Flies For Alaskan Kings

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Sandy River Spey Clave
Fly Fishing For Kings
Ultrathon Insect Repellent
Toothy Critter Leader

All pictures are Mouse-over.

Sandy River Spey Clave 2006 Report
Best ever, hands down.  Exuberant crowd.  Masses of of rods...a forest of graphite.  Masses of information freely shared.  We enjoyed the most diversified collection of elegant, informative, entertaining, on-the-water programs.  Unfortunately they were presented with a brand new, expensive, totally failed sound system.  The presenters stepped up...and so did the audience.  We heard only good things from everyone.  Somehow everyone cooperated to make the programs work in spite of the failed equipment.  (We need advice from anyone who can guarantee to fix our sound problem.) 
My main comment about this Clave, " I've personally never participated in any event that had a better atmosphere".  The part that I liked best, was the aura of mutual respect that pervaded every scene.  Spey Casters have learned how to like each other.  Many old tensions were put to rest during this Clave. Many new alliances were formed. Nowhere did I see new battle lines drawn.     

What can you say about all three kitchen crews?  They made things flow like clock work.  Hundreds of people got well-fed, fast. One of the most reliable men I know said that at this Clave, many folks commented that the meals were as much fun as the programs. 

Speaking of programs, Way Yin gave us a sneak peak (Saturday evening) of a video casting-tutorial that will cause a real stir when it hits the market later on this summer. You will want to see this DVD for the cinematography alone.  It takes seeing casting to a new level because of the clarity of the pictures.    

Next year we promise not to have The Clave on Mothers Day! 
We have some interesting scheduling problems for next year.

Here are some pictures from the Clave:

Lots of people.
This year we has sunshine.
Resident spey critics.
The wildlife is friendly.
A forest of graphite.
More rods & lines than anyone could try
Rising star.
Billy Jean.

Steve Rajeff narrates for Steve Choate and Ed Ward.

Dec Hogan returned to steal the show.
Scott O'Donnell is a pro for both Sage & Rio and is very much in demand as a steelhead guide.
Scot O'Donnell explaining the fine points.
This bullet shaped loop denotes a perfect stop at the end of the casting stroke.
Andy Murray from The House of Hardy.
Andy Murray showed the Scottish way.
Steve Choate was the 2002 Spey distance casting champion.
Hands-on help from Steve Choate.
Ed Ward, a G. Loomis pro is an expert on Skagit style casting.
Up-close with Ed Ward.
The Fly Fishing Shop wone the "Feather in the Cap" award from the Santiam Spey Casters for promoting spey casting.
Mark & Patty receiving an award.

Gordon Armstrong works out at Spey-O-Rama. Steve Rajef and Way Yin entertain the crowd.

The Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club with Mel Krieger presented the Jimmy Green International Spey-O-Rama and Fly Casting Festival May 5-6-7 2006 at the world renown casting ponds located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. GGACC is devoted to introducing everyone to fly casting and angling at their historical club and facility. The event was open to the public and admittance was free.
Patty and I attended this event for the first time this year.  Unlike the Sandy River Spey Clave which is held on moving water on a river, the Spey-O-Rama is held on still water.  While the Sandy event is away from the bustle of city life, the Spey-O-Rama is in the heart of San Francisco. Beyond those differences, the two events offer things in common: an extremely friendly atmosphere and place for learning and refining casting techniques.  We had fun.  It turns out that our hotel was in the historic Haight Ashbury district at the opposite end of the park from the casting ponds.  Golden Gate Park is two and a half miles long.  It contains a cornucopia of delights for anyone interested in botany. The first day Patty and I walked the distance from our hotel to the ponds and back. It's a long walk but worth it. The park is very well kept.  The next day we took a cab.  The Spey-O-Rama is primarily a distance casting event.  We weren't able to stay for the finals, but in practice some casters were throwing spey casts of over 140'.  Finals were Sunday.  Rod length was limited to 15' 1".
The winners (for a total of 4 casts) were:
Tie for #1: Mariusz Wroblewski 551 feet (average 137.75'),
Tie for #1: Gordon Armstrong 551 feet average 137.75'),
3rd place Scott O’Donnell 528 average 132').
The two top guns were throwing long belly lines as you might expect.  The surprise of the tournament was Scott O'Donnell because he used a shorter 59' long head weighing, (if I remember right) about 1,400 grains.  This was Scott's first tournament. Congratulations to every one of the contestants.  Once again the boundaries of fly casting have been explored.  Thanks to the folks at the Golden Gate Club and the people of San Francisco for making our visit such a pleasurable one.

