2008 successful sockeye pattern

In July last year I was in Yakutat for sockeye-fishing. I have had any new sockeye-pattern to use – that means pattern, they I have seen on the internet but I newer used before in Situk River for Sockeye. Here is a short report. I have fished with following gear and tackle:

Fly rods:

  • Lemiglass #9, 9 ½ ft long with a semi-parabolic action
  • Hardy #6, 9 ft long with a full parabolic action

The full parabolic Hardy works fine for Dolly Varden fishing, but she is too soft for sockeye fishing. I know, the #6 is a little bit small for sockeye fishing but if there a first class quality rod likes Hardy, it works without many risks at her limit too. My problem with the Hardy was that I have lost many sockeyes shortly after the hooking. The sockeyes are not hooked very well. I don’t know if there is a rod-action, hook or my problem – with the Dolly’s I haven’t any hooking problems.


  • Henschel #9 Antireverse fly reel (http://www.henschelreels.com, you see two of my photos a little bit under the middle of the gallery „He. reels in action“ – a female sockeye and a small king; they have „Kunde_Scheidegger“ in the name of the picture) at the #9 rod
  • Orvis Rocky Mountain #6/7 fly reel at the #6.

Lines, leader and knots:

  • Teeny T-300; Floating Line with 30ft long sinking head with 35 lps salmon braided loop at the end
  • Teeny T-200
  • Floating Line with 30ft long sinking head with 35 lps salmon braided loop at the end
  • 7ft long 2 section self made leader
    • first section: 4 ft soft monofil 25lps (I like STROFT GTM)
    • second section: 3 ft fluorocarbon 12-15 lps
    • the leader is connected with the perfect loop to the braided loop
      • the two leader sections are connected with the Albright knot.

Other conditions/boundaries: Last year, there was only a few fish in the river but it has had a lot of fishermen’s. The fishermen’s are pushed together on limited space and the few fish drops their comprehensions. Not many fishermen’s gave free his „territory“ that another fisherman has the possibility to drill the fish carefully. I was fished exclusively with small pattern (#7 – 10; with bigger sizes grows the foul-hook-rate immediately) there are only weighted by the hook. That makes the fly fishing a little bit stronger to go to the strike zone in fast or deep water. In fast or deep water I have had only the possibility to nymphing upstream but only under normal fishermen’s conditions. I think another possibility is a more weighted line like the Teeny T-500 or a weighted or smaller leader, but the T-500 I haven’t and a smaller leader I won’t use. Under the 2008 fishermen’s conditions I wasn’t interesting to explain my favorite fly fishing style or to pierce any fish and I have had used stronger leaders than normal and in deeper and faster water the smallest leads there was possible. I went to come to Yakutat next time next year and I hope for other fishermen’s conditions – no; only a little more space for the possibility to fish with normal line and small pattern.

The follow patterns were successful last year: Green lantern


Hook: Daichji Alec Jackson #7 – #9


Hook: Tiemco TMC 7999 #8 – #10

This is a very small and sparsely pattern and my favorite. It is double-bodied (underbody: silver flat tinsel; upper body: transparent edge bright like this: http://www.hareline.com/images/harelinejpegweb/EB.jpg) and this transparency give a special silver-shining body-effect. The wings are not more than 5 or 6 strains of green (upper) and blue (under) crystal flash and at the end is a simple black yarn head. This pattern was working under normal water conditions and by a lot of fish and by any few fish too. It was the productiveness‘ nymphing pattern.

Now, here comes the other pattern:



This pattern works in all water conditions, small size in clear water (#6-10) bigger size in muddy water (#2-4). These are two times the same style, same materials but different colors. The first is tying with orange feather and blue top, the second with red feather and black top.

  • Hook: Tiemco TMC7999 #6-#10
  • Body: Silver round tinsel (Brassie-Style weighted) or silver yarn (unweighted)
  • Feather: white marabou
  • Wings: two turns of orange or red cock feather (no more!)
  • Top: blue or black fox hear
  • Head: black yarn

The bodies on these pictures are unweighted but a little bit too long. The normal body goes only near the hook point. With the shorter body it is easier to unhook a fish without destroying the pattern.  All things have two sides, the rich and the poor side.

The poor side of this pattern is: It doesn’t work well under all weather conditions and it isn’t a universal use pattern. For sockeyes it doesn’t work well in clear water by sunny days. I have fished this pattern several times directly in a school of sockeyes but there I haven’t hits on this pattern. By „old“ fish par example near or by the nine mile bridge this pattern works very low for sockeye.

The rich side of this pattern is: If you fish this pattern in front or on the side of the fishes by cloudy or rainy weather there is working well, especially from the male sockeyes. There are coming out of the school or from under a tree and bite, fresh sockeyes bites sometimes very aggressively. The pattern works very well for dollies or trout’s too and this under all weather conditions. With his silver body and the orange or red feather this pattern looks like a small wounded baitfish. If you strip this pattern this is not only in Alaska the thing that’s the salmonids likes – in Switzerland too.

I never go to the river without any of this pattern. It’s a second choice pattern for me. If there all other pattern doesn’t work or the conditions are good for this pattern I fix one of this on my leader and then the fish decides…

The very special pattern:


It is a hybrid, a lantern colored sockeye copper fly style pattern on a Tiemco 7999 #8. This pattern has a single turn of an orange golden pheasant saddle feather. I know that the gold pheasant is not the normally and the cheapest tying material for sockeye patterns but I have found the sockeye copper fly on the internet (http://www.alaskaflyfish.net/sockeyecp.htm) and I various it a little bit. I haven’t use this pattern often and only in the lower Situk and by fresh fish. It works but if there are big fishing pressures (many fishermen’s) it doesn’t work equal then many other pattern too. Next year, I went to come with more patterns like this and different color (green – orange – red – without body; orange – red feather; blue – black top) and with the original style too. I don’t know why but I like special or exceptionally pattern like the sockeye copper fly or like this unnamed European silver doctor-style salmon pattern on a Tiemco 7999 #6:


It works well for Dolly Varden and Pink fishing too – with his red body the pattern looks really like a wounded baitfish. I have found this pattern in a European fly tying book and this pattern is used to fish for Atlantic salmon in Ireland and Norway. It’s possible that the Steelhead likes this small, colorful pattern too. The special thing is the one and a half time the gap of the hook long golden pheasant crest on his tail. This feather has a very intensive shiny golden color. I haven’t had any sockeye contact with this pattern but I had noting expected and finally I was not really surprised…

And last but not least – take a look into my flybox with the verry well working sockeye red’s, orange’s, green’s and yellow’s and glo bugs:


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2 Antworten zu 2008 successful sockeye pattern

  1. Tnelson schreibt:

    Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

  2. JimmyBean schreibt:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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