euphausids (krill) question

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by tahuyamg, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. I really liked the euphausids pattern ( tied out of pearl estaz and pearl crystal flash) that Preston shared with us a few weeks back. Very easy to tie and just looks fishy. My question is this: is there a particular time of year this pattern works best? Also is there better locations in the Puget Sound to be using this pattern than others? I mainly fish in and around the Bremerton area.
  2. Hi Mark,

    I can't answer your question regarding effectiveness, but I can give some insights into the biology of euphausids that may prove useful.

    Generally, euphausids are open-water pelagic crustaceans. Each day, they undergo a vertical migration, spending the day at greater depths and migrating toward the surface at night. In contrast, most of our local mysid species tend to be found closer to shore and do not show such extreme migrations.

    My experience at Friday Harbor is that we would typically see more euphausids during periods of spring (versus neap) tides. I presumed that this meant that they were getting caught up in the stronger tidal flows and brought closer to the surface. The central and southern basins of Puget Sound certainly have deep enough water to support euphausids and enough sills and current to carry them to the surface, but I don't have much experience with these areas.

  3. I've found euphausid patterns to be most effective during the winter and spring. Of course, that may be because that's when I most frequently fish them. When the chum and pink fry come down out of the rivers in, say, mid-March and after the sandlance hatch has brgun, I have a tendency to switch over to baitfish patterns and Miyawaki's Beach Popper.

    Observe the way in which the fish are feeding; if they're bulging like trout feeding on emergers they are almost certainly feeding on euphausids or amphipods. If they are slashing, especially if you see rapidly repeated rises as the fish chases a school of bait and certainly if you see schools of baitfish spraying out of the water, that's what's on the menu.
  4. What kind of lines, leaders, presentations do you guys use when fishing euphausid patterns?

  5. Depending on the wind, I use either a floating or intermediate line for fishing euphausiids or amphipods. Winter through spring krill imitations are generally best anywhere in Puget Sound. They are however abundant all the way up the coast throughout the year. I've taken a lot of chum and pink salmon in the north Pacific during the summe months. Bruce Ferguson has taken several feeding sockeye on euphausiid imitations.
    There are a lot of new euphausiid and amphipod patterns in the forthcoming salmon book, "Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon II" (Johnson, Ferguson, Trotter - Frank Amato Publications).
    In addition to feeding salmon, keep an eye peeled for Boneparte gulls pecking away on the surface during the winter. They are in winter plumage but their surface feeding and chattering is easily recodnized.
    Les Johnson
  6. Unless wind is an issue, I use a floating line, with a 9' leader plus 2-4ft of tippet down to 3x-4x. As mentioned by Preston, look for trout-like dimpling of the surface. I cast up current and let drift into the rise area, using slow, short strips, just enough to keep slack out of the line and in touch with the fly.

    Somtimes I vary with short amphipod hop type of 1 or 2 inch strips with pause in between. Frequently I find the fish feeding right where current enters slower water area behind/around a point, but it might be that it's just easier to see the feeding activity in the slower water.
  7. iagree salt dog! Those are usually the conditions under which I have seen schools of resident coho feeding on amphipods. However, last Sunday I landed some resident coho that were out in strong current at times and kept one of them. It had amphipods in it's stomach but I never saw any schools of resident coho feeding on amphipods. I think that the current was strong enough to keep amphipods from being on the water surface since they are such weak swimmers subject to where tidal current can move them up or down in the water column.

