Some years during the second week in July, the King Salmon fishing begins slow somewhat from the previous weeks of steady insanity. This year the Chinooks kept right on coming and our anglers kept right on catching. Sink tips stayed light for the most part, but as some of the larger, fast moving lower bars finally came into shape, 10-12ft. of T-14 seemed to be just the ticket to reaching fish traveling through heavy water. Classic bars like Pipeline and Zoo Bar were churning out fish throughout the day with multiple fish being hit on every pass.
We love fishing for Chum Salmon here at Alaska West and for good reason. The Chums in our river are chrome, strong, and readily take a fly. While a pink subsurface pattern will yield a hook up on almost every cast, it is the top water game that makes fishing for Chums such a riot. Hot pink bass poppers could be the most ridiculous looking fly most anglers will ever tie on the end of their leader, but just one or two “glugs” through a pod of hot Chums will make even the most pure fly critic change sing a different song.
As always, Dolly Varden begin to show up in mass about this time of year and can be found waiting below staging Salmon that are ripening up to spawn. Beads of any color fished on a good dead drift will elicit strikes and our anglers who had no beef with fishing a strike indicator put up some serious Dolly numbers during Week 4. Rainbow fishing continued to be good too and some aggressive fishing with large streamers in the dark lower reaches of the Arolik yielded some impressive results.