The lower Kanektok River holds some fat rainbow trout, and Rick Sisler has gotten up close and personal with more of these slabs than anybody.
Rick started guiding at Alaska West in 1998. He spent 8 years guiding on the river, and we’re now lucky enough to have him as a core member of the Deneki Outdoors team, managing the operations at Alaska West in the summer and heading to Andros South in the winter.
Big rainbows in the lower Kanektok love hanging around snags. These jumbo trout get a steady diet of salmon parts all summer, and big snags provide them with the perfect combination of cover and easy access to the protein conveyor belt that the Kanektok becomes once the salmon start dying. Abrupt drop-offs are great targets as well, for the same reasons.
Here’s Rick’s rig of choice for the pursuit of lower Kanektok fatties. This is the big leagues – leave your 4 weight and 5x at home.
- Sage 796-4 Xi2
- Sage 3400D Reel
- Sage Performance Taper II #7 line
- 200 yards of high-vis 20 pound dacron backing attached to spool via an Arbor Knot
- Bimini Twist on the fly line end of the backing to attach to a double nail knotted mono loop (20lb) on the end of the fly line. For added security and durability use Aqua Seal on the nail knots.
- Same double nail knotted mono loop in the leader end of the fly line
- Tapered leader hand tied with Maxima Ultragreen mono
- Perfection Loop tied in the fly line end of the leader
- Leader tapered with Blood Knots, starting with 3′-4′ of 20 lb, then 3′ of 15 lb
- Tippet section of 2′ of 12 lb Maxima Ultragreen
- Depending on depth the overall length of leader may be bumped up to as much as 12′ (if you can handle it)
- The meat is some variation of the infamous Cotton Candy tied by longtime Alaska West guide Matt Hynes, tied on with a non-slip mono loop.
- “This rig can be fished with or without an indicator, but whatever you do make sure to fish the snags and drop-offs hard. “