July 2016 Alaska Fishing Reports

Our July 2016 Alaska Fishing Reports post results from my guided fishing trips on Mat-Su Valley rivers north of Anchorage, Alaska.  Through July 13 I will be guiding trips for king salmon on the Little Susitna and / or Deshka River.   Starting July 14 my trips will focus on catching coho, chum, pink, and sockeye salmon from the Little Susitna River and Susitna River drainage.

July 1 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, and although we were fishing on rolling king salmon most of the trip, my guests only landed two nice sized king salmon — both of which were not hooked in the mouth, and had to be released.   On the trip to the river I saw a cow moose along the road.

I guided an afternoon group of 2 guests, one of whom caught a king salmon on a Spin-N-Glo.  Once again we saw many more king salmon rolling than we could get to bite.   We did have one other king salmon briefly hooked during the trip.   We saw a few bald eagles during the trip and my guests saw a cow moose and calf before meeting up with me to start the trip.

July 2, 2016 — I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Spinning Cheater early in the trip.   After that the group was not able to hook any additional king salmon.   Water was up and muddy following the previous day of rain — but I still felt it was in reasonable shape for catching some fish.   We only saw a very few salmon roll today.  The water level may start dropping again tomorrow, however, the weather report is calling for several days of rain in the coming week.

July 3, 2016 — I guided an afternoon group of 2 anglers, one of whom caught a nice chrome king salmon on a kwikfish.   We saw a few other fish roll and the second guest had one bite, but we did not hook any more fish.   We did see a few bald eagles.

July 4, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon, another of whom caught a chum salmon, and the 3rd who had a sockeye salmon right near the boat, but it came loose before I had an opportunity to net it.   All of those fish were hooked while casting with Flashtrap Spinners.  One angler also had a couple bite while fishing with a Mag Lip Flatfish.  We saw bald eagles during the trip.

I guided an afternoon group of 6 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon, and another of whom caught a chum salmon.   Both fish were caught on Kwikfish. We saw bald eagles during the trip.

July 5, 2016   — I guided a morning group of 5 guests, and no one even hooked a fish.   We saw a few salmon roll and had a few bites on kwikfish, but no one was able to fight a fish.   During the trip we drifted up close to a beaver feeding along the bank, and also saw some bald eagles.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a chum salmon on a kwikfish.   We saw several eagles during the trip, and saw some other salmon surface, but were unable to hook any other fish.   The water was higher and muddier today.

July 6 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 3 of whom each caught a dark king salmon while drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.   I think the 4th guest would have likely caught a king salmon with a little more effort as well, but after her husband, son, and grandson all caught a king salmon she was happy to call it a trip.5

July 7 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, each of whom caught a dark king salmon whiled drifting Fired Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.   The bite was not quite as quick as yesterday, but it was still a good morning.

I guided an afternoon group of 5 guests, each of whom caught a dark king salmon while drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.   In addition, one of the guests also caught 2 jack king salmon before keeping his larger fish.

July 8 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, each of whom caught a dark king salmon, and 2 of whom caught some chum salmon.   All of the fish were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.  Both my guests and I saw moose in the morning while driving out to the river.    We also saw a beaver and saw and heard bald eagles during the trip.

I guided an afternoon group of 5 guests, each of whom caught a dark king salmon by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.  We also saw and heard bald eagles during the trip.

July 9, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, each of whom caught a dark king salmon.   Before catching their king salmon 2 of wth guests also caught a chum salmon.   All of the fish were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.    During the trip we saw a few bald eagles.

COHO HO!   — During the afternoon I fished by myself and scouted for “other,” salmon.   I caught the first coho or silver salmon of the season from my boat, and also caught 1 chum salmon, but still hooked into several king salmon.   It will likely be a few days before there are decent number of silver and chum salmon to catch,  but after king salmon season ends on July 13, I’ll be guiding for the smaller salmon on the following day.

July 10 and 11,  I have both days scheduled off to get a few things done around the house and catch up on some sleep.

July 12 — I guided a group of 4 people, each of whom caught a limit of salmon.   1 person caught a king salmon.   1 person caught a chum salmon and then a king salmon.   1 person harvested 2 chum salmon and a king salmon, and the final guest harvested 2 chum salmon and a silver salmon.    All of the fish were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.    There are limited numbers of 5 species of salmon available, so  I took it easy with only one charter today.

Flashtrap Spinner Delivery — I  delivered  200 Flashtrap Spinners to 3 Rivers Fly & Tackle on the afternoon of July 13.    This is not a very large supply so I doubt  they will last  long before selling out.   Patterns stocked include #4 Orange blade, #4 Silver / black, #5 Pink blade, #5 Orange Blade,  #5 Chartreuse blade.  — Andy

July 13 — I guided a group of 4 guests, each of whom caught dark king salmon, and 1 of whom also caught 2 chum salmon.   Another guest also caught 1 coho salmon, a king salmon jack, and a whitefish. All of the fish were caught on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers.  It was the second hot and sunny day in a row and the water is getting low and clear enough that I could see salmon in several holes.

