Lots going on this week as we roll in to June. Sea run Dolly Varden fishing has heated up nicely and some very solid fish have been landed in the channel this past week. Anglers have been trying new spots and having good results. Keep hitting the Dollies this next week or two before they do their annual disappearing act where they seem to vaporize for a few weeks before reappearing in freshwater.
Stinger Clouser Minnows, AK Clouser Minnows in #6, Fryolators and Small Fry all were good last week. Don't forget to have a few AK Clousers in Pink/White, Pink/Cerise and other attractor colors in your box, too.
On to our first salmon opportunities of the season! Windfall Creek opened to sockeye fishing on June 3rd. As usual, the creek is only open Wednesdays and Saturdays for the month of June. It is a longish but flat hike up to the fishing spot and the chance to bring home a sockeye for the grill entices quite a few anglers. Historically, the first week or two is pretty slow fishing and the big push of sockeye comes mid June. That does change from year to year and the only way to find out is to go up and give it a go. Prime flies are the Sockeye Lantern in Green, Sockeye Lightning in Red, Green and Chartreuse and Copper Swans in Chartreuse and in Red. You can see all our Sockeye Flies here and we have added a Grab & Go Sockeye Selection as well. You can choose from 6, 12 or 20 flies with the Grab & Go. The standard set up is a floating fly line, 9 foot 1X leader, a split shot placed about 16" above the fly and a 3/4 strike indicator to let you know if you get a grab.
Now for king salmon. We mentioned last week that a fair number of king salmon had already been seen in the channel. This is definitely a good indication of a strong run of kings this year. Saltwater fishing will open on June 15th and we are more than a little stoked to get after them. This past weekend, a couple of kings were landed at Fish Creek in the freshwater. The regulations can be a little confusing, but if you are in the freshwater portion of Fish Creek you can fish for kings and keep them right now. There likely are not a whole ton of fish in yet, but the fact that we've heard of a handful being caught already is encouraging.
Your next question likely is: "Where exactly in Fish Creek does the freshwater end and the saltwater start?" We called and talked to the fine folks at ADF&G about this and they sent us the map shown below. The area upstream of the white curved boundary marker is considered freshwater. If you are fishing in the river near the pond or in front of the houses (shown just above the Creek Mouth line on the map) you are OK. If you are fishing way out in the tide flat you most likely are not OK. In our humble opinion, you don't want to be out in the tide flat anyway. The best fishing is a high tide going to a dropping tide and the spot to be is in front of those houses. Swing flies or strip flies and a moderate sink tip is helpful when the water is really flowing. Until June 15, this is the only place to legally fish for and keep kings. And because it is freshwater the limit is 4 per day with no size limit. So if you land a jack you can keep it.
Prime king flies are Rockstars in Chartreuse and Pink, Party Girls in Pink, Mr. Bodangles in Pink, Pink/Orange, and Chartreuse/White and Guide Intruders in Pink. We also have a King Grab & Go if you want our favorites all ready to roll. Rio Salmon Leaders in 20lb are the order of the day and don't forget a No-See-Um Head Net and Bug Gloves as the Fish Creek No-See-Ums are hands down the worst bugs in Juneau.
That should keep you busy over the weekend. Get out and enjoy the fishing, breathe some fresh air and we'll see you on the water.