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Old 02-14-2020, 09:05 PM   #1
Blue Shark
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Default Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Hi, Guys, we've got a group of 8 heading up to AK in late July...many are youngin's! Want to pre-tie leaders for a more fun trip for all. I've been searching the web and have located many sites with bulk hooks. I could buy those and tie a bunch but hoping to find a source to buy pre-tied but sharp/durable hooks. Thanks ahead of time for any ideas! We are super excited for the adventure.

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Old 02-15-2020, 07:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

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Hi, Guys, we've got a group of 8 heading up to AK in late July...many are youngin's! Want to pre-tie leaders for a more fun trip for all. I've been searching the web and have located many sites with bulk hooks. I could buy those and tie a bunch but hoping to find a source to buy pre-tied but sharp/durable hooks. Thanks ahead of time for any ideas! We are super excited for the adventure.
Are you going to just the Russian? If not a bunch of 3/0 gamis on 36" 25lb main leaders will get you started.

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Old 02-15-2020, 07:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...es-for-sockeye
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:41 AM   #4
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Default Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

A bead is now considered a legal “fly” for the Russian. Here’s a 45 minute circle hook limit the last time I fished the Russian.




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Old 02-15-2020, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

https://www.fishalaskamagazine.com/w...uly%202018.pdf

Feature article on pages 22-23

Editor's plea against "Kenai Twichitis" on pages 10-11
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Doc's advise is very good. You definitely want to keep the chances of the younguns foul hooking a 10lb sockeye to a minimum

Late July will put you anywhere in the river (not just Russian) so just check the regs for hook gap requirements. I think they were stricter in that Russian sanctuary zone.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:22 AM   #7
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A bead is now considered a legal “fly” for the Russian. Here’️s a 45 minute circle hook limit the last time I fished the Russian.





Flossin 101.. I knew you had it in ya doc
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

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Flossin 101.. I knew you had it in ya doc
It's a legitimized meat-market flossery condoned by the fish managers. The circle hook method is simply a cleaner more aesthetic and highly effective way to get it done... not to mention that it's better for conservation.

I'll concede to flossing sox for meat, but I'd much rather be fishing for bonafide biters ANY DAY!
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

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It's a legitimized meat-market flossery condoned by the fish managers. The circle hook method is simply a cleaner more aesthetic and highly effective way to get it done... not to mention that it's better for conservation.

I'll concede to flossing sox for meat, but I'd much rather be fishing for bonafide biters ANY DAY!

Good meat fishery for sure. But not as fun as a take, or bobber down! Hard to pick either July for Reds, or Aug for Silvers....
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Is it going to be a good year for the Kenai sockeyes? What's the forecast?
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

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Is it going to be a good year for the Kenai sockeyes? What's the forecast?
Late run sox only forecast for ~2 million fish... well below the 20 yr avg

https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/a...1133308674.pdf

The run forecast for the Kenai River is approximately 2.2 million sockeye salmon, which is 1.4 million less (38%) than the 20-year average run of 3.6 million.

...

BUT....

The Kenai mgt plan was just amended by the BOF a few days ago to put an additional 100,000 sox past the sonar for 2020. Given the low forecast, 1.0 - 1.2 million sox (half of the run forecast) must be delivered to the counter after all commercial, personal use and lower river rec fisheries.

https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/r...ge_prop_89.pdf
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Thanks Doc!

Back to the original topic of the tread... There are a few ways to fish that river for sox with some variation in the hook size/shape and leader length. I would say see what works for you and then spend time to pre-tie the leaders. I remember I had made quite a few ready to use leaders before a trip a couple of years ago and brought almost all of them back home unused.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Went about 15 years ago when everyone used “Sockeye Flies” sold at the local shops. I wasn’t thrilled with how dull the store bought flies were, so I rigged up with a #2 Gamakatsu Octopus, 4mm bead and small bit of yarn under the egg loop. I didn’t foul hook any fish but Doc’s circle hook idea is interesting (knew you were a flosser Doc!). Got a lot of strange looks but they sure became interested in what I was using as I proceeded to bank a quick limit. 12# mono mainline and leader is what I used. In hindsight prob would bump up to 15 or even 20 as the practice up there is to haul the fish onto the beach as fast as possible. Playing your fish and “walking it down” seemed to be frowned upon (I just played the ignorant card) - the regulars would hook and land their fish all within their spot in the lineup. They’d yard those fish in and have them flopping on the beach still lit up and full of fight. Use just enough weight to tick the bottom, and get ready to learn the “Kenai flip” as there is no need to cast to those fish - they travel tight to the bank.
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Last edited by Nor Cal Drifter; 02-16-2020 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:20 PM   #14
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Question Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Hey Doc, what is your go-to fly rod for Reds? i.e. length and weight?

Also, what is your take on the weight of the bead? Per the regs "Flys" are limited to "1/4 oz. in it's entirety". Does the bead count as part of the 1/4 oz.? Plus the weight of the hook? Even if it's pinned at 2"?

Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

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Hey Doc, what is your go-to fly rod for Reds? i.e. length and weight?

Also, what is your take on the weight of the bead? Per the regs "Flys" are limited to "1/4 oz. in it's entirety". Does the bead count as part of the 1/4 oz.? Plus the weight of the hook? Even if it's pinned at 2"?

