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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone ever target kokanee on a fly?

I was looking at a site on BC stillwaters the other day and I noticed they mentioned doing just this.

I have never known anyone to do this. So I have to put it out there. Who knows about flyfishing for silvers (kokanee)?

I found myself surrounded by flipping kokanee today but all I had was a full sink line as I was trying for bass for the first time.

I suppose I best go back with a floating line and throw something red out on top and see if I get any takers?

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Mark
 

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Slainte
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Mark, I'd be interested in two things, where were you fishing, and were they on top? Reason I ask is my only experince with kokanee is in Lake Cour d'Alene, deep on tackle.

Roper,

Good things come to those who wade...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Roper and Alpine,

I was on a large lake in Whatcom Cty., where one will find the name of the lake in the county. I'm keeping it a secret.

In all seriousness everyone knows Lake Whatcom has "silvers". Over the years they have been caught on the usual pop gear trolls. This lake has become a hot one lately for smallmouth bass and I was exploring that aspect with flies.

I was in a shallow area and the silvers were flipping all around me. I have seen this over the years when I used to troll for them with my grandfather. It wasn't until seeing them referenced on a BC Stillwater FF site that I considered them for a fly try.

So does that help for any suggestions and thank you Alpine for yours.

I guess I could tie up some wedding band patterns.

Mark
 

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Patrick
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My experince with Kokanee is if you can find the depth they are feeding in they can be caught on about any small fly. The trick most of the time is finding where they are feeding and keeping the fly in that zone. I have had some good days, even days were they will take a small dry but many more times were I can not seem to get them to take anything at all. While I do not fish for them as often as I do for trout or Salmon they do make for an intresting challange once in awhile but it is one more often than not thet they end up with the upper hand in. If the lake has some type of shrimp or scuds in it, paterns for those are going to be the best ones to try. Often orange scuds are the way to go other times olive.
 
G

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Kokanee are not silvers they are land locked sockeye and are plankton feeders. I have never fly fished for them but have caught them jigging buzz bombs and nordic jigs. I did run into a guy on Odell lake in Eastern Oregon that was fly fishing one evening and doing alright and the flies he had looked like small shad flies, about sz 10 stainless ,bead chain eyes with sparse flashabou.The fish were down at about 20 ft. and I think he told me he had a super fast sink line on a 6 weight.
 

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Kokanee (Sockeyes) are somewhat bizarre as a fresh water fish. As a younger man, we used to catch great hauls of them using pop gear and Lucky Knights in California's reservoirs in the Central Valley. The magic depth was always about 32 ft. and Spring was the time of the year.
Once, up at Lake Tahoe, I saw one of the strangest sights of my angling career: what Koknaee actually do down there. This could only happen at Tahoe because of its legendary clear water, so clear that it was a bit disconcerting to look down in 300 ft. of water and see rocks as plain as day.
Anyway, looking almost straight down, I was watching flashers spinning slowly behind the ball on my downrigger when I noticed a formation of fish following along like geese in the sky, a perfect "V" formation. Then, one of the boys out on the wing would bolt ahead and swing past the lure so fast it made your eyes blink with disbelief. But nothing happened to signal the attack. Then they would follow again and another would make his buzz run. Nothing. I had watched this happen about three or four times when a Kamakazi misjudged the hook and slammed into it. The rod bent double (these were all huge four to five pound fish) and so it went.
I suppose they can be taken on flies but I have have never heard of it. If they did, I am sure the sporting literature would be full of stories and appropriate flies, yet I have never read anything about this. I'm not saying that it can't be done (anything can be done in flyfishing, whether it is true or not) but it does not seem likely. They would be a dandy fish on a fly rod as they fight hard and jump well.
Problems:
Too deep to reach with fly gear most of the time.
Are a schooling fish and difficult to locate without a trolling boat moving fast enough to attract them.
Plankton feeders as noted.
Apparently don't strike to eat but strike to "show off?"
Pop gear is only slightly less difficult to cast than a Hoh River articulated "nymph."
Bob:professor
 

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Mother Nature's Son
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I've caught a handful of Kokanee in the fall in resevoirs just before they migrate up creeks. Specically, I fished using a type 3 sinking line in about 10-15 feet of water. The fish were easy to locate as they were rolling from time to time in the small bays. I used small olive green wooly buggers with just a touch of flash in them. They were definitely great fighters once caught, but they were typical of their salt water relative Sockeyes in that they didn't move far for a fly. Evenings and mornings were definitely best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All I have to say is wow, what a cross section on good advice.

It is great to see that some folks have actually tried and had success on "silvers", yes I realize they are a landlocked sockeye, but when you grew up with your grandfather calling them silvers and you worshiped the ground he walked on, then silvers they are forever.

I will put to use several of the great suggestions here, and you have given me an impetus to contact the website in Canada that talked about catching them on fly's.

I will let you know how it goes.

Mark
 

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Be the guide...
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Here are some more ideas from doing a 'google' search:

http://www.flyanglersonline.com/features/canada/can191.html

"Kokanees will strike a bright pink fly (Pink crystal buggers)during the
spawning runs. During the year, they will hit streamers and crystal buggers in
a variety of colors."

http://store.yahoo.com/trollingfly/kokanee.html

"Kokanee are plankton eaters, and aren't generally caught on lures or flies. The most common method is to use tiny grub lures, called kokanee flies, tipped with a small piece of worm or a maggot. Kokanee flies come in glow-in-the-dark models, and night fishing for kokanee is very popular. Trolling gear, such as Ford Fenders and Wedding Rings also work, as long as the terminal hook is nothing more than a kokanee fly or small piece of bait. A piece of surgical tubing is usually tied into a kokanee rig, to act as a shock absorber. This prevents the hook from tearing out of the soft mouths of kokanee salmon. "
 

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Be the guide...
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I also wanted to add that in my few incounters with kokanee, I've found them to be the most aggressive in the fall when they move into the shallow water and start putting on their spawning colors.

Lake Meridian (East of Kent) has some Kokanee that start stacking up around the east end by the boat launches and the park where the bottom is sandy and the creek flows in. September and October is about the right time. You'll see them jumping and rolling all over. Never targeted them with flies, but my 'little brother' caught his first fish ever doing a slow troll right at the surface with a small piece of worm. I got several 12 to 14inchers in beautiful spawning colors doing the same. If I go back there, I think I'll try a small red crystal flash bugger or a san juan worm...
 
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