Video: Fly Fishing for Alaska King Salmon in Long Live the King

Fly Out Media has been putting out great videos over the last year of fly fishing ventures in Alaska, notably the Magnetic North series. Now, Fly Out Media makes the case for king salmon in Alaska in “Long Live the King.”

From Fly Out Media:

“Long Live the King is a story of hope and resurgence for Alaska’s great King Salmon fishery. Returning numbers of the fish have been dropping steadily, and both 2012 and 2013 hit especially hard – with multiple rivers and regions across the state seeing some of the lowest returns ever, forcing Alaska Fish and Game officials to close or severely limit salmon fishing around the state, including on some of Alaska’s most iconic rivers. In addition, what is starting to seem like an all out war on salmon – mining, dams, hatcheries and the state government are all marching forward in opposition of Alaska treasure salmon resource. For many, this is an attack on religion, not just a fish.

This film seeks to ignite an angler’s passion – showing why salmon are worth fighting for from a fly fishing perspective. By showcasing some of Alaska’s world class adventures – a team of Alaska’s best guides and anglers explore the state’s rivers, fly fishing for King Salmon, while practicing “catch and release” for the benefit of greater escapement and future salmon spawn. Through interviews and candid conversation, we will hear from long-time Alaska guides, lodge owners, Native elders, political figures, conservation leaders, and wilderness pioneers who have an abundance of untapped folk information on the state’s great King Salmon lore. In these virtually untold stories, lies the spirit of Alaska – the dream of its wild lands and freedoms that can hardly be imagined in our current time.

King Salmon are an icon for Alaska, and a treasured sport fish for the entire world. Long Live the King celebrates the great homecoming of salmon to the Last Frontier, while promoting a re-energized culture of sustainability among salmon fishermen and women worldwide. Through inspiring imagery, explosive fishing, emotional testimony and a tone of sustainability, respect, and stewardship, the film breathes new life into the hearts of anglers. One goal of this film is to boost the grassroots efforts of our conservation partners to defend the land, waters, cultural heritage, and invaluable resources of Alaska, including the mighty King Salmon of the Last Frontier.”

To check out more from Fly Out Media, please click here.

More on this destination:

Alaska is the largest state in the United States, and the majority of the state is surrounded by water, including the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Inland, Alaska is filled with an abundance of rivers that are generally packed with a range of freshwater species that anglers from all over the world travel to pursue.

Most fly anglers have their sights narrowed on the 3,000-plus rivers that are in Alaska. The five species of Pacific salmon are perhaps in their greatest abundance in Alaska, and summer in “The Last Frontier” delivers reliably heavy runs of king (Chinook), silver (coho), sockeye (red), chum (dog), and humpy (pink) salmon, which run every other year.

In addition to the world famous salmon, Alaska has some of the best rainbow trout fishing in the world. The leopard rainbow trout that roam these waters are both beautiful and beastly. As for beauty, these trout have the characteristics you would expect of rainbows but with a boldness of coloration that highlight everything from their spots to their red stripes. As for the beastliness, these brutes get big off a range of food sources, including salmon eggs, and they have even been known to aggressively take mouse patterns – an experience that perhaps reveals the peak of their predatory nature.

Alaska also has steelhead. Southeastern Alaska stretches far south to border the land near Western Canada’s best steelheading waters. Beginning in the Tongass National Forest, anglers have the opportunity to not only pursue Pacific salmon, but also world class steelheading fishing.

The most famed area in Alaska is the Southcentral section that includes everything from the waters near Anchorage to the Bristol Bay region. The Kenai Peninsula that extends south of Anchorage and includes the Kenai and Russian Rivers, among others, and nearby Kodiak Island offer some of the best steelheading opportunities in Alaska in addition to other species. And just west of these waters is the Bristol Bay region. The Bristol Bay region is home to some of the most prolific runs of salmon and also has outstanding trout fishing. In addition, these waters house record Arctic char and Dolly Varden.

In many ways, the fly fishing opportunities are too vast to condense into a summary. From Cook Inlet to Prince William Sound to the Interior and Arctic waters, there are endless opportunities. And beyond trout, steelhead, and salmon, anglers can chase trophy pike, halibut, grayling, and more.

For organizing a trip, plan and book early. Anglers often target specific species based on the weeks their ideal salmon fishing runs are expected to happen. Because these dates fill fast, some of the best times are usually booked as early as January, if not sooner. Time is of the essence when planning your trip to Alaska, because demand is high … and for good reason!



Categories: freshwater, video

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1 reply

  1. We had very mixed feelings watching this trailer. Like the people involved in this project, we care deeply about the health of our wild salmon stocks. And like the voices in this video, we believe that Chinook are being harvested at an unsustainable rate. But here’s where we have a different point of view. We believe that in addition to being harvested at an unsustainable rate, to some extent these fish are also being harassed at an unsustainable rate. Several of the fish subjected to catch-and-release were significantly colored up or even deep red. Those fish should be left alone to go about their business. In fact, the entire idea of a catch-and-release fishery for species that have stopped eating and will ingest no more calories as they journey upstream against current, over water falls, and must still have the energy to successfully spawn is unsettling.
    Sometimes it’s enough just to know the fish are there. We shouldn’t have to catch them and subdue them and hold them in our hands. Some of the most satisfying fishing we’ve ever done has been just sitting quietly, watching fish in clear water, our rods back in the car, or the camper, or back home.

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