Category Archives: Fishing Report

My Only 1st-Hand Fishing Report

Night before last,  Patrick came through the shop with a fresh report…  I would have posted this earlier,  but I’m suffering through a really bad cold/flu and have been in bed most of the past week.

So he went down and fished hard down at the lower landing end of the river.  Chased some fish around,  but didn’t touch any.  I haven’t had any success in this fall season down there.  Seems as though these fall steelhead are in a hurry to get upstream and don’t slow down enough to have much success in the lower river.  And his efforts were rewarded by getting charged in the dark by a sow with cubs…  So we still have some bears on the river.

Next day,  he went to the bridge and had better success.  First cast in the bridge hole,  he had a steelhead hammer his bead.  He said he was excited to have a hot fishing day ahead of him.  Unfortunately for a long time,  that was his only hit…  Water was clear,  low and had become pretty cold after a few days of deep freezing clear nights.  Then it started to rain…

The moment the raindrops started hitting the surface,  the bite was on.  He said it was a fish on nearly every cast.  A mix of dollies,  resident rainbows,  steelhead and one huge silver.  Then it got dark and he had to get to the shop before we closed…

So that is the ONLY fishing report I have had.  Right now,  we have one guy at the Forest Service cabins,  three guys in a jet-boat,  Patrick,  two guys arrived last night and two more on today’s morning flight.  There were a couple extra cars in the 9 Mile parking lot,  but the people weren’t seen anywhere…  Pretty quiet.

It has now changed back to rain – well,  scattered showers.  Warmer,  so water temp is back to being perfect.  Flow right at 300 CFS.  Just about perfect conditions through the weekend,  with heavier rain coming Sunday night…

Ideal Conditions this Week

I still have not talked to anyone off the river.  Just a handful of people heading out to fish as they arrived.  So no actual first-hand reports.  But…

The snow we were supposed to see Friday night didn’t happen.  Just a brief flurry before turning to a light drizzle.  An occasional shower this weekend,  but nothing cold enough to stick.  The cooler weather did drop the water temp into the ideal range for the past 4 days,  which should be attracting fresh steelhead into the system.  Flows are still looking really good with it hanging at 224CFS right now.

Everything is just looking spectacular on paper right now for the bridge area.  Weather forecast is for sunny and partly cloudy skies through the early part of the coming week,  with another chance of snow beginning Wednesday.  Showing a mix of rain and snow Thursday where the forecast ends.

Looking so much better than last year’s deep cold that shut the river down this week.

Time to Get Back on Track

And another full month passes without a post.  Just chalk it up as one of those years…

September was unbelievably dry…  October is making up for it.  Back to back storms that have really not let up for weeks.  Including the biggest thunderstorm I have ever seen in Alaska!  We just don’t get them here.  This one a few nights ago lasted for 6 hours.  One strike hit the big FAA radar tower along runway 02/20 while I was watching out the window.  Then we had two strikes on the GCI cell tower about 200 yards from the hangar.  Never have I before actually appreciated having that damn cell tower outside my window taller than my building until it became the lightening rod to draw strikes away from my house!

The last actual fishing report I received was back the first week of October,  so three weeks old.  One of the Yak Lodge guides had his family here as a season closer and they floated the river.  Probably the last boat down the river…  Lots of fresh silvers coming in with the slightly higher water at the time and he reported seeing a school of 8 clearly fresh steelhead in one hole.  Obviously those weren’t the only ones in the river,  so it was a good early sign even with the water still very warm.

First real steelheader came through the shop heading to the Forest Service cabin on Sunday.  Two more heading to the other cabin came through Monday. Won’t see or hear from them for a week,  so still no fresh fishing report.  However,  Kraig from the Lodge stopped in earlier today to say the river is choked off at the top and bottom.  Big jam at the Rodeo Hole that he was able to get around by dragging over the gravel bar,  only to hit a big one not far above that.  He said he cut a path down to the cabins,  but it is pretty ugly with new trees and jams just below.  So floating the river with anything not inflatable isn’t much of an option right now (and probably not till spring).

Current river conditions are really pretty good right now.  Flow has come back down to 371CFS,  from a high of near 2,700 just a week ago.  Yes,  that can knock a lot of trees over!  I think 300 is ideal for this fall run fishing above and below the bridge.  Can’t really sight-fish well,  but they are in there and react really well to swung streamers.

Water temp is still a little warm,  but close to where we want to be.  Didn’t get our first real frost till just this past weekend.  Riding between 43 and 45 degrees right now,  but hasn’t quite dipped below that 6C perfect number yet.  Just one degree off…

Probably no point in giving you a weather forecast,  but here goes anyway…  Was supposed to be 100% chance of rain today,  but it has been dry all day.  Now it is saying 30% of showers tonight,  then clear through Friday.  That will definitely give us some cold nights to drop the water temp.  Then a chance of snow Friday night and into Saturday morning before turning back to rain.

