9-22-08 Report 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 good silver fishing has taken place.

The rest of September and early October should produce more fish when the rivers drop. 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. Cowee also drops when over night temperatures go down and its headwater glacier freezes up. Late season can produce some great coho days. Watch the weather forecast and plan your outing during (or just after) one of Juneau's short dry spells.

It is hard to say if Gastineau Channel is done or not. Silvers being taken at the hatchery are still chrome bright but the rest of the channel has been very slow of late. I will update this report if it turns back on. 

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 Matukas in Olive or Black.

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

See you on the water! Brad

SE Report 9-5-08 PDF Print E-mail

If the weather has kept you from fishing this summer, now is the time to hit it! The silver season is in full swing and the run has been very good. Without a doubt, the run is far better than last year and river levels are ideal.

For starters, Gastineau Channel has silvers all over it. It has been like the times of old when getting a limit of silvers wasn’t particularly hard to do. 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 and Pink & White Clouser Minnows 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!

 Get out there and fish!

 See you on the water! Brad

SE Report 8-13-08 PDF Print E-mail

Although the weather this summer has left much to be desired, the fishing has been very good. We are currently in the midst of great Dolly Varden fishing in the streams. This season's chum salmon run has been stronger than the last couple of years and this has meant the Dollies are stacked in behind them. We are also seeing the first silvers returning. Silvers have already been reported at DIPAC hatchery and without a doubt there are some in the streams as well.

For the Dollies, Sheep Creek, Montana Creek and Cowee Creek are the best bets. Unreal Eggs , Peachy King Glo Bugs , and Mottled Troutbeads are all killers.

For coho, 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. A large Hareball Leech in Chartreuse , Aleutian Queen or all Pink fishes best. 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 the silvers 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 is the setup to have.

Don't let the weather keep you indoors! Put on your rain jacket , layer up, and go get after it. This season will be gone before we know it.

See you on the water. Brad

SE Report 7-25-08 PDF Print E-mail

I think we all know that the weather this July has been less than stellar. Continuous heavy rains in mid July pushed water levels up high but they are returning to normal now. And in their wake anglers are finding a lot of chums. Way more than last year which means the Dollies will have plenty of eggs to eat this summer. Pinks are around but only in select areas. 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 in Tangerine, 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 latest article 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 Hooke r 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.

Montana Creek is also very hot. 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 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.

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 Hooke r 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

SE Report 7-7-08 PDF Print E-mail

July is the month when pink and chum salmon flood into our local creeks. Large schools of chums can already be found at the mouth of Peterson Creek in Amalga Harbor, Sheep Creek on Thane Road, and in front of DIPAC. Chums circling in saltwater are famous for being tight-lipped zombies but a Fuschia Hareball Leech , Pink Leadeye Egg Sucking Leech , or a Green Death on a slow retrieve can sometimes entice a grab. If you can find chums holding in current they are much more likely to take a fly.

Pinks are also showing themselves off the beaches. Pinks are well known to be receptive to taking a fly and a Pink Humpy Hooker or a Searunner Special are top producers. Echo Cove (from the boat launch all the way out to the sand spit) and the Shrine of St. Terese get some of the earliest pinks and they are very fun on a fly rod when they are still ocean- bright. Last season there was very good pink fishing in front of Sheep Creek by late July. Hopefully it will happen again. Use a floating line, nine foot 10 pound salmon leader, and keep a steady strip retrieve going. Pinks often turn away if the fly stops or is traveling too slowly.

Cowee Creek has a large pink run and there are already fish in the creek. Try fishing downsteam with a Pink Starlite Leech or a Purple Leadeye Egg Sucking Leech on a slow swing with a steady retrieve at the end of the drift. Work the slowest deepest water you can find where migrating fish like to hang out. This is a great time to learn the good holding water on Cowee Creek so you are ready when the silvers come in in September!

The Dolly Varden are in the midst of their annual relocation from saltwater to freshwater. The Dollies usually show up in the creeks before the chums and now is the time to look for them. Cowee Creek, Montana Creek, Sheep Creek, and Fish Creek are all good bets. These streams all host big chum runs and significant numbers of Dolly Varden. Try Pink Clouser Minnows, Battle Creek Specials , or Pink Humpy Hookers for the Dollies before the salmon are in. The Dollies will switch over to eating eggs as the chum settle in and begin to spawn. This usually starts around the third week of July.

Small stream Dolly Varden fishing is some of the most exciting and rewarding fishing we have in Southeast Alaska. Making short but tricky casts to likely looking water, hooking aggressive but often wary fish, and walking some of the prettiest and least-fished water to be found anywhere is a real treat. Don't miss out on it this year.

A 4 weight is a great small stream Dolly rod. When only a short cast is needed, the sensitivity and sportiness of a 4 is unmatched. We have a full line of light rods from Sage and Winston in all the price ranges. Stop by the shop or check them out on line.

See you on the water. Brad
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