Well hello sockeye!!

"The Fraser River Panel met Tuesday August 24 to review stock assessment data on the Fraser River sockeye runs, plan fisheries and review migration conditions in the Fraser River watershed. Test fishing catches of sockeye have continued to be strong in the marine approach routes over the past several days. These catches along with other assessment data have caused run size estimates for Fraser sockeye to increase. At the meeting today, the Panel approved increasing the run sizes for several Fraser River sockeye runs and adopting the following estimates of their 50% marine migration timing through Area 20: Early Summer-run sockeye increased from 2,900,000 fish to 3,200,000 fish (August 7 marine timing); Summer-run sockeye increased from 4,000,000 fish to 4,500,000 fish, (August 13 marine timing); Harrison sockeye increased from 900,000 fish to 1,000,000 fish (August 8 marine timing); Late Shuswap/Weaver sockeye increased from 11,000,000 fish to 16,000,000 fish (August 19 marine timing); and the forecast of 241,000 fish from the Birkenhead stock-group. The total run size estimate for Late-run sockeye (which includes Late Shuswap, Weaver, Harrison and Birkenhead sockeye) has increased from 12,141,000 fish to 17,241,000 fish. Current run size assessments suggest that the total Fraser sockeye return this season is slightly over 25,000,000 fish (including 105,000 Early Stuart sockeye), which is the largest return since 1913."


A little nookie - Alaska West Week 3


Through chance, luck and a bit of timing, I found myself heading to Alaska West on the Kanektok River for their third "Spey Week", June 25 - July 2. A week of swinging flies for chrome chinook? Can't begin to tell you how excited I was. Needless to say, I had an amazing time. Fishing was great, accommodations relaxed and comfortable, and of course the company was fantastic. The Kanektok is a gorgeous river, with gravel bar after gravel bar of some of the juiciest swinging water ever. The lower end is tidal, and during high tide anchoring up and casting single hand rods from the boats was both fun and effective. In addition to chinook, we caught a lot of chum, and they are cleaner than any others I have seen. Also, sockeye, pinks, gorgeous leopard rainbows and dollys are available, and somehow I managed to land four tiny little flounder. Working the run, thousands of ooligans swim by your feet and salmon slash and roll all around you. Bear tracks litter the beaches, birds fly overhead and sing all night long, and yes, there are mosquitos wanting to get up close and personal. Here are a few shots from the week.

Last light lasts forever.

Getting ready to head out.


So chrome.

These tracks weren't there yesterday.

A fresh tidewater fish.

George Cook was on hand to give spey casting intruction.

The release...
-Trevor Covich photo-

Casting at the mouth: next stop Russia.
-George Cook photo-

Mice, chinook flies, sculpins, eggs, flesh...the rainbows are voracious.
-Whitney Gould photo-

Guide and amazing friend Whitney.

Yes, they have spots on their eyes.
-Whitney Gould photo-

Guides Garrett and Matt get comfy.

Big grabs, beautiful fish... can't help but smile.
-Trevor Covich photo-

Heavy rain and no wind = moquito attack.
-Garrett Sullivan photo-

The Kanektok isn't the only river in the area with big chinnies.
-Matt Hynes photo-

You can see forever: the mountains are 90+ miles away.

Be warned, you will become addicted to these fish.
-Trevor Covich photo-

Alaska West is on an island: Flag Channel meets the mainstem.

What's a little rain when you're fishing?

For more information visit the Alaska West website here. They also have regular updates on the Deneki Outdoors Facebook page here.

Thanks so much to the crew at AK West for a great trip!


Quick Hits

The time of year has come again, when days are getting long, waters are warming up, and the spey hatch is blooming. For all those addicted to the great sport (?) of spey casting and double handed rods, here are two awesome events to attend in the upcoming months.

Michael & Young Flyshop's Annual Spey Day
Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Over the past 5 years, M&Y's free spey day has grown and grown, while still maintaining a easy, low key atmostphere. For those of you unfamiliar with our spey day, there is nothing for sale at this event, which means all you have to worry about is how many combos you can manage to try throughout the day. This event is designed to appeal to everyone, whether you haven't even tried spey casting yet, want to learn the technique for your single hand rod, or have been using a double hander for years. No pressure, no expectations, just a great learning environment and an opportunity to try out rods and lines.

This year we are pleased to have Steve Rajeff and Steve Choate return to wow us with their demonstrations, and offer their tips and encouragement with our own casting. As always, a FREE barbeque lunch will be provided and there will be a draw for some great prizes; the one to watch out for is the Hatch Pulse 9 Mid Arbor reel, generously donated by Hatch Outdoors.

