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Thread: Kokanee Salmon on the Gunnison/East river

  1. #21

    Default Re: Kokanee Salmon on the Gunnison/East river

    After reading this, I headed down to the East River yesterday. I walked up and down and started conversations with several people including a guide. I watched awhile and there was one guy and his wife who were dead drifting wooly buggers without indicators. They were catching them steadily.
    I found a big, deep hole with a pod of kokes and started drifting my heavily weighted flies that I tied up the night before just for the trip.
    The first one I landed was snagged in the tail but I learned fast and the 4 remaining fish that I landed were all hooked in the jaws. Were they snagged? Maybe. I didn't hook any inside the jaws, but then since they can't close their jaws, maybe that's not surprising. I did see one actually come up after my fly (?) as I was bringing it up out of the hole.
    The books all say Sockeye feed on krill and lack the attack response of Kings and Silvers. They are supposed to be impossible to catch on a fly.
    Anyhow, the line stops, you strike and sometimes it is a fish.

    Note: if someone will tell me how to post pictures on here I will!!
    Last edited by FlyFlinger2421; 10-02-2010 at 08:43 PM.

  2. Default Re: Kokanee Salmon on the Gunnison/East river

    Sounds like you had a good time. I guess next time I just need to suck it up and join the crowd.


  3. #23

    Default Re: Kokanee Salmon on the Gunnison/East river

    One thing about a crowd: there's always someone around to take your picture! LOL!

    ---------- Post added at 11:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:27 PM ----------

    By the way, I was fishing the exact same hole the 8 year old boy in the photo was fishing! What a coincidence!

  4. #24

    Default Re: Kokanee Salmon on the Gunnison/East river

    Do any of you guys have trouble with the hook tearing through the Kokanees lip and losing them? I haven't fished for them in years but when I did I lost a few if I wasn't careful to not tug on them too hard. They would jump out of the water and flail around and if I wasn't mindful to give them their head at the right time, they would yank the hook right out of their mouth.
    Or am I just a lousy fisherman?

    A long time ago my stepson,(about 10yrs old), hooked one with a treble hook spinner and started reeling in as fast as he could. I was running down the bank of the little lake in Wy. as fast as I could trying to coach him as I went. I think he was deaf from excitement. I would guess the fish to have been about 3 or 4 pounds. He got the fish right up to the bank all bent-rod and everything just before I got there with the net and the hook pulled through it's mouth. Pour little fellar was crushed.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Kokanee Salmon on the Gunnison/East river

    These fish are the land locked version of the sockeye that I fish for here. When the fish are fresh and bright there are distinct differences between hens and males. The hen has a pretty small mouth when compared to the male. I have never noticed that they have soft tissue in the jaw. However many of these fish hit lightly and the hook is not deep in the jaw, these fish often come loose. I would say I land 50% of the fish hooked. Every so often one will really hammer the fly and if I give a good pull / strip to sink the hook into the jaw they almost always come to shore.

    The problem could center on what hook you are using. If you are trying to catch salmon using a standard nymph or wet fly trout hook you may come up short often. I use a #2 salmon hook for sockeye. This seems to be the right combination of size and strength when it comes to getting hold of them and keeping hold.


    Hey, I just went back the thread and looked at this "River" I don't get to corral them like that. All my fishing spots for sockeye are on big water where you can't see the fish. In a stream that small you gotta remember that those fish see you. If you are having trouble when you are towering right over them it would be no surprise to me. Salmon are no different than trout when it comes to being spooky in clear shallow water. I would move away from an area where there are a bunch of people after them and find some fish that have been overlooked.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  6. #26

    Default Re: Kokanee Salmon on the Gunnison/East river

    Thanks for the advice on hooks to use. I have not fished for Kokanees since I went flyfishing only years ago. And only then in small lakes. I have not fished them with a fly. Now I can be more prepared with the right hooks when the opportunity comes around. But who would not want to give them a try after reading this thread........Thanks!

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