Rudy's Fishing Log for 1997
January 18 & 19, 1997. Sucker Lake
Things sure seem to be slow everywhere. Maybe I am just unlucky! Even the ice fishing in town for stocked trout seems slower than
ususal. Well this weekend we went out on snowmobiles and had a great ride. Nice deep powder, but enough base so that you could go
anywhere! Unfortunately the fishing was nothing like it has been. Our two day total between Martin and I was probably under 10 fish
with really no big ones. There also has been an extra ordinary number of airplanes flying into the lake. The pilots all say its because the
other lakes are so bad. Hmmmmm.
I've heard from Fish and Game that they are thinking about expanding the number of tip ups to 5 from 2 per person and remove all
limits from the number you can keep. I know its because they want to eliminate the pike from the system, but like one person I spoke
to said, its probably going to just make the pike fishing worse and the trout and salmon fishery will remain relatively unaffected. I
wonder if that will happen.
Still we are waiting for the bite to start. Last year we made some great catches starting super bowl weekend. I hope its the same this
March 9, Sucker Lake
I've fished on several occasions in the mean time in the lakes around town. The action was pretty slow in February on local area lakes.
I managed to pull a few stocked rainbows and landlocked salmon from Jewel and Delong lakes but the action has been pretty slow.
I finally made it back out to Sucker Lake. The fishing for Pike has been slow this year. A lot more pressure on the lake but all of the
area lakes don't seem to be producing. Three of us fished for about 4 hours on Sunday. I caught 6 fish with the biggest maybe going 5
pounds...nothing impressive. Martin got three with the largest about 7 pounds. Douglas ended up sleeping most of the time as the
weather was awesome! Sunny skies and it must been in the high twenties.
Tip ups worked okay, but the most hits by far came from a 1 ounce fire tiger krocadile with a small piece of herring. The thing was, I
never got a hit while I was jigging the spoon. The hits always came after I set the rod down. As the spoon hung relatively motionless
for a few minutes, the pike would slam the bait. I thought the 1 oz spoon with a few inch piece of herring would discourage the smaller
fish, but all caught were relatively small. What little we caught seemed more aggressive. Martin had a tip up go off and the fish was
racing off with the bait. By the time we got to the tip up ( maybe 20 seconds) the pike must have pulled 30 yards from the spool.
Maybe they are getting more active as spring approaches. Hmm.....
March 29 &30, Sucker Lake
Well, last winter camping trip of the year. The trails was still solid, but its not going to take many more days of this hot sun to melt it all
off. We didn't encounter any open water on the historic Iditarod trail. Broke down camp and got it hauled out.
More importantly, we went FISHING! Well Saturday was a bit slow. We worked really hard for maybe 7 fish between 3 guys all day!
None were very big. Fortunately the weather was just amazing! We were ice fishing in our t-shirts...gotta love it.
Sunday was better we had hits all day, with several fish pushing 8 pounds. Then Eric hit a big one. After several tip ups in a row were
triggered but no fish, Eric's jigging rod made an abrupt dive into the hole. He barely got to it, and when he did, the reel was just
screaming out line. After a brief struggle, a 39 inch Northern came out onto the ice. Take a look at the fish right here. Should weigh
around 17 to 18 pounds. Eric wanted to release the fish, but just moving up from Minnesota, this pike may very well be his very first
Alaska trophy certificate fish. It didn't make the 40 inch minimum, but I bet it makes the 15 pound minimum for a kept trophy. Lots of
people fish long time to get one of those....I don't have one! The lure was a 1oz chrome krocadile with prism tape and a big chunk of
herring. The rod was laying still with no jigging at the time of the hit.
Well pike season is officially over for us, now its time for the Salmon! Let the summer games begin! I can't wait.
April 5, Big Lake
Although snowmobiling for pike is pretty much over for us, we did manage to get another ice fishing trip in. After reading the Fishing
and Hunting News we decided to take a shot at the 10 pound plus Dolly Varden in the lake. After setting up at 8 AM we fished off of
Burnt Point. The action was slow. Eric had a 3 pound Dolly on but lost it as he was getting it through the hole. We were in 35 feet of
water, but Martin and Eric in a dark tent, saw the big fish right under the ice. After moving off of one of the Islands, Martin and Eric
also saw large fish cruising under the surface. After catching a few pan sized fish, we were ready to give up. I then managed to hook
and land a one pounder, and we decided to stay. The action remained slow until about 7 pm when Eric hit three successive Dollies in a
row. One went nearly 3 pounds with the other two slightly smaller. His secret on those three fish was to flutter a chrome and yellow
spoon tipped with single eggs right off the bottom. He said he was just barely lifting the spoon of the ground and laying it right back
down. Can't argue with success!
Ice was still really thick, we almost ran out of Auger length without the extension. However the warm sun was causing a lot of water
on the ice roads and at the edge of the lake. We may have one more week of this fishing. But its going to get dangerous really soon
really fast. Be careful if you go.
