This past July, OPST went up to the remote Sandy River at the base of the Aleutians, where Trevor Covich guides, to pursue one of the most pristine runs of king salmon remaining on the planet. Although it was the last week of the season, fishing was good by Alaska standards- meaning outstanding by our standards. Check out some of the photos from this trip and stay tuned for the upcoming videos on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.
While there were some boulders and tundra clumps, the majority of the structure was hydrolic- created by bends and drops in the river itself. You couldn't ask for a better river for fly fishing. Fish numbers, of course, are paramount, but in addition to that, the river is the perfect size- rarely more than a good two handed cast across. Many of the buckets and productive channels are hardly more than a roll cast away. What's more, on the Sandy you can fish for kings literally minutes out of the ocean. Some of the best runs are within earshot of tide water, and the guides know, from decades of passed-down knowledge and from their own experimentation, when they fish will be there.
We fished in early July, when kings had been coming in to the river for about a month. As such, not every fish we encountered was chrome. But some were. And all of them fought like kings.
For the Intruder fly tier, king fishing presents one of the most exciting opportunities in fly fishing. There is just something fun about tying a giant intruder out of a bunch of fun new materials, imagining it getting grabbed, and then feeling it happen in reality. The king grab is something all swing fishermen should experience. We mostly fished OPST Commando Heads on the following setups:
•9 foot 10-weight, 400 grain OPST Commando Head, 12 foot Commando Tip, 132 grain
•13'6" 8-weight, 450 grain OPST Commando Head, 12 foot Commando Tip, 168 grain
We firmly believe that the Sandy River is one of the world's best experiences in fly fishing.