Drifting for sockeye salmon can be frustrating at first. The sockeye salmon is known as the shy salmon for a reason, they are shy biters. Proper rigging techniques are the first thing to focus on. To start out you will need
- Large snap swivels
- Several packages of 1/2 ounce and 3/4 ounce Water Gremlin Snap-Loc Dipsey Sinkers
- Several Russian River Coho Flies
- A spool of 30 pound test monofilament
- 8 weight fly line
Start out by pulling out some fly line. The biggest mistake people make is trying to fish too much line. You don't want to have to strip much in, so start out short. Sockeye salmon are going to follow the shoreline and you don't want to fish out past migrating fish. Cast straight out in front of you to the 12 o'clock position. Lead with your rod tip to about the 2 o'clock position. Make a big sweeping downstream hook set. Re- cast out to the 12 o'clock position and repeat.
If you feel your line stop at any time throughout your drift, sweep your rod tip downstream to set the hook. If you become stuck simply pull straight back and the Snap-Loc Sinker's pin will pull out of the sinker freeing your line. Simply snap on a new sinker and begin drifting again. Make sure you are making good bottom contact throughout your drift. If you are only ticking occasionally move up to the 3/4 ounce size. If you are becoming stuck alot opt to downsize and go with the 1/2 ounce size. Pound for pound sockeye salmon are one of the hardest fighting fish on the planet, get out and give them a shot. Alaska's Kenai River has seen runs of record proportions the past couple seasons.
The Slab Seeker