Although the fishing was slow, we had a great time. We had a tent and a home built ice fishing house that Doug built. It was easy to
fish all day when you didn't have to deal with the wind. All we needed was a burbot to hit the species available in Big Lake. We
managed Dollies, Rainbows, landlocked Silvers, and a whitefish. An interesting mixed bag.
May 10, Homer, Alaska
I'm finally back from a trip that took me from Alaska to New Orleans, Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Seoul. Whew! Glad to be back. The best
thing was that I didn't miss too much fishing.
This weekend I went down to Homer with my dad to see if we couldn't keep busy catching a few cod, pollacks, flounder, and maybe
even a dollies or King. No such luck. Unlike last year, the fishing was even slow for the Cod and Pollack. We managed a few teeny
Pollack, and Dad caught a nice Pacific Cod, but the pace of action was slow. I was using a metal jig, and dad was using herring. You
could tell that activity levels were down from last year. No diving birds, no sea lions or sea otters, no whales.... The baitfish just were
not in the area to attract any kind of fish.
The fishing hole lagoon in Homer had a few people casting around in it. Sounds like they have already caught a few fish. I heard
reports that the Kings were beginning to show in the Kenai River. The fish should also be showing up in the Kasilof River as well. It'll
be a toss up as to where to fish next week.
LET THE SALMON SEASON BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
May 17 & 18, Kasilof River
The salmon are definitely into the Kasilof River. Spent Saturday and Sunday fishing the Kasilof. I should have landed fish on both days,
but early season mistakes by me helped the fish. On Saturday, it was pouring rain and wind was blowing pretty good. I set up at the
tailend of the holding pool and since I wanted to take a look around, I tossed out a spin and glo with eggs about 15 feet from shore.
After propping my rod unto a forked stick and setting a large rock on the butt end, I started scanning the water for signs of fish. Lots
of wakes, rollers, and general fishy signs. Then without warning my rod went straight into the water. Fortunately for me the fish after
grabbing my bait headed down stream. I could see the wake my rod was making about 4 feet from shore. I dove into the stream,
getting throughly wet, and I managed to grab my line. After I got a hold of the rod, I had the fish on for a minute before the hook fell
out. BUMMER! But during that minute, the fish managed to run off a healthy bit of line. These early fresh kings have a lot of power!
Its usually the case that the salmon will mouth the lure and you can get prepared for the final takedown, not with these fish. On
Sunday, I almost lost my rod again! After getting wise to the fish just slamming the bait, I decided to engage the clicker on my
baitcaster, and freespool line. This way I can hear the big hit, as well as save my rod. Bad idea... It worked fine until I forgot that I had
disengaged the spool. A fish hit, I reared back, and a major big time backlash. The fish had no problem snapping the 17 pound test line
I was using after my reel froze. At least the weather was nice on Sunday...but it meant less fish closer to shore. To catch fish, I
definitely prefer the cloudy days...I don't mind rain as long as there is no wind!
First of the year mistakes cost me this weekend. I'll have to come up with a better solution..I suppose I could just hold the rod and not
be lazy, although 12 hours a day can get a bit tiring. Am I getting old and lazy or what?!?! The qunatity o fish looked good. The boats
were doing fairly well. Every hit I saw on a boat came from a metallic kwikfish. I think early in the year, the bright flashy lures are
going to outfish the spin & glo and egg combo. As the fish begin to mature, they start taking eggs more readily. I did see two fish
caught from shore. They were both using small spin and glos and yarn with no bait.
May 25 & 26, Kasilof River
Spent Memorial Day weekend fishing the Kasilof River with some friends. We saw lots of fish but they just were not hitting. Day time
temperatures was HOT in the mid 60's but at night we were cleaning the ice off of our rods. While there were very little fish signs
during the day, at night, you could see wakes coming up the River. The best thing was nobody was out fishing at night! For whatever
reason, the zoo of a crowd during the day, would disappear to a handful of fisherman at night. I saw 20 times more fish from those
handful of people rather than the hundreds during the day. I know when I'm fishing next weekend! All in all, it was a good weekend.
Congratulations to Kelly and Erick who picked up their first Kings ever this weekend! Now they are real Alaskans! Both fish were
caught by flipping a corky and yarn rig in the cuurent.
Some friends headed down to Ship Creek over the weekend. They saw several fish being caught and Martin actually hooked into a
good fish. Unfortunately the fish threw the hook. Martin hooked his fish on a spin & glo on the outgoing tide.
May 31 & June 1, Kasilof River
Saturday, headed to the Kasilof. Lots of fish, but all I could manage was a pair of small males so I let both go to save the tags. Lots
of fish, but I couldn't get them to hit. There were so many that they kept hitting my line but only two took the bait. I was using
spin and glo and eggs anchored off the bottom.
Sunday was an interesting day. I had two guests and I went out with a long time friend Dan France of Salmon Herder Charters..
