All King Salmon fishing will be Catch & Release fishing only in 2015 going forward.
The king salmon returns for 2014 were fair in this part of Alaska. For the first time since I’ve been fishing here we had low water conditions throughout June.. This low water I believe had a great deal to do with the daily fishing because the fish were not moving as usual. I don’t want to see flood stage rivers in June but this was a tough spring in which I had to worry about the water being deep enough to navigate with the jet boat, it was low. The river where we focused most of the fishing had a very good number of salmon present and that alone is key to good days. Every year is different with some seeing as many as 30,000 come in to spawn. Right now we are seeing returns grow each year to some extent and with continued management actions and fewer anglers choosing to kill fish the numbers will increase. In this coming season I will be out on the water soon as the ice clears working to stay on top of the best possible locations so that we can experience successful days.
Getting back to last spring, finding fish wasn’t a problem and some anglers did very well. The overall size of the fish caught was off for 2014, while we watched many salmon in the 25 pound size range roll and jump around us every day the rods brought only 2 and 3 year fish to the net. The number of small fish that returned in 2014 gives us hope that the 2015 season will bring larger than normal salmon. Although the fish were smaller, still these were beautiful fish but for me to see the larger fish every day but find that we were not getting the big boys was very hard. Everyone was confident that I had put us in a good spot with many salmon present and we accepted with great excitement whatever fish grabbed the flies and there was quite a bit of that.
Below is Steven shown with a nice bright fish, one of seven he landed that morning. He had hold of some larger fish but they seemed to have an uncanny ability to come off the hook.
Largest of the spring perhaps 15 pound male released without weighing or measuring. There were many large fish present and as I have said it was just luck of the draw that we came up without any real monsters. I guess the angler should know that this is big game fishing and on any given day anything can happen. Everyone who fished kings knew what I knew, we were surrounded with fish every day. The challenge was getting them onto a fly…………………
The area below will be a prime holding water for the kings come June. I really wish someone had landed a 40 pound fish but that was not meant to be this year. I do believe everyone had fun and enjoyed the area. Where the fish are at from day to day is my job to figure out and I can help to fast track you with technique and tackle and will do my best to help you catch the ever elusive king salmon here.
All tolled my 7 anglers caught a total of 26 kings in the 2014 season all by swinging traditional salmon flies! Given that there were not many trips it was a good catch rate with just 2 anglers suffering the day with no fish landed. Although the fellows who went fishless all had multiple hook ups ……….. Some of the best fish I saw hooked all season came lose from the hook before landed but the excitement of seeing a big one rocket from the water was more than enough to keep the intensity level of the fishing high. I look for the coming season to be better because we will be covering more and more places in search of these sometimes elusive fish.