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FlyFlinger2421 03-26-2011 02:02 PM

Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
Daydreaming about kokanee fishing last fall and decided to try and find some information on kokanee or sockeye fly patterns. Not much information. What I did get said that red was the preferred color.
Anyone have any patterns and sizes of fly for these fish while they are in the streams?

Ard 03-26-2011 03:53 PM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?

This can be simple or complex based on what you want to tie and fish with. The only Kokanee I have seen down your way were in the S. Platte and they were ripe when I discovered them so I didn't try to catch any. Since the fish are land locked they have grown up on the standard fare in the watershed that they live in so when they are fresh into the spawning season I would try showing them small Sculpins patterns and the like. If this did not work and I were going to go to an attractor pattern like typical salmon flies are representative of. This is where you have to choose between simple or complex.

Here in AK. those who want simplicity use what has come to be known as The Russian River Fly. These are just a hook with no body and they have a red & white buck tail wing as long as the hook. I have not used the RRF but have had good catches of sockeye using the Skykomish Sunrise and Freight Train. These are fairly simple when compared to elaborate salmon flies but still give you that "I caught them on a classic pattern" feeling at the end of the day. For pictures and recipes of these two and others that will all catch a sockeye take a look here: Flies for Alaska - The North American Fly Fishing Forum

There are 2 threads full of patterns. Some are simple and others are work. The flies for Salmon thread has Polar Shrimp patterns on it and they would be another red / orange choice. The steelhead & salmon thread has the Skykomish and Freight Train in it. As said in the opening sentence it is a matter of what you want to fish. A Bunny Fur Comet in red or orange catches them here too. These are in the Salmon thread.

Hope that is of some help, there has to be a book about Kokanee patterns down there somewhere. If not you can just make them up, I have done plenty of that :)


FlyFlinger2421 03-26-2011 07:09 PM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
So it seems that what most Sockeye or Kokanee flies have in common is they are tied sparsely and the predominant color is red or orange, often with a red head which may symbolize an egg.

mcnerney 03-26-2011 07:10 PM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
Bigdog2421: This Russian River bucktail fly By Ard) is one of the main patterns I used on the Kenai fishing for Sockeye, it wll catch fish all day long. Use your own imagaination on the color combos (red/white, orange/white, yellow/white, black/green, purple/white, black/blue, the combos are endless). This fly is very simple to tie and when you loose one to dredging the bottom you won't feel helpless!
Here is another popular pattern called the Polar Shrimp (this one by Diver Dan) that I liked to fish.

I couldn't find the stash of bucktail flies that I said I would forward to you. I did some remodeling of the fly tying/computer room awhile back and now I can't find those salmon flies.


FlyFlinger2421 03-27-2011 01:23 PM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
Don't feel bad, Larry! I tied up about 6 each of 3 different patterns that I dreamed up the night before heading to the East River last fall. One of them worked quite well, but I lost all 6 of them to fish and now I can't remember anything about them! Should have written something down before leaving! LOL!

Ard 03-27-2011 02:16 PM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
I can't help myself and have to ask, what pound leader are you using that you got broke off 6 times? The way salmon school up it's easy to swing through a bunch and hook one in the body without trying to do so. If you were foul hooked I understand the problem because a fish hooked in the butt can pop a heavy line on you. They are real hard to bring in backward but if the fish were jib hooked and broke you gotta rethink either the leader or those knots. Just thinking aloud here and I'm thinking that you should be able to get away with at least 12 lb fluorocarbon on these fish. The ones I have seen looked like 2 - 5 pounds might be an average weight but if you get them that size in current on a 4 - 8 pound line it could end up bad.

FlyFlinger2421 04-14-2011 02:53 PM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
Not foul hooked. Hooked in the mouth, although probably "lined" as the hooks were in the outside of the mouth. Still, one pattern worked while the others did not, so......
Anyway, to answer your question, I was using 6X tippet. Very clear, fall water and so I thought they might be leader shy. I had no idea they would take off like jets with the afterburner on high either! LOL!

kglissmeyer1 04-14-2011 03:19 PM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
We fish for Kokanee right here in southeast Idaho, but I wouldn't do it with anything less than 2x. Only color we've found they like in one particular stream is pink, so we tie a bunny leech with pink dyed rabbit strips, put a little flash in the tail and we're off to the races!:D


Jimmie 04-15-2011 02:10 AM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
Don't throw rocks cause I've crossed over.:) Back when we used lures called Kokanee Kandy the predominent colors were pearl and pink.

chuck s 04-17-2011 12:37 AM

Re: Kokanee/Sockeye fly patterns?
Had an old timer of 70 yrs or so stop by the shop one day and asked if we tied custom flies. We did and he asked how long would it take as he was just in town for the day--I asked how many and what pattern and he produced one. It was a 3x long crappie hook in about a size 6 wrapped with red floss or thread. I almost figued he was joking but he assured me that if you want to catch Kokes on Lake KoCanUSA you'd be using that flie behind a flasher. I tied his fies and he was a happy camper. A few years later fishing for landlocked kokes near Spokane I remembered that encounter and tried using that fly behind a very flashy saltwater fly. The red fly catches Kokes!

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