About this blog

This blog is all about fly fishing for native trout. On it I cover trip reports, fishing tactics, conservation, the latest news about native trout species and much more. This site provides a companion to my web page nativetroutflyfishing.com.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Kokanee on the fly!!

Both Clint and I have been wanting to fish for kokanee with fly gear for quite sometime and last night things finally came together. Kokanee are a lake dwelling form of sockeye salmon and being as sockeye are the only species of Pacific Salmon that I have yet to tempt to a fly, these fish have been on my hit list of quite a while. The lake that I chose for these fish has a fairly good population and better yet is less than an hour away from home. Way back before I switched to fly gear I used to fish this lake a lot for trout and we would intercept a stray kokanee or two on bait once and a while, so I knew that we should be able to find them here. I got off work and we loaded up the boat and headed out to the lake. When we got to the launch the air temps were in the 90's and getting the boat in amongst the swimmers who didn't seem to have any plans of moving was no small task.

The lake

After finally getting in no thanks to the swimmers baracade the fish finder showed a surface temperature of 79 degrees, and also began showing a few fish around 25 to 30 feet deep. As kokanee generally hang out just below the thermocline in the summer, these had to be what we were looking for. We rigged up our rods with full sinking lines and started dedging the bottom. I had chosen to put on a small red wooly bugger followed by a size 14 maggot pattern, while Clint had decided to take the attractor route opting for a bright pink streamer.

After about 20 minutes of dredging it finally happened, a couple taps and than a full fledged hook up. These little fish definitely have a lot of spunk and made for a lot of fun on a 5wt.

My first Kokanee on the fly

After getting him in, I saw that he took the maggot pattern and than quickly dropped my line again. Shortly after this Clint had a good take but missed the fish.

In the Kokanee zone

For the first hour or so it seemed that there was a school of fish hanging out off of a small point in the lake. We each got several hits in this spot but couldn't seem to get a good connection until Clint had a fish slam his fly and came up with a beautiful kokanee.

Clint's Kokanee

After the first hour or so the hits trailed off and we just couldn't seem to consistantly find the fish. Just before dark Clint got another nice kokanee and I lost another one, but with the failing light we decided to call it quits. It was a great day on the water and a new species of salmonid on the fly for both of us just made it even better!!


5%er said...

I am so jealous. The last few times I've been out I was targeting Kokanee on a fly but struggle to hit the right depth with my full sink line. I know that with my line all the way out to backing and 10' leader I hit bottom at 32'. This is the depth I snag at. Any tips on hitting the right depth ?

Gary said...

The fish that we were finding were roughly 30' down (a fish finder can be helpful to figure out what depth they are at), so it sounds like you should be in the right range. I know some people that used the color coated lead core sinking lines to get out to the proper depth. Trolling slow on a heavy sink tip with smaller flies (attractors) worked for me, maggot patterns also seemed to work. Fishing deep off of and indicator also can work well, with chironomids or scuds.