We started about 9am and for the first few hours we had one strike and I missed it! We were backtrolling spin and glo and eggs
with a planer and a kwikfish. Nobody was hitting fish around us either. Our guide , Dan, assured me that new fish would come in
on the next high tide. True to his word, around 1pm one of my guests hit a beautiful 20 pound hen. It was fresh out of the ocean
and as bright as any salmon I have seen.
Then as the tide came in and the water went slack, we switched to bottom bouncing spin and glos and eggs. What a blast! We
were in 4 feet of water and fishing directly under the boat. You lift the rig about 4 inches off the bottom and drop it straight back
down repeatedly. You'd feel light taps, and then the salmon would take the bait. When you set the hook, since you only have 4 feet
of line out, the fish would just go crazy! I had a fish clear the water at least 10 times, pretty unusual for a King. In the last 3 hours,
we hooked probably a dozen fish landing about half. We limited out with two hens and one buck. All of the silver bright fish
straight from the ocean.
Although I fish the Kasilof a lot, it was my first drift boat experience on the Kasilof in a long time. Boy it was worth every penny.
Dan knew exactly what he was doing, and even after a slow start, he put us right on to some good fish, at the same time avoiding
the fleet of other drift boats. I had a great time and so did my guests! If you only have limited time, hire a guide like Dan. They
definitely know what they are doing! As good as Dan is he's probably booked for a most of the days already this year, but you can
always give him a call or e-mail him. Here's the home page for Salmon Herder Charters. He guides on the Kenai River and Kasilof
River for Kings, Silvers, Reds, and Rainbows. He has both a powerboat and driftboat. As a life long Soldotna Resident living on the
Kenai River, he knows his stuff. Tell him you found about him through me and maybe he'll give me a discount next trip! (He's
worth every penny discount or not!).
June 6,7 8, Kasilof River
I wanted to hit the Kenai River for a shot at the Big Kings but the rains muddied up to the Kenai too much for decent fishing...especially
without bait. So I ended up fishing the Kasilof River all three days I was in Kenai. Its a good thing I did because the fishing on the
Kasilof was HOT!
On Friday, I fished from 3 AM to 8 AM landing 4 fish and hooking up to at least twice as many. Saturday was an odd day. I fished
from 2 am to 6 am. I had to work pretty hard to land a respectable fish. Before I landed a nice chrome 25 pound hen, I waded through
rainbows, Dolly Varden, Whitefish, and a Jack King before I nailed the hen. I later landed a nice buck male that would have pushed 35
pounds but was a starting to get reddish. Later in the evening the action was pretty consistent. I must have had 7 fish on landing 4.
Nothing huge.Unlike last week, a few of the fish are statring to turn colors. I would say that over half of the fish I saw caught were
nice bright fish though.
On Sunday, I was fishing with Martin who had a job in Homer the day before. Man, did he have the hot hands that day. We started
fishing at 2:35 AM, and he had a nice bright 20~25 pound hen on the bank by 2:50 AM. He then proceeded to hook nearly 10 fish in the
next 3 hours, landing two more on top of his keeper fish. I managed to land only one fish, while hooking four during our 4 hours of
We were both using small corkies and yarn rigs tied with double 3/0 gamakatsu hooks. Martin was hooking the fish right below his
feet. The biggest mistake I see novices make on the Kasilof is standing too far out into the river. Martin was hooking all of his fish in
less than 3 feet of water. In fact, the largest fish of the day was hooked so close to his feet that as the fish rolled after taking the corky
and Yarn, Martin had to step back. Since the fish was so close, the rod was at an extreme angle and he shattered it in two different
spots. To make the story even more interesting, the rod was a medium weight Ugly Stick and we were using only 20 pound leader. I
have never seen an Ugly Stick broken, the other fisherman in the area were pretty impressed (if you can call it that) that the Ugly Stick
shattered. I guess there's a first for everything!
June 13,14,and 15, Kasilof and Kenai River. Ship Creek reports.
I fished Friday on the Kasilof River. It was pretty slow. Spent 9 hours fishing and I managed to hook 8 or 9 fish landing only 3 that
were hooked in the mouth. All of them were starting to turn a bit pink to reddish. Very few new fish coming into the river from what I
could see. All of the fish were caught while flipping assorted small corkies with a piece of chartreuse yarn. While the peak of the first
run Kasilof Kings is probably past its peak, Kings should be present in catchable numbers to the end of June. Second run Kings in
Kasilof are much larger in size, but tend to be farther and fewer between fish. I did see people hooking up to a few reds in the Kasilof.
The early run appears to be coming into the river. I just talked to Kurt san and I guess a new slug of fish entered the Kasilof. Sounds
good, maybe the moderate tides and winds on the Inlet kept the fish out of the river. I sure like to hear that.
