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Thread: Need HELP with catching jumping rainbows!!

  1. #1

    Default Need HELP with catching jumping rainbows!!

    I recently discovered a lake maybe 2 blocks from my house in east anchorage and even though it is surrounded by house's and isn't on the stocking list, it stil contains a nice populations of big rainbow trout!! I first noticed them jumping all over the lake and when they jump the JUMP!! I mean they come flying 2 and 3 feet out of the water. These are nice fish too, some looked at least 19 inches.

    After a sunny day I took my float tube out and managed to catch 2 nice 14inch rainbows. The next day my girl friend caught two even nicer rainbows at about 17 inches. They were golden with dark red streak, very pretty. We caught all those fish on marlbou lake leeches, I used black and she used a dark redish orange one. However, the last two times we have gone out we have gotten SKUNKED! The big bows are jumping sky high all around us but nothing is fooling them, not even the leaches that they jumped on before. It has been rainy so maybe the feeding has changed.

    My QUESTION is what are the fish flying out of the water for??
    I tried a Fry, Adams, leeches, elk hare caddis, green and brown bead head nymphs, royal coachmen, griffins gnat and some other odds and ends.

    the only bugs on the water are these tiny black flies. but it seems like a very small fly for that big of fish to jump so high for.

    Any ideas or suggestions for fishing these spunky bows at this time of year would be greatly appreciated. For those of you interested in fishing this little urban gem, feel free to PM me and I will tell you the name of the lake!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by mbrenna; 06-28-2010 at 19:26. Reason: editing

  2. #2
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    Do you have a phone tap detector? Might want to invest in one.

    Do you hear strange hissing or unusual static sounds?

    The fish may be tapping your phones.

  3. #3

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    I'd go back to the Elk Hair Caddis, but this time "wake" them on the surface with strips and pauses. You might have to adjust size and color a little, but the motion is likely to get their attention right away.

  4. #4
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    Normally when fish are completely leaving the water on a rise they are going after an insect that is emerging rapidly or moves quickly on the water. The fish will not expend this much energy unless it getting a good return on its investment and the caddis is a high protein meal that the rising you described matches. I will second Brownbear on this. If you are unsure what caddis's look like, look for an insect that somewhat resembles a moth flying around the water. They can be tan, brown, black, or even neon green. I would guess that it is most likely a small dark colored caddis.

    Just my $0.02

  5. #5

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    You're not dealing with smart, heavily pounded fish, but I'll pass this along FWIW.

    When I'm after PhD trout in Montana and Wyoming or even big grayling on the Chena, I'll add a trailing shuck of CDC to Elk Hair Caddis. I've seen times when smart fish would sort and weed in a big hatch, taking only the ones with trailing shucks. Kinda funny when a guy asks what you're using and you show him the fly, but he doesn't notice the shuck. He'll quickly tie on a plain EHC and continue to go without fish while I slam them.

  6. #6
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    damsel flies
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

  7. #7

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    I tie a plain EHC without the hackle and palmer on a big CDC feather in place of the hackle. Prolly has the just about the same effect. Never thought of trailing it though. Good idea, thanks man.

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    maybe a crackleback?? I usually do pretty good when there are a lot of jumpers with that and I can't determine what they really want?? Good Grayling fly also!!

  9. #9

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    Soft hackle pheasant tail, with or without the beadhead.
    Only those that can see the invisible can do the impossible.

  10. #10
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    I second the damselflies. Seen 'em jump out of the water and take 'em in midair. Too cool when it happens right in front of you. Dragons too.

  11. #11

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    hey thanks for all the feed back guys, I saw somebody out there last night floating around in their tube. Glad I could uncover some new fishing grounds. I will be buying and trying all of your suggestions. The guy at World Wide Angler also guessed it was a damsel fly!
    Heading out to swan lake canoe trails for a few days of float tube/camping/ portaging/ fishing!

    I will report back...pray for sun

  12. #12

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    Damsel hatches rock. I remember fishing a SE Idaho lake a few years back where the bows were totally clearing the water after them. I had seen 8 inch fish do this before, but never 8 lb fish until then. Talk about getting the heart pumping!

    Good luck with the damsels.

  13. #13
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrenna View Post
    I recently discovered a lake maybe 2 blocks from my house in east anchorage and even though it is surrounded by house's and isn't on the stocking list, it stil contains a nice populations of big rainbow trout!! I first noticed them jumping all over the lake and when they jump the JUMP!! I mean they come flying 2 and 3 feet out of the water. These are nice fish too, some looked at least 19 inches.

