fishinwrench reacted to Phil Lilley for a article, Naknek River Report, October 26-31, 2019
I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told. And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today.
Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family. They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp. The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground. KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had.
I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL. John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December.
John had 3 clients this week from Georgia. They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA. Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John.
John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake. The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind. John says the rainbows don't like dirty water. Water temp was 43-44 degrees.
We had a variety of weather. Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days. Rain everyday except one. But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night. Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy. I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October.
Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river. We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much. Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there. They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now. John says they stated one week too long. But the rainbows we did catch were impressive.
They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs. I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally. The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh.
We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep. That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me.
I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches. I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off. The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second.
John played around with the jig and loved it. He couldn't get over how effective it was. I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw.
They caught a half dozen swinging flies. I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches.
They saw one bear. I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it. We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island. There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.
fishinwrench reacted to grizwilson for a article, Crappie picking up
Fished upper Osage yesterday, rigging minnows in 12-23 FOW fish seemed scattered water temp 50s seen some 58 in back of a pocket. Have concealed the GPS info on pic as it might be within air gun range of a certain mechanic who frequents this site and I am kind of a dinosaur. Did encounter a school of whites and one of those mutt hybrids that Wrench refers too, Would have took pictures but it is a rather traumatic event rigging, ... have the bloody scared hands to show for it. Afterwards a friend had a limit out of one well under a slip bobber and minnow. It is getting better but this darn weather.
fishinwrench reacted to Phil Lilley for a article, January 25... wade below the dam
Did something I haven't done in a long time. Living this close to this water and not fishing it, wading it, would be considered a sin in most fly fishermen's book but fortunately I live by another book. It was, though, nice to see and fish again.
Ryan Walker, a long time friend, called and asked by if I wanted to go wade fishing below the dam. No, first he asked me what I was doing. He caught me between projects... I said nothing. So when he asked me to meet him at the Rebar Hole, I didn't have a good out. Me? An out for fishing? In my old age, I think I'm become more of a work-a-holic than a fisherman.
Ryan was already catching when I arrived. We parked at the lot to the south and above Rebar. He had one on when I dropped over the edge down to the water. We walked on up to the area across from hatchery outlet #2. He had on a P&P Zebra with a gray scud dropper under a float and caught 3 more rainbows before I got rigged.
I tied on a #16 green butt soft hackle. It's a fly tied by legend fishing guide John Berry. He lives and guides on the White River.
There is a pretty good current in that area now. I was pleasantly surprised. The last time I had fished this spot (pre 2017 flood) there was very little movement. It has deepened too, and you reall have to watch the area around the boulders placed there by MDC to create fish habitat -- the wash around them is big and deep.
Anyhow, rainbows like the soft hackle. It stripped it short and fast and they hit it. I stripped it long and slow and they hit it. I let it just drift in the current and they hit it. And they hit it hard!
Ryan was hooking up on rainbows too.
This was a male that had been working the gravel. You can see outlet #2 in the background.
I also tried a zebra/scud combo. I had a #16 red Zebra tied over a #20 dark brown camel scud (Leonard Keeney ties them). They really like the scud.
We worked down to the top of Rebar. Ryan wanted to try down at Rocking Chair, and we had time before the sun dropped behind the bluff so we walked out and drove to the parking lot further down the access road.
We opted to start at the end of the path. I tied on a scud duo -- a #14 tan Trout Crack over a #18 gray scud and set the float deeper than I had it uplake. The water seemed to be much deeper there and I wanted the scuds close if not on the bottom. I caught 5 rainbows before moving down to the gravel bar.
We ended our evening throwing soft hackles, although they would cooperate for me as much as they did Ryan.
I don't know how many fish we caught and it doesn't matter. We caught up on family and fishing... and talked about his work and fishing excusions. And it was good to fish the tailwater again. Hope I won't be the stranger any longer.
fishinwrench reacted to Seth for a article, 11-26-17 Glaize Crappie
A buddy and I started about 1pm yesterday and fished till dark. I started out hitting a few brush piles, but only caught one. It didn't take me long to switch gears and start scanning main lake docks. Found a few that were loaded up and caught around 50 crappie. Only had a few white crappie and only three or four shorts. The rest were all good quality black crappie and most of them were over 10". There was no need to measure any of the two limits that we kept. Biggest was 12.25". If you couldn't get your jig way up under the dock, you didn't catch fish. I doubt color mattered, but we were using BG Slab Slayers and Slab Busters in blue, black and orange with a chartreuse tail. They all worked as well as the other. We fun fished for a bit longer after limiting out and caught another 15-20 keepers that we released.