Coho fishing is steadily picking up, there are still pink salmon to be caught, and stream fishing for Dolly Varden keeps chugging right along.
This past week coho fishing in Gastineau Channel was markedly better than the week before. While it isn't the crazed fishing we've come to expect, there are fishable numbers of coho around. The Sheep Creek & Thane area has been super slow, as expected, but channel spots along North Douglas had fish pushing in with the flooding tide and dropping back with the ebb. We expect these numbers to keep building in the next couple of weeks. These beach spots fish best from a mid tide dropping to the low and then on the flood tide until it gets about mid way to high. The high end of the tide is tough to fish since the coho spread out and wading becomes really challenging.
While 2022 is predicted to be a slow year for the Sheep Creek area, other channel spots such as 9 Mile, 5 Mile, and Salmon Creek should be solid. You will have to hunt a bit more to find success but good numbers of fish will be in the area for those willing to put in their time. Clouser Minnows and Polar Starlite Leeches are great flies to search with as coho love them and they are much easier to cast than a Dolly Llama.
Pink salmon are still around and while they are not as bright as they were two weeks ago, they are a sporting catch on the fly. Sheep Creek continues to have a school of pinks at the mouth of the river. Look for the area where the freshwater and saltwater meet and slowly strip a Humpy Hooker.
The high water event we had back on August 17th blew a lot of the old chums out of the creeks. The fresher chums managed to hang on and when you find them you'll find Dollies eagerly eating eggs behind them. The stretches of river without chum don't have many Dollies so focus your effort where the salmon are stil hanging around. Beads remain the best choice for hooking into the Dollies, but Honey Holes and Tungsten Mini Dolly Llamas are effective, too. The river levels were ideal this past week, but it looks like they will be going up fast as the next few weather systems come rolling in. Hit those rivers sooner rather than later if Dolly fishing is on your agenda!
Finally, we did a little volunteer work last weekend with Trout Unlimited Juneau and Trail Mix to improve the access trail to the lower Montana Creek canyon section. It was badly overgrown and we worked to clear alders as well as brush out a new trail that avoids sensitive spawning and rearing habitat. We made a ton of progress but another volunteer day will be needed to make the trail more permanent. We'll announce it here and on social media when we have a date and we'd love for any of our fish report readers to join us.
Get out there and catch a coho!
Brad, Mike, Rocky, Cory, Finley and Gage