Sockeye, "Red" salmon begin to appear in Lake Creek near the end of King season in mid-July. Small preliminary schools precede the major run of fish typically around the 15th of July. Fishing is phenomenal for sockeye salmon when they first enter the creek in large numbers. A beautiful metallic green fish, sockeye salmon are acrobatic fighters and a superior game fish to pursue with fly fishing gear. Sockeye begin to turn to a pink shade after about a week in the river system, but remain in great condition throughout the fishing period. Sockeye run continuously and rapidly up Lake Creek and abandon the lower river typically by the 1st week of August. Sockeye Salmon average 4-8 lbs. in our Alaska river system, and some may reach near 10 lbs.
Sockeye salmon can be targeted successfully by integrating a number of spin fishing techniques. We most often fish Blue Fox Vibrax spinners, and small jigs that are successfully fished with a cross-current retrieve while drifting downstream. Some of our guests have been successful with lighter action spin rods with flies tied to a 18" leader spliced to the mainline with a barrel swivel and light egg singer. This rig works much like a jig does, but offers a long-line swimming motion to the fly and is easy to adjust to compensate with various depths and river currents.
Equipment Needed for Spinning/Bait Casting for Alaska sockeye
|Rods:||Typically 3/8oz - 1/2oz spinning rod geared to 8-14 lb. line.|
|Reels:||Bait casting - we suggest Abu Garcia's Ambassador C3 5500 series. Spinning - size = 195yds/10 lb test, ie. Pflueger President 6740|
|Lines:||Stren or Berkeley Trilene XL - for castability 10 - 14# test|
|Lures:||Blue Fox Vibrax Spinners 3/8 oz, Blue Fox Pixee spoons 1/2 oz, 1/8 - 1/4 oz marabou or bucktail jigs|
Fly fishing sockeye salmon is truly a fast-paced, exciting sport of pursuit, sight-casting, acrobatic fights and drag-pulling fun. Sockeye salmon, due to their shear numbers allow for a high success rate for fly fishermen and women of all abilities. Wade fishing from gravel bars and drifting flies to long lines of chrome bright sockeye running upstream is an exhilarating experience. Sockeye, pound-for-pound may be the best fighting salmon in Alaska.
|Fly Rods:||We use 7-8 weight medium to medium-fast action, strong back-bone fly rods|
|Reels:||Lamson Konic 3.5 is a good economical, high-performance fly reel.|
Sockeye salmon fly patterns are normally weighted, either by wrapped lead wire mid-way on the shank of the hook, or by cone heads, bead eyes or dumbbell eyes. Sockeye flies do not need to be excessively heavy, but enough to drift approximately 8 - 24" subsurface. It's good to have a variety of weights and sizes. Sockeye flies are swung through the inside edge of fast water current in fairly shallow areas where large schools of sockeye congregate. We typically fish floating fly lines with 4-5 foot leaders. Orange, Chartreuse and Pink flies work best for sockeye salmon.
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