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    The GOBLIN

Gear up for dirty water kings....

The Spring of 1999 will see some challenging king salmon fishing conditions for many early season anglers on the Kenai Peninsula and perhaps elsewhere in southcentral Alaska. Many regions received above normal snowfall this past winter and a cool start of springtime weather will extend snowmelt runoff on many streams.

What this will mean for many is that fishing conditions such as those on the Kasilof/Crooked, Ninilchik and Anchor rivers along with Deep Creek could have muddy or tundra-stained water which diminishes the visibility of an angler's lure or fly. The Goblin is an effective dirty water fly for such conditions.

Its basic composition is that of a black woolly bugger with a fluorescent orange bunny "cape" for added contrast. King salmon have shown a preference for black pattern flies under certain conditions and this one can fit the bill for dirty water as well as clear shallow streams where fish may be more spooky.

Glacial streams or those with temporary muddy conditions are just the ticket for dark offerings. One only needs to perform a quick experiment to realize black actually is much more visible that silvers, golds and fluorescent colors in silty conditions. Lower a flashy metallic or fluorescent pattern in the water until it is no longer visible. Then lower a black or purple woolly bugger or coho fly and note the depth at which it disappears. Sunlight which penetrates water which is laden with glacial silt or mud is dispersed and reflected, similar to your vehicle's headlights in a fog. Lighter patterns or metallic colors will blend in much more than a dark color which absorbs the light and provides more contrast.

So load up your flybox with some dark patterns such as the Goblin for that first trip of the season. The first Peninsula freshwater king fishery for bank anglers should begin at Crooked Creek - Kasilof River confluence by the middle of May and the conditions encountered there are perfect for the Goblin if you intend to use flies.

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