    After a sunny day I took my float tube out and managed to catch 2 nice 14inch rainbows. The next day my girl friend caught two even nicer rainbows at about 17 inches. They were golden with dark red streak, very pretty. We caught all those fish on marlbou lake leeches, I used black and she used a dark redish orange one. However, the last two times we have gone out we have gotten SKUNKED! The big bows are jumping sky high all around us but nothing is fooling them, not even the leaches that they jumped on before. It has been rainy so maybe the feeding has changed.

    My QUESTION is what are the fish flying out of the water for??
    I tried a Fry, Adams, leeches, elk hare caddis, green and brown bead head nymphs, royal coachmen, griffins gnat and some other odds and ends.

    the only bugs on the water are these tiny black flies. but it seems like a very small fly for that big of fish to jump so high for.

    Any ideas or suggestions for fishing these spunky bows at this time of year would be greatly appreciated. For those of you interested in fishing this little urban gem, feel free to PM me and I will tell you the name of the lake!

    Thanks!
    you talking about the lake between baxter and boniface?
    Semper Fi!

  14. #14
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default emerger

    I'll second the emerger philosophy. In a pinch, I've sometimes had success with a greased leader and a small hare's ear or squeeze a small parachute pattern so it rides just under the surface on a greased leader. If there are caddis hatching at all, I'd certainly try an ehc with a trailing shuck too.

  15. #15

    Default Emergers

    When the trout are breaking the water like that they are usually going after emergers just below the surface film. Their momentom is what is carrying them out of the water. They are usually not actually going for dry's on the surface. When this occures I have great luck with a misquito emerger PATTERN. Size 16 OR 18, grizzly hackel barbles for tail, stripped peacock herl for body, peacock for thorax, and SOMETIMES a pair of grizzly hackel tips tied on "flat back" style. Killer fly on the local lakes.
    Tight Lines...

  16. #16

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    Try a dragon fly or damsel imitations. When the dragons are up over the water breeding, which is this time of year, rainbows will go very high after them. They will also hit your fly with equal enthusiasm. When I tie dragons for these guys my flies are black and about 3"-4" long. Make sure you tie them so they float high. You can exclude the wings as they will cause a lot of line twist during casting. When the bows are really dialed into dragons you will even see them take shots at your fly during false casting. Good luck.

  17. #17

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    Thanks again for even more input! Just wanted to report back. I have been fishing this little urban lake every day for the last 2 weeks now (sometimes twice a day) and I am happy to announce that I have landed two 20inch plus rainbows, hooked several more, and have caught about 30 trout in the 15-19 inchs range. Once I figured out the right fly I have not changed yet. Drum roll...WOOLY BUGGER. I got a conehead wooly bugger that is a dark rusty red mixed with a dark olive color with a little shiny blue tinsle tied in as well, in about a size 8. I bought the fly at World Wide Angler. Works like a dream. My buddy also caught a legitimate 20 inch bow last night on a straight olive bugger.

    There is also a strategy I have figured out! If you drag the leech pattern just about 5- 10 feet behind your floattube right below surface of the water while paddling gently around you will get fish. My therory is that the fish see your leech just behind the boat and they think it is chasing the boat as leechs often do. When I started fishing the leech close to the boat I INSTANTLY starting getting a lot of strikes.

    Anyway I am not making any of this up. I have found a urban gem with HUGE rainbows and I can finally catch em! I have died and gone to heaven I think. The only problem is my girlfriend might try to drain the lake cause she thinks I love it more than her!! Just kidding. It just goes to show that Alaska is the best place on earth and that there are probably no shortage of lakes in this state loaded with big fish!

    By the way, I went to fish the swan lakes portage system and caught 2 fish about 12inchs big in three days of fishing...screw that I am staying in the neighboorhood where the rainbows are huge!
    Thanks again and tight lines!

    I will post a picture very soon to prove I am not telling fishermans tales.

  18. #18

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    I'll "armchair quarterback" what's going on....

    My theory is that your flapping flippers are stirring some kind of food off the bottom that the leaches (and maybe the fish are feeding on) and thus the reason they are following your belly boat.... There is an affect called "the San Juan" shuffle (from the SJ river that I have never fished) where you stir the gravel up to chum up some bugs.... I noticed rainbows lying below me while fishing a river in SW AK last month that I suspect were feeding on something my activity was bringing up.....

    L

  19. #19

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    Lazer, Trout do that on the Kenai too. They think it is salmon getting ready to spawn and are stirring up the gravel for a redd. They scoot up hopeful to find a free egg or two.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKGrayling View Post
    Trout do that on the Kenai too.
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