Southeast Alaska Kings in the salt...where do I start?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Deandog311, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Deandog311

    Deandog311 New Member

    Jul 7, 2008
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    Woodinville, WA
    I think I may be heading up to Wrangell, AK in mid may for a couple weeks. There is a King salmon derby up there during that period and I'm interested in trying to go after them with a fly. The river system they're all headed to is the Stikine and the fishing area is local around Wrangell. Growing up there EVERYBODY just uses gear with hering as bait. I'm not sure if ANYBODY, at least locals try fishing with a fly rod in the salt.

    I'll have access to a small (14') lund but not too comfortable taking that thing very far in those waters however there are some spots very close to town that I could foresee going to. So I'm thinking about having my wife troll with traditional gear while I cast a fly. I'm pretty sure the locals put their bait down at least 30' if not deeper but I also know the kings will jump/surface in the local waters prior to heading up the Stikine.

    So where do I start with this idea? I guess Les has a book about saltwater fishing for salmon? Does it include Alaska waters? I read the SRC book and loved it but not familiar with the other. Would it be a whole lot different than going after kings in the sound? There is also one beach I could fish within walking distance from my Mom's house so thought about hitting that early AMs then heading out on the boat later for the trolling action. Would it be possible to fly-fish while my wife trolled? Any and all thoughts are appreciated.
  2. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Active Member

    Feb 2, 2007
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    Taco Ma
    Trolling gear would make kings on a fly in the same boat very difficult. We typically targeted them up there with a heavy shooting head, getting down deep and then stripping while drifting through the best water. They are going to be too deep to get on a fly while trolling most of the time. One thing you might try is having the wife work a jig (e.g white Point Wilson dart) while you try the fly. Both are compatable methods when dead-drifting. Unless you are a total flyfishing purist, take along a gear rod. I saw quite a few people go fishless day after day trying for kings on the fly while the gear-heads were nailing them. It isn't easy to take a king on the fly.

    Don't pass up the black rockfish on the fly - Find a kelp bed and cast along the edges. You'll have plenty of action.
  3. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Jul 1, 2003
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    .Redmond, WA
    I've caught a few kings (chinook) off of Shipwreck Island near Ketchikan. I've caught a lot of them around Langara Island over the years (northernmost island inthe QC chain). You will want at least a 10-weight rod, preferably a 11 or 12, to deal with fish 30-pounds and up.
    I suggest about a 400 grain DWE, T14 or LC -13 shooting head. Getting down is most often the preferred method. If you should see kings chasing bait on top (it does happen at times) be ready with a floating or intermediate rig. Flies should be about 5-inches long on either 3/0 hooks or tubes. Herring and sand lance patterns are preferred if you are over actively feeding salmon.