Chasing GL Chinook with a spey rod [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Chasing GL Chinook with a spey rod


peter-s-c
01-24-2003, 06:18 PM
Chinook fly fishing in this neck-of-the-woods is usually done with a single hander - sight fishing for them on the smaller rivers. Anyone who has fished for them knows that they can be notoriously unpredictable about taking a fly and sometimes many passes are required before a strike can be coaxed out of one.

This mitigates against using a spey rod and fishing blind for you're likely only to pick up the odd aggressive fish. The advantage of the spey rod would be to reach fish in far lies that haven't be pestered by hordes of other anglers. It also would let me get away from the heavily fished waters.

So, has anyone here been successful picking up chinook when fishing blind with a spey rod?

My 11 wt. would be ideal for this but before I spend some more money on lines, etc. I'd like to be reasonably comfortable with the notion that I'm not wasting my time.

BTW fresh, wild chinook in the Saugeen fight way better than their southern, stocked counterparts and they can still be bright 70 miles upstream. (see my avatar).

pmflyfisher
01-24-2003, 06:45 PM
For 23 years blind swinging nymphs, streamers, and egg flies using single hander 9 and 10 weights. Especially if they are fresh from the lake they will take when holding in the pools. Hit it right and you will think you are in Alaska, I am not kidding.

Good luck

PM Out

P.S. Make sure you bring band aids for your bloody knuckles and hands trying to palm the fly spool rim on the long runs. :chuckle:

Greg Pavlov
01-24-2003, 06:57 PM
Most of the chinook fishing I've seen has been blind, a fair amount of it at night. It does tend to be quite inconsistent.

Do you think that you need the 11 wt ? Wouldn't your 8 or
9 be sufficient ?

peter-s-c
01-24-2003, 06:58 PM
See, I've been having these daydreams about the lower Saugeen. At Dennys Dam, hundreds of anglers line the banks flogging the water for anything with scales, but if you're willing to walk, you can go downstream and fished relatively untouched waters. There are some great pools downstream and I have this little daydream of hooking a 40 pounder Ford fender of a fish on the end of the 11 wt. in one of them. The fish in these pools will have been unmolested and in a fiesty mood, fresh from the lake.

About the knuckles - I prefer to use the drag knob. :hehe:

For the record, I'm watching ebay for a Redington AL 13/14 that I'll spool up with an Airflo Delta Traditional multi-tip, when it hits these shores. My Lamson Velocity 4s are fine for shooting heads on the 11 wt. but they don't have the capacity for a long bellied line plus a decent amount of backing. I'm planning on needing the backing.

peter-s-c
01-24-2003, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by Greg Pavlov
Do you think that you need the 11 wt ? Wouldn't your 8 or
9 be sufficient ?

It's a question of distance, current strength, and size potential of some of the fish. I've landed nice chinook on 7 wts. but most of those were lazy stockers on the Credit. I've landed a few dozen chinook on the Saugeen and they like to run. You should've seen the eyeballs on the Pirate when he had that little 8 lb. chinook peel off all of his line and over 100 yards of backing, during our Saugeen drift trip.

The lower river is very wide in spots and I want to run some flies far out in the deep middle where the float rodders don't go. The 11 wt. will let me do that more consistently with less effort. I'll probably bring the 9 wt. along as backup though.

It's a big river, they're big fish, why not use a big rod? :D

peter-s-c
01-24-2003, 07:47 PM
BTW. you guys talked me into it. Though I've hooked hundreds over the years, I've hooked a grand total of one when fishing blind.

There's this big chute on the Saugeen where no one can reach the middle of the tailout. No one without a big spey rod, that is. :devil:

Greg Pavlov
01-24-2003, 08:14 PM
Peter debates:

>For the record, I'm watching ebay for a Redington AL 13/14 that
>I'll spool up with an Airflo Delta Traditional multi-tip, when it hits
>these shores.

I believe that there have been a few within the past week or so. I was surprised by how cheaply one went.

>It's a big river, they're big fish, why not use a big rod?

