Category Archives: Fishing

This supposed to be a fishing related web site, after all.

Some Good Reports Today

Getting some better reports from off the Situk today.  One frequent flier said this was the first day they were able to land fish after fish like “normal”.  They did have access to a jet-boat though.  Prior to today,  the fish were jumping all around them,  but so scattered that you couldn’t get many.  Today was different.  Water flow is still over 700 CFS,  but looking better.

Report from someone off the ocean…  They went out with a charter boat and hit their halibut limit by 10am.  Then were able to limit on silvers too.  They were in the shop around 3pm,  so it didn’t take them long to do all that and be back here again.

Report from some day fishermen on the Italio…  OK,  but not that great.  They had to work very hard to land 4 fish…  They worked down at the mouth and walked upstream as the tide pushed in.  So things are still pretty weak out there,  but at least it is fishable and not completely blown out (like some other rivers we know and love…).


Here we Go Again

Although our 10 inches of rain from Monday to Wednesday didn’t happen,  we did get between 4-5 inches in the first round,  had a gorgeous sunny day today and now we have a new front moving in to dump another inch or more overnight.  They are calling for the rains to subside by mid-morning,  but we’ll see what actually happens.  It just started raining a few minutes ago,  to match the driving blustery winds we have had for several hours.  Here is the front moving in about an hour ago:


We had 70+ degree temperatures all day today,  with a heavy muggy feeling.  The hangar bay dripped and sweated all day,  making everything drenched inside,  while it was gorgeous outside.  The tile in the bathrooms were sweating.  Tonight about 8pm,  the temp began dropping and we went outside to watch the front move in quickly.

The 9 Mile Gage stopped broadcasting at 830p tonight,  with a flow level still way up at 970 CFS,  down from over 1,200 this morning.  One sunny day doesn’t dry the ground out,  so tonight’s rain will definitely bring the rivers up high.  The (not good news,  but) better news is that it will dry out tomorrow and we’ll just have showers for the rest of the week.  If the forecasts are right and what are the odds…?


It was a weird,  uncomfortable and anxious feeling day today.  If this was the mid-west,  it would have seemed like tornadoes were on their way.  Well,  at least we don’t have to deal with that stuff up here…

In the meantime,  I was supposed to send my mom some fish last month for her to take to my grandmother. They were planning to have salmon for lunch and I…  forgot.  OOPS!  So in honor of them and their missed lunch,  I made myself a fresh roasted sockeye fillet sandwich with my pesto sauce on it.  Yum!


This is what they missed…  Extra sharp white cheddar and avocado slices topped it off.

And a little over a week ago,  we came back from Juneau in the 206,  with a DC-3 parked on the ramp.  Tanis kept asking me if he could take ours out of the hangar over and over and I told him NO.  What did he do???  OK,  just Trans Northern with a passenger flight.  He got to fuel it though and pull our DC-3 tow bar out and put it to use.  Here it is leaving the next morning:


Trans Northern parked on the ramp with their similar color scheme to our N91314


Waiting to taxi out,  with the Alaska Jet coming off at Alpha


Ours is safe and sound in her bed


Well,  need to be up at 330am as usual,  so that’s all for tonight.  Stay warm and dry tonight.

Doom and Gloom?

Ya…  not so much.  Weather Service is saying we have had up to 1.5 inches of rain overnight,  but the Situk’s flow is only at 802 CFS as of 12:30pm.  Rains will continue through today,  but taper off and become showers Tuesday morning.  Tuesday night they become heavy again and taper again Wed AM.  Calling for storm total of 5-7 inches now,  half of what they were expecting…

So it isn’t looking quite as bad as it was.  Yes,  this is still a lot of rain and it sure looks miserable outside my window right now (I like to whine about being stuck in the fly shop instead of out fishing,  but that doesn’t look like a bad thing right now…).

YCA Update

Hans flew the Otter back into the airport at 4:13pm tonight.  They have some more fine-tuning to do with the new engine,  but looking like they will be back to full operation shortly.  Now we just need to weather the storm,  but it is still calm and dry at the moment…

Tanis and I flew out to get our boat pulled back to the cabin.  I managed to forget to bring the camera,  so no photos of the river mouths out there this season…  Saw the Otter still on the beach with lights blinking and prop turning,  but engine cowls were off.  Flying over the Old Italio,  there were two small pods of fish (less than a dozen total),  so still not looking too hot on the Old.  I talked to Pat out there and he said they fished it and those pods were just humpies.

We passed over the Middle Italio and it was still too dark to really see into the water.  It looked like hordes of fishermen though with the Italio River Adventures group and the guys renting the Forest Service cabin all fishing down at the mouth.  I’d assume they were catching fish,  but I couldn’t see any from above.