If that actually happens,  this could actually be a great week out on the river.  But that is a big “if”…

And FYI…  The shop is open Tues-Sat 10am to 6pm.  Closed Sunday and Monday.  If you are coming in on the evening flight and want to come by,  give me a heads up and we’ll wait for you.  Just in case the flight is a little late.

Last Day of Sept – May Hit 70 Degrees!

When all is said and done,  we will have had only 4 wet days in the entire month of September.  Our wettest month!  21 straight days of sun started off the month,  then a brief batch of rain on the 22nd that raised the river from about 121 CFS to 136.  Then another gorgeous sunny day,  followed by heavy rains that mostly soaked on in the 24th and 25th.  That initially brought the Situk up to about 270,  but was back down under 200 CFS by the morning of the 24th.  Another brief batch of drizzle on the 27th and we’re back down to 135 CFS…

This was enough water to turn on some of the smallest rivers and finally allow fresh fish to come in,  like the Middle and Old Italio’s and Yana.  East and Akwe Rivers continue to be good and will be throughout most of October.  Situk continues to be a struggle for most people,  although many are doing just fine.

We’re back to being “too low” again,  but Wednesday night is supposed to turn back to rain again for a few days.  So I think anyone coming mid-week and throughout the following week will have really good conditions.  Providing that rain actually comes of course…  I know the big lodges are already shutting down,  but most of the B&B’s will continue to operate throughout the year.  I believe there I still a LOT of silvers yet to come in!

Another hot spot is Ankau…  Spectacular fishing just outside of Kardy Lake!!!  Log Dump is spotty…  Sometimes silvers,  sometimes nothing but humpies.  Yakutat Coastal stops flying on October 12th this year.

WX Looking Better

Last week,  the National Weather Service in Yakutat said rain was coming,  but as we approached the start of said rain,  they kept pushing it off a day,  and again and again,  till they dropped the whole idea.  20 straight days of sunny weather in September is hammering the fishery here.  Rivers are drying up,  or the water is so clear in the bright sun that the fish go into deep hiding.

This week,  Weather Service again was forecasting a chance of rain on Monday.  Then they moved it up to Sunday,  then Saturday and now Friday (tomorrow).  Moving it closer instead of keeping it out of reach.  Clear all night tonight and all day tomorrow,  with a chance of fog and rain late in the evening!  Boy,  do we need it!

WXWX1WX2

Wish I had more to report on than the weather,  but 20 straight sunny days in a month that averages 20 inches of rain has made the fishing tough.  That looks to be changing though.  Who ever happened to schedule their trip for the coming week (providing this rain actually happens) will have won the fishing lottery!  There are a massive amount of fish stacked up in the ocean just itching to come in as soon as there is more water.  And those silvers in hiding will be coming out of hiding the moment the raindrops start hitting the surface.

But be careful what you wish for…  We can still get that 20 inches with what is left of the month…  This is Yakutat in September…

Mom, They’re Doing it Again…

National Weather Service is giving us a big plate of hope again…

WX

Who wants to get their hopes up this time???  Flow on the Situk is down to 131 CFS and we have day #19 of sunny weather.  I’m ready for some rain!

Fishing right now is a real challenge on most rivers.  Situk is very slow,  Lost and Tawah are disappearing.  Italio is not there…  Best fly-outs are to Akwe,  East and No Name Rivers.  They all three seem to be doing well with everyone happy when they come back.

I do think as soon as those water drops start to fall,  the fishing is going to be spectacular.  Who ever happened to time their trip for this coming week may have hit the jackpot.  And I do think we’ll have silvers well into October this year.  All those fish are just holding offshore waiting for some water and it’ll take them weeks to pack into the river systems.

No Rain…

Looks like Weather Service has given up hope for rain and taken it completely out of the forecast for the next week.  But…

The Akwe has been an exceptional fly out.  Middle Italio is really good right at the mouth,  since the fish can’t get upstream and are just stuck there.  East is also good.  Non  Name River has the worst bugs anyone has ever seen and the fishing is not that great.  Yana is good,  along with Tsiu.  Lost and Tawah have slowed down.  Situk is OK – a lot of fish,  but they aren’t all that enthusiastic for biting.  Depending on the time of day though…  Slow mid-day in the bright sun,  but much better early and late.

And if you have e-mailed me lately,  my server is acting up.  Call me if you have any questions right now,  since I can’t reply via e-mail.  Yes Gordon,  I did get the box in the mail and am holding it for you…