Yes, we have sun in Alaska. Sometimes, a whole lotta sun, and that can make for a very cool day of fishing if you’re ready for it.
A primer: During later-season king weeks, the river is often dropping and clearing—a big reason you’ll wail on kings and chum in the mornings as the foggy marine layer keeps the clouds low and the fish inside. Come the occasional high-sun afternoon session, the Chinook will move deeper; typically out to the hard seam—well out of reach of most casters that aren’t named Whitney Gould.
That’s the time to either settle into the long-bomb program or switch it up. Legend George Cook liked to say “Stay spey in the shade,” and that’s a great way to think about it. If and when that sun gets high, your guide might encourage you to cast singlehanders from the boat (and who doesn’t love fighting an unhinged king a singlehand rod?). They might anchor up and have you swing a slough or strip flies down in the estuary – two deadly ways to find a LOT of salmon.
You can also choose to abandon the king fishing for an hour or two and head upriver for some piggy leopard bows on mouse patterns. Or sculpins. Dollies on flesh or beads. Chum on just about anything. Many anglers even elect to find a windswept gravel bar and steal a quick nap while the guide cooks shorelunch. That’s the beauty of the Kanektok’s diverse fishery and a pile of guides who know how to fish it: You’re always on fish, and it pays big to be versatile.