USGS Stream Data

Kenai Rvr @ CooperLndg

  • Water Temp: 42.62 ° F
  • Flow: 4740 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 9.94 ft
USGS

Middle Kenai @ Skilak

  • Flow: 7900 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 9.71 ft
USGS

Talkeetna Rvr

  • Water Temp: 51.08 ° F
  • Flow: 6300 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 5.52 ft
USGS

Situk Rvr

  • Water Temp: 55.22 ° F
  • Flow: 241 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 65.67 ft
USGS
Ask About Fly Fishing

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.

UV Diamond Fry

UV Diamond Fry

As spring progresses, fry start to migrate downstream to either a lake (rearing habitat), or directly to the ocean, depending on species. Fry usually travel in the top layer and edges of the water column. Remember, these little guys are not great swimmers, so they need softer current. As fry migrate downstream they tend to bunch up in small schools. Watch for birds working the water, terns especially; they also know the fry are on the move and they like them as much as the fish. As fry migrate downstream they tend to bunch up in small schools. At this point in their lives there is safety in numbers. This works both for and against the angler. As the schools move through the holding area of the fish they have a tendency to key in on the larger groups as opposed to just a few, or individual fry. So, as the fry are pushed up in the water column and the birds work the over from above, you can time when you’ve got your best shot at a prime presentation. Once the school of fry has passed, you’re back to shotgun casting hoping that you can entice a fish into coming after a single offering.

Spring has arrived, and at some point in the next six weeks I hope that the random universe I live in will bless

Lord Of The Fry

Lord Of The Fry

me with a day, or two, I can get free from work and/or breakup chores, some pre-runoff clear water somewhere I can get to, and no rain. (Ok, so I’ll put up with the rain, but high, off-color water is a trip killer.)

Fry patterns are some of my prime fly choices this time of year. I do carry other standard patterns such as medium and large bottom dredging, big black uglies, some small flesh patterns, and a larger smolt pattern; but when frys are in the water, they’re my first choice. For small, younger fry, I prefer the Marabou Clouser Fry for its movement and slim profile. This is particularly important in slower water, like pool and where a stream enters a lake. This fly also does a great job at imitating the disproportionally larger head to slim body. The Little McFry is

Marabou Clouser

Marabou Clouser

also designed for early season fry. The Sili-Fry, Lord of the Fry, and UV Diamond Fry are great at imitating older, larger fry that are starting their migration. Whether you tie your own, or need to visit a local shop, you should be putting a few fry patterns into your box and try to get out this spring. Timing is critical on some drainages, so do your homework and test the knots on your leader; you’re likely to need every ounce of breaking strength.

— Rich

 

For a pdf of this post, click here –> FryTime_web_2012.03

 Pattern Sheets for the Marabou Clouser Fry, Sili-Fry, and UV-Diamond Fry here.

Little McFry

Little McFry

Sili-Fry

Sili-Fry

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