Arctic Char on the Chena River, Alaska

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by xdog, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. xdog

    xdog Active Member

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    I took a morning off from training the dogs to fish the Chena for Grayling. I have never fished them before so I was eager to try. I found the fish to be abundant and eager to rise to dry flies. I caught nearly fourty fish in 4.5 hours. The vast majority of The fish I found were 8-12", I had about six at about 14", a pair about 16" and fish of the day was around 18". What beautiful fish with their oversized exaggerated multi colored fins reminded me much of the Siamese Fighting Fish or Beta's. I also find it very interesting that their eye set is at a slant or angle to look up much more than a trout which likely explains thier fondness to surface feeding. I caught a few fish on nymphs but dries were the order of the day, I fished Adams, Mahogany May's, dry Muddlers all performed equally well but they showed a decided definite confidence or preference for Elk Hair Caddis, the fish had more conident takes on the EHC and most of my bigger fish were unable to resist a skittered presentation, often after repeated dead drift presentations. Gin clear water allowed many fish to be spotted first and is that I could watch thier reactions to presentations and then watch the subsequent take, very exciting. While I fished on a Tuesday morning I saw no other fisherman while fishing and only several fishing in a 15 mile stretch. What a great fishery especially for new fisherman. I was told July is the prime month to fish. Incredibly the experience is available only a hours drive away from downtown Fairbanks.

    Tight line regards,


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    Check out the ventral fin.

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    Clownish if not Peacocky.

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    Upward cast eye set.

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    A leaner just about all leaned out.
     
  2. ganglyangler

    ganglyangler Bird Dogs and Fly Rods

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    Great report! Thanks! Another bucket list item..
     
  3. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

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    Wish I'd have been there, nice report!

    LB

     
  4. Brookie_Hunter

    Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

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    Great stuff. I've only been to Chena Hot Springs in the heart of winter but I'd love to get there when the bite is on sometime.
     
  5. Kenneth Yong

    Kenneth Yong Member

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    What beautiful grayling, I must say they're prettier than the European species. I envy you the fact that you can "take the morning off" to go fish waters like that.

    Thanks much for sharing,
    Kenneth
     
  6. tediousthumper

    tediousthumper Hello My name is Thad and Im addicted to flyfishin

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    Ahhhhmazing!
     
  7. Top in my class

    Top in my class Member

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    Wow those are some beautiful fish! Sure wish they had fish like that in washington! Good to see you had an amazing time.
     
  8. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Great looking fish, and a cool looking blue rod. It it a Redington?
     
  9. xdog

    xdog Active Member

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    Patrick thank you,

    Yes the rod is Redington. For some reason I only had two salmon rods with me and nothing suitable for trout or grayling, so off to Sportsmans Wharehouse in Fairbanks. With budget in mind for $139.00 I bought a Redington ready to fish kit: Redington rod, reel, case, it came with a Rio line, backing it even had a leader nail knotted to the fly line. They had numerous packages available from 3 weights up to 9 weight or so in two or four piece rods, I opted for a 4 piece, 9ft, 5 weight and I was very impressed with what I recieved for that price. The rod and reel are well balanced, comfortable in hand, the rod joins together nicely, (its pretty blue too) and casts crisply without being overbearing, the reel is simple and functions smoothly. The only thing I might do to try to enhance its performance is over line it to a 6 wt which I think the rod could handle nicely. A great value that exceeded my expectations I would reccomend to anyone especially those on a budget or the beginning angler.

    Kudos to Redington!

    :)
     
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  10. xdog

    xdog Active Member

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    Thank you all for the the views and kind words.

    It back to training with the dogs for the time being. Introducing the newest AKC Retriever Field Champion who won the Open this past weekend at the Fairbanks Retriever Club Trial:

    FC Hiwood Jag's Wildcard

    Better known as,

    Lucky

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    Tight line regards,

    :)
     
  11. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    Name brand rod and reel, name brand line and a case for $139 is a deal.
     
  12. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    I need to catch me one of those grayling. Pretty fish
     
  13. Jeff

    Jeff Member

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    xdog, great report and beautiful photos! I recently moved up to Fairbanks and have been fishing the Chena as often as possible. It's an incredible fishery!

    Here's a fatty from the West Fork, upper Chena.

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    -Jeff
     
    Blake Harmon likes this.
  14. xdog

    xdog Active Member

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    Thank you Jeff. That fish is a real toad! Nice.
    :)