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By far the best salmon run in the state has to come out of Blue Mesa Reservoir in South West CO. They run up the Gunnison to the Taylor and East Rivers and that is where the DOW rears them for roe for hatheries. Go late September or through October and fish near, I believe it is the town of Alma or Almont, not sure. You can catch them regulary on fly fishing gear without snagging them, but action will depend on what stage of the spawn they are in. If late in the spawn the fish are pretty beat up and tired, probably ready to die and don't seem to eat much, but cathing it when the run is early and thick you will find healthy kokes eagerly ready to eat. I would throw steamers with lots of weight, often times letting it sink to the bottom and jigging it up off the bottom. You can also catch them on nymphs, but I think the take on a streamer is much more fun. You will see hundreds of fish holding in the pools, runs, eddies, etc. and you can sit in one spot all day and catch kokes. It is quite fun.
 

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fishinguitars said:
I went snagging on the blue last year ....its pretty much fisherman hell dudes every two feet and boats casting in between people on the shore ....its like all rules including picking up trash giving people space not crossing someones line...non of that applies ....sounds like a fun way to fish what do you guys think of the florocarbon tippit and leaders is it worth it...any suggestions on a pair of reasonably priced waders ?
Try Cabelas for some reasonably priced breathables...Simms or Patagonia or the more popular brand names will be fairly expensive---300-400+ dollars for the Gore Tex models. Cabelas makes a decent breathable wader---theres lots of selections in varying price ranges that should suit your need. look for something with articulated knees (that bend and flex with your leg movement) and that are made with several layers on areas that wear out...the knees, usually. also look at the the booties--- try to get ones that are cut from a foot shaped design, not just a generic 'booty' shaped foot..it will fit better and be more comfortable if you walk a lot. for boots the Cabelas lightweights are hard to beat, ive worn Orvis and Simms and they dont hold up to the Cabelas boot in my experience....and are half the price (also get a size larger than your usual foot size so they arent too tight)

I fish flourocarbon tippet whenever i nymph or streamer fish...its more abrasion resistant and is smaller diameter and less visible..but it takes awhile to get used to tying knots with it...its texture is a bit different and you have to be sure to wet it when you seat your knot. its a bit dense to be using for dry flies, (it sinks) so for that i tend to use regular mono.

As far as leaders...it might be overkill depending on where you fish. ive fished them before, but my catch ratio hasnt been any higher than when i fished mono leaders. maybe if i was fishing a spring creek or extremely clear lake or pond, but for the most part i dont think spending 10 dollars a leader is too cost effective if you change you leaders as much as i do. a long flouro tippet is usually enough...in my thinkiing. if you have any specific questions on a product of what not, feel free to PM me.
 

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Freerange,

I'm not sure about access, I have never actually gone over there for the Koke run, but have heard great things about it and know that Kokane fisherman from all over look forward to that run. Try to contact a fly shop or sporting goods store in Gunnison for access options, but your best bet would be to try and track down a map which shows the rivers and their access points. As far a flies go, you just have to try different things. All kinds of streamers will work, but I usually just throw the usuall bugger. I've done well on white, or egg sucking leaches, or any streamer with some crystal flash on it. They seem to like the brighter stuff and flash. Try some different colors, but I think it is most important to get the bug infront of the fish. There will be active fish among all the fish in a hole and it may take several casts to the same pod of fish to get a taker, but keep casting and from time to time one will take and at the end of the day you will have caught 30. I have done most of my Koke fishing on the Blue when they make their run in good numbers, usually every 3 or 4 years, but I just fish for them when they are there and I don't have a ton of other options. Just hit the run right and you will catch fish. Good Luck!
 
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haven't snagged for kokes -- going to give it a try this fall.
But I have snagged alot of King Salmon in Alaska and had a blast.
whether its Sporting or not is simply a matter of opinion. But if you are looking to fill the freezer and have an afternoon of fun I can't think of many more ways to do that without a rifle in hand.
 

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i love to snag kokes its more then a thrill then with a lure jigging for um, ive caught alot with spoons during the spawn, but theres no feeling like puting that hook threw the side of a spawning kokes, alot of people dont like it but kokanee die anyways, i agree kokanee will hit about any bright fly or lure, when im not snagging im catching silvers threw the ice with jigs and spoons , its all personal opinion
 

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Like mauser,I too have snagged Kings. This was on Vancouver Island-Port Alberni-Stamp river.What a blast-the biggest was 42 lbs-took 45 mins to land.We were in a 15 ft aluminum and they would literally tow it around.I had one leap at least 6 ft in the air and snap 30 lb spider wire like a rifle shot.Some locals were crackin up,said that fish would have gone 55-60 lbs. We also caught many on lures by not snaggin!
 

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Actually now that you mention it I ran out of line on the last day.One of my buddys broke 2 rods,we broke 1 net. The ratio of snagged versus landed was about 10 to 1.Might have to do it again one of these days!
 

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Is it much of eating when the trout are about to die as they are. Just wondering. Never had eaten a freshly caught salmon .. during the RUN. Well im gonna keep that in mind to switch to bigger tackle.. Ill be out there when its prime time for the RUNS.. see you guys out there..


steve
 

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When they turn red or black the meat isnt very good IMO. But they taste great if you marinate them for a couple days then smoke 'em.Smoked Salmon!!
 

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I foudn that early in the run you can't go wrong. The later in the run they get and the more beat up they get was when I had my best luck fly fishing for the ones that were still in good shape. They were still more agressive then the tired fish.. Early in the run they are all super eating, but now that the limit is 10 all around and not 40 like it was for snagging in the day, you can keep the nice and fresh looking fish if you hit a good day. The 16-19 inch hens always filled my smoker best.
Craig
 
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