Saturday and Sunday I spent 6 hours both days on the Kenai River. The fishing was pretty slow. On Saturday, a few fish were being
hooked around us. Most people seemed to be using the K15 and K16 Kwikfish mainly in the silver with chartreuse tip. We however did
not get skunked. An average first run red of 6 or 7 pounds latched onto my dad's K16 Kwikfish which was almost a third of the length
of the salmon. Weird!?! My dad, and grandmother persevered but we could only manage one good takedown but no fish. Thinking it
couldn't be any worse, my grandmother ( in her 80's) convinced me to try the river again. We spent 6 hours on Sunday along with
several hundred other boats in the lower Kenai. I saw a total of four fish on with two of them being well under 30 pounds. I didn't see
the other two landed. Sonar counts on both days were down from previous days
An emergency order pretty much makes the Kenai river a trophy fishery with only unbaited single hooks now allowed. You can only
keep fish over 52 inches (approx 60 pounds). This should last until July first since it appears that they will not reach their optimal
escapement of 9000 early run Kings. While the second run of Kings that start July 1 can almost be considered a different species, it is
often the case that the a strong first run means a strong second run (of course that works both ways). We'll have to see. The good
news is that a major factor in the closure was that fisherman were catching about 50 percent of the Kings entering the river. Last year
the rate was about 15 percent. Water conditions are definitely much better than last year in terms of catching the fish. So I guess that's
good news. Almost everyone on the river has been using Kwikfish and backtrolling. Out of several hundred boats, I only saw a handful
attempting to drift fish. Everyone else was backtrolling plugs of some kind.
Some of my buddies went to Ship creek and all three had fish on with one of them landing a nice 24 pounder. Fishing remains hot in
Ship Creek. Although it is probably the most crowded place on earth as far as fishing goes, it seems like a lot of people are hooking up.
The key at Ship Creek appears to be that you often only get once chance so take advantage of it. Make sure your line is in good shape.
Respool fresh line if you are using the line from last year. Use ultra sharp premium hooks and stay alert since you never know when
that hit will happen. I'm going to try it sometime during the week for sure!
June 18, Ship Creek
Well I guess it had to happen. I finally fished Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage. Of course the amazing thing about it is that for the
past four years, I've lived about 5 minutes away during Rush Hour from Ship Creek. I guess I never wanted to deal with all of the
people and I thought it would be hours to catch a single fish. So what did I think? I HAD A BLAST! We fished from about 2 hours
before high tide till the tide went out al the way. There was a spurt of fish as the water began to rise and slow down but still had
current. And another spurt when the tide starting flowing again after high slack. People were catching them on virtually anything. I
saw fish caught on green insert pixies, vibrax spinners, spin n glos with eggs, and corky yarn rigs. The key is to be on the river
where there is enough water to keep the fish moving upstream but with enough current so your bait is working.
I had several fish on, eventually landing a 20 pound plus buck. Martin once again hit fish as he managed to hook up to 4 or 5 fish
(though a couple came back with scale samples...). The only thing that kind of bothered me was that some people wouldn't move for
you when your fish would run upstream or downstream. If we have too many more problems, we are thinking about taking 80 pound
spectra line, hooking a fish and letting it swim in between all of the people and having them trip all over themselves. Everyone should
extend the courtesy that you would like to receive to others. Especially in a crowded spot like Ship Creek. Although we don't care so
much, any of the fish in Ship Creek could be a fish of a lifetime for people who aren't as fortunate to fish as often as I do.
June 19,20,21,22, Ship Creek
Okay, I'm hooked. This Ship Creek Fishing is pretty cool! I had a three day weekend but I had to stay in Anchorage so it was a great
excuse to hit ship Creek hard. We tried to go and maximize our time by fishing as much as possibly during the productive hours when
there was enough water and current
During the four days our group (2 to 4 of my buddies) hooked over a dozen fish and we managed to land four legally hooked fish. One
of our fish was caught on a spin n glo and roe rig anchored to the bottom on an outgoing tide. The other three fish were all caught by
flipping small corky and yar rig tied to a double single hook gamakatsu in 3/0 to 5/0 sizes. We run 40 to 50 pound leaders for
baitcasting equipment, and 30 pounds for flyfishing. You need to be able to presure these fish hard to keep them in control. When the
current is running hard, your halibut gear wouldn't be able to stop some of the runs...especially if you accidently smacked him in the
The run appears to be slowing in ship creek. There are still pockets of fish moving through but the fishing has not been as hot as a
week a go. It'll still produce for another week, I'm hoping.
June 23 Ship Creek
Napped after work and couldn't sleep later. Grabbed my rod, and headed for Ship Creek at 11:30pm. Stayed till 1AM. The tally for the
hour and a half? Five fish on and three fish to the bank. I hooked three of the fish while plunking roe on a spin n glo. As the tide started
to turn, I switched to flipping a corky and yarn rig and hooked two landed one. The second fish I caught on roe was well over 30
pounds. The other two were smaller fish, maybe 20 pounds. All of the fish were pretty rosie colored. All three were also males. I let all
of them go.
Pretty amazing to be able to drive to downtown Anchorage and hook 5 kings in less than 2 hours! I had a great time. I might even
come down and do the lunch thing! Hmmm, catch a king in a suit and tie? Where else can you do that?!? You gotta love this place!