I'm just trying to save you some money :rolleyes:

>BTW. you guys talked me into it.

Ah, I see that you've won the debate...

peter-s-c
01-24-2003, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by Greg Pavlov
Peter debates:


>It's a big river, they're big fish, why not use a big rod?

I'm just trying to save you some money :rolleyes:

>BTW. you guys talked me into it.

Ah, I see that you've won the debate...


Save money? In this business? Why start now? :confused: I thought we were supposed to come up with creative reasons for spending it. Remember the Golf Gambit?

Oh, and the debate? Yup I won and you get all the credit. :D


Wanna do Saugeen in September?

removed_by_request
01-25-2003, 08:54 AM
Chased them with a 9w 14' Spey a few times. They are tough mothers.

I imagine an 11w would be the ideal rod, you could give them a bit more stick with it.

Greg Pavlov
01-25-2003, 08:58 AM
> Remember the Golf Gambit?

Oh yeah, I remember it. I was going to try the same thing, but decided that my wife was *not* going to believe that I needed a motorcycle to go fishing.

> Wanna do Saugeen in September?

Most definitely !!

dansteelieman
01-25-2003, 10:03 AM
I would be fine with an 8wt. My buddy fished the Saugeen and did perfectly fine with an 8wt rod. It is all about fighting the fish, if you fight them right....you can do ok!

Hell, I use my 5wt for steelhead, and might take a look at that sage for steelhead exclusivly!

silverdoc
01-25-2003, 10:57 AM
Peter;
I'll claim I'm fishing steelies or browns, but chinooks are fairly regular "customers". By staying away from the redds, I think we're more likely to hit unmolested fish that are willing to grab.
This image is a bit over 30Kb., so instead of attaching it, just paste this link into your browser:
http://www.silverdoctor.net/jpg_images/spey_chinook.jpg
So, when's the best time for those wild saugeen fish?:D

removed_by_request
01-25-2003, 11:15 AM
Hopefully during the Spey Clave.

pmflyfisher
01-25-2003, 11:54 AM
The most rod I have ever used for them is a 10 weight 9.5 foot fenwick glass which I built just for the kings. For the fresh 15-20 pounders using 15-20 lb test leaders it was sometimes not enough.

This was primarily on narrower rivers though with our omnipresent log jams in every hole and bend pool.

Its amazing what small caddis, stone, and hex nymphs they will take at times when nothing else works. Size 6-8s. Many times it is the hook which fails via bending due to the immense pressure you can place on them with a 10 weight and 15-20 lb test leader.

I don't care if I land them, so losing them is not an issue. Caught and landed enough of them over the years.

Now everything goes back.

PM Out

removed_by_request
01-25-2003, 12:05 PM
15-20# leader, I imagine the hooks pull flat. Especially Maxima, you could scale sears tower with that stuff.

Don't go heavier than 10# maxima, I feel the thicker the leader the less fish (Kings) you hit. They attack the nymphs and caddis out of reflex. Imagine all those river years eating bugs, grubs and your smaller brothers.

pmflyfisher
01-25-2003, 12:13 PM
Kings are not that leader shy in low light conditions and deep dark pools, I did not beleive it, until I tried the 15-20 lb test leaders, but they worked. Don't use them any more, actually don't fish for kings that much anymore due to the you know whats on the rivers during the peak periods.

Hint, if you use saltwater hooks like a 34007 there are few kings that are going to bend those hooks. Been using them since early 1980s for kings. :D :D

PM Out

removed_by_request
01-25-2003, 12:59 PM
Many times it is the hook which fails via bending due to the immense pressure you can place on them with a 10 weight and 15-20 lb test leader.


You lost me now which hooks are those??

peter-s-c
01-25-2003, 01:47 PM
They most definitely are running during the Spey Clave.

