Category Archives: Steelhead

I Have Finally Had Enough

No,  I haven’t made a post in a month and a half and yes,  there is a reason…

There are always people who find it fun to crap on others,  as if this will boost their own self-esteem.  I have had to deal with a handful of losers since opening the fly shop that have to place blame on why their life (or trip) sucks.  Certainly can’t blame themselves for their inability to catch fish…  I try to provide accurate information on what is happening on the rivers here in Yakutat,  so visitors can make the best decisions about their trips and know a little of what to expect.  But to some,  that is unacceptable.

In March,  it was looking like we were going to see a dramatically early run,  with high water temps and no snow.  The winter fish had already been down throughout the river for nearly a month and as the flows dropped after the mid-month storm,  tremendous numbers of spring fish were coming in all at once.

I have far less influence on when people come than most think.  Most people have scheduled vacations from their jobs and non-refundable airline tickets,  so their dates are set 6 months ahead and have no ability to adjust for an early (or late) run based on anything I type here.  But…  if the run is coming in and the best fishing of the entire season is happening when ordinarily there are few people on the river,  some people with flexible schedules can drop what they are doing and react to what is happening.

But it doesn’t increase the total number of people coming…  It just enables some people to get their trips out of the way earlier,  relieving the later crowds and having fewer people fishing over spawners like we have in May.  My reports don’t harm the river,  just shifting the people around a little bit so the entire season can be enjoyed.  If anything,  it helps the river.  But that’s not what the losers were saying…

Believe it,  or not…  I am the reason the Situk has been ruined.  One guy e-mailed saying I was selling the river out.  Let’s see…  The lodges make money on the Situk.  The rental car places make money.  The gas stations,  the restaurants,  the city government and Forest Service all make money off the Situk.  The guy running the fly shop?  Not so much.  You see,  we just started our 12th season and I have yet to make back my initial investment.  So I have literally been working every day in the shop for 12 years and writing reports and answering phone calls at 5am…  for nothing.  Zip.  Zero. Ya,  I’m selling the river out.

The bitching mostly comes from non-locals who at some point had someone “sell” them the Situk and they were just fine with that.  But they crap on me because I would dare to let someone else in on the secret.  These losers also follow my blog to find out what is happening for their trip,  but are jerks to me and dragging my reputation into the toilet because other people read my reports too.  I don’t have a lot of patience for people anymore who got theirs and then try to prevent others from enjoying the same things.  Or the guys bitching about me posting reports,  while they themselves post glory photos on their Instagram page for their much smaller audience.  Kind of hypocritical.  Essentially,  I have a group of haters who are angry that I tell people the truth of what is happening.  If you have a problem with the truth,  you may want to rethink your life.

Most of the people I have met because of the shop are an absolute delight and my life is richer because of the friendships we have made.  The tiny number of morons tend to cast an oversized shadow over the good times.  What a sad and pathetic life you have if all you can do is complain about people who are just trying to do their best.  My apologies to all the new subscribers that this is the first post you’ll read.  You deserve better,  but then again,  so do I.  I’ll be taking time off from the blog and won’t be posting any fishing reports for a while.  I’m tired.


It is April 4th and there are a LOT of fish coming in.

Since my last report,  the river has continued to drop and we had bright sun almost every day.  Reports were that the fishing really slowed down up above 9 Mile,  with the fish going into hiding,  or being very easily spooked.  Multiple reports that the waves of fresh spring steelhead continue to stream in at the mouth.  One report that there were a ton of tight-lipped fish down there,  but all the other reports are that they are on.  One guy this morning said he stepped into the first hole right off the landing and saw 7 fresh ones in the tail-out.  Landed one and moved upstream,  where he landed 4 of 4 casts…  Overcast yesterday probably made a big difference.

Still not a lot of fishing pressure,  but certainly a lot more than we’d usually expect to see the first couple days of April.  I’d expect this coming weekend to be pretty crowded,  because IT SHOULD BE CROWDED considering how many fish are already in the river.

Is the run early,  or do we have the right conditions for a big run?  No idea yet.