June 27 Ship Creek
I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!
Went fishing DURING my lunch break with Tim from our office. The weather was beautiful and sunny with temps running about 80
degreees! I plunked eggs and Tim was casting a pixie. 45 minutes into the fishing, a beautiful bright hen King Salmon of about 20
pounds smacked my eggs. FISH ON!!! After a few minutes of a hard fight, I beached the fish took a few pictures (while the fish was
still in the water, can't take them out if you are releasing them!) And let the fish go. It was awesome! The only thing that could have
been better was the fact that on Friday's our office dresses casually. I wish I could have fought that salmon and took pictures with my
suit and tie on. That would have been great. Maybe next week. And NO we didn't take a 3 hour lunch. We were gone exactly 1 hour
15 minutes from our office in one of the largest office building in downtown Anchorage!
Well we saw a few fish rolling and my fish was definitely just into the river. Maybe we have another week of decent fishing before it
really slows down. I hope I can do this lunch thing one more time. I LOVE ALASKA! Check out the photo sequence.
June 28 & 29 Ship Creek
June 29 & 30 Montana Creek
I was fishing out in the Main River on the edge of the clear water and the silt water. Most people were fishing in Montana Creek about
20 yards upstream from the mouth. I caught fish on everything from a pixie spoon, corky & yarn, and spin n glos. Just about
everything would get a strike as long as you got it in front of the fish. Since most of the fish were dark colored, I didn't keep any.
However I did land a few fish that looked to be in excellent shape even though they were not silver bright. Definitely good enough for
smoking. Although the fish averaged about 30 pounds, I saw a few fish that would have come close to 50 pounds. I may have to try
this again for a shot at a trophy fish.
Wow! I haven't seen so many kings in one concentrated area in a long time! Kurt fished Montana on Saturday and he landed over 10
fish during the day. I fished Montana for four hours on Monday and the tally was over 20 fish hooked, 10 landed of which four were
July 4,5 & 6 Kenai River and a one more stream
On Friday Martin and Lynelle came down to Kenai in the afternoon. We headed to a clear water stream on the peninsula where I can
usually find a few reds. Sure enough as the water went down, Martin and I could see 20 fish milling around. After working the reds
over for an hour or so, we eventually hooked fairly 3 fish that we kept. Sight casting to reds, loads of fun!
On Saturday and Sunday Morning Martin and I hit the Kenai River in search of a big King. On Saturday we were using spin n and glo
and eggs. After seeing a few fish hooked up, we noticed that a majority of the fish were being caught on k15 and k16 kwikfish. Of
course we did not bring any sardines and so we kept fishing the eggs. Bad choice. We didn't hook up all day.
Sunday, we brought our sardines and the roe so we were ready for anything. Unfortunately, unlike Saturday, there was no real time
when the bite was "on." There were fish being caught though. And yes, perseverance PAYS OFF! About 10am, I looked over at a rod
and it was pointed straight down into the water! After a bit of yelling and screaming, we got our act together. Some how, I ended up
playing a fish hooked on Martin's Kwikfish. After some blistering top water runs, and a bit of laying deep, we got the fish into the boat.
It was a beautiful bright 55 pound buck that must have been straight from the ocean! Thanks to Martin for letting me play "his" fish.
The fish was hooked on a new chartreuse pattern on Chrome with a sardine fillet wrap. 8'6" Lamiglass Kenai King rod , Ambassador
7000 baitcaster, 25 pound Berkley Big Game Line, and 50 pound Berkley Big Game leader.
July 12 and 13, Big Lake, KASH FM DERBY
Well for the second year in a row, I was on a lake fishing for trout when the massive run of kings and reds hit the Kenai
River..AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! I am tremendously depressed and I'm not sure I'm ready to talk about it yet.... :(
Okay, I'm ready...We fished Big Lake this weekend for the 12th Annual KASH FM fishing derby with the top prize being a 16 ft boat
with engine. The tournament was more for fun and the grand prize was awarded based on a drawing from all of the fish entered.
Well the first day started out great, in the morning I had hooked a burbot and two trout, losing one of the trout. Martin landed a burbot.
Then for the rest of the day things died. We didn't catch a thing. According to the map, the fish we did catch were caught trolling half
way down or so in about 40 feet of water with small spinner minnow combos like the vibrax minnow spin and mepps comet minnow.
The next day Doug and Martin landed trout on a small spin n glo and worm rig in the same area.
The best news was that although we didn't win the major prize, Doug's fish was the 107th entered in the torunament and he won a
rafting trip for two! I guess we didn't go empty handed. BUT ....the salmon!!!! Oh well, next weekend!
July 19 & 20, Kenai River
Well after high expectations, we were pretty dissapointed with the fishing on the weekend. Saturday, I went out with Kurt-san for
Kings. We saw ONE fish hooked in four hours! And believe me, there were LOTS of boats. So after 5 hours of futility, we went
downstream to dipnet reds. We ended up with 20 reds in about 3 hours, pretty slow. Sunday, same pattern with Martin. This time, we
saw kings being hooked up around us occassionally, but nothing hot. We ran downstream to dipnet reds and we could only manage 9
fish in three hours!.