Fresh Saugeen chinook of about #20 or more, in big water, with current and depth to work with will put way more of a bend in your rod than you would imagine. On my last drift trip, I was using a T&T 7 wt. with a click Marquis. The fish we landed were only in the 8# to 10# range. The ones we didn't land were larger. We had the advantage of being 70 miles upstream, in shallow water, with lots of room to get behind the fish, and a guide to chase it with a net. Considering how tough these little guys were, I can't imagine what a 30 pounder fresh from the lake would be like. The store owner told me last week of one steelhead trip where the sport hooked a huge chinook that fought him for 45 minutes before tossing the hook. So it's a guide story and probably accurate by half but it's still a tussle.

Saugeen fish start in August and carry through to October. They'll start stacking up in eary August if the weather is right. It's these fish that I want to target. Once you're into late October, these are very tired and ratty fish as are chinook everywhere on the GLs at that time. Get them early and it's quite different.

The 11 wt. is a decent idea (along with the Delta Long traditional multi that I hope to get) as I can reach some of the stacking up areas that float rodders and single handers can't fish. A smaller spey would work (14' 9 wt.) but the current is so strong there, if the fish gets in it, you better have the tackle. A pissed-off 30 pounder with a strong current up its arse isn't going to be turned by a wimpy stick.

pmflyfisher
01-25-2003, 04:44 PM
MJYP

Mustad saltwater stainless steel hooks - 34007, 34011 there are lots of other types now.

Very strong and cheap. Don't think one has ever bent on me yet.

PM Out

peter-s-c
01-25-2003, 04:58 PM
How do you find the points on those Mustads? I bought a bunch for bass and pike flies plus a couple of trips to the Cape and the points took a lot of work to sharpen.

For freshwater use, these days I'm using only Kamasan Deep Water Salmon hooks. Pricey but I don't have to worry about the points.

pmflyfisher
01-25-2003, 05:07 PM
I never worry about the points on hooks for king salmon, but for steelhead I do. I don't care if I land them just want the fight for as long as possible.

Never heard of those hooks you reference. How expensive are they ?

PM Out

peter-s-c
01-25-2003, 05:14 PM
Kamasans are Japanese (I think) but judging by the number of people south of the border who tell me they they've never heard of them, they must only be available here. A box of 25 2/0 black salmon singles would cost about $7.50 USD.

pmflyfisher
01-25-2003, 06:16 PM
Thats not too expensive. Will check them out.

Thank you

PM Out

P.S. Working on some new flies today, nymphs of course.:D

peter-s-c
01-25-2003, 06:39 PM
Looks like we're both tying this evening. I'm (slowly) working on a bunch of green butt skunk speys. I think I'll take a crack at some of Syd Glasso's Heron patterns after I have enough skunks tied.

dansteelieman
01-25-2003, 06:40 PM
I tied some Dan's electric green butt spey patterns today! Look very nice!

silverdoc
01-25-2003, 07:26 PM
Peter wrote:
I'm (slowly) working on a bunch of green butt skunk speys.
Post a picture???

peter-s-c
01-25-2003, 07:45 PM
Bad photo but it covers the mistakes well. :hehe:

http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharles/public/green-butt-skunk.jpg

The black spey hackle doesn't show well against the background but it's there.

peter-s-c
01-26-2003, 07:58 AM
http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharles/public/green-butt-skunk.jpg

As most of my stock of hackle is rather poor for full length hackling, my flies are usually done in thirds, one third tag, on third floss and tinsel, one third wool, herl, or dubbing at the front. The hackle is wound only over the front third.

Have to start burning my own . . .

removed_by_request
01-26-2003, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by pmflyfisher
[. Size 6-8s. Many times it is the hook which fails via bending due to the immense pressure you can place on them with a 10 weight and 15-20 lb test leader.

PM Out [/B]

Hal, then you must not be using them all the time. To me the use of salt water hooks in the GL is counter productive way too much over kill. Stainless will never go away with time. A normal hook will dissolve over time, brush up against a log with a stianless hook in it and you have ripped gore-tex.

15-20# leader is way too heavy, you don't need it. You will fair hook more kings on 10-12# maxima and be able to land them. Nice bonus of the lighter line in the ability to get the Browns and steelhead to hit.

Those babies at times lay right with the kings or lay directly behind.

removed_by_request
01-26-2003, 08:14 AM
Peter,

Nice flies, you have the touch of a master.