Location: Peg Leg Bar, Chilliwack, BC (directions)
Start Time: 8:00 am

G. Loomis
3M Scientific Anglers
and more....

For more information, contact the shop via email - info@myflyshop.com or phone - (604) 588-2833

Sandy River Spey Clave
May 14-16, 2010

The mother of all spey claves, the Sandy River Clave is an action packed weekend with demos, presentations, and lots of gear to drool over. This year the Friday (May 14) is once again devoted to the ladies, with a number of great presentions by some incredible women - Kateri Clay, Amy Hazel, Mia Sheppard, Denise Maxwell, Dawn Fischer-Chou, Whitney Gould, Nicole Darland, Mary Ann Dozer, Katherine Hart, Anne Tatum,  and Rachel Andras. Oh, and me. The Saturday and Sunday will follow the usual format of great meals, great presentations, and lots of fun.

For more information please go  to http://www.flyfishusa.com/spey-clave.htm


Beach Fishing Photos

Ready to head out.

Great rock structure.

The jet ski pushed the fish in, lots of grabs at this point.

Sometimes you can ride over the waves...

Sometimes you can jump through them...

And sometimes you have to dive right through them.

Better keep that back cast high.

Everything comes together.


Fly Fishing in the Surf 101, Pacific Coast, Mexico

If you find yourself in a tropical destination on a trip not planned specifically for fishing, there are still some incredibly fun opportunities to be had. My last two trips to Mexico were family trips, and both times going prepared resulted in some great experiences. Here are my tips:

Fast action 4 piece 8 wt
Anodized, large arbor reel
Ttropical floating line
Tapered leader
Fly box full of weighted white, olive/white, chartreuse/white streamers
Medical tape (for casting and/or stripping blisters)
Bikini or swim trunks
Suntan lotion
Do NOT wear a hat or sunglasses, you will lose them, wear goggles if you want eye protection

Any beach, preferably near rocky outcroppings/jetties where you can stand at least some of the time JUST past (or sometimes exactly where) the waves are breaking

Time of day:
Doesn't seem to matter too much
Waves and wind can sometimes be worse in the afternoons

Doesn't seem to matter too much, as long as you can cast your fly into the clean water if the waves are stirring up the sand

Ability to tread water
The guts to dive through waves
Enough endurance to cast and strip flies like a maniac
Power to cast into the wind

Find beach
Walk into water until you reach the point just barely beyond where the waves are breaking
Start casting
Allow the fly to sink for just a moment
Retrieve fly in 6-12 inch strips at a rapid pace right up to the leader
Cast and repeat

Waves - all waves will not break at the same point; often bigger waves will break out further, meaning you may have to run and dive into said wave (make sure your rod goes into the wave butt end first); after riding over or diving through waves, the water usually gets deeper, sometimes requiring you to tread water momentarily (or requiring you to make a cast with your head under water: yes, it happened)
Wind - for some crazy reason, the wind is rarely at your back, so be careful not to hook yourself while casting into the head winds
Fish - after being nearly run over by a puffer fish, it came to my attention that some fish may have the ability to cause you harm, and became much more attentive to the water directly around me
Ocean floor - especially if the water clarity is bad due to sand, there are all sorts of shells, rocks, fish, and other sharp, pointy, poisonous things that roll around down there; not much you can do about it, so good luck;
Sun - wear suntan lotion and don't stay out all day, nuff said

All over the map, but generally can count on at least a few grabs, if nothing else
At times some incredibly fast fishing

Size of fish:
Generally very small, but pound for pound they usually fight great

Other notes:
For every fish you hook, you will probably have at least 5 times that many follow and grab the fly 
Hooking to landing ratio is about the same
Find your fly during the retrieve, the fish sit very close to the surface and will follow the fly almost right to your belly button
If they turn away because they see you, throw another cast at them they'll often turn and chase it again
Always always watch the waves, the last thing you want to happen is to get tossed upside down in churning water, end up with your head buried in the sand and then realize you broke the one rod you were able to squeeze into your luggage
The fish tend to travel in schools, so the action may be fast and furious for a little while and then die off only to pick up again fifteen minutes or half an hour later, so tough it out
Eenjoy the full body workout, and give yourself time for a siesta afterwards


Sometimes It's Good Just to Get Outside...

Pitt Lake

Harrison Lake

Lillooet River

Fraser River

Fraser River

Stave Lake

Allouette Lake

Allouette Lake

Stave Lake

Fraser River