Tag Archives: situk fall steelhead

Watching the Temperature

Mid-October and we’re all waiting for the arrival of our fall steelhead run.  The key trigger to push fish into the Situk seems to be water temperature.  As the temp drops into the 6-4 degree C range,  we see fish pushing in. That’s 43-38 degrees F for those of us that are Celsius-challenged…  Once it drops much below that range,  they tend to stop until we ether see a mid-winter warm spell,  or the eventual spring thaw in April.  Really,  about 36 degrees is where everything comes to a halt for the winter for additional incoming steelhead.

As of right now,  we’re still hovering about 2-3 F degrees too warm.  We have been seeing the average temperature drop that much over the past week,  so in another week,  the trend should be right about where we want it to be.  Almost there!


Looking like a November 1st start for our fall run,  with it improving daily through the first half of the month.  Getting closer,  but no reports of any steelhead in the river yet.  Chris went fishing the past couple days and hooked into a lot of silvers and dollies,  with a couple resident rainbows to round things out.  Also landed a gorgeous sea-run cut on Tawah last night.  He thought he had a steelie that took a drifted egg,  but instead it emerged as a HUGE dolly up above the bridge.  Nope,  not yet!

Water’s High, but Still Fishable

We hit about 520 CFS yesterday,  then the rain stopped and we’re moving into cold-clear weather.  It is right at 500 right now.  Water temp is between 42 and 43 degrees.  It’ll be hard to wade downstream right now,  but above the West Fork,  the water is pretty darned good.

Chris and Co. went fishing today for a little while.  They hooked 3 and landed 1.  They weren’t out very long.  He was playing coy with me as to where they were fishing,  but it is pretty easy to guess it was probably the Christmas Tree Hole.  Sorry Chris.

Here is the forecast for the next week:


We’ll have some more rain over the weekend,  then it dries up and becomes clear and cold.  Possible snow by next weekend.  It is very lightly sprinkling right now,  so the flow will drop some more before it starts rising again.  Like I said at the top though – still very fishable upstream above the bridge and the West Fork.  Still a lot of dollies and resident rainbows throughout the upper river,  but they aren’t hitting as fast and furious as they were in the lower water.

Also some fresh chrome-bright silvers in Tawah Creek for our traditional Thanksgiving Coho.

We Got our Rain!

Rain has been falling pretty hard off and on for the past couple days,  mostly soaking in.  Flows have come up to 261CFS,  which is just the normal average for this date.  258CFS is the mean for today…  So flows are perfect and temperature is 42/43 degrees.  Also perfect.

Had a visitor a couple days ago when the flows were still down at 100.  He wanted to swing streamers and there wasn’t enough water to do it.  He knew it,  but that was what he wanted to do (what I’d want to do too).  He didn’t land any steelhead.  Had some takes,  but caught lots of resident rainbows and dollies to keep him entertained.  It was a short weekend trip,  so not a lot of time on the river.

Today,  Teen had two guys come through the shop on their way home on flight 66.  One of them said he landed 13 today alone.  The steelhead are no longer in hiding and have come out into the river again.

So overall,  I think we have exceptional conditions right now.  We have more rain coming through this week,  but it doesn’t sound like more than an inch or two.  I think as dry as we have been,  we can easily handle another couple inches,  especially since it seems to be coming in showers and breaks.

The run is on.

Lots of Silvers and Dollies

Two weeks ago,  we had really good early steelhead.  About a week ago,  we had a small shot of rain,  that brought in another wave of silvers.  Now,  the water is so low (80 CFS) the silvers have no way to get up into the tributary creeks where they usually spawn and so are really “in the way”…  Lots of silvers and lots of dollies,  but the steelhead have tucked up under the deepest cover and are very hard to get to.

Chris has been out twice this past week.  First trip – lots of silvers and dollies,  but not a single steelhead.  He checked in with the other locals he basically were having the same success…  He said he couldn’t get a decent drift anywhere without having a couple silvers attack.  He went back out day before yesterday (Wed) and did manage to hook (but not land) one steelhead at the logjam below Christmas Tree.  LOTS of dollies and one really nice resident rainbow.

This morning,  a couple from Anchorage came through with a fresh report…  He landed one steelhead at or near the bridge,  but LOTS of dollies.  Lots of silvers.  The steelhead he could see were tucked as deeply as they could be under the logs.

So they are there,  but we need some moisture to get the silvers out of the way.  A little turbidity would be nice too…  We do have some light showers – both snow and rain over the next few days,  but nothing like we need.  These silvers will be dying off over the next week or two and that problem will solve itself regardless.

CFS is 78 right now…

Fall Steelhead are In!

I had heard that our past mayor had landed three steelhead up at 9 Mile as of several days ago.  Today,  I had a local crotchety commercial fisherman (I’ll reserve his name to protect the innocent) come in looking for beads…  He said if he could catch steelhead,  then there must be a lot of them!  They had headed out to catch some dollies,  but landed several steelhead instead.

Water is definitely cold and in the perfect range for steelhead.  We woke to some overcast this morning,  but it cleared up again this afternoon.  There is a 30% chance of snow showers Sunday!  We’re supposed to see some snow in the evenings,  changing to light rain showers in the day.  We really need some rain badly with the flow down to just 100 CFS right now.

A shot of rain will bring in another batch of late silvers,  but also should really get the fall steelhead run moving.  We still have a little too many silvers in the way to call this the steelhead run,  but it is looking like the coming weeks will be good for both.

I had a group of silver fishermen depart a couple days ago.  They said there was a lot of fresh chromers in the weir hole and just above.  Nothing in the lower river,  so anything that has been coming in in this clear thin water has pushed up to at least the weir before slowing down.  They said the silvers at 9 Mile were all dark.  One float report said there were fresh chromers at the confluence too.

Confirmation – Fall Steelhead

I had a report earlier today that a big batch of fish came in a couple days ago.  Then they disappeared.  Chris and Tanis headed up to 9 Mile this afternoon and did pretty well.  In about 4 hours of fishing,  Tanis landed 1 steelhead and hooked into another 2.  Chris landed 4 and hooked an additional 7 or 8.  Chris also landed one resident rainbow,  one dolly and 5 nasty silvers…

Tanis' first steelhead of the season

Tanis’ first steelhead of the season

A nice chrome-bright hen

A nice chrome-bright hen

The run does seem to be coming in now,  with decent fishing to be had.  Weather was overcast,  flows were about normal.  Water temp is perfect.  Supposed to rain the rest of the week though beginning tomorrow night.

Fish On

Fish On

Chris' first

Chris’ first

Chris apparently landed a 37 incher,  but Tanis wasn’t within range to get a photo.

And another

And another

The resident rainbow

The resident rainbow