Tag Archives: silver salmon

Can We Look Toward Silvers Already?

Hoping to think about something better than the current sockeye situation…  Silvers will be right around the corner.  As I mentioned,  I flew down to Sitka last week and passing the rivers,  I took some pictures of how the river mouths are looking this year.

Old Italio:

P6230019

Looks pretty normal.  Not a lot of fish hold in the lower river,  so most fishing is upwards toward the creek and above.  Between where the creek enters and the water spreads out over the flats,  each curve cuts a hole that silvers stack up in.

 

Middle Italio:

Middle Italio has a huge sweeping curve at the mouth.  Id expect there to be 5 really good holding holes down there below my cabin,  providing the loop remains and doesn’t cut through to an Ox Bow.  Absolutely no hole in front of my cabin this year.  It has completely filled in and was just a braided flat when we were last out there on the ground.

New Italio/Akwe:

The confluence looks pretty normal,  with a nice deep hole where the New Italio enters the Akwe.  The Akwe continues its march down the coast toward Yakutat.  It dumps into the ocean well this side of the old Italio River Adventures camp.  The old trail through there now goes around a curve and drops off 20 feet into the water.  Be careful if you are riding the Ryman Camp ATV through there!  The Akwe is growing longer,  but it isn’t gaining any gradient.  The river below the confluence is just a big-wide flat with no place for fish to hold once they get through the gauntlet of seals at the mouth.

East:

P6230026

Looks pretty normal.  I did NOT see any kings in the mouth as I flew over.  This should be the prime window for kings there,  but they don’t always nose their way into the East and can go straight into the Alsek.  I heard Alsek is having a good king run this season.

Not the Storm we were Looking For

Well,  that was a bit of a let-down…  Instead of 3-4 inches last night,  the rain stopped completely around 6am and we didn’t see more than about an inch.  Flows didn’t do much,  with it topping out around 840 CFS.  OK,  yes,  that is still a lot of water,  but we’re forecast now to just have showers every day through the coming week.  Heavy at times tonight,  but it is completely dry right now.

Here’s what things look like right now:

FlowWX

Hey!  The sun’s out!

A Bit of a Boost?

I’m chalking up this year’s silver run as a bust,  but…  We’re seeing a late surge of fresh fish right now.  Tsiu is seeing a fresh run coming in this week and there was a bit of a scramble for people to get back out there and fish it again.  Italio,  which normally has a later run,  is going good and has been pretty consistent for more than a week.  A few fish caught on the Lost and Tawah,  so that seems better than it has been.  No fresh reports off the Situk though.

We had another storm roll through late last week,  which brought the flows up above 900 CFS.  Flooded,  but not a blow-out.  Had there been more fish in the river,  this level of flood would have still been very fishable.  As it was,  it scattered the few fish to the winds and I haven’t talked to anyone since the flood that has fished the Situk.  Flows are back down below 500 now, which is normal for this time of year.

I think we’ll have decent fishing through the first half of October,  for the very few people who will be here to see it.  Snow level this morning dropped to only 3,000 feet and the past three days have felt decidedly colder.  We have lost the warmth in these semi-sunny days.  Winter is fast approaching now.

Better News and Not so Better News

This afternoon,  we had a couple reports from the mouth of the Situk.  Some really good fish coming in at last!  And that is with the commercial nets going into the estuary two days ago…  Can this mean we’re finally starting to see the east-side rivers and their runs arriving?  I hope so.  Good reports off Italio for those fishing the mouth of the Middle.  Good fresh fish coming in there as well.  Lots of fish up at the spruce and alder holes,  but those fish continue to ignore what you throw at them.

