Every year fly fisherman fish the waters of America, in every state , for trout and salmon. Alaska has many different fly fishing favorites. The Russian and Kenai Rivers provide abundant Sockeye runs, and the fish literally jump in the net. Its not unusual to take home a bakers dozen of these guys on a good day, and usually within one or two hours. The Sockeye is a Red Pacific Ocean Salmon.
Salmon return home to spawn and then die because the birthing event is so traumatic.
When these salmon return home after living many years in the ocean, they travel up river. They are returning to their spawning grounds. There, they will reproduce and die. This type of fish is called a semelparious organism. This means that the the reproduction process is equivalent to a “big bang”. The reproduction event is large and usually fatal.
The Pacific salmon is an example of a semelparious organism. The word semelparity was coined by evolutionary biologist Lamont Cole, and comes from the Latin semel ‘once, a single time’ and pario ‘to beget. Other species, such as butterflies, as well as some species of squid and some species of octopus are also semelparious organisms.
Fly fishing for salmon is a rewarding experience for the sport fisherman, with the added benefit of bringing home supper. There are almost 600 rivers in Alaska that are salmon or trout bearing. Most are not commercially fished. Some of the species found, are Sockeye, Chum, and King salmon, and Rainbow trout of course.