Just in case you don't know Michigan has a 1/2" hook gap rule. When you come down in April make sure your boxes are free of the big boy hooks. Don't want to see you run afoul of the fish police.

peter-s-c
01-26-2003, 08:19 AM
Most of the time, I'm using 10# or 12# FC for chinook and find it adequate (assuming I haven't screwed up a knot.) I have straightened lighter hooks on them though and now I use only those heavy wire salmon hooks. Lighter tippets do give you a shot at a steelie or brown.

Check out the breaking strength/diameter and the 1X and 0X trout tippet tend to have the highest ratio. I have a load of FC to use up but I'll be switching to heavy trout tippet for next season.

peter-s-c
01-26-2003, 08:27 AM
Originally posted by mjyp
Peter,

Nice flies, you have the touch of a master.

Just in case you don't know Michigan has a 1/2" hook gap rule. When you come down in April make sure your boxes are free of the big boy hooks. Don't want to see you run afoul of the fish police.

Read that somewhere before. How do they measure that on something like a Bartleet or Alex Jackson spey hook? Perpendicular to the hook point or at the greatest vertical gap between point and shank, measured at any point on the shank?

removed_by_request
01-26-2003, 10:36 AM
Peter,

Copied this from the Michigan DNr site;

Gear Restrictions:

On all streams (including tributaries to the Great Lakes) during the time period August 1-May 31, it shall be unlawful to use multi-pointed hooks exceeding 3/8 inch between point and shank and/or single-pointed hooks exceeding 1/2 inch between point and shank. Also, during this time period, it shall be unlawful to use lures or weights exceeding one (1) ounce. The Detroit River, St. Marys River and St. Clair River are exempt from these restrictions.

peter-s-c
01-26-2003, 10:47 AM
Wonderful :rolleyes:

That leaves the choice of where to measure on the shank up to the fish policeman. If he didn't get laid the night before and you're using a curved hook . . . .

Hopefully most are reasonable and measure perpendicular to the point.

dansteelieman
01-26-2003, 12:03 PM
You should be fine, don't worry about it.

removed_by_request
01-27-2003, 08:04 PM
Peter,

You should be okay, just wanted to give you a heads up. Leave the 1/0 and above at home.

silverdoc
01-28-2003, 10:09 PM
You can't even have bigger hooks in your possesion???
My boxes will be empty:D

removed_by_request
01-28-2003, 10:40 PM
I think it may depend on the DNR guy. If he's gung-ho it gould be a problem.

You hate to invite trouble if you get my drift.

Lipripper
01-29-2003, 08:02 AM
MDNR? Gung ho? Hah!
I wouldn't stress too hard about it. I haven't ever been asked to search my boxes. They might glance at what's on the end of your line, but, even then. They tend to leave most fly fisherman alone..unless it's a creel census. At least where I fish.

LR

removed_by_request
01-29-2003, 08:20 AM
I tend to be over cautious at times. Would not want one of Canadian brothers of the long rod getting hassled.

I have run into a couple of gung ho DNR dudes. One in Indiana and one in Michigan. The iInd. guy was worried about me snagging, this was back in the early 80's when I used noodle rods. He was a real PITA, I guess 4# test and size 8 or 10 presentations make one a snagger.

pmflyfisher
02-02-2003, 10:00 PM
I think you can use a double salmon fly hook in Michigan still as long as it meets the 3/8 multi hook gap rule above, right ?

Guess I will empty the 1/0s and above for the spring and fall runs but you can still use them in June and July in Michigan for summer run steelies in the rivers. No hook size restriction in the surf or lake michigan.

Don't think they are going to bother fly fisherman as long as you are not snagging with a large hook on your line. If its not on your line I don't think they can do anything to you.

The m,ichigan regulation states "to use" not "have in your possession" I can legally argue my way out if they find some illegal hooks in my possesion but which I am not using.

Isn't the U.S. law beautiful ?

PM Out

removed_by_request
02-02-2003, 10:22 PM
Good luck on the Summer-runs. Not too many of them in Michigan.

