Possible World Record Chinook on a Fly [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Possible World Record Chinook on a Fly

10-24-2002, 10:07 PM
Some of you in Oregon may have already heard about this, but for those who haven't.....a 71 pound Chinook was caught on a fly in the Rogue River in Southern Oregon earlier this week. If all the certifications regulations check out, this will be the new world record on a fly. The previous record was a 63 pound fish from the Trask River in Oregon.


10-24-2002, 10:47 PM
Oh my god, after I landed a 30lber on the fly I thought my arm was going to fall off. I cannot imagine having one on this size. I caught the 30 lber on a 10 weight which seemed like way to little of a rod.

Hey Mr. Evans you didn't tell me they had 70 LB Chinnook in the Rogue! I thought they were only in Alaska. :chuckle:

10-24-2002, 11:25 PM
to Southern Oregon.

No sh*t shilock.

Largest I've actually landed clocked in at about 35-36 pounds on the B and W 18' footer. And if it weren't for a motor guide boat that beached and offered me a ride, I'd never have 'landed' the bugger along side the boat. Hoops and hollers ... then I said pop the fly and let "him" loose. "Your kidding!!;" answer was: what the heck would I do with all that meat?


10-25-2002, 03:32 AM
Very impressive feat no matter how you look at it ,especially on such light line!In a way though I find it somewhat immoral to fish for fish of that size with such light gear.I am very curious as to what size water it was taken in though as this makes all the difference in the world.I've hooked 40-50lbs fish on the Vedder on the fly before and all they did was simply sit there and pull a few times,offering steady and heavy resistance.Using an 8wt rod it only took about 5 minutes before I could ease them into the shallows and tail them.To be honest it was anything but impressive as the water was so low the fish really had no where to go and made no runs.

As a contrast I hooked a 25-30lbs spring at the mouth of a small Fraser trib that,once it managed to get in the main current(of the Fraser) ,was completely unstoppable with a 10wt and 200+ yards of line.By the time we managed to finally get in the boat to try and chase it it was so far into the backing that I had to break it off or risk losing the whole line.

10-25-2002, 08:58 AM
Wow, now that's a mudshark! :eyecrazy: Looks pretty fresh too - I bet he was a handful. Anyone know where they'll post the details about the tippet, rod, etc?

Truly the trophy of a lifetime.


Dble Haul
10-25-2002, 09:16 AM
Okay now, which Forum member was it who caught this fish? :D

10-25-2002, 10:46 AM

Yes, 70 lbers are quite rare....but 50-60 pounders are caught every year....albeit usually not with a flyrod. Chinook fishing with a fly rod is not easy out here as many of the rivers are swift and deep and its hard to get your offering down. But the possibility and landing a monster is there....its just that many of the holding areas are tough to touch fish with a flyrod. I too would like to know what type of water this beast came out of.

10-25-2002, 09:53 PM
Wow, almost hard to believe on 7.5 lb test leader. Here is the full write up on the how, what and where. Actually I can't believe it was caught on that light a leader knowing that 20 lb test leaders could not hold 20 pounders out here.

Fred forget the rogue steelhead I will be out for the chinookies. Will need a twelve weight rod though and new reel for these beasts.


10-26-2002, 06:11 AM
Very common 'technique' in the lower Rogue and chetco rivers. You attach the anchor for the pram (6-8 footers) to a couple of old bleach bottles, then run a line from the pram, through bottle handles, back to pram. Hook fish you just slip the line on the pram and let the bugger tow you around.

When it gets interesting is if the thing wants to run on you, but as mentioned above most of these large fish really don't want to leave their deeper lie water. Most common set up is/was either a full sinking line, or one with a very heavy tip, leader and (as was the case here) a black body (size 6-8 wire hook) with a couple of turns of chartruse hackle.

Been the most consistent salmon fly in the lower river for years.

10-26-2002, 11:36 AM
Black and chartreuse flies are excellent in great lakes for chinooks also, see the ones attached.

I have an application for a pram but need more information on vendors and what they can handle water wise. Where should I go.

Still hard for me to believe any one could land that size of fish on 7lb test in a river unless it was king just about ready to die after spawning, not a chromer like that one.

10-26-2002, 01:18 PM
hey P - its just that we Orygun people have strong muscles with a light touch!! :chuckle:

so he was fishing for steelhead? I didn't know that the pram show targeted steelhead, too. Was he in a line-up or out there on his own?

10-27-2002, 09:52 AM

So give the skinny, word has been out for a long time that these guys are just lining fish?

Honestly 70+lb fish on a steelhead rod doesn't sound like a lot of fun after about the first 5-10 minutes.

