Although we all dream of swinging grease lines, or skating dries, the reality of the game is if we plan on fishing often throughout a calendar year one has to come to terms with a sink tip. Once you get used to that idea an entire world of spey fishing opens up, one that we have been fully immersed in for the past 5 years.
Swinging for kings is technically similar to winter steelhead. Depth and speed of the swing are very important to be successful. Similar to winter steelhead, under the right circumstances King salmon are extremely aggressive to a swung fly. They often hold right in steelhead water, but also enjoy runs with a little less current and a little more depth. They are extremely aggressive making them an incredible fish to swing flies for. They hold in the right kind of water for spey fisherman, and hit your fly with reckless abandon.
The first area I saw like this that opened my eyes to the opportunity was on the Alaskan Peninsula on the Ilnik River where the lodge I was working at had an outpost camp. The kings pushed in hard off the tides and were extremely aggressive to our swung flies. Big strong silver dollar fish beating our gear into submission with exhausting runs, and undying grit.
If your are interested in a trip targeting kings in Alaska you would do well to start looking at
Spey fishing for kings is not great for beginners, it is best suited for advanced fisherman. It demands long cast, heavy lines and big flies which is not the best way to learn how to spey fish. If you have been swinging for steelhead or atlantics for a long time it may be worth your time to give it a try.