Mar 30th, 2017
Anglers keen on big challenges and big fish know who is the “king” is.
The mighty king salmon may just be the baddest freshwater fish one can tangle with. Combine the short season, specialized tackle, their overall size, tenacity and the nearly unpredictable nature of these beasts and it becomes clear that you will earn every Chinook salmon you touch. With big challenges come big rewards. This is a special species and one that should be cherished, protected whenever possible and is deserving of much respect. Fly Water Travel has a finger on the pulse of the king destinations we represent and feel there are many places where one can up the odds of tangling with these giant creatures. Visiting destinations that have great waters, knowledgeable guides and the correct gear is of the utmost importance. Once connected to one of these fright trains you’ll likely question whether you will ever get that string back on the reel and see that fly again. When you do tame the beast, take a moment, look in its eyes. You will gain an understanding why these fish are king and it will likely change you and your angling forever.
For more information or to start a conversation about planning your trip email or call 800-552-2729 David.
Alaska Lodges – Below are some of our favorite AK destinations featuring great waters and the knowledge to show anglers the mighty king salmon.
Hoodoo Sportfishing Lodge – A remote fishery with outstanding fishing for salmon along with the gear to do it. It has incredibly strong returns of kings and they have very comfortable accommodations to match. The Hoodoo or Sapsuk is a small river with easily waded runs and a good caster can likely cover the entire river. Add opportunities to fly out to lesser known small creeks and overnights on the Sandy river and this peninsula destination delivers the best of AK king fishing.
Sandy River Lodge – One of the most remote and prolific king fisheries in the world…period. The Sandy River Lodge is hard to reach and its limited number of rod days make it one of the most desirable king destinations we represent. While you will need to furnish your own equipment, its worth it, an opportunity to fish here is special. You will likely want to keep returning year after year.
Igiugig Lodge – An angler’s paradise with short flight times to the lower Nushagak. The “Nush” is blessed with consistent returns of adult king salmon and water that is ripe for two handed rods and the swung fly. Igiugig Lodge has leased property close to tidewater, so the fish here will be fresh and full of fight. Add an owner/operator with over 25 years of experience you have the makings for a fantastic king fishing experience.
Rapids Camp Lodge – With a plethora of well kept equipment and leased property on the Nushagak and private access to a lesser known system, “the Smokey”, this place delivers. Rapids Camp is well versed in many tactics when targeting kings and can supply you with both the gear and knowledge to make lasting memories. Along with the great fishing, add comfortable accommodations, great food and a staff that is willing to go the extra mile.
Sapsuk River Tent Camp – This comfortable tent camp is situated on a prime piece of real estate on shore of the Sapsuk River, aka, the Hoodoo. With great numbers of kings only a short walk from your accommodations and only only six anglers each week, its easy to see why this budget friendly venue will be a hit for years to come. The staff is well versed in king fishing and its a home run for ardent king salmon anglers.
Alaska West – The Alaska West camp offers anglers the best of the Kanektok River, namely legendary main stem fly fishing for sea-bright king salmon, chum, and silvers, and willow-lined side channels teeming with wild leopard bows, char, and grayling.
The Kanektok river is by all standards a remarkably diverse fishery, perfectly suited to both single-hand and spey rod anglers. It offers one of Alaska’s best opportunities to target both king salmon and fresh silvers with the fly. High catch-rates, easy wading, and open backcasts are the norm. Alaska West is a large, luxurious tent camp set in the heart of the lower Kanektok river’s finest fly fishing water. Guests sleep in comfortable, double occupancy wall tents with carpeted floors, quality mattresses, heat and lighting. Hot showers, a large dining tent, a recreation tent, and a drying tent complete the scene. Anglers fish two per guide and move about the system in 18-foot jet boats.
British Columbia Lodges – Below are a few of our best BC destinations to target the king salmon.
Skeena River Lodge – Located upstream of the town of Terrace BC, Skeena River Lodge is five person operation perfectly suited to hard core two handed anglers that appreciate great guides and great value. The head guide Jeroen Wohe is originally from the Netherlands but is now a Canadian resident and a full time/year round fly fishing guide. Jeroen fishes two handed rods and swung fly tactics for kings from May through July. These are some of the biggest kings available anywhere. Many of these fish are just not meant to be landed.
BC West – This is the only lodge on the Dean that enables anglers to fish above and beneath the falls. Guests enjoy three days of fully guided jet boat fishing beneath the falls as well as three days of unguided fishing above the falls. Runs above the falls are accessed by manning your own 4 wheeler and using stashed boats to cross the river when appropriate. The king fishing begins in June and runs into July. The kings here are some of the hardest fighting and athletic fish you can tangle with on a fly.
BC’s Remote Coastal Systems – Derek Botchford of Frontier Farwest has formulated a diverse king program that showcases some of the finest and remote king systems in British Columbia. Along with these smaller systems, anglers will also have opportunities to swing flies on the mighty Skeena. The “Kings of Summer” program runs for the first two weeks of July and is designed to give anglers the best shots possible at some of these giants.
Click on the image below to read “A King Thing” by Ken Morrish.
For more information or to start a conversation about planning your trip email or call 800-552-2729.