A lot of the fly fishing efforts for kings on the Alagnak is done in the lower stretches of the river. Here a swinging technique and stripping technique can be used to produce fish, while a drifting or dead drift is more effective in deep slower runs or holes. The fish in the lower section tend to be "fresher" as they are closer to the ocean and get "darker" when found farther up the river. Kings tend to follow the deeper runs along the far banks of gravel bars, hugging the bottom most of the way up. Two handed rods are becoming more and more the go to tool for this as they can make long cast with big flies and heavy tips. Don't count out the good old 9-10' single hand 10-12 wt. These rods are a better tool for fishing deeper runs holes where fish will hold in minimal current. Here stripping flies with a heavy sink tip or dead drifting flies with a floating line and a long leader is better situated. Remember fly lines for this river can vary from a straight floating line to super heavy/fast sink tips.
Swinging is most effective in moderate to fast current where fish will run close to bars that have deeper slots and troughs,or where they'll nose up to shallower runs that have good deep drop offs Good swinging lies like the Trailer Trash, Squidro, Rock Star, Signature Intruders, Guide Intruders, Articulated Hareballs and Jumbo Critters can be really good. Dolly LLamas are also good to throw into the mix, but they can be hard to spey cast even with the largest of spey rod.
Flies to consider for fishing the deeper pools with a single handed rod include large 2/0 Egg Sucking Leeches, 2/0 Everglow Flies, Mega Dolly Llamas, Articulated Hareballs, Fat Boys and Fat Alberts. Fat Boys and Fat Alberts are large yarn/egg patterns that work best drifted. Everything else can be drifted, stripped or swung. Mega and #2 Dolly Llamas are often easiest to cast with a fast sink tip that is designed to throw heavy streamers.
How to choose colors?
Earlier in the season, lighter colored flies in chartreuses, blues, pinks and combinations there of are often the producers. Sometimes a little black thrown in too is really good on darker overcast days. As the season get later into July, start look at the darker color combos. Blacks, blues, purples reds and combinations of those are good to have. The Jumbo Critter in black and red, Trailer Trash in night shade, Rock Star in purple/blue and black/blue are all go getters. Also the fish will be more susceptible to the large Egg Sucking Leeches in black or purple.
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