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What do I need (Alaska)?

748 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  soundflyguy
I'm going on a 10 day unguided trip June 19/29 to Kodiac Alaska for various species of Salmon including Kings. I know zero about fly fishing, will discuss the trip with the other members of the group, but was curious if anyone could explain some of the basics such as what type of rod and reel outfit would be ideal/waders/boots/et...? I believe that the river is not very wide so long casts are not a major issue. Long hikes with waders seems to be part of the trip. Any feedback would be appreciated.

This post edited by BobWheeler 01:44 PM 04/09/2008
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Hi Bob,
I read your note as I was in the process of putting the final touches on my 16th fly fishing trip to Alaska. I just love the place and it is a magnificent location to fly fish, especially the AK Peninsula and the Kodiak area. I will say this at the outset, not all five species of Pacific salmon are typically available at the same time of year. That is a very coveted fly fishing ?slam? and usually only at specific times of the year and only in some locations. In all the years that I have been going up there I have had only one shot at all the salmon in one day on a fly. Where you are going you will mostly likely get into bright sockeye salmon and some early season kings. For the most part you won?t be fishing silvers, chums or pinks. They migrate later in the summer. The salmon season progression in a normal year is sockeye, kings, chums, pinks and silvers and that holds true for most of the salmon rivers throughout the state. If you fish ?offshore? that is a different story. I would strongly advise utilizing the services of a guide for at least one or two day until you get the hang of the process. Those rivers can run very high and swift in the spring and can be dangerous at times, even those that are not very wide across. Plus a good guide will know where the fish are in the river, saving you a lot of valuable fishing time. Once the season gets going salmon will be spread throughout the entire course of the river but in the early days finding them can take a bit more work.
As far as outfitting goes, neoprenes or breathables with fleece underpants are a must. I prefer stocking foot waders and wading boots but you can do well with boot foot waders. If you plan on doing a lot of walking in the waders, I?d vote for the wading boots. Some of them these days are just as good as hiking boots. A good quality rain jacket is a must and will be one of your most important pieces of gear. At that time of year it will still be chilly/cold and you should expect rain. Kodiak and the AK Peninsula are notorious for rain?often times it can rain every day of a trip, days on end. I?d also bring some fleece pullovers, gloves and some sort of skull cap in addition to BB caps. Don?t let the June weather here fool you?when I pack for Alaska I pack for three seasons. I?ve had snow in August!
As a general rule and 8 weight should serve you well for all the salmon other than big kings. They can get in a current and use it to their advantage. For them you?ll need a rod with some backbone. I fish kings with 9 and 10 weights. Depending on the size of the other salmon you can use 7, 8 or 9 weights. Make sure you have at least one high density sink-tip line and a Teeny-type line of about 300 to 350 grains. Again, lines will vary based upon the specific river conditions so be prepared and don?t just bring a floating line. I could go on about lines and flies but if you have any specific questions just send me a PM. Hope this helps?SFG
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