Alaskan Sockeye Patterns

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Andy, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Andy

    Andy Workin in a sweet mullet

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    I will be getting a chance to guide up in Alaksa for a few weeks this summer. We will be targeting Sockeyes. Anyone have any good patterns for Alaskan Sockeyes.

    I know that most of these fish end up hooked just because the fly swings into their open mouth, as long as it doesnt scare them into moving away from the fly.

    I also heard that anything red will work pretty well.

    Thanks guys
     
  2. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

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    Try something shinny. I know that they are attracted to lots of flashers when trolling in the salt.
     
  3. Miller

    Miller Member

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    I just finished my third summer guiding up there on the Talachulitna River, The best producing fly for sockeye that I have used is a piece of green egg yarn snelled onto a red #6-8 gamakatsu octopus hook, fished like a nymph or swung depending on depth. Works like magic. What river are you goign to be guiding on?Hope this helps.
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Workin in a sweet mullet

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    Anything helps, I need to be an expert on Sockeye fishing before I ever catch one. I will be at the Saltery Creek Lodge in Kodiak, so I am guessing that I will be guiding on Saltery Creek or other creeks and rivers around Kodiak.
     
  5. Miller

    Miller Member

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    I would start finding and reading as much literature as you can about them, also I would find out more specifically about the area you will be in. As the guide you are expected to be the expert.
     
  6. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    Sockeye in estuaries are pretty easy. Try the Pink Cigar (#6-8, 34007), Handlebar (all colors of Edgebright, #6-8 34007), FJ Pink (#6 34011), Estuary Shrimp (pink or tan #4-6 Gamakatsu T10-6H). That is a good start. Over the years all of these have become go-to patterns for me.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  7. Andy

    Andy Workin in a sweet mullet

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    you know any good literature about sockeye fishing in AK, patterns, etc...
    I have fly-sihing for Pacific Salmon, its good place to start, but most of us know most of what is in that book. Alaska is a whole new ballgame.
    I feel very fortunate that I am getting this chance to guide (it is only for a week, the lodge has a big group coming for the 4th of July and they need an extra guide for that week)
    I am confident in my abilities to lead a group through a sustained activity (I majored in that in college). I just need to become an expert in catching Sockeyes before I get there. I am going up a week early to test out what I learned before I have to take out clients.
    I really appreciate everyone's input.

    :thumb
    Andy
     
  8. Miller

    Miller Member

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    Whereas sockeye know that they have much further to go than other 4 species of salmon to spawn, they don't tend to "hang out" as long as say silvers, or kings. So I try to look for any kind of shelf with plunge pool, something that would limit the number of fish that can advance at one time, but also allow them a place to stack up and attack your fly, and yes it is possible to have a sockeye attack your fly, they are not all flossed. Hope this helps.
     
  9. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    I gave you a list of excellent patterns for sockeye. Techniques are generally swinging and retrieving through the schools. Check freswhater technqiues in FFPS.
    The one question I have is why would you consent to being a guide when you don't know the first thing about this fishery?
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  10. Andy

    Andy Workin in a sweet mullet

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    Les
    This will be a challenge, an experience and I will be able to "get my foot in the door" in this tough business.
    I have wanted to be a guide since the first time my line hit the water.
    You have to take opportunities like this when you get them, there arent a lot to go around, and this may be my only chance, or it might be the first of many, but I have passed up a lot of good things in my life, and I am not going to let this one slip away.
    I worked hard just to get into this position with this lodge, and I will not dissapoint.

    Thanks again
    Andy
     
  11. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

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  12. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    A bit of advise from one who has fished with a lot of guides over the years. Most of them don't make a living from what they bring out of Alaska, Kamchatka, British Columiba or the Yakima River during the season. To offset this you will need another job to take you through the off season. Better yet, if you can work it out with the lodge take on sales during the off-season, work the shows and go for a commission on sales plus travel expenses.
    Guides historicall leave the business with bad backs and little or no savings. So, be sure to pay into your Social Security every year and start an IRA for yourself. At your first opportunity, buy a little home that will be paid off before you plan to retire.
    Good luck and good fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  13. el tiboron

    el tiboron Member

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    Hey Bud,
    Good luck in Alaska for the Sockeyes and your endeavor into the guiding profession. I admire your "gumption" in taking on a task as tough as guiding "reds" on unfamiliar water with clients. While Mr. Johnson is correct in pointing out that many guides are broke, both at the bank and the back, it is a labor of love. Stay professional with your guests ask questions of the senior guide staff, and look at the water from as many angles as you can. The one consistant thing about guiding is that the ones who can't hack it....won't. It takes a special personality to guide full time. You are a teacher, casting instructor, fly shop, coach, and fisherman. catering to all the special needs of clients at times will test not only your patience but you pride as well.

    Good Luck!
     
  14. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    As a kid i did well with blue over white dyed hair streamer at Anan creek south of Wrangel for reds. The schools would circle around in the bay along the sand bars while lining up to get up stream through the salt chuck, Wore my arms out.
     

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