Your Favorite Fish of 2018

Creatch'r

Heavies...
Big flies, spoons, twitching jigs and bait - in order of increasing effectiveness. I've had reasonable success with flies in the Skeena area, much less success and much more frustration down here. The closest thing I have to a confidence fly for chinook is a bigger, longer winged and flashier version of the fly below tied on a tungsten tube. I use the longest fox I can find or sometimes Himalayan goat for the wing. I tried rabbit which I like for steelhead but it the fox/goat sheds water and makes for easier casting with the already heavy fly.

View attachment 188523

For the hatchery run I normally fish, I prefer to float fish with a centerpin. From a technical perspective (doing a bunch of different things quickly with low margin of error), I find it more difficult and more rewarding than swinging/jigging big flies and long heavy tips. But I also just like float fishing with a centerpin and it suits the water I like to fish better than swinging. You are free to execute your hazing strategy on me in the unlikely event we're on the same water. I'll respond by farting in your general direction.;)

I just signed on to a trip to Kodiak to target them this year which will be in shallow water with (what I'm told) are aggressive fish so lighter tips and all flies. in addition to the spey rod, I'll probably pick up a heavier one-hander and try some smaller flies up there for the helluvit.

I had pretty lights out fishing in Kodiak with a single hander, floating line and small pink and chartreuse comets with large lead eyes. Out fishing everyone with that setup. They really were aggressive chasing down on a pretty fast strip. The rivers are small and everyone is throwing giant vibraxes or baby fist sized gobs of eggs. The little fly was totally killer. I was fishing a 6wt since I broke my 8wt but an 8wt would have been nicer. There is no where to run for the most part unless you fish the last pool or two before the ocean. So I can’t picture needing very heavy gear and for the most part, you are looking at 8-12# Kings but there are definitely some big ass fish in those little rivers. I hooked fish north of 20# and have seen much bigger. Have fun kodiak is special.
 

Thomas Mitchell

corvus ossifragus
I had pretty lights out fishing in Kodiak with a single hander, floating line and small pink and chartreuse comets with large lead eyes. Out fishing everyone with that setup. They really were aggressive chasing down on a pretty fast strip. The rivers are small and everyone is throwing giant vibraxes or baby fist sized gobs of eggs. The little fly was totally killer. I was fishing a 6wt since I broke my 8wt but an 8wt would have been nicer. There is no where to run for the most part unless you fish the last pool or two before the ocean. So I can’t picture needing very heavy gear and for the most part, you are looking at 8-12# Kings but there are definitely some big ass fish in those little rivers. I hooked fish north of 20# and have seen much bigger. Have fun kodiak is special.
Really appreciate the advice. It looks like the lodge indeed is right above the rivermouth. Some of the shots on their photo album look like they were taken from the beach almost. I'm really looking forward to both my fishing and seeing the bears fishing.
 

Fast Action Freddie

Having a drink in The Buff
Three come to mind

Steelhead that I swung with an hour left in my 4 day trip back in April



The locals were impressed



My biggest brown of the year



Then the mice eaters

I’ve never moused for cutts. Does that usually work or does it take water with exceptionally large cutts?
 

Aussie fly

Active Member
I've not seen that type of water in the Skagit that I am familiar with. Nice pics
I was fishing the right edge of the log jam & brought the fish into a chute running into the pool from right of screen. I’d given up on the main expanse of river as my casting wasn’t really giving me confidence I was getting the fly where it needed to go. Definitely need some Spey casting help if I’m lucky enough to spend time back in the PNW.
A7F5F0DD-9BD3-45D2-9B7B-F2F42D55068F.png
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
A couple fish that are special to me for very personal reasons...

In April I was in a local bar and heard my name being called by a voice I hadn't heard for years. When I turned around, I was combo bear-hugged and tackled by the fella who helped me get my start as a guide in 2003, someone with which I had spent many an hour chasing fish in AK. He had moved about 500 miles away a decade or so ago, and after a short reunion chitchat he invited me up to his place to fish his local with him in the fall. I spent 4 days with JA in October, all in the most miserable conditions possible - 40mph wind, torrential rain, flooding river with no gravel in sight - but just like the old days, we had a ball and caught a pile of fish. The pic below is one fish of an awesome midafternoon session on a little chunk of backwater that gets overlooked quite often, but can hold some tankers when conditions are right. The cherry on top is that he took this pic while fighting what turned out to be his own personal best rainbow - I got to tail that for him, and that was yet another good moment in a day that seemed filled with 'em. At any rate, the fish:
RainyBo.jpg

The second fish was from a beautiful May day in Southeast Alaska, and it too has a backstory. After a couple years of kicking the idea around at my winter job (Trout Unlimited, AK program), I finally had the opportunity to put together a survey trip to document the presence of steelhead in a few select streams in SE AK. I took 2 TU Donors and a couple TU staffers on a 5 day series of flyouts to watersheds that were not "officially" (according to ADFG) steelhead-producing streams, but I had spent time collecting data on these places and, based on known attributes and some "fishy reckoning", I was fairly sure they could support populations of steelhead - we just had to be in the right place at the right time.

In order to document a species in a stream or location not previously identified, ADFG requires 2 fish "in hand" - clear photographic evidence of habitat use by that species. The first day I nearly killed these folks, hiking them through the brutal terrain that pretty much IS steelhead country in AK. We were unable to find fish in the first river I chose, but we made plans to visit another stream on a different island, one I had fished before for other species...just not steelhead.

On that river, after hiking a good 2 miles in from saltwater and dragging these fine folks through the worst devils club and blowdown maze you have ever seen, we had found 1 fish (the only fish we saw), gotten it to eat, and took down the relevant info to assist in documentation, although spirits were starting to wane. After another mile I called it quits, and there was some obvious dejection in the air - not only were we unable to find the essential second fish for documentation, but now we had to hike back through the nightmare to get to the pickup spot.

As we got closer to tidewater I started to get a bit of a fishy feeling - water temps had warmed past the 40° mark, there was a little added turbidity from snowmelt, and we were on the back end of a good high tide. About 300 yards from saltwater, I found this little cutie in a pocket under a tree and managed to not mess it up. Measurements were taken, relevant info was recorded, and after a bit of time collating data and generating maps, I managed to add steelhead to the ADFG species assemblage of this particular river.

Special indeed.
ForTheWin.jpg
 

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
This wasn't my largest, but was definitely my favorite...."Humpy"

I was fortunate enough to shake fins with him twice....here he is at 44"






Second time around a couple of months later, he had grown 4". Funny thing was, in between, I saw him within 100 yds of where I initially caught him, and even got a half-arsed follow out of him....
 
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