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Discussion Starter #1
Rogue at Medford is approx. 120'ish miles up from the salt so 'traditional' tide water patterns are beyond the point. For you guys who chase these hummers what have you found that works on Kings after they've been out of the salt awhile.

Here bright green over red, a small black body with chart. hackle and (of all things) two colour Clouser's seem to be the flys of choice.

Other suggestions?
:confused: fe
 

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Hey, Fred,

I was wondering if anyone molested those hordes of spring chinook that wend their way up the Rogue. I've been down the river several times in the early part of the summer and noticed chinook rolling just about everywhere, but outside of a host of gear slingers at Rainey Falls really didn't see anyone bothering them much (until almost to Illahie), and certainly no one fly-fishing for them.

More than pattern, presentation may be critical. The (very) few spring chinook I've taken on flies have all hit the fly gently (pluck, pluck), sort of like a small trout, before taking solidly. Almost all my takes have been when the fly was hanging straight down, deep in the current or else during a very slow, upstream retrieve. Because of this, I've tried to find pools where I could position the fly along a deep seam, where the fly could be held for a while near resting fish and then retrieved slowly up through the good water.

This is only theory, since I haven't hooked enough fish to make any sort of real data-based generalization.

Be that as it may, I've hooked spring chinook in the Sandy, Clackamas and Kalama on Teeny nymphs (No. 4, natural and black), Green Highlander hair wings, egg patterns, General Practioners, but I haven't caught more than a couple on anything. I'd sure like to know what people have found to be effective on these critters. The springers I've caught have not been spectacular, but they were tenacious and fun loads on the old eight weight.

Cheers,

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Eric, maybe this is the time to start thinking upper Rogue+spring kings!

Rainie falls is the first place the fellows on the upper river really have a crack at them, Agness area and down from there due to zero land access (skipping a trip in a chopper). Lots of good bank access for them from this point all the way up to the hatchery.

99% of the fishings is by gear guys but several places (one's about a 20 minute drive from my office) that you have a top end shot at them with a spey rod and heavy! sinking heads. General gear guy is using 1/2-2 oz lead sinker (function of water flow) and a 6 to 10 foot leader with a green and red glass bead or small corkies. Appears that the long leader swings into their mouth and water pressure pulls the hook through and into the mouth. CHOMP! No class to it but damn effective.

Biggest I 'boated' last spring pinned a 35# scale. Hooked the mother at the end of "highbanks" with no where to go. Guide in jet boat putted over and asked if I could use a hand:eyecrazy:

At that point the bugger had 150' of spey line plus 125 some yards of backing off my reel. Jumped into boat and after about a mile chase down stream fish was netted, weighed and released. Rest of the boat thought I was nuts until I commented to the effect of what the heck could I do with that much meat?

Best for fly rods and the salmon when the water flow is at 2,000 to 2,200 cfs (lot more than that running now). Above that range and you can't get down/stay down long enough to do any good unless you're working from a boat and fishing as you suggested. Right now the lake behind warm springs dam has so much snow melt running into it that they've darn near got the flood gates open!!!! Inflow as of late yesterday was 4479 cfs and OUTFLOW of 6,050!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are beginning to collect the animals 2 by 2!! The 6000 plus is almost double the water out as of last Friday. But the big dump is because the lake is almost to the point where it's at the emergency over-flow spillway. Don't have the actual # but the lake level is up about 45' in three weeks.

Think it could get more interesting with this big storm that hammering everyone in the PNW. 2 weeks ago it was 80 degrees in Medford ....... right now it's a heavy downpour of mixed rain and SNOW???????? This is very silly and way out of seasonal norms. As I'm typing this it's just shifted to hail.

Well I can skip the 'after work' fish plan for today, and tomorrow, and, and, and. Think I need to pull out my old Lamiglass 10-6 and load it up with some freash 17 or 20# Maxima. It looks like it could be awhile before the spey rod gets used.

Anyway, 2000 and 2001 had counted runs in excess of 33,000 spring kings past Medford and "they" are saying this years runs should be another cracker jack.
 

