The last week in July at Alaska West can be put into two words- “good fishing”. The salmon spawn has reached its peak and anglers looking for Leopard Rainbows don’t have to look any further than side channels choked with pairs of mating Chums. The guests in our 7th week of the 2012 season found that with a dead drift and a properly painted bead, the fishing for our spotted friends was better than good.
The winning set up for our Week 7 Rainbow and Dolly anglers was a 9ft. 5 or 6 weight rod, a long leader, and a good pair of polarized glasses. Spotting the fish before making the cast is key to small water trout fishing and having a pair of sunglasses that cuts the glare and offers good contrast for spotting fish is essential. Those who wanted to go for broke and search for trophy sized Rainbows plied the snags and drop offs of the lower river with flesh flies and large beads with some impressive results. 6 to 8 weight rods are the proper tools for this job and heavier tippets with breaking strengths of up to 20lb. help to stop large fish and prevent lost flies in snags.
The Silvers showed up in more substantial numbers in Week 7 and theKanektok demonstrated that the fishing above our camp is often better than down below. Anglers throwing a variety of fast sinking flies in colors such as hot pink, cerise, and fuchsia caught fish in soft seams, sloughs, and off the bottoms of gravel bars. Silvers eat on the strip and prefer flies that swim in an erratic jigging motion. Anglers that elected to add additional weight in front of the fly to increase this motion were rewarded with more fish for their efforts, despite the occasional painful reminder of what it means to throw a heavily weighted fly.
The Pink Salmon run was in full swing for Week 7 as well. Small pink poppers caught fish in sloughs and on bars. The numbers of Pinks that could be landed in a popper fishing session was legendary and any angler’s appetite to catch chrome salmon on a top water fly was thoroughly satiated.