We were supposed to have rain last night,  then snow this morning and back to rain every day.  So of course the sun is back out again and other than a brief sprinkle,  no real precip so far.  Flow is down to 170CFS right now.  Through most of the past week,  water temps have topped 44 degrees in the day,  while dropping back down to 38 at night.  If it does turn to rain,  the temps will be stabilized with lows of 40 and highs of only 42.

Here is a photo sent to me by Matt Carr from a week ago as the flows were still dropping into the “ideal” range…


Nobody Wants Me to Share This!

OK,  the guys here right now are being very coy and unwilling to share any fishing info…  Because the run is in…  NOW!  Conditions are perfect and although the run was not early,  it is coming in in a hurry.  Probably too late for a quick trip this weekend,  but the coming week looks EXCELLENT!

It’s On!

Rodeo Hole

Someone reminded me that I was going to post photos Chris took of the Rodeo Hole before they started cutting.  Well,  here it is…

This was all before the storm too…  They were able to cut a path through.  After 3,000 CFS,  it may have swung some of this junk to the bank,  or flushed it out completely.

River in Good Shape

Looking really good right now for conditions.  Flow is back down to 360 CFS and water temps have been scratching at 41 degrees the past couple days.  Heard from two sources that there are now fish in the river…  The lake is open,  so starting to see colored fish throughout.  And a handful of fresh spring steelhead scattered around.

Great weather through the week too!  But I really wouldn’t recommend scheduling an early trip just yet.  Yes,  we’re seeing a few fish,  but not enough to draw in a crowd.  Enough for the three groups I know are coming in the next couple days,  but that’ll pretty much tie up most of the holes holding fish right now…

So yes,  we’re looking good,  but no,  we’re not quite there yet.  Looking like an average run timing-wise at this moment.  My concern though is the lack of snow.  The water temp is going to skyrocket and stay high early,  unless we get consistent rain throughout the entire season.  Please no more 3000 CFS storms,  but looks like that is what broke up the lake ice and is starting to attract fresh ones in.

And the river is NOT open all the way.  They worked again on the biggest/worst logjams,  but the flow was still too high to get all the smaller ones.  Hard to cut a tree when it is 2 feet under water…  They are getting closer,  but still have several more to deal with.

It’s a Blow-out!

Beautiful sunny day today.  Short break between storms.  Flow last night topped out at 3,000 CFS.  About a week ago,  we had the first round of sleet,  but it didn’t drop that much moisture.  Brought the river up to maybe 150 CFS.  Just as the really heavy next wave hit,  the guys started cutting logs.  The water rose really fast and the water temp crashed.  With 47 degree rain,  I kind of expected warm water,  but it dipped back down to 35 degrees and stayed there.  Ground was frozen and although not much snow,  it was enough to super-cool the water as it ran into the Situk.


Frank’s boat survived,  but just barely.  He had it tied up under the bridge and when Cody went out to check,  it had about 2 inches before it was crushed under the bridge by the rising flow.  Water was all the way past the ramp and into the parking lots.

Right now,  flow is back down to 1680 CFS and with 59 degree air temp,  the water us up to 38 degrees.  I’m guessing we’ll have some spring fish pushing in because of this storm,  as well as a break-up of the lake ice to release the winter run.  Changing back to 100% rain tomorrow,  so this flood is far from over.  Once it drops through,  I think we’ll be in the throws of the run.

Too Miserable for Chris

Chris said he was going fishing today.  And…  nope.  The river flow is going through the roof and we’re looking at another 4 inches of rain before the storm ends.  The gage is broken,  so no accurate flow rate,  but it is heading straight up.

“The Boys” did go fishing at the lower end just as the last storm hit.  Flow then was still under 100 and the water temp crashed again to 35 degrees.  They didn’t see anything.  It has been a week of constant sleet since then,  turning to real rain last night.

Cody and Kraig from the Lodge started cutting logjams yesterday with Frank’s help and guidance.  They were able to clear the mega-jam in the Rodeo Hole,  but will be taking some time off until the river stops rising.  They didn’t “see” anything in the river yesterday,  but the water was rising fast and pretty opaque.  This flood should start some fish coming in,  providing the temperature stays high enough.

Chris sent me some photos of the Rodeo logjam and I’ll post that mess as soon as I find where  saved them to.  Otherwise,  no real news yet…