Chuck-n-Duck for River King Salmon!
by Donald McChristian Jr.


Fall Salmon Season...the leaves are turning colors, the air is crisp, and
the Salmon are showing up in the rivers for their annual mating ritual! With
good number of Kings in the river, how do you entice them to take your
fly?

Lets begin by examining the equipment you will need to get the job
done. Many may think this to be an "expensive" type of fishing...but
compared to catching these Kings in the "Big Water" it is relatively
inexpensive! I will go though the equipment I bought and used and that
should give you the information you need to get started!

 

 

 

Equipment:

First and foremost, you will need a Fly Rod of some sort. Mine 1st fly rod
was an 8 Weight Pflueger Purist. I purchased it for around $40 at a local
Sporting goods store. For starting out this rod did the job and then some!

Next is a decent Fly Reel, my 1st one was a Pflueger "Medalist" Model
Number 1598RC, it too was around $40. There are many other types
available, so shop around and look for a good deal! Just remember that
you need one with a bigger spool (large arbor) that is rated for 8 wt line!

Fly Line is the next thing needed. I chose Running Line, .0031 Dia. It
worked great for me but Amnesia is preferred by many also.

The leader is the next thing we will discuss. Proper Rigging will be
discussed later in the article. I used 14lb test Berkley Vanish. This line has
doubled the number of fish I catch overall and it did the job on the Kings
too!

Flies...there are many that will work. The Idea is to use a Fly that will
attract attention and cause the King to strike it out of anger because the
kings are in the river to spawn and die...they don't have much of an
appitite! I use Wooly Buggers, Egg Flies, and Egg Sucking Leeches. Black
seemed to work the best, followed by White and Pink with a close Second!

Besides the basic equipment above you will also need a few other things
to be successful. You will need a "generous" supply of Barrel Swivels and
Split Shot sinkers. I like the removable ones because it lets you change
weight easier for different speeds of river current. A pair of chest Waders
are a must also. They don't have to be the expensive Neoprene type, the
cheap "rubber" or "canvas" work fine for the beginner! Polorized Sun
Glasses help you see in the water better.

 

 

Rigging:

We are on our way to Big Kings! Now how to rig. First you attach a
barrel swivel to your Fly Line with any of the good knots that are out there.
The reason I do this is to make it easier to tie on new leaders when these
Monsters break them off, and they will break MANY! Next you tie a 3 to 4
foot length of the leader material to the other end of the barrel swivel.
When you tie this knot, leave about 2-3 inches of the Tag end hanging
out. This will allow you to attach the Split Shot needed without harming
your main leader line. To the end of this leader you then attach the Fly of
your choice, and you are ready to hit the water!

 

 

 

Fishing Techniques and Presentation:

Now, how to you fish this rig? First find yourself a River where Kings are
(Duh!). Start by looking for Gravel Runs, and also the Deeper Holes in the
River. You may also actually see the Kings! Chances are if you see them
holding on the gravel, there is a Female preparing to or laying eggs (or on
the Redd) The males will be lined up behind her to protect her and waiting
to "Do their Job!" This is where you come in and try to ruin the party!

Try to get yourself a little upstream of the Redd without "spooking" the
fish. Now carefully cast your Fly so it will drift right in front of the MALES!!!
You want to keep the females there because she is the main attraction! If
you keep repeating this, one of the males will eventually take your Fly out
of anger and territorial rights...and when he does, set that hook and let
him run against the drag, and "Palm" the reel to slow him down if need be!
Keep the rod tip up and the line tight, and use your rod to "Steer" the fish
away from possible Log Jams that may break the fish off! When the fish
tires, it is time to "Apply the Heat!" and get him to the net! Be careful, they

Now the Deeper Holes. Once you locate a hole that is deeper and
hopefully snag free, you begin this technique: Cast your Fly upstream at a
45 degree angle. Let it hit bottom, and keep that rod tip low to the water. If
you have the right amount of weight, you should feel it just "Ticking" the
bottom . With you rod tip low, follow the Fly downstream until the Fly is not
drifting with the current anymore. You then strip in the line and repeat.
After a few casts you will get a feel for this "Bottom Ticking". Now if you
notice any change in this "Feel", set that hook! It means a fish has taken
your Fly! Then hang on and hopefully in 10 minutes or so you will have
your King!

I hope this article is helpful to others! It is exactly what I was taught to hook
into 30+ Kings and Land 3 of them! Don't forget your camera, and
hopefully, THIS WILL BE YOU!!!

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