The King Salmon run appears to be in a continuing decline in Alaska. The Kenai is closed for fishing in June and is catch and release only on the Kings in July during the second push of fish. The Cooper river is reporting "historically low" returns of Kings and sockeyes. The Goodnews river, where I just spent a week, had probably its lowest king return for a first week ever....hard to say whether that is due to less fish or high water or both.
Nevertheless, the King remains true to its name as the supreme fish in small Alaska rivers. On the fly, the King is unmatched in these small waters and represents a great challenge for all anglers. Landing one is very tough and the odds favor the fish. On the five days I fished for Kings, averaged about 5 Kings per day, 6 Jacks per day ( the first year Kings which are not sexually mature), 2 chums per day, and on the one day I spent rainbow fishing 20 native leopard Alaska rainbows, plus grayling and dollies.
The best king went 35 pounds, first picture. The next best was 30 pounds (weighted on my scales second picture) and several in the 20 pound class. One chum was a personal best of 15 pounds(third picture) and a real brute of a fighting fish. The rainbows are simply beautiful (fourth picture), stunning but the grayling is one of my favorite fish to catch(fifth picture).
Hopefully, this is a temporary decline in numbers of Kings because it is truly one of the greatest fish in the World by almost any measure. It would be catastrophic for future generations of anglers to not be able to experience this magnificent fish.
Good luck and tight lines to all who make the trip to Alaska this summer!