Looking for the ultimate fresh water challenge? Try a King Salmon on a fly rod. Kings arrive on the Goodnews mid June, and continue through the end of July. They typically average 20-25 lbs., with many fish caught that weigh over 40 lbs. Fly anglers can expect 10+ hookups per day, and those pulling plugs will do even better. There are also ample opportunities to swing a fly on a two handed rod through many scenic runs and pools. These fish, like all of the salmon caught on the River, will be chrome bright and fresh from the Bering Sea, with many still sporting sea lice. And while you may have read that the King runs in much of Alaska in the last few years have been disappointing, the run on the Goodnews just keeps getting stronger.
Tackle for Kings
Kings tend to hold in the fastest and deepest parts of the River. For the fly rod angler, a 10 WT rod is ideal for these big bruisers. A direct drive reel with a great drag and 150 yds of backing is necessary to stop them from returning to the Bering Sea. You’ll need a variety of fly lines depending on the water conditions: a floating line is great for those high tide, slack water times. 12 foot Sink Tips in T-8, T-12 & T-14 will usually cover all the conditions you may encounter. A shooting head system with longer heads (24′-30′) in grain weights from 200, 300, 400 and 500 works as well. For the spin or plug angler, you’ll want a heavy action rod and a reel with a smooth drag system spooled with 15-25 lb mono or braid.