Welcome to our first fishing report of 2020! After what seemed like the longest winter and chilliest spring in ages, we are finally back on the water. And like most early May fishing reports, it's a fish here and a fish there. Not the total mayhem and feeding frenzies that will come later in the month as water temperatures warm and more fry are off the beaches.
We heard from the folks running the Auke Creek weir that several hundred Dolly Varden and a few dozen cutthroat have left Auke Lake and headed out into the saltwater. Auke Creek/Lake is a great indicator of what is going on in northern SE Alaska in terms of when Dollies are outmigrating after their long slumber under the ice.
Dollies have been found off the beaches of Sheep Creek, Dupont, Boy Scout Beach (near Eagle Beach), Auke Rec and Echo Cove. But all indications are that it is still a bit slow. The great weather forecast this weekend is just the excuse you need to dust off the gear and head out for a shake down trip. Keep your expectation in check and you'll have a great time.
When heading out try to bracket the low tide. 2-3 hours before the low until 2-3 hours after the low is the most productive time. Fish fry patterns such as AK Clousers, Epoxy Mini Minnows, Doppelgangers and other smolty-looking flies. A floating line, 9 foot tapered leader in the 8-10lb range and a quick strip retrieve are all you need. Finally, take note of the Peterson Creek closure to protect the very vulnerable steelhead run. The creek, salt chuck and saltwater out front are all closed until June 30 to all fishing.
Steelhead have taken their sweet time showing up so far. On a very positive note, our abundant snow pack and wet April have left stream levels at prime flow. Ultra low water (like we have had the past few springs) doesn't look to be an issue this year. If you are sticking to the road system, Cowee Creek is your best bet to find one of these unicorns. If you are lucky enough to find one, remember to handle them gently and release them all quickly.
Now, for a couple of shop related house keeping issues during these strange times:
- The shop isn't open to walk in foot traffic and we don't plan to open in the next few weeks.
- We have expanded our curbside pickup hours now that fishing season is upon us. Monday - Friday from 1:30pm - 5:30pm and Saturday 11am - 4pm. Order online or by phone and we'll have it ready as soon as we can.
- We have a new Grab & Go Fly Selection option on the site. Click here to see it. It allows you to get the hottest flies for the week by simply clicking on the product and selecting whether you want 6, 12 or 20 flies. Super easy and we'll get you out and fishing asap.
- Keep your eye out for our email newsletter going out this weekend. It will have a link to a short survey to help us figure out how we can best serve you during these times of social distancing and striving to keep our community healthy.
Happy fishing! Brad
Thanks for the fishing report, Brad. I won’t be up till July but I like to keep up with what’s going on. Good luck keeping the store running. Best of luck to all Alaskans in these trying times. Let’s hope the fish bite good this year so that we won’t have to remember 2020 by the Wuhan flu and the murder hornet! We can remember the 40 inch steelhead we caught on the purple fly instead.
Thanks for checking in, Doug! Happy 2020 fishing to you, too.