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Anyone Fished For Sheefish On The Kobuk

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  • Anyone Fished For Sheefish On The Kobuk

    I am taking the wife on a canoe trip in August from Walker Lake to the village of Kobuk. If anyone has any thoughts on tips/tecniques for catching Sheefish, I would love to hear about it. My only experience with them has been catching a few off Kotz through the ice. Figuring it will be much tougher on 115 miles of unfamiliar river. Thanks for any insights you may offer.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  • #2

    Hi Dan,
    Hey my bad. You had emailed me about this. The sheefishing in the area in question is nothing short of awesome. I got up the Kobuk into the Pah river area (memory tells me this is the world record sheefish came from). I was there in early Sept with the wife one year and we flat wore those fish out.
    Large pixie spoons (shiny) cast far into the Kobuk river current will yield fish upwards of thirty pounds. They are fabulous eating--just like Halibut. They are abundant but anadromous so watch the regs closely.
    Be sure to keep carcasses away from the shore, lots of griz and blacks too, but you probably already know that.
    Don't forget grayling gear. I threw a sheefish carcass into the river and two days later the 17-18" grayling were literally stacked on it. They were fun on a noodle rod.
    There are also chums and pike for an occasional surprise.
    The WAH caribou might cooporate too and give you a shot or two.

    Best of Luck!
    Proud to be an American!


    • #3
      fullkurl is giving you good info, I was up there on the Kobuk in Sept a couple years ago. The fishing was fantastic. The sheefish tasted much better than the grayling. I've got an e-mail from fish and game about sheefish on the Kobuk, I'll try and find it and forward it to you.


      • #4
        how cold....

        Thanks fullcurl and bill for the insights. Bill, that email would be great if you can find it. I hear that both of you were up there in early Sept. Would that be better timing on the Sheefish than late August. That is when I had planned on going but my plans can easily change this far in advance if there is good cause. I would also be curious as to the weather you guys saw there in Sept. I have been on two tribs of the Noatak (Kelly and Kugururok) over the last two years in late August, but never into Sept. Does it cool off pretty fast about then. I got that impression from my last two trips. Below freezing several nights and my 20 degree bag was barely enough to allow good sleep on a few occasions. Could you guys elaborate on the gear used (bag ratings, clothes,etc..). It will just be me and my wife this time and I am a bit ancy. I want to be sure that I am prepared. Any info on the dates you were there, the weather, wildlife seen (big priority of the wife), and where you fished would be truly invaluable to us both. Thanks.
        The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


        • #5
          If you flyfish use big big flies and keep the rifle handy, my buddy got a 60" moose while hunting 'bous out there a few years back. Grayling will hit pretty much anything that floats, my favorite is the tangle lake teaser. You are a lucky dog! Check out Tony Route's (RIP) book Flyfishing Alaska it give techniquees for catching them on the fly.

          As for gear, on cold nights the biggest chanlenge is getting your sleeping bag up to temperature I recomend putting a hot waterbotle or two in it about an hour before you go to bed, that way it'll be nice and toasty when you arrive and your body heat should do a fine job of keeping it that way I'd use my 15° syntetic in september in a heartbeat if you get cold throw on another layer. I recomend lots of polypro base layers since you'll be traveling by boat you could get away with more then the one set I take winter backpacking. Bring plenty of wool socks a couple swix hats a good polarfleese or two and good raingear and you should be fine. Make sure you have good waders. Any have fun!
          I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


          • #6
            We were there 5-12 Sep. Moose, black bear are what we saw, we were looking for caribou but the weather got the best of us. The days were nice, and warm. The nights were cold with frost on the tents in the morning. Lots of bugs during the day, take head nets. My bag was a 0 degree bags, that's all I ever take. We wore thermal underwear but took the jackets off after about 11. Long sleeve shirts for the bugs. Grayling are everywhere. Fullkurl gave good info on where to find sheefish, deep pools. I'll look for the e-mail.


            • #7

              Thanks for sharing some thoughts fellas. I am definately getting a clearer picture thanks to you. Surprised to hear about bugs up there in Sept. A 60" Moose. Wow. I thought they grew taller than that. Seriously, thanks for the insights and if you can think of anything else, please share. I am a little concerned about the paddling from Walker Lake down through the canyons. Anyone know about that stretch. I read there are some class V rapids and I am curious how easy it is to see them and get to the bank. Thanks again for the info.
              The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


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