And for your next weather report…  We’re expecting a 50 knot storm with about 5 inches of rain to hit us tomorrow afternoon.  This looks to be the worst storm of the season so far.  It could be that these fish are pushing in ahead of the storm instead of the run coming in in earnest,  but I’m choosing to still be optimistic.  Once things settle down after the storm,  we’ll see if there are more fish behind these ones.

meteogram

Yana continues to be the star river for the region,  with Italio limping in a distant second.  Akwe reports have been pretty poor for most,  but a couple people out there did just fine.  Akwe is an odd animal and you really need some experience to know where the fish like to hold and where they don’t.  This year with the runs being so late,  that only gets magnified without waves of silvers stacking up everywhere.  Also a mixed bag from the East River.  One good report and several poor ones.  Depends on if you are on the fish or not…

The bite had been very slow the past few days on the Situk,  with the few fish coning in pushing far upstream before they settle down.  As high as 8 miles before the fishing gets good,  so the early part of the float was much better than the end.  That is opposite of what we normally expect this time of year,  with most people rowing downstream to get to the lower half as quickly as possible.  But with a fresh batch coming in today,  we could be back to “normal”,  whatever that is now a days…

Still Slow

I’ll lead with the rationalization that a bad day here is still a pretty good day…  But…

This year’s silver run continues to be mediocre at best.  At least for the Situk,  Italio and the other east-side rivers.  Starting out at the Italio…  of all the fly-outs I have talked to over the past week,  all but one has struggled to justify the cost of the fly-out.  A group of 10 came back with 12 fish and that seems to be the typical experience out there.  The Italio River Adventures group that traded out yesterday said they had to work hard to get fish  unusual for the Italio.  Although they said there was plenty of fish in the usual places,  there are fewer fish than usual and the bite continues to be slow.  The guys who have been camping nearly every September for going on more than 35 years also said it was slow this week.  Italio continues to underperform its reputation.  Apparently just two guys have flown out and caught their limits,  but I didn’t talk to them directly.  They may just be a rumor…  But the Italio has just about the latest run in the area and the fish may still be coming

Situk is also slow for most,  but not all.  On foot,  it has been challenging with the higher water and not a whole lot of fresh fish coming into the river this week.  You can still get your limit of two a day,  but it takes a lot more effort than we have come to expect.  One exception though…  The guys fishing with Frank reported landing about 30 a day,  while coming back to town fairly early.  Otherwise,  the Situk reports have been consistently weak.  As one guy described it…  “It was OK.  Not great,  but OK.  Better than being at work.”

As disappointing as it has been so far this side of Yakutat Bay,  reports off the Yana have been universally great.  Right now,  that is definitely the best fly-out option.  Tsiu is also having a great season.  I have yet to hear a negative report from any river west of Yakutat.  Those runs are earlier than on the Situk,  which makes me suspect we still have a lot of fresh fish to come on this side of the bay.  The Tsiu can be so much earlier that a typical year we’d already be seeing the run on the decline by now.  Not so this year – still at its peak.

In other words,  I still have hope that the run is late and not just dismal.  And like the guy said above,  a bad day on the river here is still a pretty good day…

The Storm has Passed

The storm petered out a little earlier than I was expecting.  Intense,  but short.  It dumped a lot of rain over the course of a few hours and the flows skyrocketed to just over 800 CFS.  But the heavy rain ended around 4pm and although we’re continuing to see some drizzle,  the river is already dropping fast.

graph

Down to 741 before darkness turned the gage off.  By morning,  it’ll probably be back into the 500’s,  which is still very fishable and this higher water should finally entice some fish into these east-side streams from Lost and Tawah,  to Situk,  Italio,  Akwe and East.

Tsiu is Very Good Right Now

“Tsiu is very good right now…”

Received a message from David Crawford off the Tsiu.  Every fall,  he sends me a fishing report from his stay at the Tsiu.  Unfortunately our internet has been down for the past two days,  so I wasn’t able to get this posted immediately…

“Lots of fish in the river, hitting multiple different color flies, big and heavy worked best with my 8wt floating line. Polliwogs worked at times which is fun. The river is productive all day but it tends to slow down around mid day.  Early morning and late afternoon were the best times to fish. When we left everyone was saying their are some storms on the way with significant rain.  At times it was so good if you didn’t get a hookup in 1 or 2 casts you would check your fly to make sure it was ok.

Must have Chartreuse flies. Pink, black, and purple colors also worked very well at times.

Thanks
Dave”

I’ll have a report off the rest of the rivers later today…