1. King, because they are the hardest to target and you won't forget the hookup once you hook into one of these bad boys and girls.
2. Coho, they go berzerk and the most acrobatic when hooked and you can also get them on top water.
3. Chum, Great biters and rod breakers, the strongest of the bunch, but not the prettiest or best table fare IMO.
4. Pinks, great beginner fish and great for the smoker and fun on a lightweight rod.
5. I don't target SRC too much but a nice surprise when they are found.
6. Sockeye, is it even possible??? I hear that a fly caught sockeye is pound for pound the hardest fighter of the bunch. I have caught many Kokanee in Colorado, and they are good fighters on the 5 wt.
I haven't ever caught a Sockeye in the salt but I've been to Alaska many times for the Sockeye run on the Russian River and I can tell you that they fight like no other salmon species I have ever caught and along with the current of the river, they will bend a 10 wt. rod in half. They taste the best , in my opinion, also.
Since I am king of the by catch...I can't list any fav's though winter rezzies are pretty cool when they torpedo just under the surface after your popper...
I would so like to hook into an SRC to see what the fuss is about..their river cousins are about the lamest fighters in the world, beautiful but pretty lame..
So I guess my list is right up there with Big E's.
God I need a trip up north and my steelhead fix...this sucks!!!
That pic is pre-2hand conversion. The rod is a custom that my mother commissioned for me from a well known maker down in Ft Lauderdale (I'm from the South) right before a jungle fishing trip to Nicaraugua/Costa Rica about 15 yrs ago. No idea what the blank is but it's a nice medium action rod that's caught a lot of interesting fish. Have a matched 5/6 & 7/8 set that I'll pass along to my kid someday along with my Browning Silaflex that I bought with lawn mowing money when I was 14...
SRC= Best looking and available and willing
Humpy= good fighting and high #'s
Coho= Great fun when you can find them
Chum= Big and powerfull but usuall involves a bit of combat fishing
King= I havent been so lucky yet
Give me a Steelhead on a spey rod any day over the previous 5
First Puget Sound fish I ever caught on a fly, on my 3rd attempt at beach fishing, was a 5 lb Coho from the beach..... damn near spoiled me for life. But I've grown to love SeaRun Cutthroat; they're much more subtle in all the things that make them incredibly unique.
1) Rezzies. Hit the fly like a freight train then with them it's off to the circus. Those beach poppers are a real kick!.
2) Chum. Last years run was bad but good years prior. First one I ever caught bent the center spindle on a Ross Cimmarron. I had to palm the next three fish in that day. I now carry a second reel with the spare spool.
3) Pink - solid fun and can have multiple fish days with ease (just limited this morning in about one hour. Lost 6 on top of it).
4) SRC - funny...never targeted these fish specifically because always going after the Rezzies. Would like to change that but might need someone to show me the ropes.
With all the saltwater oppertunities and usual solitude (besides major runs) I almost never fish freshwater anymore. I would say I fish the salt about 98 percent of the time now.