Well once again the fair fly anglers from Whitehorse are headed to Skagway for the Dolly fishery. The rivers are moderate level and clear. The fish are targeting out-migrating salmon fry, sculpins and such.
Greatest success has been with silver streamer immitations including mini speys, egg and I, epoxy minnows and Jansens minnows. Do not count out egg sucking leeches or white crystal buggers. Use a sink tip or full sinker and strip through the riffles and pools. Do not get lead feet as if no fish are pinned in 15 minutes or so, move on.
As March comes to a close fish flood tides with silver thornes and beach shrimp in green, chartreuse and olive, and small clouser minnow imitations. Intermediate lines and long casts are the order here.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Well the last of the ice has gone from the lakes in the South Yukon and it is time to load up the 8 to 10 weights and cruise the shoals for some lakers and pike. Although a little lethargic still, these fish are actively searching out food to fill their bellies.
Lakers have been hitting white articulated minnows and large black bunny leech patterns of 2 inches long or so. You need a sink tip of type 6 or type eight or the equivalent sinking line. They are not willing to come far off the bottom of the shoals in order to get the meal. A moderate slow varied strip retrieve has been the ticket. Troll to find the pods of fish and then anchor appropriately.
Pike are in the shallow to extreme shallow bays and are post spawn right now. Seek out windward shorelines there the warm water stacks up. It is all about sight fishing. White and red Bunny Leeches and chartreuse/white Lefty's Deceivers in 1/0 to 3/0 are producing well. In the extreme shallow bays, white Dahlberg Divers are the ticket. Pike will follow the fly back to the boat or shore and simply stop............if you see this, dance the presentation around figure eight style and most pike will hit.
The Yukon drainage is still mighty brown but there is some grayling to be had. Baitfish imitations in size 8 to 10 work well. Top water attractors are also starting to produce. Stimulators and convertables all are good bets. The best tactic is to rig a dry dropper with a stimulator on top and a green or red chronomid as the dropper.
Our pothole lakes are in full swing with chronomid action. Some days they are keying in on the pupae and other days the emergers. A strike indicator and 14 foot leader is the ticket here. Cast out, wait 4 minutes and do a slow hand strip retrieve. I like to use my I-pod as a distraction in this style of fishing. It forces me to wait and slowly retrieve in order to get the best presentation.
Be sure to come into On Top Fly Shop in downtown Whitehorse and get stocked up on flies, ties and lies. We are next to Klondike Rib and Salmon on 2nd Ave and Steele St.
Take Care and Tight Lines.
Steve and Lisa
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Little Black Stonefly or Snowfly (Capniidae)
While talking with a friend outside the shop, I noticed a small flying insect land on his lapel. After examining it, then eating it and grossing out my friend....I declared it to be our old friend the tiny black stonefly.
With the days lengthening and the temperature reaching double digits, the little black stonefly hatch is on. Seen crawling over the candling ice along the Yukon River, the grayling are keying in on these insects as the nymphs crawl out of the river to hatch into adults. I had best success fishing a size 14-16 Harts Dark Lord 10 feet under an indicator. I fished a hot wire worm under the stonefly nymph to take advantage of the continued midge action. If you are not hitting bottom with your flies, you are not fishing. To get down, I added 3 split shot weights about 6 inches up from the stonefly to get it down fast.
Check out this tying demo bellow.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Aaron Goodis Photo
It is April and once again time for sea runners to leave their winter quarters in coastal lakes and migrate to the estuaries and ocean feeding areas. By sea runners I mean cutthroat trout and dolly varden char. The rivers in Skagway and Haines are low and clear, creating good conditions to intercept these out-migrating fish as they fatten up on salmon alevin and fry.
There has been good success using slump busters, white clouser minnows and small alevin patterns on varying sink tips, either stripped through pools or swung through runs and riffles. Try switching it up drifting an alevin pattern under an indicator, around structure such as log jams and rock piles. This is where the new switch rods come into their own.
(check out the tutorial bellow from the good folks at the Caddis Fly Shop in Oregon, to explain how to create a good nymph (streamer) rig.
On the home front, the Yukon River tailwater is warming and the ice is leaving the riffles and runs around town. Try swinging small lite brite streamers and thunder creeks on heavy sink tips. When the temp gets above 8 degrees Celsius, a double midge rig is a good bet. I would recommend a red rock worm or San Juan worm as your point fly and a zibra midge as your tail gunner. A small amount of non-toxic split shot will be necessary to get the flies down to the fish fast. This whole system under a strike indicator of course.
For a complete selection of flies and supplies, stop by the shop in Riverdale. Also, stay tuned for the opening of the downtown store location on the Klondike Corner at 2nd Ave and Steele St. On Top Fly Shop.
Keep the water bellow the wader tops.