Fly Fishing For Kings

Alaskan King from the Sandy River, (Alaska). Josh Linn photo.

So, you've caught both summer and winter steelhead in good numbers and still enjoy it. You love fishing larger rivers with two-hand fly rods.   And you are wondering what the next step (or level) might be?   Well how about fish that instead of averaging 6-20 pounds average 20-50 pounds.  Instead of 7-8-9 weight rods and 10-pound tippet, you need 20-pound test and 9-10-11 weight rods.  How about Alaskan Kings?  In some Alaskan Rivers Such as the Kanektok and Sandy Rivers, Kings bite

as aggressively as any other anadromous fish, maybe even better than most.  The trick is to get at them when they are ocean-fresh.  In Alaska June is the month for bright Kings.  Plan on doing your fishing very close to the mouth of the river.  Your reel needs to carry 200-yards of backing.  Don't forget to bring an extra outfit.  These fish are powerful and can break rods and reels.  This ain't the game for the good old fashion clicker reel.  Use the same class of reels that you would use for heavy duty saltwater fly fishing.

An intrepid angler chases a King down stream in the Sandy River, (Alaska). Josh Linn photo.

Bring an extra fly line in case you loose one. Bring lots of flies, you will need them.  Kings tend to travel along the bottom of the river and that is where you will need to fish your flies.  Fishing for Alaskan Kings is a lot like fishing for winter steelhead.  You will loose flies and you will need to sharpen your hook often.  Be sure to have a good hook sharpening tool.  Be prepared to expend some energy to land these fish.  After all they are called Kings for good reason.  They are the biggest and best of Pacific salmon. 

Flies For Kings
Alaskabous Kingtookas Marabou Shrimp Marabou Tube Flies

Alaskabou Flies
Blue Moon Popsicle Volcano

George Cook with a chromer King. 

Alaska Flies, Alaskabou Series
These proven favorites are tied to exacting specifications for George Cook (pictured at left with a very good Alaska King salmon).  This beautiful fish, fresh from the sea, was caught at Alaska West Lodge on the Kanektok River where many fish like this are taken each year. George has fished extensively across the length and breadth of our largest State. He developed the Alaskabou Series in his younger days while guiding in Alaska.  Alaskabous were an instant success and have remained key patterns for all of the anadromous fish in the northern latitudes including Salmon, Steelhead & Char.  Alaskabous are also very popular in British Columbian and the Pacific North West for salmon & steelhead and have spawned numerous patterns tied along the same marabou spider theme including our own marabou Tube Fly Series.  The great thing about this style of fly is that they may be carried,
packed tightly in a zip-lock bag and stuffed in a shirt pocket or a wader pouch.  The more they get crushed & munched, the more wiggle they have and the better they fish.

Alaskabou, Blue Moon

Alaskabou, Blue Moon
Black & blue with blue & pearl flash is a deadly combination any time, but especially effective on dark days or periods when the water is off color.
Item Description Price  To Alaskabou
15176 Alaskabou, Blue Moon size 1/0 3 for $5.85


Alaskabou, Popsicle

Alaskabou, Popsicle
This is by far the most popular pattern in this series.  Named after the tri-colored popsicles we all grew up with this fly has the warm spectrom combination of colored that seem to turn all anadromous fish "on". 
Item Description Price  To Alaskabou
16135 Alaskabou, Popsicle size 1/0 3 for $5.85


Alaskabou, Volcano

Alaskabou, Volcano
This pattern has hot colors with lots of flash and movement.  It kind of looks like molten lava.  That's why George named it Volcano.  Reddish orange has always been a favored color for new bright anadromous fish.
Item Description Price  To Alaskabou
14300 Alaskabou, Volcano size 1/0 3 for $5.85



