Feb 1st, 2020
Whether you call it a king, a spring, a tyee or a chinook, the largest of the Pacific salmon is a formidable and fabulous game fish. Combine the short season, specialized tackle, their overall size, tenacity, the nearly unpredictable nature of these beasts, and it becomes clear that you will earn every King salmon you touch. A movement is underway and for the committed, it may well be the ultimate anadromous quarry, as there is no arguing the fact that the king is The King. The destinations below stand out in the realm of swinging Spey rods for kings. They are rivers that offer wade-able, gravel bar/run scenarios where Spey anglers can consistently show their fly to the fish. These destinations have also proven to have consistent runs of king salmon in recent seasons. Keep reading for an overview of each.
Togiak Wilderness Spey, Alaska
Fly Water Travel and Epic Waters Angling are proud to introduce a new exclusive tent camp on Alaska’s prolific Togiak River. The Togiak is a big brawling southwest Alaskan river renowned for its abundant returns of king salmon. From the comfort of a simple six-person tent camp guests will now be able to target the west’s most underutilized king system.
Skeena River Lodge, British Columbia
Located in the greater Terrace region on the banks of the lower Skeena, Skeena River Lodge is a hardcore fly fishing operation dedicated to the pursuit of BC’s strongest sea-run steelhead and salmon. Head guide Jeroen Wohe, originally from Holland, is a highly skilled, passionate professional who has spent years fishing and guiding the waters of BC as well as the trophy Atlantic salmon rivers of Russia’s Kola peninsula.
Hoodoo Sandy River Lodge
Rod Schuh’s facility on the lower Sandy River enables lucky anglers easy access to this incredibly special system. Located on the lower reach of the river, this camp offers strategic access to some of the most productive king water. With new upgraded lodging, this facility is primed for many years of quality king angling.
Hoodoo Sportfishing Lodge, Alaska
Widely recognized as the most comfortable and organized operation on the Alaska Peninsula, owner Rod Schuh’s Hoodoo Lodge is a testament to what vision and hard work can accomplish in an extremely remote location. This river has had one of the most consistent runs of king salmon in all of Alaska in recent seasons.
Long considered the gold standard of tent camps, Alaska West offers anglers legendary main-stem fishing for sea-bright kings combined with great mousing for rainbow trout. The easily waded river is perfectly sized for Spey anglers and the crew of guides are passionate about swinging flies.
Aleutian Rivers Angling Camp, Alaska
This six-person tent camp on the Sapsuk River is an ideal no-frills base for small groups in search of the peninsula’s best salmon fishing. Anglers fish three per guide and are strategically located to pursue sea-bright kings.
Please give us a call at 800.552.2729 or send us a message HERE if you’d like to chat more about any of the destinations above!
Targeting King salmon with Spey rods and swung flies is unique to other types of anadromous fishing, and requires a specialized set of equipment. King salmon are extremely strong fish, often found in heavy currents. In addition, the flies and sink-tips needed to effectively target them are heavy as well. For these reasons, a 9-weight Spey rod, with matching Skagit-style heads is the preferred choice for anglers. Rod lengths of 12 – 14′ are best, and it’s also beneficial to have two densities of Skagit heads – floating and sinking versions. We prefer slick, easy-shooting nylon (“mono”) shooting lines attached to these heads. For sink-tips, we recommend various lengths of varying densities of tungsten materials; 10 to 15 feet of T-14 and T-17 is most common. For tippet, 20 – 30 pound test is suggested. Working together with our friends at Sage and RIO Products, we’ve put together the customized setup below to ensure your success.
• Rod: 14 ft 9-weight Sage X (9140-4)
• Reel: Sage SPECTRUM MAX 11/12
• Head 1: RIO Products Skagit Max 675 gr
• Head 2: RIO Products Skagit Max GameChanger F/I/S3/S5 650 gr
• Shooting Line: RIO Products SlickShooter 50 lb
• Tips: Custom-cut RIO Products InTouch Level T, 10 – 18 ft, T-14 and T-17
• Tippet: RIO Products Steelhead/Salmon 20 lb, Maxima Ultragreen 25 – 30 lb
Fish Globally and Shop Locally – Find Your Local Fly Shop
Fly Water Travel encourages our clients to support their local fly shop. To find a shop near you, click the link below or give us a call for a recommendation at (800) 552-2729.