place with lots of fish & try to find some up or down stream from bunch you see. If you think it's a fish, stare at it & if it's a fish, it will come into full view every once in a while when the water refraction is just right.
    Did I say polaroid sun glasses. #1 key.

    #2 Watch for someone who's catching fish in the mouth & watch them for a while.

    Now time to get your feet wet

    I call it crack the whip.
    1/2 oz -3/4 oz sinker at least 18" or more up from the fly. (I start with about 24"- 30" & can re-tie a few new flies on that way too)
    Use a fly you can see well, you'll get better as you gain experience.

    Find some fish, (did I mention polaroid sun glasses are a must)
    Stand about 5 feet upstream
    cast up stream, beyond the fish & watch the fly
    Just before the fly disappears behind the fish, raise the rod slow & pull in on the line with your hand.
    The fly will whip, at the nose of the fish.
    If the fly is going over their backs, put on a bigger weight.
    If you are getting scales or hooking the body, raise the rod sooner.
    Now timing & practice are the rest. Fly rod works easiest with this technique, heavy line is easy to see & whips well. I use fly line & 30LB test leader,
    Tip: If you snag one & it heads down stream, point your rod at it, grab the line & let him pull off or break the line, not your rod. Also it stops the hook & sinker from flying back at you or someone's head

    Big schools of fish,
    Reds are opening & closing their mouths to breath & many time the leader goes into their mouth & the fly is right behind. Use at least 24" of leader for this technique. Cast up stream & real the fly through the school. May take a few casts but works & is a good technique for beginners & kids.
    Can use a spinning, casting rod here but harder to find these spots but they are there.

    Tips: frequently look for scales on the point, it prevents hooking fish, frequently check your hook point, they get dull quick from hitting rocks. (sharpen or change)
    Did I mention #1 polaroid sunglasses are a must.

    Have fun & good fishing.
    Dave

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    Member muzzyman87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post


    Nothing like the classic "Flippin Kenai Twitch"...

    It's illegal in 9 countries....
    60% of the time, it works everytime....
    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 ak char View Post
    If you are talking windfall creek, ignore everything about indicators and specialty flies and all that stuff. Yes, they do have their place, but that place is not windfall creek. All you need for there is straight 12lb leader, some split shot, and a bunch of sz. 4 gamakatsu. There is just not enough current for normal flies and flossing techniques. Cast out, and slooowly bring it back towards you. Bring polarized glasses.

    If you cant catch a sockeye on just a gama, tie an egg loop and add some green yarn. Sometimes it does make a difference.
    Exatcly where im talking about, what crazy is i had a buddy go yesterday and he was fly fishing (didnt catch anything) but he said there was a couple of people there killing them on yellow and pink spinners?! which contradicts everything i have ever heard about sockeye fishing...

    BTW are you talking about the gama red hooks?
    I Wish i could change my name to Shimano, because i recently started hating Ambassdor Abu_Garcia.

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    Question Window Dressing

    Quote Originally Posted by ak char View Post
    If you cant catch a sockeye on just a gama, tie an egg loop and add some green yarn. Sometimes it does make a difference.
    Is it legal to fish a bare hook in Alaskan freshwaters?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat View Post
    Is it legal to fish a bare hook in Alaskan freshwaters?
    Yep, the no bare hook rule only applies in fly-fishing-only waters.


    Quote Originally Posted by Abu_Garcia View Post
    Exatcly where im talking about, what crazy is i had a buddy go yesterday and he was fly fishing (didnt catch anything) but he said there was a couple of people there killing them on yellow
    Quote Originally Posted by Abu_Garcia View Post
    and pink spinners?! which contradicts everything i have ever heard about sockeye fishing...

    BTW are you talking about the gama red hooks?
    I got up there yesterday, and didnt see them, so they must have been there before or after. It would be very surprising to hear that, I have tossed spinners to them before with no avail. I did just fine with a red gama (caught 3, released 2).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak char View Post
    Yep, the no bare hook rule only applies in fly-fishing-only waters.
    Really? I did not know that. Flipping a hook on the Klutina is legal then eh?

    Proudly Serving Since 1997
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    Sport fishing gear: Unless provided in 5 AAC 75.020 -- 5 AAC 75.049 (area-specific regulations), or by the area regulations in 5 AAC 46 -- 5 AAC 70, sport fishing may only be conducted by the use of a single line having attached to it not more than one plug, spoon, spinner, or series of spinners, or two flies, or two hooks.

    According to this, you could use TWO bare hooks for sockeye

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    Oh man....

    Proudly Serving Since 1997
    The circle is complete again, finally. The force is once again balanced!
    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes in regards to fishing!"

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    Lightbulb Multiple Hooks for Sockeye

    Interesting -- thanks for clarifying the bare hook issue...

    On the topic of using more than one hook, I witnessed a flyfisher -- with three yarn flies spaced a foot or so apart along the leader -- floss a limit of reds in less than an hour during a slow day on the Kasilof River several years ago.

    Never seen anyone else do that before or since!

  18. #18
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    when I start sockeye fishing out in bristol bay I've found that a bright pink hares ear type nymph in about size 12 fished under an indicator will tempt ~1 out of 1000 fish... Out in the bay that means a fish on every ten minutes when they are thick, constantly casting, its a little more sporting than lining them I guess. In SEAK (and further south) I think the sockeye are more grabby so you should have some success with this method. At windfall get up early get to the hole first, line your one and then let someone else get their one and so on, I hear it can be quite a cluster...

    Maybe some day I'll catch one on a dry, I've seen 1 eat a bug off the top once, that summer I personally counted ~180,000 fish though... Not great odds It would make my day though!
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    When you catch that one, on a dry fly, you may want to play your numbers. :>)

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