Alaskan King from the Sandy River, (Alaska). Josh Linn photo. Kingtookas average 4.5 inches long.  They are tied on extra strong, heavy wire hooks. Kingtookas are usually fished on the swing with fast sinking-tip lines for bright Alaskan King Salmon.  These flies are also proven for Chinooks in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest as well as large British Columbia steelhead. They might imitate shrimp or squid or maybe just something that is invading the fishes territory.  Strikes are usually very positive. You won't have to guess whether you had one.  Some days one color will prove better than the others.  Next day it might be a different color.
Black Kingtooka Multi Color Kingtooka Orange Kingtooka

Black Kingtooka Black Kingtooka
When the water is off color or the day is dark, few colors produce better than black.
Item Description Price To Kingtooka
99703-2/0 Kingtooka, Black size 2/0 3 for $6.85


Multi Color Kingtooka Multi Color Kingtooka
This pattern has all the proven colors; purple, orange and blue with lots of multi-colored flash.  If you are going to Alaska for Kings, you've got to have a stock of these flies.
Item Description Price To Kingtooka
99704-2/0 Kingtooka, Multi color size 2/0 3 for $6.85


Orange Kingtooka Orange Kingtooka
Some days or even some trip, orange will be the most productive color.  You always want to have some "big" orange flies when hunting Kings in Alaska.
Item Description Price To Kingtooka
99705-2/0 Kingtooka, Orange, size 2/0 3 for $6.85


Marabou Shrimp

Alaskan King from the Sandy River, (Alaska). Josh Linn photo. Steelhead, Chinooks, Chums, Char & Coho will feed on shrimp & prawns when they are available.  These fish often retain the search image of these crustaceans long after they leave the Ocean and enter freshwater.  These are must have flies for Alaska, Kamchatka, British Columbia & the lower 48.  Marabou Shrimp flies are about 4 inches long and are tied on heavy wire extra strong hooks. You can fish 20-pound test tippet with these hooks with total confidence.
Chartreuse & Black Red & Black Red & 0rqnge

Chartreuse & Black Marabou Shrimp Chartreuse & Black Marabou Shrimp
No one can deny that chartreuse is a productive color for Pacific salmon, including Chinooks, Chums & Silvers, much of the time.  This is a proven pattern in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
Item Description Price To Shrimp
99714-2/0 Marabou Shrimp, Black & Chart, 2/0 3 for $6.85


Red & Black Marabou Shrimp Red & Black Marabou Shrimp
This is a proven pattern for Alaskan Kings and is especially good in clear water.
Item Description Price To Shrimp
99715-2/0 Marabou Shrimp, Red, size 2/0 3 for $6.85


Red Marabou Shrimp Red Marabou Shrimp
Often nothing beats red when the sun is high.
Item Description Price To Shrimp
99716-2/0 Marabou Shrimp, Black & Red, 2/0 3 for $6.85


Insect Repellent
Ultrathon Insect Repellent ULTRATHON™ AEROSOL   Lotion
The Ultimate Protection for Outdoor Enthusiasts. ULTRATHON™ LOTION ULTRATHON™ AEROSOL   Aerosol
3M Ultrathon™
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About Ultrathon™
Ultrathon™'s patented 3M Controlled Release Technology was developed to give US Military personnel long-lasting protection in challenging situations — so you can be sure it's the best repellent available for people who spend time outdoors.

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  • Repels ticks that may carry Lyme Disease.
  • Also repels biting flies, chiggers, gnats, and more.
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  • Resists rain and water splashes — perfect for campers, hikers, and sporting activities.
  • Mellow outdoor scent.
  • Aerosol Spray Can - convenient spray-through cap sprays upside down for total coverage, including hard-to-reach spots.
  • Lotion - spread thinly by hand, a little goes a long ways.
  • Item Model Price To Top
    67777-7 Ultrathon Insect Repellent, 6 oz (170g)  Aerosol Spray Can $8.50

    67442-4 Ultrathon Insect Repellent, Lotion, 2 oz (59ml) tube $9.00


    Toothy Critter Leader
    7.5 ft (2.3 m), .027" butt with an ultra stiff 15 lb bite tippet for casting big flies. For pike, bluefish, barracuda and similar species. Each tapered leader has a shock tippet of nylon-coated stainless steel wire with a tiny snap for attaching your fly. This is by far the handiest, smoothest "wire-bite-tippet" leader we have seen.



    Toothy Critter Leader

    Item Description Size Price To Top
    24350 Toothy Critter Leader 15 lb. 6.8 kg $4.95


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    Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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