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Other Mistakes While Actually Fly Fishing in Alaska

03.27.13

Once you’ve mastered avoiding the top mistakes made while fly fishing in Alaska, here’s a few more things to consider while you are actually on the water, plus a couple of ideas to consider before hitting the water.

Other Mistakes While Actually Fly Fishing in Alaska

Bring a good quality rod and reel on your Alaska fly fishing trip.

Bring a good quality rod and reel on your Alaska fly fishing trip.

1. Failure to Check Your Fly When the Fish Stop Biting. If the fish catching suddenly stops, check your equipment for fouled or tangled flies and leaders, missing or well used flies, and broken hooks (especially if you borrowed the fly from your friend).

2. Using Dull Hooks. Sharp hooks will increase your odds of making a good solid hook set with better penetration. Check and sharpen them often, especially if you’ve been snagging or hitting river bottom.

3. Skimpy on Equipment. It’s simple – you’ve traveled a long way and spent a lot of money for a trip of a lifetime – don’t show up with a budget rod and reel that can’t handle the rigors of Alaska or Alaska-sized fish.

4. Knuckle Busters. OUCH! Chrome-bright, ocean-fresh salmon can make explosive drag-peeling runs at times. Watch out – the reel knob on a backwards spinning reel can smack one of your fingers! And it really hurts if your hands are cold. To avoid this… First, make sure your reel drag is set appropriately. Second, when you feel your rod and reel tighten or load up and pull towards the fish, get your hand off that reel or else…

OUCH!

OUCH! Knucle busters are no fun!

5. Move too Fast or too Slow. Huh? Which one is it? This falls into the “it depends” category… Ask your guide.

6. Reel Set Up Incorrectly. Make sure your reel is set for your style of line retrieval (right-handed or left-handed). If you are bringing a new reel, double check that it was set up properly from where you purchased it. If you are borrowing a reel from a friend, double check it. It is absolutely possible to change retrieval direction while on your fly fishing trip, but it’s not a quick on-the-water process. Also, make sure your reels are in functioning order with the backing wound on tightly and consistently (without lumps).

7. Setting the Hook too Hard. You do need a hard, firm strip set while fly fishing for salmon, but you should not set your hook with the force of a Bass Master, rip-his-lips-off hook set.

8. Bringing a Tropic Climate Fly Line. The stiffer core of fly lines designed for the warm waters of tropical fishing climates can become annoyingly stiff in cold water. Cold water lines will work better in Alaska, but don’t stress on this one… it’s not THAT big of deal.

Learn more here: Top Mistakes While Actually Fly Fishing in Alaska

Posted in Fishing, Tips


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