Tonights rush was on a big bucktail streamer, tried to copy Rapalas "fire tiger" as close as possible at the urging of "SVA01".
grizz. orange hackle palmered at the tail
silver holographic dubbed body
orange died Guinea thorax
electric blue wire ribbing
underwing of 4 (2on each side) orange grizz. hackle feathers topped with some chart. K-flash
overwing of Chart. Bucktail
topping of blue K-flash
My attempts have been few and a number of years back. The successes were fewer still but what success I did have and what I witnessed from others led me to believe that heavy tips or sinking lines fished right on the bottom seemed to be the drill. Also bright flies from egg patterns to big marabous seemed to be what most were using. I have also heard they will take a dead drifted black nymph but I can't vouch for it.
There are some regular members here that I know focus on them from time to time. You might try PM'ing Poul as I know he has been known to.
When I lived in Port Angeles, the Elwah had C&R on the kings so I fished for them quite often in late August/September. A friend of mine and I used to target late kings in November early December on one of the peninsula rivers too.
As sinktip said, the flies had to be right in their face, pretty much dead-drifted or the kings ignored them. This means you are going to lose quite a few flies to rocks so use easy to tie flies. My friend and I found that hot fuschia bunny leeches tied on a #3 AJ heavy or a #4 regular salmon iron and fished like you would a stonefly nymph for trout on a downstream cast, or a small #6 Rajah (hot pink tail, silver rear body, hot pink front body, silver rib, hot pink hackle, white wing) tied with a sparse wing produced more grabs than anything else we used.
Also, the grab is really more of the line stops in a manner similar to the way trout pick up a nymph. They ignored our flies more often than they grabbed them, and the best chance of hooking one was when fresh, bright fish were in the river.
Agree with above have had luck swinging speys and streamers and dead drifting nymphs over the years for GLs kings. You would be amazed at how small a nymph these big brutes will take. Try the old classic Cardinelle streamer still remember one big buck following and nailing it.
Fish the dark water holding pools/runs not the gravel where they are spawning.
The spot I am fishing is where the combination of a fairly good sized creek, and a back channel of the river pours into the main body of the river. The creek flows a bit cooler than the river does. Where it pours in I stand on the edge of a sharp drop into a deep (locals have said 10-12ft) run. Nearly impossible to chase a fish any further than 50ft or so. I kind of have the theory that cooler water from the creek pools up in the bottom of the run. I was fishing very deep, 24ft 300grain head on a MS 10/11 body. Chuck it straight across, mend, let it swing!
I try to spend lots of time here on the Island chasing springs in Sept. I fish in the same manner as mentioned above...slow and deep. I present my flies with a slow swing and the fish just stop the fly. I have had some really good grabs from fresh fish. As Flytyer mentioned many flies are lost so I stick to easy to tie tube flies. I like big rabbit and marabou tubes in black and purple(3 - 4.5" long). I have had success on pink, red, and chartreuse. Big black GPs work but I hate losing those on the bottom. Make sure you have good backing for these guys. Since losing a couple of lines I now use 50lb gel spun and never use tippets heavier than 15lb maxima. Good luck.
Oh my God! Tip you'd better round up some of the boys. It sounds like Russ may be going off the deep end and heading into the camp of the vaunted "pink fly". I hope he is not becoming a disciple of that ledgendary "steelhead God", the fisher of the pink fly. It may be time for an intervention. :whoa: :whoa: :whoa:
I fish only for kings fresh in from the salt [first 0-6miles from salt] .So,some of this may not apply if they have been holding for a while and the lice are off and they are dark.I too fished the Elwa back when you could as mention in another post way back in this thread.Experience was very different.Swung fly in faster than average steelhead type of run.Used a 10ft sink tip,i.e.100 gr type 6.mostly used a cerise colored intruder that Ed Ward gave me for an example to use to figure out how to tie them.Went there on a number of july aug evenings and almost always hooked at least one 15 to 35 # king .so it was not a one time fluke.Since then have fished lower Dean many times below the canyon and have fished the kenektok for Kings.Result are:For a dark fly I use purple .Presently use an intruder string leech patern with chartreuse body.I put in flasabou mirage on all my flies close to the salt.When I am fishing the Dean that is mixed steelhead and king ,purple is great for both.When I am a time when it is mostly kings I want a bright change ,I always go with chartreuse, flasabou,kingfisher blue combo.Lately that has a been an intruder string leech patern.Sink tip is 10 ft type 8 to 15 ft of T 14. Always swung.black and blue is very good and I have caught a ton of steelhead with it also,especially on dark, raining, low pressure days!!!I just have not had any of those days in the last 3 yrs!When kings have been in the river for a while ,they will end up holding in deeper slower spots .Those spots are just of little interest to me and the fish are not aggressive and fresh and they alos dont interest me then.Would rather go take pictures of birds or flowers or whatever!Hope this is of some help.Beau
You don't have to worry about me heading off to the aforementioned steelhead god's infamous "pink floss fly" camp. Now if an intervention requires a trip over your way to see how the painted ladies take a man for a ride, I think an intervention is entirely appropriate.
We get a chance around June to fish for some local hatchery return Kings at a local creek mouth on the outbound tide in Juneau. Many days there seems to be no hot bite, but sometimes within a few minutes there will be three or four hookups, after an hour or two of nothing, without any plain correlation to fly pattern, color, speed, depth, or anything.
It's all a mystery but all in all those that keep their flies in the water the most catch the most.
Chartreuse and Fuscia seem to be the most popular colors, and it could be that the success of these colors are the results of more people fishing these. This year I caught my only one on a white "fly" but hooked two others - one on a small #4 maroon & orange maribou steelhead fly, both way different from what others were using.
Many days, spinners seem to work better. Some of us try flies with spinner blades or propellers, like the fly in the above picture (from Jay Fair of Eagle lake, CA).
When its not too crowded, some of us try spey rods, but mostly it's slow water and cast & retrieve unless it's a big tide drop, so as much as we'd like to we usually fish singlehanded.
A tip I learned from Russ Chatham's Angler's Coast was that the fish circulate back and forth in a defined pattern, and are most inclined to bite at the turnaround point. In our situation, these points move as the tide goes out, but in river pools you could target it more easily.
It is certainly worth a try if you have some kings around, because one 25+ lb fish makes up for a lot of fishless time. Once you catch one you will find it easy to go back and keep trying.
I have good luck catching Kings in WI's tribs although I normally only fish for them now if someone else suggests it. Too much combat fishing for dark fish.
I use a 9 1/2' 8 wt, a 9 wt would be better. I only fish for sighted fish. I use one fly, a big purple zonker. I swing through pools targeting the alpha male at the head of the pool or the new one coming up through the tailout. Not only will the most aggressive male hit the fly but the other Kings will as well. Obviously, they are defending territory and not on the "bite".
The good news is when the Kings are in the river, steelhead won't be far behind.
Like Beau I target chinook close to tidewater - I like tubes in black/purple, silver doctor blue/chartreuse and silver doctor blue/chartreuse/black. I fish 15/18/21/24 foot T-14 tips acording to water conditions on either Skagit 650 or 750g lines. Currantly the rods I fish are Meiser's 13' 9/10/11 and 12/13 as well as Sage's 10150-4 - the later rod was heading for Ebay untill the Skagit lines came out. For sheer effeciency in fighting these big fish the shorter 13' rods are however superior to the 15'
Seeing as we are breaking with tradition and posting fish shots - attached is a west-coast chromer estimated to be about 28lb.
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