  8. Makes sense to me Roger.

    My only problem this year is locating the feeding coho. :confused: Glad to hear you found some Sunday; for me, it was a nice day to practice wind casting....not even a bump.
  9. OK, I know this is a kinda strange question, but do you guys fishing euphasiid patterns a lot find that the fish tend to take them differently than other patterns, - more specifically, - by "inhaling" them. The reason I ask is I've experimented with euphasiid patterns in a few freshwater estuary fisheries for coho, chinook and summer steelhead using an intermediate line and a slow-stripping retrieve. I've caught plenty of fish on both the "standard" patterns used in these fisheries (buggers, leeches, softhackles, etc..) and even more on euphasiid patterns. While I've never had a fish swallow a "standard" fly, I've had several fish suck in euphasiid flys clear past their gill rakers. Crazy as it sounds for a freshwater fishery, it's happened enough times to myself and others, that I really want to say the fish are exhibiting some kind of "filter feeding" take. All these fish were bleeding badly from the gills and fortunately the only wild fish so far to do this was an early fall chinook of about 8#'s.
  10. Silver- I'm bored so I'll venture a guess: Fish inhale all their food; usually the tight line of a fast streamer retrieve prevents them from being hooked deep (or results in what we percieve as a 'short strike'). Perhaps the differance is that you are slow stripping the euphasiids so there is more slack in the line and when the fish suck it in, they are actually able to pull in deeper into their mouth?
  11. Thanks. I'm bored too which is why I asked. Actually the only difference is the pattern. Flyline, retrieve, leader, - everything else is equal. I even tie all the flies for these fisheries on the same hooks, - including the euphasiids. It is a very slow, pausing, strip retrieve, but it's stillwater so the fish would have to somehow "over-run" the fly to swallow it, and it's not happening with standard patterns. I have witnessed a few takes under very unusual conditions (flat-calm, mid-day, standing on the bow deck) where I could barely make out fish suspended 6-8' feet below the surface. In those cases the fish did seem to "ease forward" to check out the fly as it came within visual range, - then lunge to take it. Maybe it's just chance, but it's happened enough times now to become a "statiscal anomaly". I dunno, it just seems strange to land a 10# fish with a very sparse #8 fly stuck in it's throat.

    I'm not trying to draw any "grand conclusions", but it would be interesting to know if there is any difference in how salmon take euphasiids, - as opposed to baitfish (or other) patterns in the salt.
  12. Silverfly, I second your observations. I fish alot from the boat and it seems most of the time they come and take a look at the fly before taking it, although I have seen fish do the crazy kamikaze attack as well. I fish alot with tube flies and trailer hooks almost exclusively and have only seen a few fish hooked deep. Even with euphausids it doesn't seem to be much of a problem. Ketchum release tool is good for that and cutting the hook on the tube fly is even better.

  13. Since we are along the line of small euphausids, does anybody have a good pattern they could show me to replicate them? Im very new to fishing with krill imataions and would greatly appreaciate if its possible.

  14. Here's the one mentioned at the start of this thread. It was first tied by the late Bob McLaughlin. It's pretty simple: tie in a small clump of pearl Krystalflash which will form the tail and mouth parts/antennae. Tie in black plastic dumbbell or extra-small black beadchain for eyes. Large pearl plastic chenille (Estaz, Cactus Chenille) forms the body. Trim up the tail and front end, clip the chenille fibers on the back and sides, leaving those on the bottom full length to represent legs and it's ready to go.
  15. I did something along those lines and had good success - mostly for cutthroat, but I haven't tried that hard for the coho yet.

    (2 flies on the bottom)
  16. :eek: Just to give credit where credit is due, I stole the idea last year from you Chad, and it has worked great on SeaRuns and Coho last winter and spring, and I've picked up several nice SeaRuns this year on the few days when the wind hasn't been howling. Quick tie and effective. I've stayed with the mottled greenish brown of natural pheasant tail during winter.
  17. It wasn't my idea to steal, but thanks anyway :)

    Those patterns there have orange bucktail tied in. It can be very brittle and not hold well to abusive back casts hitting rocks and such. A coating of hard as nails is OK. Or something like soft-flex or even epoxy - but that kills the idea of 10 seconds to tie fly...
  18. The Teeny Nymph (original) has been in my saltwater box for years in small sizes especially to imitate euphausiids. I like the pink, red and ginger colors primarily. The ginger TN works exceptionally well when there is crab spawn blooming. Fish it per the methods detailed in this thread.
    Good Fishing,

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