SE Report 10-27-09 PDF Print E-mail
This is the last report for 2009. The following is a short summary of what was a really good fishing season.

A harsh winter and late spring delayed the start of Dolly Varden and Steelhead fishing, but once it got going it was very good. The heavy snowpack kept the creeks flowing nicely and the steelhead showed up in good numbers. June kicked off the king salmon season and while numbers were down a bit the size of the fish were up.  Summer brought a large chum run along with good water levels. That meant hot Dolly fishing in the creeks and reports from anglers seem to indicate that Dollies are getting bigger every year. The pink run was sizable and Cowee and Echo Cove produced for months. Finally, the silver run was much better than the last few years. Creek levels were good and Gastineau Channel had another solid year. 

With October being quite dry, the silver fishing has continued in Cowee Creek. If river levels remain fishable it is a great time to get out and enjoy the last bittersweet days of fall fishing. Make up a thermos of hot coffee, put on your Gore-Tex, and head out! If the rivers blow out don't forget the lakes. Two of my favorites are Windfall and the Dredge Lakes. If you can get out in the lakes with a float tube or canoe you are way ahead of the game. The Cutthroat and Dollies are still feeding like crazy before ice up.

I will start the report back up April when the fishing starts to pick up. Thanks to all who read the report this season. 

Have a great winter! Brad

SE Report 9-28-09 PDF Print E-mail

It has been a rainy few weeks in Juneau and high river levels have been the norm. In between the storms the rivers have dropped down, Gastineau Channel has cleared, and some very good silver fishing has taken place.This year's run is shaping up to be quite a bit better than last year.

Currently, the rivers are on the drop and fresh fish are being reported from most areas. While we are past the peak of the silver run, groups of bright fish will continue to push in. With the last couple of cold nights, Cowee has dropped and cleared  as its headwater glacier freezes up. For the next few weeks watch the weather forecast and plan your outing during (or just after) one of Juneau's short dry spells. Most rivers around Juneau will clear and be fishable within 24-36 hours of the rains stopping. Cowee Creek, being a much larger drainage, takes 36-48 hours to come back into shape. Late season can produce some great coho days. 

It is hard to say how much longer Gastineau Channel will produce. A few bright fish are reported to still be on the move as they make their way back to DIPAC.

The lakes also are a good bet late in the season. Fat Cutthroat and Dolly Varden return from a summer of feeding and are aggressively taking flies before the ice sets in. Windfall Lake is my favorite. The Dredge Lakes and Auke Lake can be very good, too. Try #8 Black Egg Sucking Leeches, Beadhead Thin Mints, and Bead Belly Leeches.

Make sure to get out and fish before it all wraps up!

See you on the water! Brad

SE Report 9-7-09 PDF Print E-mail

It is Game On for silvers. Anglers have been hitting them in  a big way for the last 10 days. Here is the scoop:

For starters, Gastineau Channel has silvers all over it.  Things can vary from day to day, but in general there are plenty of fish to be found. Salmon Creek, Lemon Creek, DIPAC and Bayview have all been productive. The best fishing is from 2-3 hours before the low tide right through until you get pushed out by the flooding tide. Chartreuse & White Clouser Minnows, Pink & White Clouser Minnows, and Tutti Fruiti Clousers are the best flies.

Montana Creek has been steadily producing fish. The best fishing has been mostly around the confluence and just upstream from there.

Peterson Creek has had fish out front in the saltwater for the last couple of weeks. They can be targeted as they stage before coming over the falls on the high tide.

Finally, Cowee Creek has silvers from tidewater all the way up past the bridge. Fish deep and alternate between swinging and stripping flies. Dolly Llamas , Pink & White Half-N-Halfs , Conehead Popsicles , Hareball Leeches in Pink , Fuschia , Chartreuse , and Aleutian Queen , Purple Egg Sucking Leeches , and Starlite Leeches are all patterns that should be in your fly box. You will lose flies so doubling down on patterns is a good idea. There is nothing worse than losing the one fly you had that was working!

Finally, a big Heads-Up on two freshwater silver flies that need to be in your box. These two flies will catch fish when nothing else does. First, our exclusive Jig Spanker. It comes in three colors, Pink , Chartreuse , and Purple , and is absolute murder. It is a traditional Spanker tied on a 60 degree keel hook and outfitted with mega lead eyes. It gets down fast and jigs like crazy. Second, Dolly Llamas in Pink/White , Black/White , Tutti/Fruiti , Chartreuse/White and Pink/Purple all need to be in your collection. The massive conehead makes these big leeches dip, dive and jig like crazy.

