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I left the city behind right after my dental appt. and made a B-line directly to Peg leg bar to see first hand what all the posts were about and what the place looked like first hand. I thought, being a Monday, it wouldn't be quite as crazy as the weekend. Boy, was I wrong! :shock:

Firstly, I surprised to see how low the river actually is! The clarity in the water was perfect....at leat 4-5 feet in the slower water but surely 2-3 ft. in the main channel.
Last time I was there it was a bit of a dicey drive over the rock and sand to the river, but it is an easy drive (and no walk) to the entire bar, which is making it easily accessible to all.

On arrival, I parked and watched how the "flossers" flossed............My conclusion was, It is the same as any other type fishing....10% of the fishers catch 90% of the fish. I saw one rod catch five sockeye in 6-7 casts, and talked to others beside him who had not caught a fish for hours! There is a definite skill involved in being succesful, and it starts with the type of rod and reel. The level wind reel will outfish the spincasters 5-1..Now I am not saying it can't be done with a spincast outfit but it is definitely more difficult.

The longer the rod, the easier the cast, especially when you are waist deep in water. The place you choose to fish is dependant on the weight you use...Too much, you are on the bottom, too little and you are not in the "zone". I picked up four rigs from the bottom in shallow water.

The local native band had a small armada of boats out fishing the main channel above peg leg and I watched with interest as to how many actually were caught. Each set was in the boat usually just above where the channel splits, then they went to their camp on the northshore of the river where they were loaded into totes..I counted the release process from four separate boats and the average drift netted around 30-50 fish, and they were drifting by every ten minutes all day.

I casted some flies in the upper area and over a two hr. period I managed to catch a couple of small trout, and one resident 'bow around 1 lb. or so, and had one sockeye on for a few seconds.........fish on, fish off!

Now, later in the day around 4-4:30, I decided to set up my gear rod with what I had found in the river and give it a go....Knowing full well, this is a floss fishery, I watched with interest from the bank. Same guys, more fish.plenty of people with nothing. So I went down for a closeup and said to the guy" You are pretty good at this! What are the secrets to you catching many fish and the others catching nothing?"

"Simple", he said, "very sharp hooks, 10 foot. leader, the correct weight for the water speed.Cast, wind five turns(gets the hook down)....wait til the second or third bounce and pull". OK, I said to him, why arn't these people catching any fish below you? They seem to be doing what you are doing?...."Oh, theyre not using the right equipment" he said.
You have to free spool after the first bounce to get a drag loop in the line."

Now, you have to understand, this fishery is quite foreign to me but I have fished for a long time and getting the right drift at the right depth is not something new. So, I rigged up my HMX Graphite with the 2 Oz. 'betty and the 10 ft. leader that I found on the beach, pinched the barb (last person forgot, I guess??) and made a long cast out into the middle of the river.
Splash!!! Wind five turns, bounce, bounce, free spool, BAM! fish on!.....Next cast....nothing, just a few comments about "beginners luck"......Next cast, same as the first....Bam! Fish on!....Landed them both, and dropped them into the ice box, packed my stuff and left.

On the way out , the DFO were checking all fishers for licences/ coolers for numbers. I gladley showed them my paperwork and the TWO fish I had in the cooler and told them I was glad to see them, cause there are a lot of people down there that "APPEAR TO BE OVER THE DAILY LIMIT"
So that will likely be my one and only floss fishery, but under the present rules, it was legal, and fun to some degree.........At least I didn't go home empty handed!.....Also realizes what a family, social "event" this is with hundreds of families spending a day at the river, having fun.....To be conservative, there were 500 people fishing a mile of river and I saw at least that many fish caught.

An interesting side note to this after reading this morning's paper , I noticed the recreational fishery was left out of the count for the number of fish caught by "sporties". I realize that in the big picture, there are not so many caught as compared to other methods of fishing, but from what I witnessed in 6 hours on the Fraser on Monday, that sport caught number, including all the guide boats, could well exeed the current estimates........Ortho 8)
 

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sounds like you had a fun day :D once you get the hang of flossing :? it gets easier every time
went out this morning..7to 10:30 three of us..limited socks and 2 nice red chinook ...all at pegleg
 

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What a splendid writeup. I also enjoy the "watching" aspect at Peg Leg, and saw much of what you saw last Sunday evening. But tomorrow, I bet you are going to be hearing the soft chorus of 100's of fishers lined up silently counting 1-2-3-4-5 as they toss their 2oz betties (a sell out by Thursday so buy them now!!), followed by louder grunts of f_uus as their freespinning reels run up a tangle of birdsnests. Gotta get down there with a camcorder..... YouTube.com here I come. Seriously though - a great read.
 

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So you free spool it there? I never do this, I just get my line tight and follow the bounce!! Works great for me. :wink: Never thought of trying this!! :lol:
 

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Great report Ortho ....... glad you got a couple to top off your day. It was certainly a nice day to spend at the river ..... can't wait till this weekend. Saturday I have the OK from the BOSS and the DOC to head out on the river again. Don't think I need to tell you who has the most say in that equation. :wink: I can always switch doctors. :lol:

Good to hear you had a great day on the flow ..... thanks again for the nice read.

GOFISH 8)
 

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Good read Ortho. I'm glad you had fun out there. I'd like to hook up with you again. Perhaps some fly fishing the Vedder in the early fall is in order! I've got a bunch of coho flies that I need to tie up for the "fly swap". I'm interested in what you're planning on offering! :wink:

I agree with you that, like all methods of fishing, the sockeye fishery DOES involve skill. It may not be as pretty as that perfect fly cast, or sensing the take before the float goes down, but there is a level of skill and experience that will increase the likelihood of hooking sockeye and landing them successfully. The size of the betty, the size of the corky, the length of the leader, keeping knots out of the leader, the type of hooks used (high quality is good), changing tactics and casting distances, etc. all play into whether you hook a fish or not. I don't know how many times I've cringed at anglers who don't keep their rod tip up when playing the fish, or keeping the line tension steady - and they wonder why they lost the fish. Also, "side-arming" the fish when playing it can be risky, but it is effective at times if you know when to do it. Also - netting the fish also takes patience and "finesse". I've seen guys "swat" at fish with the net - and they wonder why this technique doesn't work! I would agree that this fishery is quite simple compared to other forms of angling, but skill and experience definitely increases success!

Anyway - I think we've all been very lucky that the sockeye opening has lasted this long! I admit that my wife and I love to eat salmon, so I have no problem with getting my two fish in short order! However, I do miss tossing flies, and I probably will need to practice my "double haul". I also picked up a new light GL2 drift rod for coho and steelhead and I can't wait to give it a try! :D I picked it up at Anglers West right before it ran into difficulty. It was a toss up between the GL2 and the Convergence, but I decided on GL2 since my wife gave me the go ahead... :lol: .
 

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Speaking of increasing skill - for those of you who are new to using a bait casting reel - practice casting with it in a park BEFORE you hit the river! This will save you time and frustration on the water. Start with the casting drag turned up and gradually lower the tension as you get more comfortable with controlling the free spool with your thumb. Just don't hit anyone walking their dog in the park! It might be me! :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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That is one great read from beginning to end! Despite what some people say, the floss fishery does involve a decent amount of skill. Thanks for putting a positive spin on a rather controversial fishery!
 
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