Gearing Up For Kings
Memorial Day weekend marks the opening of king salmon fishing in Alaska with most rivers producing kings through July. But it’s always sketchy on where the best fishing will be. Which river will have the big run and when? Which past fishing venues will be great again or will they be shut down for lack of return?
Unfortunately, in recent years, local rivers have been challenged with low numbers of fish returning. Fish & Game monitors these numbers and will change allowed procedures (bait, no bait, single hook, etc.) or close a river to fishing completely, if needed. Most locals have the ability to work around these changes and hit the river at the right time to catch their king(s). But the uncertainty of the returns and the common closures of some rivers make it difficult for a visitor to travel and make fishing plans for king salmon this time of year.
That’s when my thoughts drift off to the more remote places that seem to have a superb return every year. One of the first remote areas I think of is the Goodnews River Lodge in southwest Alaska. The fish returns and higher limits are great but I’m also drawn to Goodnews for the remoteness, the deluxe camp accommodations and the opportunity to fly in a vintage DC-3 aircraft between Anchorage and the village of Goodnews. A man my age remembers when DC-3’s were in service back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. What a thrill to step back in time, climb in and have it take you to some of the best king salmon fishing in the state. Only challenge is not getting out-fished by Audrey while I’m there!