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Thread: Willow Creek?

  1. #1
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    Default Willow Creek?

    Hi all,

    I think this is the first time I've ever posted to the flyfishing forum (I spend more time in small game and bird dog training). I have a question about fishing Willow and other similar creeks this time of year.

    A buddy and I went up there on Sunday and spent several hours fishing around the Deception Creek confluence, and then down near the confluence with the Su. We are both relatively competent flyfishers, but new (in the last few years) to flyfishing in AK. We have had success with beads on rivers like the Russian, but we didn't even get a bite on the Willow. Near Deception, we could see a few very red cohos darting around, but we didn't see any eggs and didn't see any bows or dollies. We tried beads, flesh patterns, nymphs, wolly buggers, conehead dolly llamas, etc and nothing worked.

    So, the question is: how do you fish a stream like that at this time of year when the salmon aren't around and few eggs are visible? Have the trout moved way upstream or downstream to find more viable food sources? Or were they just hiding under the banks and not interested in what we had to offer? Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Did you try fishing a really old-colored egg or were you fishing fresh-looking eggs? Color can make a difference though I'd imagine you would at least hook into some fish.

    Seems to me like it's an issue of location and due in no part to your fishing skills. Try reading this;

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...on-Creek-intel
    Thank God for people who don't fish!! Not much would get done without them =)

  3. #3
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    In my experience there are few bows and such to be caught there since it is so easily accessible. I've always managed to catch at least one, but thats been about it. I've never really walked more than 1/2 mile up stream, i've walked down to the train bridge and there are some fish in there, just harder to find.

  4. #4
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Try an egg sucking leech (black or purple) or polar shrimp. Also, you might go further upstream where the fish are actively spawning.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  5. #5
    Member icb12's Avatar
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    There are LOTS of bow in there. Covering ground is the big thing. Get out off the well beaten areas. Look for fast, deep, water right up or into a nasty cutbank. Brush, or jams/partial jams hold fish too. You'll be more successful if you stay out of pools, fish water that is moving. Fish it like you aren't afraid to lose gear too, toss that bead right into the nastiness. If something hits, be prepared to stick the wood to him before he wraps you up. Mix up what colors you're fishing. I've had a LOT of success on willow with olive/black and olive/white llamas, and beads of course. Right now, the more yellow colors are producing for me. More peach than pink, with a soft apricot a close second.

    Trust me, they are interested in what you have.. you just gotta get it to them. Right now there is sooooo much food in the water for the fish, that they don't really have to move to get it. They just hang out where the food drifts right to them. Look for the salmon, bead in front of them, full long drift right behind them. Or a jam in the water with a bunch of carcasses, and toss flesh right behind it.

    Remember too, that the Russian is shallow. Different fishing there. Willow is going to require much bigger splitshot than the russian. Get rid of the bobbers.

    Another tip, if nothing seems to be happening, switching to smaller hooks has changed the game sometimes.

    If you have any specific questions on anything, feel free to pm me. I've had quite a bit of success on the Parks hwy this year.

    Just keep covering ground. walking, wading, fishing.

  6. #6

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    I fished the Willow two weekends ago, a day or two after fishing the Kenai. After the success on the Kenai, I was expecting to fish the Willow similarly and get similar results but was quickly disappointed. I floated from the bridge down to the mouth so what one poster said about fishing up higher where fish are spawning was probably part of the problem. The only success I had was in very deep, slow holes drifting a bead (under a bobber) along a current seam. Of course, 2 weeks ago the creek was around 6 or 700 cfs and today it's in the low 400's. . . I imagine that makes a difference as well.

    I agree with icb12 (congrats on your 500th post) that there are a lot of fish in there I just think it takes a little work. I also agree that you probably need more split shot because of the depth. I still haven't given up the bobber though.

  7. #7
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    I fished Willow 2 weeks ago and did great with a bead (mottled roe)-only 2nd time fishing beads. But, there were lots of chum and a few silvers in holes at the time. I went 2 days ago and only landed 1 bow, but I did not walk around too much. Try up where the power lines cross Willow Fishook road.

    Goose

  8. #8
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    Thanks, everyone, I really appreciate the advice! I have no problems covering a lot of ground, so I'll keep trying.

  9. #9
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Go through a few different flies until you find something that works.

    We actually had a fish hit a little bright red bobber.

  10. #10
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    Awesome photo Scott. Them some real keepers and you be bringin them up right by taken them fishin.

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