This has to be hands down one of the better king salmon returns we have seen in recent years. Not only are there good numbers of fish around, but they are big! Now just because there are lots of fish around, it doesn’t mean they are always easy to catch. Personally, I have about 15 hours in for the one king I have managed to bring to hand. Persistence is absolutely critical as is a sense of humor. It is easy to be persistent when you can see all the king's milling about. Now is prime time to work over your rotator-cuff and fill the freezer!
Fish Creek and the channel have both been fairly consistent putting out fish this last week. Sheep Creek has been fairly hit or miss, as has the normal Thane Road pullouts. The exception south of town is the slide path and the beach along AML. Reports in the shop are sounding more like coho season in August! The reports, and as I can attest personally, the bugs are really truly something to behold. Don’t even think about going to Fish Creek or North Douglas unless you have a head net, sun gloves and a flame thrower or smoke bombs. Just don’t do it, you will thank us later. With the number of herring that have been around this last week south of town and seeing several kings with herring in their stomachs I would not hesitate to throw some big baitfish flies. 2/0 Mega Clousers account for a number of kings caught every year. Rio’s Playbate is another baitfish pattern that I have had my eyes on. This would be a solid pattern to try if your arms need a break. All that being said, and while it’s fun to try new flies, it’s funner to catch fish and Mr. Bodangles and Mega Dolly Llama still reign supreme. Tides have not been consistent tide to tide so really being on the water as much as possible will greatly increase the likelihood of having a banner day. Be aware though, we are about to enter into a scorching heat wave, and this has the potential to make things difficult. Once this happens consider changing up the fly colors from bright to drab. Purples, blacks, blues, and reds all can produce fish when things get tough.
As we near the end of June, keep in mind that there are only two days left to fish Windfall and try and get a sockeye for the year. While we are sure there are fish in there by now, we haven’t heard of many people going up that way. Anglers who have made the trek are reporting high water and challenging conditions. We are starting to hear whisperings of pinks in Echo Cove and we have seen a few chums out in the channel. This means that while the Dolly fishing has still been good in the saltwater, they will be starting to make their way back into the freshwater. Before the salmon start dropping eggs, Dollies will be on the lookout for food and swinging flies in the rivers is a great way to get them to eat. Generally we are throwing the same Clouser Minnows and other salmon fry/smolt patterns will work. Honey Holes, UV Mini Leech, Tungsten Thin Mint Bugger and other leech type flies will work in the creeks this time of year. The Sculpzilla, Mini Tungsten Dolly Llamas, Make It Rainbow, or Fish Skull Stinger Zonkers are also good choices.
Have a great week of fishing everyone, and don’t forget the DEET and sunscreen!
Cory, Brad, Mike, and the rest of the crew at AFFG
*We love using our customers' photos in our future fishing reports, but we really want to encourage ethical treatment of fish. When practicing catch and release do your best to handle the fish minimally and get pictures with the fish in the water! With live fish, please avoid placing your fingers in gills, setting fish on dry ground, or holding them way above water with your dry hands. Remember this resource is only sustainable if we all help do our part. Submit your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Instagram (@alaskaflyfishinggoods)