Rick J
10-27-2002, 12:53 PM
I believe the guy was fishing a place called Clay Banks on the lower Rogue. It is a long run that is relatively deep with pretty good current. I have hooked many salmon in this run - the largest was around43#. The Chetco is another location for big salmon to 50#. The majority of fly fishers are using shooting heads and vary the head density depending on water conditions from intermediates to lead core. Flies are mainly commets in orange or chartruse often with black tails and either weighted (chain eyes) or unweighted - mosty in size 8 to 4. As Fred mentioned, you fish out of prams - often during peak runs you are fishing in a line up of 30 to 40 prams with maybe a foot between you. Definitiy not for the faint of heart or those who drop their back cast. Also not for those who like solitude. A fun social event as everyone knows everyone else. The Cheto in particular can get crowded - just got back from there last night. Probably 150 rock hoppers on the bank and 50 prams and drift boats so when you hook up it can be very interesting when the king heads down river through all the lines. Generally folks are pretty good natured but ther are always the few A..H....!!

Speaking of tippets - I often use maxima from 8 to 12# - you can apply tremendous pressure with this stuff without it breaking. Generally can land and release a fish to 35# in under 10 minutes. Some are using 8 wts but the common rods are 9 and 10 wts. This is definitely not for everyone but can be lots of fun and something I have been doing once or twice a year for the last 20 years.

10-27-2002, 06:16 PM

Hard to imagine 30-40 prams with fly casters in them lined up next to each other casting to salmon. Nothing like that out here in great lakes country. But I am interested in the fishing pram for a river application out here. Who are the manufacturers of these need a few names to look up.

Knowing that the salmon are so large why limit yourself to 12lb test or less ? Are these fish that leader shy, out here I have had kings hit flies in clear water conditons using 20lb maxima.

Knowing the strength of 30 lb kings on a nine or ten weight fly rod somehow I don't want to even try for any thing larger.

Rick J
10-27-2002, 11:31 PM
Regarding the prams - I have seen all kinds out there from fiberglass to wood to aluminum. Most are 8' singles. I use a 10' model that can seat two that is made locally by a small shop - it is a very small drift boat so handles well for rowing down rivers. But I have seen many prams that are just john boat style.

Regarding the tippet question - several reasons for going with lighter stuff - mainly tying on a size 8 comet on 20# does not work well. In many of the runs there are large rocks and you get hung up alot - you want the tippet to go when you break off not any of the other knots. Also with lots of fish in the river there is a good chance of foul hooking (takes some practice to recognize the difference between a foul hooked and fair hooked fish at times) - when this happens you want to break them off quickly - the lighter tippet allows this. But I have rarely broken off a fish from applying too much pressure. Once you hook up you pull anchor and go out in the pool to fight the fish - you need to get the fish on a short line to apply maximum pressure and to prevent all the other fishermen from hooking onto your fish (many don't stop fishing!!) You do not give much line and the fish is towing th pram so tires relatively quickly. Even with 8# maxima you can crank down on your drag and let the fish tow you with little chance of him breaking off. But a 70# fish?? All bets are off!!

10-28-2002, 09:03 AM

Thanks going to check out the prams. Do these big chinooks jump could only imagine what that looks like. Seen thirty pounders jump and that is quite a reentry event.:D


Rick J
10-28-2002, 09:09 AM
Kings here rarely jump - if foul hooked they will sometimes. Mostly a big tug of war!

When setting up the pram, you need both a front and rear anchor. Some folks tie a milk jug to the back anchor so they can just throw overboard to keep their spot when they pull out of the line up. Also makes it easier re-anchoring during squirrly tides!

10-28-2002, 12:55 PM
tell you've been there and done that.

And your right, somewhat of a 'social club' while you're hanging in line waiting for something to happen. Guys in the boats have a good drill going most of the time .... the guys on the beach flinging lead into the middle of the foray.......

Sigh ...

10-28-2002, 01:51 PM
What kind of refreshments do they partake of ?

This is not my type of fly fishing mileu, if I was in a pram by myself or one other friend thats fine but 20-40 fellow fly fishing colleagues lined up in a row to the honey salmon run is not my idea of a quality fly fishing day.

Thats how I see this one. I guess I am just the quintessinal individualist fly fisherman ?:razz:

Fred I would not want to be anywheres near you in a dingy with that 18 foot spey rod (aka, weapon).

10-28-2002, 03:07 PM
Normally I used an old(!) generation 1 10' Sage grph. Most of the other fellows did favor a bit heavier rod. But I figured if I was going to get towed around did the fish know the rod weight?

Rick's right about the leader test in this/another thread. It's amazing how strong even 12# maximia main line is when used as leader material. Two wraps around a tree limb and you could use the stuff for a kids swing set.