USGS Stream Data

Kenai Rvr @ CooperLndg

  • Water Temp: 36.5 ° F
  • Flow: 1740 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 7.51 ft
USGS

Middle Kenai @ Skilak

  • Flow: 2030 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 7.28 ft
USGS

Talkeetna Rvr

  • Water Temp: 32.18 ° F
  • Water Level: 4.91 ft
USGS

Situk Rvr

  • Water Temp: 39.38 ° F
  • Flow: 1050 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 68.02 ft
USGS
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Archive for the ‘Pattern’ Category

Spring Fishing: Wet, Cold, & Fish

Southcentral Alaska has had an amazing spring this year. We had such warm weather earlier in the winter that the snow pack was low. April was filled with sunshine and temperatures much warmer than normal. Breakup was as much evaporation as run off. So when I got word that Rhett at Tri-River Charters had his Phantom boats in the river April 22nd I started looking for the first day possible to go fishing up the Talkeetna River.

I faced a couple of challenges. The last week of April and first weekend in May was out as I had work scheduled; Fishing buddy Lance had had some surgery in mid-April and is on “light” duty until his incisions heal; my brother was out of town for his son’s graduation from college (congratulation DJ); and the weather had been so warm that the river was starting to blow out every afternoon. My window of opportunity was short. I needed a fishing buddy. To my rescue came Jae McKee, a friend I’d known for a while, and we had talked fishing. Jae had guided a bit on the Talkeetna when he was younger and I always wanted to get out with him to learn a bit more about the river. Our schedules matched up on Tuesday, May 6th; and as luck would have it, it was supposed to cloud up and get a bit cooler the first part of that week. I scheduled a 7AM shuttle ride with Rhett, borrowed a second pontoon boat for Jae, and started dreaming of big fish, eating little fry, dancing on the end of my line.

1_TalkeetnaRvr_2014-05_0504We decided to spend Monday night at Jae’s cabin in Talkeetna, saving us from the 4AM alarm clock. We got out of town about 9PM due to a meeting I needed to be at, but noticed that, just as scheduled, the skies were starting to cloud up.

We woke up to wet everything. It had started to rain at some point during the night and although the rain wasn’t heavy, the drizzle was still coming down, and it was very cool.

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Fly Flasher

Hey! Hey! Lance discovered (via Mossy’s Fly Shop) a  new and exciting site that just for flies and fly tyers.

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Fly Flashers has been around for just over a year, but is gaining speed. We decided to help. Both Lance & I joined today and I listed several of our favorite patterns. We’d like to encourage you to give them a look see; and if you’re a tyer, or just want to share the patterns that you use that work, sign up and join us. Nothing like networking to get the creative juices flowing.

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Find them on Facebook, or go online to Flyflasher.com for a visit.

We’re fans!

Search Lance Hankins or 2 Guys FlyFishing.net

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Lots of new Fly Patterns available!

HankinsSelect-a-Bead-2up

A Select-A-Bead fly developed by Lance and Rich

Rich has been working like a mad man trying to get the Fly Patterns section of our site up and loaded. Go there and take a look! These are all great patterns and specifically are the ones WE use! I’m sure you can find something there worth trying. Many of these are available commercially in local Fly Shops if you don’t tie. And if you happen to run into us on the river, we’ll be happy to share a couple with you…

Sharp Hooks and Tight Lines!

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Russian River – July 6, 2013

The early run of sockeyes has wound down, and the late run hasn’t started yet.  It’s my favorite time to be on the Russian River. Water levels have dropped over 9″ in the last three weeks, and Lance & I were hoping that there would be some hungry trout in the river now that salmon scraps have gotten slim. We parked in Pink Salmon and, after gearing up, hiked a short time to get into the base of the canyon. RussianRvr_2013-07-06_0010-PanoLance decided to continue testing his Hevi-Bead system; I decided to start with a Helmet-head sculpin tube fly. I also threaded a very small pink bead on the tippet hoping the extra attraction might trigger an instinct. (You know, egg-headed anything.)  We fished through the first two runs and down into the bottom of the canyon where it flattens out. No luck for either of us. Since neither of us have had much luck in the broad flat area right out of the canyon, we decided to hike down to the Powerline Hole and drop in just below a couple of die-hard salmon anglers.

