Bead season is upon us!

It has been a wet week and it looks like there is more rain yet to come. This is great for the fish but might make the fishing temporarily more challenging as the river levels go up. Some strategic fishing choices are in order for the next week!

Huge tide swings last week combined with some rain encouraged more salmon to push up the rivers. This has improved the Dolly fishing in the creeks substantially. Even a few salmon moving into a stretch of river will bring a lot of Dollies with them. Montana Creek has decent numbers of fish all the way up to the canyon section although the big push of chum has yet to make it all the way up there. Dollies are taking a mix of small attractor pattern streamers as well as beads. Sheep Creek has lots of chums and Dollies, particularly where the freshwater/saltwater mixing zone is. Fish Creek is slowly picking up but it tends to be more of a pink salmon river and the pinks are not in there yet. Hence there aren't a lot of Dollies in Fish Creek. Cowee Creek, which has the largest watershed of all our local streams, has been running fairly high of late which has made finding fish more difficult. It has been bouncing between fishable and unfishable and we may need to wait for Cowee to drop back down before the fishing opportunities there get consistently better.

A little 'urban' Dolly fishing. Watch your hook set!

If salmon are on your agenda, there are a few spots to target them. Sheep Creek has a pretty good school of chum that moves in and out with the tide. Look for them in the intertidal mixing zone and fish a Humpy Hooker or other bright pink streamer. Pink salmon have been relatively absent from the Juneau area so far this season. It is an even year and pink runs are much larger in odd years. But on a hopeful note, anglers out trolling for salmon have started catching quite a few pinks in the saltwater. This is a good indication that they are still on the way and are just running late.

Montana Creek at ideal water level.

PRO TIP #1: Fishing for pinks in the saltwater is a good option during these rainy stretches. The salt stays clear and you don't have to worry about river levels. Try the Shrine of St. Therese and other nearby shoreline areas for some fun pink fishing. Once again, a Humpy Hooker is hard to beat.

PRO TIP #2: When the rivers get too high try fishing the lakes such as Dredge Lakes or the Peterson Creek Salt Chuck. They aren't affected by the rain nearly as much and you have a good shot at catching a cutthroat which is always a bonus.

Good luck and we'll see you out there!

Brad, Mike, Cory, Rocky, Finley & Gage.