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You are too kind...

General gear guy is using 1/2-2 oz lead sinker (function of water flow) and a 6 to 10 foot leader with a green and red glass bead or small corkies. Appears that the long leader swings into their mouth and water pressure pulls the hook through and into the mouth. CHOMP! No class to it but damn effective.

"No class..." is a gentlemanly way to put it. What they are doing is 'beading.' It is (barely) one step removed from snagging. The fish is not taking the 'bait' willingly. It may be effective, but there is nothing sporting about it. Jock Scott is spinning in his tomb...:tsk_tsk:

I know this sounds preachy, but kings are such noble fish and their upstream mission so honorable. They deserve better than this.

But that boat ride you took with that 35 lb'er sure sounds cool. That must have been some ruckus.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Even with a 10wt Scott ARC it was hang on for all

your worth time. Zip control over the fish ...... one of the few times I thought I was going to get "spooled."

Actually, little 'sport' as to my description on how the gear guys 'do their thing' but I'll give them credit if the fish is improperly hooked I've never seen a guy keep a snagged fish. Just isn't done around here ..... at least if there is anybody looking at all. Suspect the fact that it's the Oregon State Police who do most of the game checking, not to mention a $300 ticket/loss of lic., etc., tends to keep folk a bit more 'honest' than normal.:smokin:
 

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Fred we get the Kings on stone and caddis nymphs here and large attractor type streamers. Egg flies also work well.

Black and purple are good colors

Try Juro's Purple Nasty think that would be effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
"Purple Nasty?" Sounds like a web site my

16 year old Grandson (via Joan) got 'caught' .... shall we say surfing? Got his car keys taken away for a month:devil:

Keep telling step-daughter/son in law that 'grandfathers' are in charge of teaching grandsons the proper way of 'expanding' knowledge; they'll get muddled versions thereof 'on the street' (e.g. their peergroup (think I spelled that right?):rolleyes:

Juro, where do I find this nasty? Purple and Kings is a new combination to me.
fe
 

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Fred -

When I lived a few miles from tidewater on a salmon river I played around with the kings before and after work a lot. This was by design, if I took a day off work it didn't result in anything much.

Some mornings they would just be ornery and eat flies on a floating line, which let me let the fly languish in the soft current above them for a nice long swing. The flies were fished wet as deep as possible but you could see them appear from the depths and eat the fly often. Other mornings they would be lockjawed and it was just as well because once I hooked up I would be there for a l-o-n-g time battling these big slabs. Some evenings I would get slammed on the first cast with a sculpin pattern, other evenings I would have to drift a little tiny shrimp fly quietly down the pool on a very long leader and a floating line.

One of the best flies was a tadpole-looking orange swimmtail spider thingie with woodduck -or- yellow hackle collar, orange scintilla dubbing -or- estaz chenille body, and a three color marabou tail white with a touch of orange with a few strands of red for a streak, or just a plain tan/orange. You had to tie it sparse or it would not sink (unweighted) but if it was too sparse it would not get the fish's attention. The estaz sank better but got lofted in current.

It looked like a little squid - the collar (mantle), the body, and the tentacles. I tied it on a 200R for small sizes (up to #2) and bumped it up to a 1.5 Alec Jackson Spey in bronze for larger.

Another good pattern was the bunny rat, tied in natural bunny strips with natural deer hair head. You needed a sinktip to pull this down into the currents and in 10 casts you knew if it was going to get nailed or not. I stood way up current and swung the fly-first presentation with the line in the riffle and the fly in the hole. If there were others fishing there I could not do it. One night just before dark I walked down to the nursery hole across from the golf course on the tidal green r. The egg dunkers all laughed as I threaded to 8wt 9.5 2pc RPL and tied on a bunny rat. First cast the rod was pulled almost out of my hands and I battled this 30 pound BRIGHT king to the shore, hooked right in the corner of the jaw - and let it go. They were almost as stunned as I was!