Doubt if the give you a hassle for having them in your box, but why bother.

What would the odds be of seeing a DNR guy on the opening day of trout season anyway.

Michigan is not Illinois if you know what I mean.

BobK
02-03-2003, 06:34 AM
Hey, guys - let's think this one out.

If you are not snagging or lining, or some other illegal act, has a warden ever asked to see anything other than your license, and (rarely) what's on the end of your line?

At least that has been MY experience!

If they REALLY were looking for some MAJOR violations (e.g. terrorists), they might "pat you down" and look in your vest and flyboxes, but the instances of THAT are extremely low probability. And, in that case, I am sure they would be accompanied by the State Police or FBI!

BobK

:rolleyes:

pmflyfisher
02-03-2003, 08:55 AM
MJYP : You forget about one key michigan river.

If they ever made me empty my entire fly vest they would miss their lunch break for sure. I wonder what I would find it if I ever emptied the entire thing. Has not happened in 20 years.

PM Out

P.S. I will make sure they check the Canucks though, they use some really big hooks up there from what I have seen.

removed_by_request
02-03-2003, 10:04 AM
I doubt they would check boxes, but it is better to be informed than tell DNR guy "I did not know".

Would not want our Wisconsin or Canadian brothers running afoul of the man.

nbrandon
02-03-2003, 10:57 AM
Reminds me of how I met one of the forum members.

I was fishing for kings with my dad last september, when a large SUV comes barreling into the parking lot. A man dressed in what looked to be a warden's uniform jumped out and made straight for me. I was running through my mind trying to remember where my license was. As soon as he got closer, he introduced himself and said he had seen the spey rod from the roadway. He pulled his spey rod out from his truck and fished with us for a while, in uniform.

Neil

peter-s-c
02-03-2003, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by mjyp
I doubt they would check boxes, but it is better to be informed than tell DNR guy "I did not know".

Would not want our Wisconsin or Canadian brothers running afoul of the man.

The fly boxes have been purged - I am golden!

BTW, on another business trip but my wife called me to say that my Fox Boxes have arrived. They will be filled with 'legal' flies only. :hehe:

removed_by_request
02-03-2003, 07:19 PM
I have ordered 2 for my spey like flies.

The concept is pretty neat. Found them in the States too.

dansteelieman
02-04-2003, 08:58 PM
I gotta fill up my boxes. I was looking at the Scientific Anglers C and F design boxes, but I am not sure yet?

removed_by_request
02-05-2003, 04:56 AM
Fox box is pretty cool for speys. They were built just for them.

PM me for url.

pmflyfisher
02-05-2003, 09:39 AM
Whats a "Fox Box" ?

PM Out

removed_by_request
02-05-2003, 09:44 AM
A fly box Peter told me about, pretty neat for $21 US.

peter-s-c
02-05-2003, 01:27 PM
Just got mine and I received the large shallow box, not the deep ones I had wanted. In the picture at reels 'n deals, they looked like the deep ones but in retrospect, I should have checked rather than assume. You need the deep ones to store the larger speys. The ones I received are fine for small speys, streamers, and large nymphs but they would only hold large speys on one side or only if carefully spaced, on two. They were priced at 6.99 pounds or about $11.00 USD.

If you order them, make sure you ask for the deep ones.

removed_by_request
02-05-2003, 02:42 PM
Place in the states has 2 models one titled Salmon. I assume you mean that one, since she is deep.

peter-s-c
02-05-2003, 02:54 PM
Yep, I got the regular one 'cause I didn't specify. My bad.

Here's what mine look like

http://www.mountaincable.net/~pcharles/public/foxbox.jpg

pmflyfisher
02-05-2003, 03:24 PM
That looks nice but kind of wide. Doubt if I could handle that width. More research needed. Plus I don't like having my flies so orderly.

PM Out

peter-s-c
02-05-2003, 03:31 PM
should've posted the dimensions as well . . .


6' x 4" x 1" plus add an extra 1/8th for the hinge.

Can't help you with the neat thing though . . .