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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks!
I'm planning my 3rd trip to Alaska. This time we want to visit Copper Valley (1-14 July) and fish Gulkana River. I've never flyfished for king salmon so any advice from you guys would be appreciated. I guess I have to get familiarised with skagit style (just watched Skagit Master DVD). For atlantic salmon in Scotland I use 14-footer #9, but I'm a bit worried it wouldn't be strong enough for chinook, what do you think? Any recommended fly patterns and tactics?

Lukasz
 

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Hey folks!
I'm planning my 3rd trip to Alaska. This time we want to visit Copper Valley (1-14 July) and fish Gulkana River. I've never flyfished for king salmon so any advice from you guys would be appreciated. I guess I have to get familiarised with skagit style (just watched Skagit Master DVD). For atlantic salmon in Scotland I use 14-footer #9, but I'm a bit worried it wouldn't be strong enough for chinook, what do you think? Any recommended fly patterns and tactics?

Lukasz
I think you should be ok with your 14' 9 weight. There are some differences in fishing for kings compared to atlantics. You will need to use heavier flies and sink tips as you have to keep the fly close to the bottom. Using a skagit line and sustained anchor casting will make it easier to chuck it out.

My go to color is chatrreuse for the fly and size 1 or 1/0 for the hook.

Use a good quality reel with a disk drag and large enough to hold 200 yds of backing.

Hope you have a good time in AK.


Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for reply mate! Also thanks for all privs from other users that assured me I'm going in the right direction! Only 6 months to go, just can't wait :D
 

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I fished the mouth of the Gulkana for kings back in the '70's. I used a 9wt single hander, it was prior to the days that anyone made a sinking line that sank fast enough to work, so we used 25' of lead core (or whatever the thing weighed to equal a 9wt) for a shooting head!

We had two problems in there, the first was the regs. The fly fishing only regs defined it as using a fly (and that was it)... but mandated nothing bigger than a #6. The size wasn't a challenge, sixes hook big fish fine, but finding a hook with heavy enough wire that was a challenge, the only thing we could find back in those days that wouldn't straighten out was the Eagle Claw 1198B if I recall.

The second problem was that you couldn't chase a fish cause it wasn't wadable along the lower right bank and vegetation precluded chasing them from the bank (we'd hike in from the highway). If the fish headed for the Copper, we'd dump line and form a large belly to get the line pull below the fish. A lot of the time it worked, sometimes it didn't and that was that.

Flies? It didn't seem to matter that much. My favorite was the my Circus Peanut fly that looked a lot like today's Fat Freddie and nothing like today's Circus Peanut fly.

You floating or walking in? I'd plan on throwing as much T14 as you and your rod can lift and throw.

Good luck, tight lines!

L
 

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Agreed

14' 9wt should be fine for Chinook.

Through it deep, flies are not critical and be cognizant they may want to go back into the Pacific Ocean without much of a stop. The backing needs to be strong, in the event you want to break off and retreive a 100yards of line and backing that is swimming down river. This is why I believe in disc drags and doing some wets before hand.

When my daughter started out, we used a Islander Anti-Reverse reel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Our plan is to fish the verry bottom part down the highway bridge for first couple of days, then we'll move to middle section and try to fish all good spots along the road for the rest of the week. After weekend we want to rent two rafts and float down the Paxson to Sourdough Campgrands to explore upper section. Last 2 days we'll dedicate for middle or lower section depending on results.
Can you tell me the average size you catch there? I'm still a bit warried that 14' #9 is on the light side and I should take 15' #11 as a back up.
Would you recommend single hand rod and egg pattern in upper section?
 
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