July 22 to 29, Kenai Peninsula
Well gave it my best but the fishing during my vacation was terrible! On my first day back, we hit a solid run of reds. I think that day
70,000 fish went up the river! After that...virtually nothing! King fihsing wasn't any better. One week after 5000 kings were swimming
up the river, the King run just fizzled. By the end of the vacation, there were only 300 kings per day! If that wasn;t enough pushiment,
the silvers were nowhere to be found either! Oh well! We did hook a small king when I went out with a frat brother of mine. Wayne
had a 30 pounder on for a while but poor boat handling by me may have given the fish enough slack to get off...BUMMER!
It's a good thing the weather was nice and I got a few rounds of golf in. Well I guess that's why they call it fishing instead of catching!
The silvers better show soon!
August 2 &3, Ship Creek
On Saturday, I hooked two and lost them both. Doug landed a nice 7 pound buck on a coho fly. Sunday, the fishing was a bit better,
Both Doug and I landed 6 pound fish, and both of us managed to snag a couple and lose a few more.The best fishing is definitely
when the tide is going out and there is enough of a current to get the fish congregated into the deeper holes. Mepps and Vibrax
spinners seem to be the hot ticket in sizes 4 and 5. Egg fisherman have been doing poorly though I had a real good take down on my
bobber and roe rig with no result.
Right now the tide is too large. As the tide starts to go out, the river becomes muddy and the visibility is reduced to nearly zero. Maybe
the large tides bring in more fish, but its definitely easier to get them to hit when the water is cleaner. Well you can't complain, its in
downtown Anchorage about 5 minutes from where I live.
August 10, Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska
Went to Seward with a friend of mine to see what was happening. Alaska's largest fishing derby was taking place for silver salmon in
Seward. Lots of People!! It poured rain on Saturday so we ended up recovering from the night before. However on Sunday, the skies
opened up and we ended up with just amazing weather.
Having run into one of my high school buddies, he offered to takes us out onto his boat. We got a good close look at two pods of
Killer whales, some otters, and all sorts of marine birds. Oh yeay, we even caught a few fish. We ended up landing four silvers in a
couple of hours mooching half a herring out near Caines Head. We also landed a very small halibut as well as some rockfish. I was
also amazed that we hooked to Puffins. You hate to see that, but the amazing thing was when I hooked one, I must have been 70 feet
down. Those birds can really dive! I think I was able to release the bird unharmed.
Given the poor run of silvers in Cook Inlet, this was a great change of pace. If the weather holds out, I'd sure like to take our boat
down there and give it a try. Caines head is pretty close to town, and despite the strong winds, the bay was realtively flat and sheltered.
I may have to try this more often!
August 16, Kenai River
Went fishing with an old high school buddy and his wife. We had heard that people were still catching reds in the Kenai River. Mid
August??? Well even the local paper were reporting the reds and a quick check of the sonar counts showed 20,000 reds moving up
the river per day. We headed to Soldotna and fished above swiftwateer campground. Well what do you know! In 3 hours of
fishing, we probably hooked over a dozen reds. Most of them were already turning colors but we did keep two that looked good
enough for the smoker. As a bonus, the last fish of day was a 8 pound silver! You can only keep one silver anyways and once you
kill it you are done for the day. Still being able to play with reds in mid August in Soldotna was a nice treat. Makes you wonder
about all of the reds pushing through. Ya think it has anything to do with the fact that all of the commercial nets are out of the
water due to the low silver return??? Well, I know they need to make a living too so I can't complain about the commercial
fishing...it helped pay my way through school! The fish were definitely NOT as feisty as the bright fish we hit in mid july, but still
if the silvers are not showing, it made a nice little diversion. We were using a 3/0 gamakatsu ( a bit big) with a bright red bead and
chartreuse yarn...worked great!
August 17, Kenai River
I could just about write the exact same thing as yesterday's entry. We had another great day. We first stopped by a secret stop and saw
a lot of silvers but couldn't get them to hit. Still I saw enough fish to make me wonder if the silver's are just late instead of
non-existent...call me an optimist! Another strange event happened yesterday evening. Around 10pm we went to Salmatoff Beach in
North Kenai. Looking out across a flat calm inlet, we saw hundreds of salmon breaking the water. The sheer number of fish makes me
believe that they were reds, but the way they were jumping and the season makes me think they were silvers. The "jumping style", if
you can call it that, was identical to the silvers I saw leaping out of the air in Seward last weekend, but the numbers were much much
greater! Not that I like to snag fish, but I wish I had a big treble hook and a rod just to see what species of fish they were. They were
all up and down the beach as far as you could see and right close to shore! Hmmmmm...makes you wonder!