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Talkeetna River Musings…

Hevi-Beads

This Spring at the Great Alaska Sportsman’s Show I watched a demo for a product being sold through Mountain View Sports called Hevi-Beads. Back too them in a minute…

Now anyone who knows me very well knows that Rich and I have not been great fans of the practice of using beads for trout despite their undeniable effectiveness. They just didn’t seem to be flies to us. So a couple of years ago we set out on a quest to come up with a way to fish beads – with the ability to make quick changes – and we came up with the Select-A-Bead system. A fly with a plastic tag that could be threaded through the bead (or two) and allow you to fish it like a bead head. We’ve tried them in a variety of patterns from standard eggs through Wooly Buggers and Bunny flies to Sculpins. Sometimes they work sometimes they don’t. We had days where they outfished everything else in the box and days where they didn’t catch a thing but regular beads on the line above a bare hook caught many. It was very frustrating.  Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Fry Time!

 

Fry

For most Alaskan fly fishers spring brings melting snow and thoughts summer fishing, with (hopefully) sunshine and green things growing everywhere.  But some of us have discovered we can have frys with our spring.

Salmon eggs laid last fall have been hatching under the ice, slowly developing into alevins (yoke sac fry). As ice pulls away from the spawning beds, the alevin, having used up their yoke sac, become fry. New fry swim to the surface, gulp some air to fill their air bladder, and begin free swimming and feeding. It’s at this point in their young lives that fry become available to all the other fish that have been on minimum rations through winter.

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Tubular Smolt – Tying instrucions

The Tubular Smolt came from my desire to have a fly that imitated the young fish I grew up seeing in the shallows of lakes. In my younger days we had small Flatfish and Rapalas for our ultra-light spinning rods. Once I started fly fishing I missed that basic minnow shape, and the desire to imitate it never really left the part of my brain that fishes. When I began learning more about bait fish, I kept thinking that there had to be a way to create a pattern that would mimic the head down attitude of a crippled fish. I also reasoned that a pattern that floated head down could be twitched back to horizontal creating an impression of struggling to stay alive. I wasn’t so concerned about movement, there are plenty of flies for that, I was mostly focused on size, color, and shape.

Although I had played with a few different patterns over the years, it was the thermometer probe cover that finally got my creative juices flowing. Here was the shell for an underbody. I knew I wanted to use Mylar tubing as an outer cover; all I had to do is figure out a way to get this long, thin walled tube onto a hook. After a few failed attempts at prototypes I became frustrated in that I just could not come up with a way to create a solid enough union to a hook to tie materials onto and over the tube. So the probe covers sat in my material box for almost a year. Then, while looking at some tube fly materials, I noticed cone heads designed for small tubes. “Tube flies” I thought, (mentally smacking myself on the side of the head) that’s the answer! I had toyed tying tube flies in the past, but being a bit of a traditionalist, I had failed to think past the shanked hook school of design when working on this baitfish imitation.

It took three attempts to create a tube fly that suspended head down, looked like a small fish, and did not have the disadvantage of an extra-long hook shank. The material sizes listed in the instructional PDF are based on getting the fly to suspend with neutral density. I’ve since subsisted foam for the head, for a high floating fly, and I’ve been stuffing the front part of the probe cover with fluorescent glo-bug yarn and/or Everglow fibers. You can alter the length of the body to create a shorter or longer baitfish and color the body to match any local baitfish. It is important that the body (Mylar tubing) be sealed. I’ve used regular epoxy, rod wrapping epoxy, and am currently playing with a couple different UV cured coatings. All seem to have their pros and cons. I use nail polish, especially ones with sparkle, to add color and extra bling to the body. Once you have the basic pattern, variations are endless.

Rainbow that took Tubular Smolt on the Agulawok River

Rainbow that took Tubular Smolt on the Agulawok River

The pattern’s name come from the fact that I now fish areas where salmon smolts are a prime baitfish; and the fly has proven itself on a couple of different river fisheries for rainbows. The interesting point is that I’ve yet to get the chance to fish one in a lake, where the process started years ago. But then, life is still young!

For a PDF of the Tying Instructions for this pattern, go to our Patterns page.

If you have questions or other comments, please feel free to post them here or email me at Rich@2GuysFlyFishing.net.

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