Thanks!
This old Sage XP 10 ft 9wt has been the most appropriate one in my quiver for a mighty LONG time. It's extremely well balanced in the hand, casts well, but a little weak in the butt for actually fighting a decent sockeye in heavy current. I have an ancient (1994) Sage RPL+ 9.5 ft 7 wt that's a much meatier fighting stick, but not as comfortable to cast for prolonged periods. You really want something with the fish-fighting power of a 15-20# gear rod. A big consideration in rod choice is that the flossery is an extremely repetitive affair and striving for ideal ergonomics will make your fishing day much more pleasant.

With regard to the "fly", 1/4 ounce is a LOT of weight. The bead is inconsequential to the otherwise bare hook that's considered a legal "fly" in this fishery.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Agree with Doc on rod choice...10-20 at minimum, but 12-25 would be better. I’m tellin ya these guys yard these fish in and don’t cross other lines, and they expect you to do the same.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:58 PM   #17
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Thumbs up Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Thanks for the come-back, Doc

I've fished the Confluence/Russian two years now. Looking forward to going back in 2021

The last time I was there (2018) I started getting away from the flies and started using just yarn and 3/8" gap circle hooks a little. Way less time wasted landing fish foul hooked in the tail/back/belly. Also a lot cheaper than flies. I think having a little more weight at/near the hook will get it in the "zone" better.

I mostly ran steelhead gear (a 1201 and 1084) spooled up with 25# or 30# mono. I ran a 1025 when we were down at Soldotna due to the heavier current. The only fly rod I had was a 15' #10/11 GLX spey outfit and it was just too unwieldy for the close quarters. I've got a 9' #8 GL3 I'll bring next time.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:10 PM   #18
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I like the Nautilus hook idea presented by Eyefish...sounds like a lot of merits -- better hookups, better success landing teeth, and less likely to injure fish as well. Going to order some up and give 'em a try this summer!
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Old 02-18-2020, 04:01 PM   #19
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

If you are fishing the Russian River proper, the regulation is your weight cannot be closer than 18” to your fly. The Russian River is swift and shallow and you want your gear to get down immediately, the shortest allowed leader is a must. I personally use a crane swivel on my leader and every one is right at 18”. I attach the weight above the swivel. I don’t want a ticket if my weight starts to slip down the leader.

The Kenai, on the other hand, is deeper and has no regulation on hooks and weights. My leader length will vary from 4’-8’ depending upon the area I’m fishing. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

How many do you need I have a bunch of custom tied flies I made 20 years ago that you can have. They are longer hooks than doc’s. Wish I could figure out how to get pictures on here. Most have pink on them so you can see them in the water. Also can give you some good advice of spots in the Kenai just before the Russian that are productive. Miss those days of living there in the early 80’s.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:44 AM   #21
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

I lived up there for 5 years and fished the Kenai sox religiously. Late July the lower river fish are in. Not much going on up at Russian River. All we did was tie up some single egg loop hooks and add some yarn to them. Color doesn't really matter. About 42 inches of leader and just enough weight to get it to tap bottom (pretty swift current so it may take a bit more than you think. The guys that jerk hard on the rod foul hook a lot of fish. If you cast it out like your drifting bait and then as it moves down stream slightly pull your rod tip down stream and ahead of your drift and keep slowly pulling in toward the bank. That straightens the line out and it will run 90 degrees to the current. As it hits the fishes mouth the line will travel until the hook sets. A lot more hook ups that way. The second run fish are awesome! They are much bigger than the first run that goes into the Russian and when you hook up its on!. Have fun.


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Old 02-19-2020, 12:51 PM   #22
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Default Re: Bulk Sockeye (Russian River) Flies

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How many do you need I have a bunch of custom tied flies I made 20 years ago that you can have. They are longer hooks than doc’s. Wish I could figure out how to get pictures on here. Most have pink on them so you can see them in the water. Also can give you some good advice of spots in the Kenai just before the Russian that are productive. Miss those days of living there in the early 80’s.
PM sent...thanks for the offer!
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:53 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by USCGBoating View Post
I lived up there for 5 years and fished the Kenai sox religiously. Late July the lower river fish are in. Not much going on up at Russian River. All we did was tie up some single egg loop hooks and add some yarn to them. Color doesn't really matter. About 42 inches of leader and just enough weight to get it to tap bottom (pretty swift current so it may take a bit more than you think. The guys that jerk hard on the rod foul hook a lot of fish. If you cast it out like your drifting bait and then as it moves down stream slightly pull your rod tip down stream and ahead of your drift and keep slowly pulling in toward the bank. That straightens the line out and it will run 90 degrees to the current. As it hits the fishes mouth the line will travel until the hook sets. A lot more hook ups that way. The second run fish are awesome! They are much bigger than the first run that goes into the Russian and when you hook up its on!. Have fun.


Dan
I agree, Dan...the second run are definitely bigger and feistier! Thanks for the thoughts...hope we can find 'em in the lower river. Looking forward to trying a nautilus hook with the technique you described! Agree on the "Kenai Twitch"...prefer the method you wrote.
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