We love having a range of species to target at our lodges. Admittedly it can be easy to get tunnel vision chasing the flagship ones such as the leopard Rainbows or the mighty Kings, but we often encourage our guests to spend some time mixing it up out there. We have some massively underrated species of fish that are available right out our backdoor that for some reason don’t get the respect they deserve. Speaking of which, allow me introduce you to our friend, the Chum Salmon.
Maybe it is the name “Chum” or how they are also referred to as “Dog Salmon” that gives people the idea that they are some what of a lesser fish to target with a fly rod but we couldn’t disagree with this notion more. We love Chum’s and are lucky to have a lodge on a river that has one of the best remaining Chum Runs in the world. Once you hook into a Chum (which when fishing the Kanektok this time of year wont take you very long) you will see why we call these fish Brawlers. Many salmon fisherman consider the Chum to be pound for pound the hardest fighting of all the Pacific Salmon species. The run usually gets going the first week of July meaning the Chum season can also over lap with the King season. Many Chums are hooked when targeting Kings and their strength fools the angler into thinking he has hooked a Chinook as they will put a bend in any King Salmon set up.
We like to target Chum’s in the softer water along the river’s many gravel bars. We prefer to use big, bright flies and swing for the fish. Chums on the Kanektok are known to be some the brightest, chromed up Chums around making them a great target on your two handed rod. While they wont break the 15 pound mark very often, they are still one of our favorite species to chase and will earn your respect the moment you first connect with one. After you land a few, our staff will even smoke the fish giving you a tasty reminder of your new favorite fish to catch 🙂
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