One morning I battled a huge king and could not get my rod apart afterwards as the clock was ticking and I became late for an important meeting. Damn near broke the thing in two to avoid getting fired. Finally I got it apart. I drove a little compact car in those days.

Once the fish get dark and away from the taste of the salt small dark nypmhs seem to work really well for them, watching others fish upriver.

Springers are sooo nice because they stay bright so long. The best tasting salmon out there too, like butter when smoked.

Some of those kings are were more than I had bargained for on the bugrod. The real frontier is to figure out ocean chinook on the fly.

Did someone say "Nittinat?"
 

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Once the fish get dark and away from the taste of the salt small dark nypmhs seem to work really well for them, watching others fish upriver.

Juro,

I'm glad to hear you say that. I fair hook kings on the Lower Sacramento in Redding on a regular basis when fishing for trout with small (#14-18) PT's, caddis pupa and birdsnests. I've had other FF'ers try to convince me that these are 'incidental' hookups and that salmon would NEVER feed on such baits when on the beds. But I feel them take the fly and some days I get five or six of these takes. There is no way they could be incidental, accidental, temperamental or any other 'ental.'

As soon as I have one hooked -- and there certainly is no problem distinguishing a king salmon from a rainbow trout -- I break them off. But every once in awhile I'll get one that is really full of beans and runs and jumps with that tiny hook in its beak and actually makes it difficult to break them off. The sheer, unbelievable power of those mighty fish makes me want to fish for them properly and legally one day. I hope I get to take one on a spey rod!
 

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Yeah Kings are a bear on fly rods, actually I got tired of fishing for them and don't really pursue them much anymore. One fishery though I would like to try with streamers is when they congregate around the river mouths in August. You need a top notch salt water reel and 9/10 weight for these guys though, they are 15-25 lbs bright silver and impossible to stop, some just keep going.

Fred will send you the Michigan king salmon fly I had my best day ever on its called The Crick fly. Hit a pool of fresh kings on the PM in late August, the only fly they would hit were this one, guys were going to the sport shop for them, which they did not have. Hooked 20-30 in 4 hours and ended up chasing them down stream for a few river bends before they would break me off. 12lb test leader I think. Landed two one was a 25lb Male. I was to tired to do anything after that afternoon and let them go. Ran out of that fly also.

Dark flies deep in the morning, dusk, or night they are very light sensitive and disappear under log jams and cut banks under bright sun light. Find the shady pools is another key for me and those with springs coming in to the main stream. Takes time I know. Glow in the dark material also works for Kings in low light situations. Go to Kmart for some "Glow Rope". Have to go myself for some more.

We do not have spring king runs here, maybe a few by chance thats it.
 

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PM -

Those are the days you live for when you connect like that! I'm looking forward to my next one :)
 

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Crick Fly?

Hey, PM,

How about posting the dressing for the bug you mentioned?

Who knows, it might work even for me.

Cheers,

Eric

Oh yeah, one more thing which Juro reminded of -- for fall chinook, which seem a whole lot easier than spring chinook, we've caught 'em on all sorts of things. But one of the most effective was a royal blue bunny leech. Trask River fish just went nuts over it.
 

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Southern Ontario Perspective

My encounters with chinooks are somewhat similar to what the others have mentioned above. I have found that fish fresh into rivers will be all over black, olive, or white wooly buggers or egg-sucking leeches, and I imagine marabou speys (although I'll let you know for sure this August) to the point where your arm gets too sore to keep fishing. If you were so inclined, 30+ hookup days are entirely possible, but the chinook itch wears off fast when the steelies start to show. Once the fish are in the rivers for longer than 2-3 weeks they really change their attitudes and while still taking the above metnioned flies, do not do so with the same energy as early in their run upstream. Later on darker, but not necessarily smaller, nymphs are what they seem to like.
If I were you Fred, I would try some black or brown stoneflies or any other flies with muted down tones. I've found it seems to be the color more than the size that the fish respond to, of course taking into account water conditions and fishing pressure.

Good Luck on you hunt, Chinooks are truly magnificent fish that don't get the respect they deserve when they enter the rivers!!

