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Yikes Pike

Freshwater Reports from near and far
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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby KnotCase » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:55 pm

For fish less than 40 inches, the goals were (1) not let them run and spook other fish; and (2) release them quickly so you could get back in the game ASAP. For fish over 40, the goal was to get them in, photograph them and release them quickly to minimize stress on the fish. Thus the heavyweight setups. And you didn't feel the heaviness of the leader and clasp because of the size and weight of the flies. The smallest flies were still 4-6 inches and tended to hold water exceptionally well. And Emerson's Candygram (for Mongo) was like casting a medium sized pogie.
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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby Emerson » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:52 pm

I told the guys on the boat about the titanium problem of not making too sharp a curve in the wire. They laughed and said..yup..they found out the hard way as we did. You an tie a loose improved clinch or just make a loop as you might in your fly line...put some nail knots and or whip finish with glue. You must use something hard over top. I used Goo but the fish ate through that. The guys on the boat used electrical shrink wrap then epoxy..that did it.

The goal is to make something strong, not kink and something that you can re-use a ton of times. The 100 lb titanium was funny to look at..especially with the huge clasp but the pike are not leader shy...if a fish were tied to a chain..they would hit it. We caught one fish of about 36"..nice fish that had been T-boned by a monster as we could see the bite marks...scary. You would not want to go swimming here. After we saw that fish, we moved out to deeper water and cast the largest flies we had.....a monster came in and scared the poop out of me..I missed it. It came out of nowhere after 15 casts....sprayed the boat with water. I then continued the casting and a huge 44" fat fish ate the fly with a vengeance and I hooked it and got it in. We did not know if that was the same fish that came in about 5 min before. Last fish of the trip....next time I will try that method earlier!! :D :D :P
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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby Emerson » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:07 pm

Check out the fly..just a hair over 14" It travels just under the surface pushing a ton of water!
IMG_0204_2.jpeg
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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby KnotCase » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:11 pm

Emerson wrote:Check out the fly..just a hair over 14" It travels just under the surface pushing a ton of water!
IMG_0204_2.jpeg


The casting characteristics are interesting...especially in the 15-25 wind we had on Wednesday.
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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby meatstick » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:37 pm

OMG ... that's one huge fly. :shock:

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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby Emerson » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:29 pm

Here is the 'small' fly that did tons of damage. Glue after each step.....coat bottom of head with Goo...stick Goo on front of head..in between fibers....then Sally Hanson's. The fly turned out to be extremely durable.


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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby KnotCase » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:41 pm

"You may attend a party where strange customs prevail."
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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby TLT » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:17 pm

Just awesome predators!

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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby Cutter » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:57 pm

"just" awesome pictures.
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So show up with a knife and know how to shuck.

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Re: Yikes Pike

Postby AMJohnston » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:52 pm

I'm back from the second week at MSTPA. There was a huge shift in the weather as Fall arrived--a low pressure system pushed the high temps down in to the 50s, with lots of rain and wind. And it definitely affected the fishing. The wind pushed the fish down and they were very lethargic. I had 3 days of lots of blind casting and essentially no fish (not no trophies, no fish). Tough. That said, MSTPA had a last minute cancellation the week after I left and I was tempted.....
There were some highlights:
1. Pulling a 42 out of the mouth of a slough that dumped into Reindeer Lake at what Em and I named Pebble Beach, going on shore to land the fish and then wading the area and catching a 36 pike while wading.
2. That same day, pulling a 44 in on a "hail Mary" last cast.
3. Landing and holding my biggest fish of the trip--a 45 fatty.
4. Having my ass whipped by a 40 incher that fought like a 49.
5. Catching a 43 in a slough 5 minutes from the house boat named after a stripper in another hail Mary effort at the end of another tough day.
Some observations about the trip:
1. The photos, as good as they are, do not do justice to the true size of these fish. They are the same species as pike in say Canada but they are just different. I saw maybe 3 skinny fish in the 2 weeks of fishing. The rest were all wide.
2. MSTPA runs an amazing operation. The logistics of running the house boat alone are mind boggling. Scott and his merry gang share an attribute that other great fishing operations share--a desire to improve the operation year to year and day to day. He is always soliciting input from guests. The fishing boats are really nice for fly guys. The food is fine and there's lots of it.
3. The Yukon River system, of which the Innoku is a part, is an impressive creature. Scott will tell you that it is a living breathing thing, which makes the fishing and guiding even more challenging. Changing water levels and weather systems move the fish so unlike a lake, the guide has to figure out not only if the fish are there and just not biting but whether they are there in the first place.
4. Being tied to one species is very challenging at many levels. If you are not seeing fish you have to work hard to stay "on" and there's really no alternative.
5. In terms of the nitty gritty, a few things: colors matter. Red and white were the most productive colors. The last day of the first week, Hugh and I were fishing together and I switched to a red and white bunny leech (more on that below). I started catching fish immediately. Hugh was not catching and switch to a red and white fly. He immediately started to catch fish himself.
6. On leaders, I started with 50 lb. Tyger wire with 30 pound fluro but quickly moved to the leader set up that the guides were using with the 50 pound titanium. The fish destroyed the Tyger wire, which got curly too quickly.
7. The Sage Bass rod (Peacock Bass model) is da' bomb. It cast really well once I had the right line set up (Rio Outbound 10 wt.) and the shorter rod size was perfect to cast to spots close to the boat when fishing in narrow sloughs. My only complaint was the ferrels came loose too frequently.
8. I am convinced Em's fly was effective not because of its length but because it moved so much water. I fished with a shortened version of his fly that he left for me (oner that had lost some of its length catching some of Hugh's big fish on the last day) and it was effective. A white bunny fly with a red head is also very effective fly because (the guides believe) it looks like a small pike. MSTPA liked to use 5/0 Octopus hooks, which have an offset hook point, for these flies. Other big flies tied by MSTPA were tied with Big Fish Fiber on 8/0 Octopus hooks.

It's Sunday so I'll make a small confession: I went on this trip with a goal of catching a high 40's or even a 50 incher. That didn't happen and a small part of me is disappointed (and somewhat envious of Em and Hugh). I can't get back soon enough.

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