Alaska Salmon Runs
The Nushagak River supports all 5 species of Salmon: Alaska King Salmon (Chinook); Chum Salmon (Dog Salmon); Sockeye Salmon (Red Salmon); Silver Salmon (Coho) and Pink Salmon (Humpies). During June and July, we focus on the three species that run in that time frame which are Kings, Chums, and Sockeyes.
Alaska King Salmon
King Salmon on the Nushagak is an action-packed big game angling adventure, Fish can top the 50 lb. class with lots of 30 lb, and heavier catches daily, Because we fish with boats, from sandbars and do some shallow wading, long technical casting and expert presentation are unnecessary for angling success. The battle you face when you hook into a Nushagak King is one of the true classic angling wars that any angler can experience.
King Conventional Tackle: · Rods: 20 lb. to 40 lb. line rated casting rods with a sensitive tip, to read plug action, and to detect subtle strikes. Spinning rods can be used with the same basic specifications. · Reels: Casting or level wind reels, are superior fighting big fish for many reasons, and are highly recommended. Line capacity should be at least 200yds. Of 20 lb. mono. Spinning reels need to have an extremely strong drag and large line capacity. · Line: High-quality low diameter mono line with high abrasion resistance is best. 20 lb. break strength is average. · Terminal tackle: Alaska Kingfishers supplies lures for your convenience.
King Fly tackle: These fish will take you into your backing on every solid hook up, so prepare yourself accordingly for the “Big Pull”. · Rods: 10wt- l2wt. rods are recommended with 9wt. On the light side. The lines and flies are heavy so a high modulus good quality rod is best. Spey rods are also a popular alternative because of their distance casting and line mending/control capabilities. ·
Reels: Very durable reels with a strong disc-type drag and a large spool capacity of at least 200yds. of 30 lb. backing. · Lines: 200 grain to 500 grain fast to extra fast shooting heads or sink tips of 15 ft. to 30 ft. are all very common. Versatility is optimal. An interchangeable shooting head system is a good way to address the varied water conditions. The leader should be abrasion-resistant mono of at least20 lb. · Flies: Alaska Kingfishers supplies flies to our anglers. If you would like to tie some of your own flies call the office and we will be glad to recommend some patterns.
Alaska Chum Salmon
Chums return to the river in large schools beginning in mid-June and continue through late July. These dime bright warriors range in size from 6 lb. to 18 lbs. Chum, Alaska’s most underrated sportfish is an aggressive never say die package of fish muscle. Experienced Alaska anglers know that these are pound for pound the hardest fighting of the five Pacific salmon species. Their aggressive nature and large numbers make Chum an excellent game fish for the expert as well as the novice fly angler.
Chum Conventional tackle: · Rods: Medium weight spinning or casting rods, rated for 10 lb. to 20 lb. line mono. · Reels: To match rod outfitted with at least 200yds. of line.
Chum Fly tackle:· Rods: 7wt. to 9wt. quality rods with actions that are well suited to casting in windy conditions. · Reels: Durable reels to match rod with a medium to strong disc drag. Spool capacity should be at least 150yds. of 20lb backing. Lines: A floating line along with at least one sink tip line is usually best. Sink tips should be 5 ft. to 15 ft. and medium to fast sink density. Leaders should be 10 lb. to 15lb. mono
Alaska Sockeye Salmon (Red Salmon)
Sockeyes traditionally begin to return in fishable numbers around the 4th of July and stream in full steam ahead for the following two weeks, Nicknamed “Reds” for their spawning coloration these are some of the most sought after salmon because of their firm rich flesh. Because Sockeyes are mostly plankton feeders in the ocean, they can present anglers with a challenge, hooking them is not always easy. Sockeyes have been known to have lockjaw on occasion but are worth the extra effort to the discerning angler who is willing to take on the challenge. Are you willing?
Red Conventional tackle: · Rods: Medium light spinning or casting rods.· Reels: To match rod, outfitted with 10lb. To 15lb. mono.
Red Fly tackle: · Rods: 6 wt. to 8 wt. · Reels: Durable reel with a strong drag to match rod.· Lines: Floating lines with 10lb. to 15lb. mono leader. · Flies: Because of the soft mouth and nature of the sockeye’s diet, small sparse flies work best, call our office for details.