Taking Alaska king salmon on a fly is always a challenge. It is a well-known fact that the most effective offering is a gob of salmon roe and a spin-n-glo. So the flyfisher is at a disadvantage when trying to entice these trophies with an artificial. But over the years I've observed a few chinks in this titan's armor.
It appears chinook have a propensity to favor dark patterns, particularly black, especially in streams having dirty or murky water which occurs during the early summer runs in May when late winter runoff is still present.
Black also seems to be an effective color scheme in smaller streams where fish are confined to small holding areas and have a tendency to avoid anything bright or large coming their way.
This streamer is the simplest of all flies, and commonly referred to in Alaska as a coho fly. Its a pattern that anyone can tie but that's not necessary as this pattern's popularity in the state makes it a best seller and available everywhere fishing tackle is sold. It is tied in a multitude of color combinations and used extensively by sockeye salmon anglers throughout Alaska.
I've seen this fly produce extremely well in eastern Kenai Peninsula streams such as the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Ninilchik River during the May and June openings for king salmon. High, dirty water is a common condition on these streams during late May when the fisheries open up for a series of 3-day weekends. I've also been on hand when two Kenai kings were landed on spinning gear at separate times, one with a black streamer in its jaw and the other with a black wooly bugger hooked in its mouth. So there is little doubt the serious flycaster targeting kings should keep a variety of black patterns in their repertoire.