Re: East River Kokanee
Actually 2 for 15 sounds about right unless you can bushwhack them as soon as they enter the river. Sockeye salmon here are very much the same, once they have began the run up the rivers there is a low percentage that will chase a fly. Last summer I had the rare experience of watching a 7 pound buck follow my fly at a pretty rapid rate of speed for at least 30 feet before hitting it like a brown trout would. Even when fishing a run which holds as many as 100 fish if I have 3 (the daily limit) whack the fly during 2 - 6 hours of fishing I figure that to be a great day of fishing socks.
This same summer, (just past) we had somewhere around 3.5 million sockeye enter the Kenai River system. I went down to get some fish because AKF&G had raised the limit to 6 / day. Even with that many fish in the river it took 6 hours one day and almost 9 the next to get 12 of them to grab my fly. In that scenario I did have a bunch of fish hooked in various locations from the head to the dorsal fin. With no idea of how many fish were landed to get the 12 keepers I do remember that the fishing actually made me tired. Certainly I could have kept the first 6 each day but with 3.5 million to select from I made my mind up that I would take only males and only those who would take the fly. If I were substicance fishing I would not have been using a fly rod and sporting would have been out of the question. They (males) seem to be the more aggressive anyway, out of the slim percentage of sockeye that do whack the fly I would say 80% of them are males. Some days the hens may surprise you but usually it's a buck stuck on that fly if you get a grab.
For me this is a great part of the mystique of fly fishing for sockeye, the constant anticipation..........