This posting is an effort to help those planning a trip to better target certain fish during their stay in Alaska. Without further preamble I’ll get right to it.

Pike Fishing  Through out June and early July the Pike fishing at the lake and nearby drainages is at its peak. By August they become much harder to locate so if you are interested in this species think early summer.

King Salmon will begin to show by mid June and the run strength should increase through the 25th of June. Generally by the 25th or shortly thereafter the large number of kings have returned to the rivers and creeks and are still bright fish.Trip4  The king pictured is a rather small specimen but was chosen because it demonstrates what I mean by bright fish. As June begins to wane into July the fish begin to take on spawning color. The color does not affect the ability to lure them to the fly but they have begun to lose the bright body color of an ocean fish.

These 2 photos show a larger fish that is beginning to turn, this particular fish came to a rather small salmon fly called a Jock O’ Dee, I was quite surprised because I was hoping for rainbow trout in this run when the king took the fly.

Second Fish         IMG_2853Adjusted

Fishing for King Salmon ends by July 13 but the best chance at bright or lightly colored fish is from June 15 – June 30th. Many of our fisheries are now having Catch & release fishing for this species and they are not to be removed from the water during capture. I can still help you to get photographs of you and your king but the fish must remain submerged.

Fly Fishing the Rainbow Trout

 Throughout June and basically all season long the trout are present and make for some great fishing. With salmon in the rivers and creeks it can become a challenge to find the trout and to avoid the salmon but it can be done. The best times for a rainbow trip in my experience would be during July or September. Those 2 months give windows where the salmon numbers are limited. During July most of the salmon are Kings that are engaged in spawning and large numbers of other salmon have not yet appeared. By July’s end the Pink – Chum and sockeye are entering the watersheds and their presence complicates trout fishing somewhat. As we enter August Pacific Silver Salmon begin to show in greater numbers.

This would be a good June / July trout      All 2011 Nikon Pictures Oct 30226

September is perhaps the very best time for trout. The kings have spawned and died, likewise most Sockeye – Chum and pink salmon have spawned and are in the process of dying off. There are silvers in the rivers but they are colored up in most cases and although very aggressive they can usually be seen easily and avoided. The trout hang around these spawning salmon and the game is to draw trout to the fly and avoid having a silver hooked on many casts. On a first day the catching of the salmon will be exciting but as you see how often it can occur you learn quickly to stick with the target of the trout. There are trout in these rivers that will get as large as 30″ and that my friend is a salmon sized fish.

So: If you would like to hunt King Salmon, look at June 15 – June 29th

Chum – Sockeye and pink salmon – July 7 through August 1st

Silver salmon; August 5 – August 28th

Rainbow trout; June – September 30th with the best fishing occurring September 1 – 30th.

After late September the weather becomes way to unpredictable for me to tell anyone that it is a good bet to come to fish.

I will soon have a calendar on the pages here that will show days that are still open for this season. There are many people inquiring about trips and having a booking calendar on the site will be a big help for those wondering if I am available.

Soon it will be February and I will be gone, working at the cabin. Your e-mails will be checked by my wife and she will be able to contact me there. I have no internet at the cabin however the phone number on the contact page here will work out there. We can arrange details by phone during February and March if I am away working.

Regards,

Ard

 

  1. January 23, 2014
    Brent

    Good info. Thanks Ard!

  2. January 25, 2014
    Dewayne

    Very helpful post. Especially for those considering their first trip to Alaska. I know that pike movement keys off water temps. Are salmon runs dependent on water temps at all, or do they key off the hours of daylight?

  3. January 25, 2014

    Ard, Great article! Can’t wait to get up there and fish. When I do, I’ll be looking you up.

    Derek

  4. January 26, 2014
    Luis

    Ard, Do you skate flies in Alaska?

  5. January 27, 2014
    Ard Stetts

    I’ll try to answer both posts at once here,

    The salmon returns are not so tuned to water temps as they are flow levels. When water levels are low they tend to hold in pools until the rivers or creeks are driven up by either rain or glacier runoff.

    You can skate flies for silvers and trout but some locations are better for this than others. The higher the density of salmon the more likely to find those who will hit a surface fly. Likewise for trout.

    Ard

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