Halcyon days of yore!!
This thread with all the talk of mooching and hanging around the kelp beds from Shi Shi to Inner Puget Sound has really got my juices flowing. Add to that the fact that "they" are going to open King Salmon fishing here around Port Angeles this summer it really has me dreaming!
Like, it appears, several others I too have had the adventure of fishing in the good times at Neah Bay and the inner Straits of Juan De Fuca. I have also spent a couple of decades in SE Alaska. King salmon, I have caught enough but I have got to say they are the hardest and most elusive prey I have encountered when casting feathers at the sea.
I have been in situations with other more refined and certainly more famous anglers who like myself were literally surrounded by hundreds of heavily feeding "feeder kings" gorging on needlefish right on the Kelp beds where you could cast to several "Howsers" at the same time. Birds reeling through the air, gulls screaming ,and kings porpoiesing through acres of bait fishes. These were heavy feeding deep bodied kings averaging 20#+ many could be seen cartwheeling through the dense schools of bait fish that were constantly showering the surface of the water as the schools of kings gorged on there flesh.
This was the same place where the moochers could catch a fish as fast as they could drop a bait in the water and give it but a single twitch. However even though I have been to many places as described and have spent countless hours in pursuit I have yet to land a "Full Sized King Salmon" in the salt water on a fly that was cast and retrived, I did hook several but other than a breif and hard run I never actually saw the fish so they could have been something other than kings.
Several of my fishing pals have managed to catch a few Kings while we were fishing for Coho. While they were Kings over 30# they were caught while fishing for Coho in August when there were not many kings around.
Its a real challenge folks I am not about to give up, but it certainly gives me pause when I hear of someone who has made the whole thing come together and actually cast to, hooked ,and landed a Salt water King. Maybe this year I'll change my luck!