There are a bunch of anglers out there who are pretty darned excited these days, because they’re headed to the Kanektok River this summer to swing flies for kings. The ice is out on the Kanektok, our setup crew heads in just a couple of weeks from now, and fly boxes are starting to get organized for chrome fun of the chinook variety.
As is the case with most anadromous fisheries, there are plenty of theories as to which flies work and why they work. Today we present you with a simple selection of 5 flies that should do the job of connecting you with some Kanektok chrome.
Here’s the theory:
- Big profile and small profile.
- Light and dark.
- Chartreuse for tidewater.
- Always articulated, or tied on a string.
With that, here are 5 flies to bring along when swinging for kings on the Kanektok.
1. Solitude Jumbo Critter in Blue/Black
This is your big profile, dark color option. Excellent for the early season and higher water. A very visible pattern.
2. Solitude Pick ‘Yer Pocket in Orange
This is your big profile, lighter color option. Again a big profile for big water, and a pretty darned shrimpy look.
3. Fergus’ Strung Out Rockstar in Blue/Black
OK, it’s got a pretty big profile by normal standards, but we’re still calling this our ‘smaller profile dark color’ option. A great fly for later in the season.
4. Fergus’ MOAL Leech in Hot Pink
And your light-colored, small profiled option. Our gear-fishing brethren know that the pink worm is a consistent producer in a variety of conditions. Here’s your fly variant of the pink worm.
5. Idylwilde Morrish’s Trailer Trash
We generally think that specific colors aren’t as important as light vs. dark, profile and action, but when you’re down in tidewater, there seems to be something special about chartreuse. We’ve heard theories about baitfish colors, and changes to salmon eyes in brackish water, and magical chartreuse feather juju…whatever the reason, chartreuse works well near the salt. Don’t you dare come to the Kanektok without some chartreuse in your box.
Frank Wadsworth says
Q: Our group of 6 will be there for our first time fishing in Alaska from 9-16 July. According to the charts, that may be too late for kings. What do you think ? We would like a try at it but have none of the appropriate flies. Can we get a package from Orvis? Are there flies available for purchase at the camp?
Thanks for your help,
Brian Thielicke says
The guides will find you kings if they are any where in the river! I have fished the K-tok 4 of the past 5 years and can’t wait to get back this year
Many fly choices available, and as a known and self confessed “fly addict” I have tied and fished many……..and still have a hard time letting go of the relative importance of a specific fly. One of our group (known as “Big Fish”) has nothing but rock stars in his box! Absolute scarilidge! But he catches as many kings as anyone else……but the fishiest Dude in our group (know as “The Hammer”) fishes a totally different pattern……so I have to admit the fly is probably not as important as I “want” it to be
I think a simple rabbit strip (dark and bright options) is really all that you need….but my fly box will always have the latest brain cramp fly patterns I can come up with……….cuz ya just never know for sure 🙂