Now to the fishing part. After observing the silvers but not getting any strikes, we went above Swiftwater campground in Soldotna to
fish for the reds. We slammed them pretty well. It wasn't hot fishing but we would go through flurries of 3 or 4 fish. Most all of the
fish were turning dark, but many of the dark fish had sea -lice still attached to them indicating that they must be relatively new into the
freshwater. After 4 fish on my stringer after sorting through a few fish, I once again tagged a nice 10 pound buck silver salmon. Since
I didn't have any silvers in the freezer, I opted to quit fishing (its the rule on the kenai, keep one and you're done!) and retained the
silver. I'm pretty certain that I had hooked two other silvers earlier because the fish that got away were so bright silver in color but
considerably smaller. Hooking three silvers while flyfishing for reds tells me that there are more than just a few silvers in the River. Of
course no commercial fishing and the lack of pressure on the Kenai is probably doing wonders for the escapement of silvers in the
Kenai River. I bet if you didn't mind catch and release (although not necessarily recommended due to the high mortality rate) you could
hit a few silvers a day even without bait. I wonder if fish & game would consider a more liberal limit if more silvers begin to show. I
though it was wishful thinking but I am starting to agree with those who think the run maybe late. I've heard good reports from just
about everyone who has attempted the silver fishing at Kenai, Montnana, and a few other areas.
August 18, Ship Creek
About 9pm Martin calls from Ship Creek. I wasn't about to let him catch all of the fish so I went down. Good thing its only 5 minutes
from my downtown apartment! You gotta love it! Well as it turned out we didn't catch any but it was apparent that the creek was full
of silvers. We continually saw wakes coming up the river but saw only one fish hooked during the whole time. Everyone around us
was tossing a lure of some sort. Mainly pixies and vibrax spinners. I didn't see anyone using roe. I think a roe and bobber rig would
great down there! Well its close so I'll have to try it again!
August 23, Kenai River
Well I only got to fish for a few hours and was skunked! Ouch! Still I was amazed at the lack of traffic on the Kenai River. Tired of
catching reds (God I'm spoiled), I went out for silvers in the lower river. No silvers but we saw hundreds of reds still jumping in the
lower river. I couldn't believe it. Some of them were already dark colored, but many looked to be fresh from the ocean...go figure!
Another boat at launch also got skunked but hooked up two nice Kings! Go figure..Again! It's been a really weird year. At the lodge we
stayed in Sterling, guests were still coming back with some really brght Reds. I give up on trying to figure out the season. It's been
really an odd one!
August 31, Homer enhancement Lagoon
WOW! I have never seen so many silvers congregated into one place in my life. They were everywhere! Of course we fished at noon
in the bright sun and couldn't get them to hit anything! I managed to pull one fairly hooked silver of at least 12 pounds. We snagged a
bunch more. For all of you needing to fill the freezers, this is the place to be. With a generous bag limit of 6 silvers, you really need to
check this out. Go early in the morning and throw a pixie or vibrax and I bet you its almost a sure thing. The tackle shop also
suggested herring under a bobber. I caught mine on a number 5 chartreuse Vibrax. I may have to go back next weekend if I'm feeling
better but a car accident has me on pretty heavy sedatives and muscle relaxants. What bad luck! I'm finally seeing more silvers than I
have ever seen in my life and I can only manage to fish for a couple of hours before feeling like I'm about to pass out! Since the
accident was 100 percent somebody else's fault, I should sue for a million dollars in mental anguish and suffering. It may sound
extreme but I bet most of you fisherman would agree that seeing thousands of fishing jumping yet not being able to fish them hard is
worse than death! As many as I saw, I bet you they'll be around next week as well. Not as many fisherman as you might expect.
Check this out if you have the chance. I know I've made fun of fishing in the lagoon since its like shooting ducks in a barrel but it was
just an amazing scene seeing hundreds of silvers coming out of the water every few minutes. All of the fish we hooked were bright and
fought extremely well.
Sept. 21, Seward
Well I still haven't felt well enough since the car accident to go fishing for any length of time. A seriously major bummer! I did end up
in Seward this weekend with a friend of mine to just scope out the situation. We saw silvers jumping in the small boat harbor and
probably a dozen fisherman at the waterfalls by the new Sealife center being constructed. I saw fisherman with several silvers on the
stringer but over half of the fish had already started to turn a bit pink in color. I did see several large sea lions cruising around the
shoreline which tells me that there are probably a good numbers of silvers still milling around the waterfall area.
The silver season is winding down but I have heard of excellent reports from Kenai Peninsula Lakes on good catches of trout.
November 16, Mat-Su Valley lake
Dear God! Has it been two months. Well a I'm finally settled in to the new job, fully recovered from the car accident and I'm ready to
fish. Unfortunately the weather in Alaska is terrible...it's TOO WARM! The lakes aren't freezing right, its raining instead of snowing.
