In just a few short months, this river in Western Alaska will be clogged with fish.
Yes, we admit it – we’re already getting a little twitchy.
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Rio has just announced a new line of sinktips for Skagit-style spey casting called ‘Rio MOW Tips’. The tips are mostly 10 feet long, and they combine different lengths of floating and sinking sections to allow for more consistent fishing and casting performance while fishing sinking sections of various lengths.
These tips were designed by Mike McCune, Scott O’Donnell and Ed Ward (figure out the name yet?), and they’ll come as 3 different sets, with all the sinking sections in each set made of Rio T-8, T-11 or T-14.
Each set contains 6 tips.
For any application other than really dredging, you ought to be able to find something that works in a kit like that!
Each tip has welded loops on both ends, and the tips that combine floating and sinking sections have a ‘seamless integration’ between the floating and sinking sections. Each kit of tips will cost $149.95, and the tips will also be available individually. The Medium and Heavy sets (with sinking sections of T-11 and T-14) will be available in May, and the Light set (with sinking sections of T-8) will be available in August.
Here’s a video of Simon Gawesworth from Rio giving some background on the birth and design of the MOW Tips.
NOTE: If you’re viewing this in a newsletter or a reader, click here to see the video on YouTube.
We’re planning on getting our hands on a set of MOW Tips in the next few weeks, and once we’ve had a chance to fish with ’em will be back with a full review!
Jeff Hickman knows rainbow trout. He spent a bunch of years guiding at Alaska West, and during that time he came up with a really popular mouse pattern called Mr. Hankey that’s now available from Idylwilde.
We asked Jeff for a post all about Mr. Hankey and he was happy to oblige. Thanks Jeff!
My favorite way to fish for trout is with a mouse pattern. There is really nothing like seeing the huge mouth of a carnivorous rainbow break the water’s surface to engulf a helpless little swimming rodent fly. Plus it is also a ton of fun to “bang the bank”, throwing numerous casts tight to the high bank, with a swinging/stripping retrieve to simulate a mouse jumping in for a leisurely swim. One can’t help but get into character and be the mouse. “Meep meep” sounds and high-pitched mouse dialogue from the angler are proven to increase success rates.
At Alaska West on the Kanektok and Arolik Rivers, trout have a short growing season and therefore must eat a lot of protein while it is available. There also happens to be a healthy vole population, and though I have yet to witness any of them voluntarily swimming, they must on occasion, because the trout seem to have an acquired taste for them.
During my summers spent guiding at Alaska West I always struggled with finding the right mouse pattern – none of the commercially available patterns suited my needs. Most were tied on an oversized, wide-gapped bass hook. The other problem I had with all of the commercially available mouse patterns was they all had a down riding hook point, and these flies commonly result in hook ups to the tongue of the trout. Since many of these northern resident rainbow trout are 12+ years old, friendly catch and release is mandatory to protect these amazing fisheries.
Thus spawned the idea of the upward riding stinger hooked mouse pattern – Mr. Hankey. This gave the ability to put a trout sized hook on a large fly and gave an added benefit of hooking fish that nip the mouse’s butt safely in the upper lip.
Mr. Hankey rides in the water at about the same level as a live swimming mouse…after all, mice swim – they don’t walk on the water. The foam back keeps him on top and upright in the surface. His foam back has an added bonus of keeping a tally of trout eats, since the tooth marks are strong evidence of a productive fly. His rabbit fur body should be illegal in most states as it is as close to bait as you could get. His rubber legs wiggle in the water like an Olympic swimmer. His foam mouse ears and crystal flash whiskers are strategically placed to effectively catch anglers as well as fish.
Always remember, to fish Mr. Hankey effectively, you have to be Mr. Hankey. This includes talking like a mouse. Please release all fish unharmed, with minimal handling and time out of the water. Check out Idylwilde’s new site to learn more about premium skunk repellent.
Today we’ve got a video featuring George Cook, Northwest angling mainstay and Sage/Redington/Rio rep, telling us about his approach to selecting flies for silvers at Alaska West. In moving pictures right on your computer, George covers
Have a look!
If you’re viewing this in a newsletter or a reader, or if you’d like to see George and his flies in large-format glory, click here to view the video on YouTube.
In the angling circles of the Pacific Northwest, there are still some doubters out there. We know because we run into them.
“Kings don’t eat swung flies – you have to force-feed them nymphs.”
“Sure, you might hook one, but then it’s like reeling in a mattress.”
Folks who say those things have been fishing in the wrong place, or at the wrong time, or possibly both. On most rivers that still have runs of kings, you have to fish hundreds of miles from the salt to show a fly to those bad boys.
The Dean and the Kanektok are two of the top handful of rivers in the world when it comes to catching king salmon on swung flies.
If you want to catch kings on swung flies in 2010, you’ve still got a shot. We’ve got 2 chinook weeks on the Dean this year with a few spots each available. 4 of our 5 king weeks on the Kanektok are sold out, but there are a few spots left in one of those weeks.
Interested in learning more? Drop us a line. We’d be more than happy to talk your ear off about kings on the swing.