See you on the water! Brad

SE Report 8-20-09 PDF Print E-mail

Now that the mid August monsoon has passed, we are all anxious to find some fishable water and more to the point some fat chromers. The high water was just the ticket to flush out a bunch of the half-dead chums and pinks and make way for the first of the silvers. There have been scattered reports of silvers showing up so now is the time to go look for the big bruisers.

There are several places to go out and prospect. The confluence of Montana Creek and the Mendenhall River consistently yields early fish. It is a natural resting spot for silvers as they make their way upstream. Dolly Llamas in Pink/White , Tuiti Fruiti , and Black/White are murder on these early fish. Don't forget  Hareball Leeches in Chartreuse , Aleutian Queen and all Pink as well. This spot usually demands a sink tip fly line or a bunch of split shot to get the fly down where the silvers lurk. Alternate between a dead drift and stripping the fly back in. Lower Cowee Creek is another good early silver spot. The same flies fished deep and retrieved quickly work well. Look for the "soft water" where silvers can rest out of the main current.

A few silvers have also shown up in the ladder and in front of DIPAC Hatchery. Fishing in the neighborhood of the hatchery around the low tide is most productive. These fish usually come around North Douglas on their way up the channel. Stretches of beach from Bayview Subdivision all the way to DIPAC produce as they move through. Once again, bracketing the low tide is best since it tends to concentrate the fish. A floating line, nine-foot 12 pound leader, and a Chartreuse Clouser Minnow or a Tuiti Fruiti Clouser Minnow is the setup to have.

Finally, coho can often be found off the rocks at Point Louisa and Lena Point. A sink tip line is a big help and Marabou Madness and Half-N-Halfs in Chartreuse/White will entice a vicious strike.

Good luck and I will see you on the water. Brad

SE Report 7-24-09 PDF Print E-mail

If you were waiting for a lot of fish to show up, they are here. Pinks, chums, and Dollies are all in the creeks and off the beaches right now. Don't mess around. Get out there and fish it!

Here are some high lights of the road side fishery.

Sheep Creek, below the Thane Road Bridge, has turned into a very nice Dolly and chum fishery. Large returns of chums have attracted lots of Dollies. Any tide but the high seems to fish well. Fish the creek itself or right down where the fresh water hits the salt. Unreal Egg Clusters , Unreal Eggs in Peachy King , and Gorman Beadhead Eggs are all producers. Beads, particularly 8mm and 10mm in Mottled Clear Orange, Mottled Dark Roe, and Apricot are deadly for the Dollies. Our Southeast/Kodiak Bead Selection is a surefire way to have everything you need to catch Dollies. If you are curious about fishing beads check out our article Beads; The Bare Naked Truth, in the Newsletters area. It gives a great overview of bead fishing, how to choose beads, and how to fish them. 

If you want to catch chums at Sheep Creek move away from the mouth and slowly strip a Pink Humpy Hooker or Fuschia Hareball Leech . If chum are holding in the current at the fresh/salt confluence you can swing flies at them. You can also fish for chums along the beach in the cove by the Thane Ore House.(Editor's Note: Stop by the Ore House for lunch and a beer after fishing. The food is good and the atmosphere is old-school Alaskan.)

Montana Creek is also fishing well. The Chums are all the way up the creek, the Dollies are laying in behind them, and the water level has been slightly above medium which is perfect. Same flies and beads as Sheep Creek.

Fish Creek is fair (which is normal). A few Dollies below the bridge. Some late king salmon can be found, too. Either at the mouth of the pond or upriver in some of the deep rocky holes.

The Shrine of St. Therese is usually a very productive pink salmon spot. So far it has been slow. A few pinks can be found off the rocks but most of the fish rolling out front are chums. A Pink Humpy Hooker on a floating line is the ticket. Hopefully the pinks will fill in there soon.

Echo Cove is super hot for pinks. They are all the way into the boat launch area. Larger numbers of fish can be found if you are willing to walk the beach out. Stay on the same side as the boat ramp and keep walking until you see fish rolling. Fishing around the low tide is usually most productive. Echo is a great spot to fish if the rivers are high and muddy. Once again, the Pink Humpy Hooker or the Searunner Special is the fly of choice.

Finally, Cowee Creek. There are pinks all the way up to and past the bridge. The numbers aren't huge but with a bit of work you can find fish to catch. A Pink Starlite Leech or Purple Egg Sucking Leech are great flies in Cowee. The chums are in, too. When you find them you can almost guarantee some nice Dollies will be in behind them. Use egg patterns or beads like those I mentioned for Sheep Creek.

See you on the water. Brad

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