There appears to be a few lakes ready for icefishing though. We went out to a small lake in the Big Lake area on Sunday. I went with 3
of my friends and we spent maybe 4 hours on the lake. The total tally was 5 keeper rainbows with one over 2 pounds and pushing 18
inches. Nice healthy chunky rainbows. The hot bait appeared to be raw shrimp. I caught all of mine on a single gamakatsu hook on
4pound test in about 20 feet of water. The other guys are more hardware oriented and managed to do well using shrimp tipped spoons.
While not "hot" action, it was consistent for the first few hours but seriously tapered off in the evenings. We almost lost several rods as
the rainbows would smack the bait and take off. I'm definitely going to check out more of the lakes in this area in the near future.
November 23, Mat-su valley Lake</h3></a><p>
November 23, Mat-Su Valley lake
Went out to the same lake as last weekend do see if the rainbows were still active. Although the action was never "hot" we did seem to
get fairly consistent action all day long. Between three of us, we landed 4 rainbows in the 17 inch, 2 pound class with numerous other
rainbows around 12 to 14 inches long. All th fish appeared healthy and were filled with sticklebacks. Like last week all the fish were
caught on single hook and raw shrimp. We kept only the ones that didn't swallow the hook and they were delicious! <P>
The one thing I did note on this trip was how lightly some of the big fish were hitting. While several of the fish almost pulled our rods
into the whole, I was amazed at how light some of the big fish were hitting. You set the hook expecting a 4 inch fish and the next thing
you know the reels are screaming as 4 pound line gets taken off the spool. Lots of fun. So, my advice is to never underestimate the size
of the fish until you have it on the ice. Speaking of ice, be careful! We were fishing a small lake and it still had only 4 to 6 inches of ice.
A couple of snowmobiles found there way to the bottom of Big Lake last weekend. BE CAREFUL!!!
December 21, Big Lake
Well the good news is Big Lake is now plowed and many of the winter roads are in. The ice was over a foot thick in all the plowed
areas so it is safe as long as you stay where the snows been removed. Where the snow covered the ices, the insulating factor caused
the ice to be a few inches thinner. Under a foot in some places. Still, with all the traffic we ventured out with our vehicles and no
problem. It's a bit scary when a truck goes flying down the road and the ice shifts, but after a while we got used to it.
Oh yeah, we did fish and it was pretty slow. We started out by Burnt Point and absolutely nothing. I lip hooked a landlocked salmon no
longer than 4 inches on my ounce krockadile spoon. They must be really hungry! After moving over to the edge of one of the islands, I
hit a nice dolly varden/arctic char that went about 23 inches and my guess of 4 pounds. Nice fish through the ice, it was great fun on
light line. It's always fun when you hook a fish that takes drag through the ice. Then the further added element of luck/skill in
positioning the head in the proper place to pull it up through the hole. Although the bigger spoons I hear are better for the big char, I
caught mine on a smaller half ounce all silver Krockadile spoon jigged in about 30 feet of water. Almost all of our hits came within
inches of the bottom. We had bait out in the other hole but we didn't even get a tap. The spoons seem to be the way to go for the Big
Lake fish so far.
December 27, Big Lake
hey, let's hear it for the Vikings! They finally win in post season! Oh yeah, I guess this is suppose to be a fishing log. Well, we once
again hit Big Lake in an attempt to land the monster Dolly Varden. We set up a 16 by 20 foot wall tent with heaters, wood stove, and
the important tv set to watch the playoff game. After watching the miracle comeback of the Viking over the giants, we were feeling
pretty lucky. What we didn't know was that we probably used up all of our luck with the Vikings last second win. IT WAS SLOW
FISHING! I did manage to catch a decent 20 inch Dolly using a vertical jigging rapala minnow attached to a wind activated jigging
tip-up. It looked silly but it worked! We caught a bunch of smaller fish, but the big fish were hard to come by.
We had hits on everything that looked like a minnow. Everything from spoons, spinners, soft plastic baits, and shrimp. Nothing big
though. I guess we'll just have to put in the time to land the big one. Already there are plans being made to head out next weekend. We
were in a similar area as before in about 30 feet of water. The largest fish came out of deeper water though. Maybe I'll give that a try
Where to go
Looks like Big Lake is going to get hit hard by my group until someone lands the monster fish. Its kind of a race to see who can hit the
first fish over 10 pounds. I'm not holding my breath over it, but I can see it happening sometime this winter. If I hit one over ten, I'd
sure like to get it mounted. These fish are beautiful. I'll have to post a picture of the larger dollies I caught. As soon as I can convince
some friends to go, I'd like to hit Flathorn lake and the other Mat-su area pike lakes. Lots of fun. I still want that trophy certificate!
Good luck & good fishing!
Back to my home page!
Not much to report, the run is winding down. Fished for two hours on both days. Had fish on both days, but it is definitely slowing
down. A few bright fish were still rolling but the peak of the run has definitely gone by.
Had to stay in town so I thought I would try Ship Creek. Besides, the silver salmon derby was on and I may just have to go out and
win the 1,500 dollars. Well, the silvers are definitely in. Talking to locals down there, it seemed like Wednesday was a hot day, but Sat
& Sun turned out to be relatively slow.