We landed,  filled gas cans and headed to the boat.  Our trailer tire was flat,  so had to go back to the cabin again and get Green Slime and the pump.  Once the tire was up,  we launched the skiff and headed up the Akwe.  As we headed out,  we stirred up a few fish,  but they were clearly just humpies there,  where we park the boat…

We drove up the Akwe to deliver something to John Latham’s camp and to say hi to Chris.  He wasn’t there,  so we dumped and left.  Jetting up and back down to the mouth,  I only spotted one fish jumping and one small pod of silvers that were up on a shallow shelf.  The Akwe is still black and you couldn’t see anything in the deep holes.  Maybe there are fish there,  but I didn’t see much.  New Italio is clearing up nicely,  but it was just those humpies that we saw.

Pulled the boat out at the mouth and towed it back to the cabin without any problems.  Back in the plane,  we headed home,  seeing the Otter was gone and Hans’ helicopter in its place.  Yay!

How Much Rain?

A local came in and casually mentioned that we had received about 19 inches of rain over the past 10 days.  Well,  not exactly.  I verified the official rain total with National Weather Service and they came to a total of 12.68″ of rain over 10 days.  Thank goodness we are not in Huston with their 2 feet of rain,  but we are half-way there and we just call this “Fall” around here.

Not to worry.  The next two days are going to be relatively dry with just occasional showers,  then we are scheduled to get another 10 inches in the next storm.  So in two weeks,  we will have as much rain as Texas has seen from the hurricane.  The amazing thing to me is that we never broke through the 1,000 CFS mark on the Situk.

Here is the 10-day flow chart…  Really,  that 12 1/2 inches fell over 7 days,  not 10:


The next storm is supposed to have heavy winds and 7-10 inches between Monday and Wednesday.  We’ll have a bit of a reprieve through the weekend,  but then we get hammered.  Again.


I’ll keep you updated as we move along through what looks to be a very wet September already.  Our average rainfall for Sept and Oct runs around 20 inches and we’ll be half-way there inside of the first 6 days this year.

Yak Coastal Update

I don’t want to give a play-by-play as this unfolds,  but I know there are a lot of people out there anxious about their coming trips…  So I will give you this update…

Hans just sling-loaded the engine from the plane to the airport a few minutes ago.  The new engine arrived last night in freight,  along with the two mechanics.  They are going to transfer all the wiring harnesses,  etc to the new engine and sling it out to the plane.  So things are moving along swiftly and Yakutat Coastal should be back in full operation in short order.


And in other news…  We had more rain this morning and last night,  although nothing like the night before.  It was enough to raise the Situk further to 899 CFS.  We didn’t have that much rain here at the airport,  so the rise must have been due to heavy rains up against the mountains.  In any case,  the river is up higher than yesterday.  The successful people on the Situk today have been in boats.  I don’t think there is any place you can stand in the river without being swept away…  Look for shallower spots where there is slower current,  or a back eddy,  where the fish will be resting out of the strong current.

I have sent a few people out to Sawmill Cove,  but they reported still mostly humpies out there.  The mouth of Ankau just off Graveyard Beach has been very productive,  but you need to get permission from the KWAAN before trespassing on their private land.  Easily accessible by boat though and it is well protected for using Leonard’s Landing’s small rental skiffs.

Tawah is still fishable in some locations,  but the water is well up the banks and there isn’t any place to stand in the water.  Just fishing from the high bank with no place to easily land a fish.

Fishing is pretty tough anywhere right now,  but more and more fish are coming in and even in high water,  the fishing will improve over the coming days.  This I a much stronger run than last year’s mediocre run.


Quite a week around here…  I’ll address these two rumors chronologically,  leaving the most serious for last…

  1. John Gates did NOT sell the Red Roof B&B,  or his charter boat company.  He is still operating,  although the B&B is full for the remainder of the silver season this year.  He may still have openings for halibut,  but I don’t know for sure.  His phone IS disconnected,  because of a problem with the phone company and he is trying to get that resolved.  One of our great problems here is that ACS only sends a repair crew to Yakutat once-in-a-while,  so phone problems that would be immediately fixed in the real world can take months to see repairs here…  But he is still in business.
  2. Hans did NOT crash the Otter and did NOT get med-evac’d out.  Two days ago,  he was flying back to Yakutat and noticed odd readings on his engine instruments.  He immediately cut power and landed the plane,  so as to not cause damage to the engine just-in-case.  The turbine engine on the Otter costs as much as 5 of my Cessna 206’s…  5 of the whole plane,  not just the engines…  The plane is safe and no one was injured.  Just a safety precaution by an exceptional pilot.


The Otter is tied down on the sand flats between the Ahrnklin and Dangerous Rivers.  They hope to have it repaired and back in service within a week or so.  In the meantime,  air charters are pretty limited,  with Hans flying just the Cessna 180 and a little part-time help from Kip Fanning (who converted his charter biz to an air ambulance last year and has to be available for emergencies) and Drake from Haines (who has filled in here in the fall for a couple decades).

Until the Otter is back,  there won’t be any day fishing fly-outs.  It is a stretch for them to be able to meet the needs of the outlying lodges right now.  Expect delays if you are scheduled to fly out to the Italio,  Akwe,  East and Tsiu.  We all hope to see things back on schedule soon and we’ll be back to having fly-out options shortly.  In the meantime,  it’ll be a little more crowded on the Situk and road system fishing spots.  But we’ll get through it.