The King Photography by Ken Morrish

Atlin, British Columbia, is a hard place in which to accidentally find oneself. Once a remote mining boomtown, it now peacefully looks out over a series of huge lakes in the headwaters of the Yukon River, which serve as the jumping-off point for the exceedingly large and wild Taku drainage, home of prodigious runs of king salmon.
Kings enter the lower system as early as May, but the headwaters fish best in June and July. These fish have traveled about 80 miles inland and ascended 900 feet in elevation, but they have not reached their final destination. Some are not even colored up yet. Depending upon water levels, fishing can be by either jet boat or on foot.
Whether sight-fishing a clear pool with a spotter overhead, or swinging flies across a flat at the mouth of a tributary, the action is heart-stopping. Fish range in the 15- to 30-pound class, and the sight of a mature Chinook backlit in midair as it screams into the backing of a 9-weight . . . well, an angler just has to see that for himself.

Ken Morrish is a co-owner of Fly Water Travel, which outfits angling expeditions worldwide. He’s also a talented fly designer, photographer, and writer whose work has appeared in many outdoor periodicals.

Created By
Gray's Sporting Journal MMN


Photography by Ken Morrish

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