Ling Flies?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Connor H, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. I am new here on this forum and I will not tell you who invited me here... lest you hold it against him... ;)

    I have been known to spend a little time chasing lingcod in Prince William Sound and especially Kodiak. I went to school in Ellensburg, but came back to AK in '80. It is pretty hard to tell the difference between halibut fishing and lingcod fishing when using a fly rod.

    Sometimes these guys come up (can you see the bunny fly?):

    Sometimes they have yellow eyes...

    And sometimes they are actually lingcod...

    Sometimes they are enormous (64#)...

    My son with his first big one... He has caught many...

    We have several different approachs to lingcod on flies. In deeper water most folks on the boat fish with the levelwinds and jigs. When a big fish is hooked a fly is dropped near the rising fish. Other fish come up with them to get the regurgitated goodies they lose. The falling fly is often picked up by the rising fish unnoticed.

    Deep water flies should not be so heavily weighted they hang straight down off the end of the fly line. Make them light enough to drop at the same rate as your line. Someone suggested bunny is better than synthetics.

    With all those teeth to hang a fly on, give me something that will snag on teeth and hold the hook in position to find lingcod lips. Synthetic yarns work real well for that; bucktail, not so much...

    Sometimes the fly guy forgets or is distracted when the jig fisher brings fish up and we find schools of lingcod (or other fishes) flashing around the transom. Flopping anything on them is very effective... We caught several really huge lingcod last summer exactly that way.

    The third method is to find a pinnacle pretty close to the surface (some we fish are ~30') and drop the fly on a drift. Timing the drop to get the fly close to the peak on the drift is a bit tricky.

    I am a gamakatsu slut, but the Mustad 34007 is plenty good for lingcod... I use a 50# Maxima leader for abrasion resistance.

    My primary lingcod rods are Penn Int'l two-handers, 12wt, 9'. For reels I use Hardy Huskys and have 6 of those with untold numbers of fish behind them and they just keep on taking a pounding and surviving. Lines are destroyed frequently, so anything deepwater and cheap works fine... and casting much is a real problem... You will get into backing regularly and will have an expensive line beyond that little knot... Replace backing often and do not skimp on it. A friend left a brand new high end line on the bottom last summer...

    It is surprising WA allows spring fishing for lingcod. The females sit the nest through mid-June at least and any time they are dragged away from it the nest predators tear them up. Greenling and sculpins are especially known to do that. AK season opens July 1 for that reason. they are surprisingly fast growing fish and far younger than most suppose, especially the big one.
  2. Art -
    Intersting stuff and some pretty impressive fish!

    The Puget Sound ling Cod is set to assure that the spawn has been completed. What you are seeing is a regional difference in the fish's behavior. Our ling cod are late winter/early spring spawners. It is the males that guard the female's egg mass and they typically have completed their duties by late March or early April with some hanging on through most of April.

    I find it interesting that Alaska allows you to kill those large females. At least here in Washington the largest lings are all females. Here in puget Sound only fish between 26 and 40 inches may be harvested. Virtually all the fish over 40 inches are females thus the slot is designed to protect those valuable sources of eggs (large females) once they reach the 40 inch mark.

    Tight lines

  3. This is pretty much the best first post ever. Also can I go fishing with you damn... Those are nice lings
  4. HAP....Will you be my friend?

    Come to think of it, if I loose my job cause of the economy do you need a deck hand???

    Do you like dogs?

    WWF members beware! I heard this guy is just a shill for the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce...

  5. Smalma
    Protecting breeders is important when the issue is recruitment. We have plenty of young lingcod moving up and the real surprise is the youth of big lingcod. For strong evidence look at the relative mercury concentrations in them. They eat the oldest and most heavily loaded of fish and still stay in the reasonable range...

    Tried to find a reference that showed the breeding season lapse rate... I thought I knew it, but perhaps I am way wrong. More later.

    powder monkey
    I am in S Anchorage. Do you make it to the AK Fly Fishers meetings? I am running the booth at the Sportsmans show again this year and took a seat on the board this month. Headed to a meeting for our annual auction right now, but I will be around at least every once in a while...

    My boat is a 40' Uniflite (36'Sports sedan hull) I keep in Kodiak. It is always thirsty...

  6. Do I know you? ;)
  7. lings and rock fish are on the bottom in fast current so you wont really be casting your flies more just letting them drop down, if you can get some of the curly tail worms try and tie the tails on a hook or marabou tails. the only thing ive caught lings on are herring and sand lances. we run back into bays in the morning and catch 20-30 of them toss em in the live well run out to our favorite spot and nail em. i think the best time to fish lings is on the slack time to you get a more natural drift speed. if you are thinking about fishing under the narrows bridge forget about it, it takes me almost .5 lbs of lead to get our baits down to the bottom and you almost always break off. linging is expensive
  8. Black Rockfish there
  9. No more, brother in law caught a 64 pound hen that had to be released. Biggest one the guide ever got into. Have photos for reference.

  10. Daryle
    I have pictures that would make him cry... We caught limits of lingcod every day we fished this year. We were selective and caught many more than the limit in total. Fish over 60# are not uncommon and over 50# is a daily thing. Actually, more than one per day usually.

    This past year out of Kodiak the fuel cost reduced fishing pressure, sports and commercial. The small boats that commercial fish for halibut near shore could not afford to go and have bad days, so they concentrated quota on bigger small boats and fished together and ran farther to ensure every set was productive.

    That left a lot more fish close to town for the rest of us.
  11. haven't been to a meeting in a while as I'm located in Juneau during the meeting season now... Did you ever give a presentation about trying to catch a line class fly rod record for Halibut in PWS I remember a presentation like that. I should probably reup my membership one of these days AFF is a really great club in which I learned a lot in my youth. Is anybody doing the upper Russian bike in trip anymore that was something I wanted to do but I think they stopped doing it when I was old enough. Good times, the fly swap still going strong after Benny's passing?
  12. Not me on line class records... I have had a number of folks do it from my boat, very successfully, but the lingcod numbers are still pretty easy to best.

    I am pretty new to the club, just a few years and the RR trip has not been done in my tenure. We make the trip ourselves pretty regularly. Dave Goodman has been doing the Kodiak silvers trip for quite a while and when he backed out for this year I failed to step back with everyone else...

    Fly swaps as in the kind done on these sites is not being done, but the fly of the month drawing at meetings continues. There is a new fly-tying contest with flies due at Monday's meeting...
  13. Very observant, Mumbles! Ya gotta luv fish with hi-res eyes!
  14. Tie these with white bellies and orange tops.

    6/0-4/0 trey combs, 5" between hookeyes.
    Full magnum rabbit strips, tapered.
    Prism tape eyes.

    Hold on.
  15. G Smolt, beautiful looking fly!
  16. G. Smolt -
    Great looking fly.

    I have found that lings take the flies very aggressively and a two hook rig really is not necessary. They have a large mouth and when feeding they tend to take their prey by the head. When I find that I'm missing fish and change to a fly with a stinger the fish I catch are usually smaller rockfish "nipping" at the tail of the fly.

    Tight lines
  17. Curt
    I agree completely.

    Lingcod do not refuse flies, ever.
  18. man G I wanna watch you cast sometime if you throw that thing around! Saw Brad tying up some of those a few years back, tear mender to hold em together?

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