Mike
 

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Mike B,

Your right they do not get the respect especially the fresh silver ones right out of the lake. They are an awesome fish if you catch them when they are fresh.


Amazing in Michigan we get them small caddis and stone nymphs size 8 and lower many times. Better have a real strong hook, I now use salt water hooks for them.


Eric will post The Crick pattern, nothing to elaborate about it.

Maybe this summer we should do a king salmon fly swap in preparation for the fall ?
 

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Crick - Fly Pattern

Eric,

Here is the pattern instructions. Developed by Dave Richey one of the first great lakes steelhead guides, not sure what he is doing now, etc. This is a simple pattern to tie. Developed in the 1970s.

Tail: Black calftail
Body: Butt - pink chenille, Front 2/3 - black chenille
Under wing - White calf tail
Wing - Black calf tail
Throat - Black calf tail or hackle

A Michigan steelhead fly than can also be used for the King salmon as I did on that memorable day described in previous thread. As I recall I was using a size 6 that day, but you can tie it larger if you like. I think the Kings were taking it for a stone fly but who knows. Now all I use for them are stone, hex, or caddis nymphs and occassionally large streamers to antognize the big males into striking.

Good luck,

Hal
 

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Crick Fly

I think the Crick Fly pattern and picture are in the book, Flies for Steelhead by Dick Stewart and Farrow Allen.

Mike
 

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Yes it is in there. I have had it in fly box since the early 1980s. Perhaps I will give it a swim this week in Michigan ?
 

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lining fish

Depending on the scenerio, really dictates if these guys are "lining" fish or matching conditions. The 6' leader is exteme though. Maybe a 4-5' maximum. I will use longer leaders (but LIGHTER leads too) on my summer fishing. I usually don't go TOO long. The length of leader dictates how you feel the strike. But these guys running multiple OUNCE weights (which isn't needed on small corkies on long leaders) is virtually asking the fish to run into it. But it is a necessity when you're fishing gin clear conditions with spooky fish. Yet, as i said, small profiles, longer leaders, and usually split shot for weight when I'm driftfishing.

Now, onto kings. I've caught too many to imagine on drift gear. I'm talking rags mostly, some with corkies. Some where caught with bait, but most where caught bait/scentless. Most were solid takes, so anyone saying I had "lined" a fish would have a battle on their hands. But I'm using what is needed for situation. Usually run 3' leaders when lower vis, and a little longer for greater vis. When it comes to flies, I've actively pursued kings on a fly. Have caught a few on subsurface/dry flies near tiedwater. Basically a revised wog I've tied. Cool to see a silver/king come to surface and roll by fly. But that's only been in flux salt zones, not complete fresh. As in others, in the flux, i fish GP's, shrimp patterns, etc. But in the fresh, I go wild. I tie up big bushy flies. I tie up a variety, depending on water I'm fishing. I tie up my dredgers (ones I want to be bouncing off bottom with a sinktip), and my sinking flies. The norm on all is bushy. Lots of marabou and schlappen. Can only tell you about kings I've caught on the Chehalis system, Quielleyette system, and the Hoh. Those are the rivers I fish for Kings. Depending on water clarity dictates color combo, and river dictates colors too. I guess best way to sum up my flies are they're similar to George Cook flies. Usually I put some chenille, maybe some misc materials. I usually don't use traditional hairwing flies. But I've had success with what I use. Plus, as juro said, they have a mind of their own. They hit when they feel like hitting. But usually when they hit, they H-I-T. Never had just a mellow take down. Hell, had my old 10wt Fenwick almost ripped from my hands stripping in my shrimp pattern on the Chehalis. I was reeling like crazy trying to get the line back on reel because the fish taking the excess line out of my hands was burning the hell out of my hand.

I'd say tie up what you think would work, then hit the rivers. You never know.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
MJYP, very! cool on the offer of the flys.

I'll hit you with a 'private message' with my address. As is usually the case, the simple flys are the ones that gets the fishes attn.:D
 
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