Alaska Fishing trip

I just got back from an eleven day float trip down the Kanektok River in Alaska. It is in Togiak wildlife refuge in the Bristol Bay area. We started the trip catching mostly Grayling even though we were attempting to fish for Rainbows and Char (dollies). The Bows and the Char did not appear in numbers until we found the Salmon in the lower river. The fishing was slow during the first few days and the river level was down about 30% from normal. Once we hit the middle section of the river and found Salmon the fishing picked up. The Chums were the real stars. They would fight real hard and put on a show. We got into some big Kings on the lower river but they were hard to find and really hard to land. I tried to fish with a 12 wt. but I would always go back to my 10 wt because it was so much more enjoyable to cast. I tried a lot of different flys and line combinations. Each day one or two patters seemed to work best. The Egg Sucking Leach and Alaskaboo stuff did not work as well as some of the smaller simple and sparse patterns.

On the funny side, the funniest story about the trip (although not at the time) is about a necessary biological task in the woods when there are hundreds of hungry mosquitoes ready to pounce. There I am, pants around my ankles, Mosquitoes attempting to bite parts of my body not mentionable and my TP rolls into a wet puddle. What seemed like an eternity went by as I am swatting Mosquitoes and peeling little chunks of TP simultaneously. The joys of fishing in the wild!

o mykiss

Active Member
I recently had the good fortune of spending a few days on the Kanektok, lower on the river than the refuge. We were at the Alaska West tent camp. We were primarily targeting kings, although I only hooked one and lost it after a couple of minutes. I did catch a lot of chums on my eight weight, which was a total blast. We also fished for rainbows using six weights. Most of the time, we were fishing a nifty egg pattern called "Cotton Candy" (orange chenille body with white, cotton-looking material; looked like an egg cluster with milt attached) and flesh flies with split shot under a large indicator. This was a total blast - drifting down the river, short casts to the bank, total concentration required. We caught a lot of 'bows with this set up. I also caught my biggest bow on a black leadeye leach pattern cast to the bank and stripped in. I caught a couple of dollies while fishing for rainbow, and another couple while fishing for chums. The best way to catch the chums seemed to be to find a pod in slack or slower water, cast out a pink weighted fly of some kind (they LOVED pink), and strip in. I did catch a few in faster riffles with more conventional wet fly swing techniques, though I found that putting a few decent pulls on the fly line as the fly swung across the current was a much better way of enticing a strike.

Alaska West really runs a great camp. The guides were all great guys, professional and knew how to put the sports into fish. I would highly recommend doing a trip with Alaska West if you want to spring for a fly fishing trip to Alaska.


New Member
I know what you mean about landing kings on a flyrod I caugt a 10 pounderon an 8 wt, took me in to the backing 3 times. My advice f the next time you fish for kings: Good drag!!!
Tight Lines From Alaska