April is quickly coming to an end which means we just have the month of May to get through and then we can be out doing our favorite thing in the world, swinging flies for fresh King Salmon on banks of the Kanektok River. In anticipation for the run, we wanted to share with you a great article from the Deneki archives written by the godfather, Andrew Bennett. Here are Andrew’s 5 pieces of advice to catch more King Salmon. This article may be from 2011 but we don’t think anything on this list should be changed! Be gone May and bring on the King Salmon!
- Don’t cast too far. Yeah, we like spey rods as much as the next guy, and casting far is fun. For much of our king season though, the fish are pretty tight to the bank. Consistently great 40 foot casts will catch more fish than every-once-in-a-while-I-hit-one 80 foot casts. More string is not always better.
- Keep your fly in the water. In many ways this is related to tip #1 – fish in a way that you’re comfortable, so that your fly is swimming as much as possible. Don’t get stuck with a difficult cast that results in tangles every third swing. Don’t try to cast further than you can. Don’t change flies or tips every 5 minutes. Kings in the lower Kanektok and the lower Dean are constantly swimming by, and it’s really not rocket science! The more time the fly is in the water, swimming reasonably, the more fish you’re going to catch.
- Wait for the deep pull. Golly, this can be hard on the first day of your trip! Kings often swat at the fly a couple of times before they’re solidly hooked. You need to feel the weight of the fish before you set. Be patient, wait for the deep pull, and then let ’em have it.
- Fight them hard. These are big, strong fish, and if you’re not working hard they’re resting. Pull hard, fight them actively, and get it over quick.
- Be grateful. We’re not trying to get all spiritual on you all of a sudden, but chasing anadromous fish sometimes involves some pretty serious ‘X factors’. Anglers who get grumpy about the wind, or their slow afternoon, or their bad casting tend to catch fewer fish. Really, they do. Anglers who take it all in, keep a great attitude, and appreciate the gifts that the river gives them (because that’s what these creatures are, after all) catch more fish, and have a heck of a lot more fun doing it.
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