Little Susitna River switches back to artificial lures only from July 14 — August 5.  I will be guiding guests on July 14 and my group will be casting Flashtrap Spinners and possibly back trolling small plugs.   We’ll primarily be hoping to catch chum and coho salmon.

July 14, 2016 — I guided a group of 4 guests, who caught 2 silver salmon and 5 chum salmon while casting with Flashtrap Spinners.   I was pleased with the results of the trip, and while we might have hoped for more silver salmon, the reality is there are considerably more chum salmon available at the present time.   The chums were fresh with sea lice and lots of fight.   During the trip we saw a cow and calf moose and a bald eagle along the river.  My guests were good casters and experience anglers. so that helped their success.

July 16, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, 1 of whom caught a chum salmon on a Flashtrap Spinner.   The group also hooked a couple other salmon, but did  not manage to land them.

I guided an afternoon group of 2 guests, each of whom caught a limit of chum salmon while casting with Flashtrap Spinners.   During the trip we also saw a young bull moose along the river.

July 17 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 3 of whom each caught 1 silver salmon on Flashtrap Spinners.   They also briefly hooked, but lost a few additional salmon.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 anglers, 1 of whom caught a silver salmon.   2 other members of the group hooked salmon, but lost them before we could land them.   All of the fish were hooked on Flashtrap Spinners.   Water is low and silver salmon numbers are not very high, yet.

July 18, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, who caught 6 silver salmon and 2 pink salmon — all while casting #5 Flashtrap Spinners.   Near the end of the trip we saw a moose our along the river.

I guided an afternoon group of 6 guests, 2 of whom each caught a silver salmon on Flashtrap Spinners.    The group only hooked two additional salmon during the afternoon and had a tough time drawing strikes.

July 19 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, one of whom caught a limit of silver salmon on a Flashtrap Spinner.   The other members of the group fished hard, but did not land any salmon.

I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, who did a great job of learning what we were doing and casting Flashtrap Spinners, but we were only able to hook up one silver salmon and need up losing it before we could land it.

July 20-– My wife and I took an outboard motor into an outboard mechanic in Anchorage, and then did some shopping while waiting for the work to be completed — so I did not fish.

July 21– I guided a morning group of 4 guests, who caught 5 silver salmon, harvested a couple chum salmon, harvested one pink salmon, and released several other pink salmon.   All of the fish were caught while casting with Flashtrap Spinners.   During the trip one of the guests spotted a moose along there river.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and although we fished over good groups of salmon much of the trip we could only get a few to bite.   One member harvested a silver salmon, and we released a rainbow trout, 2 pink salmon, and some foul hooked pink salmon, 1 chum salmon, and 1 silver salmon.   During the trip we saw a few bald eagles.

July 22 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, each of whom  caught some salmon while casting with Flashtrap Spinners.   1 guests caught a couple silver salmon, and the other guests caught chum and pink salmon.

July 23 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, and they  caught some chum and pink salmon.   All of the fish were caught on Flashtrap spinners.

I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, 2 of whom each caught one pink salmon on Flashtrap Spinners.   We were specifically looking for silver salmon in the tide zone, but din own even hook a fish until we were far upriver from the tide.

July 24 — I guided a morning group of 3 experienced anglers who wanted to catch fish, but not necessarily keep them, so we fished where there was an abundance of pink and chum salmon.   The group made me look good by catching an estimated 18 chum and pink salmon, and harvested 1 coho salmon.   All of the fish were caught while casting small spinners.    We fished 7 spots catching a few fish in the first 6 spots and catching most of them in the 7th spot.  It rained quite a bit today, and the river is getting cooler and rising, so I’m expecting more chum, silver, pink, and sockeye salmon to migrate upstream with the higher and cooler water.

July 25, 2016  I guided a morning group of 4 guests interested in catching silver salmon, so we focussed on that.   1 guest caught a limit of silver salmon and a 2nd guest caught one silver salmon and lost another one while casting with Flashtrap Spinners.   The other two guests fished the entire trip, but did not manage to hook any salmon.  During the trip I only saw one additional salmon roll — which we did not hook.  On the drive to the river both my guests and I saw moose along the road.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 2 of whom were particularly interested in catching some chum salmon, so we focus on catching numbers of fish.  We estimated the group caught over 20 chum salmon on #5 Flashtrap Spinners.   The water continues to cool down and rise from our recent rains including today.

July 26 — I had a day off the river and did not fish.

July 27 — I guided a morning group of 2 guests who wanted to catch chum and pink salmon, so we targeted those fish, and each guest caught a limit of chum salmon — although they did not keep them.  In addition one guest caught 3 pink salmon, an the other guest caught 2 silver salmon.   All of the fish were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners.  During the trip we saw one bald eagle.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, each of whom caught a limit of chum salmon — although no one kept their whole limit.   Once again my group chose to catch fish and have more consistent action rather than pursue silver salmon.   All of my guests afternoon fish were caught on Flashtrap Spinners.  Spinner patterns that produced fish in the afternoon included pink blade, silver blade, black blade / black body, and chartreuse blade.   During the trip we saw couple bald eagles.

July 28 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests primarily interested in catching fish, but not necessarily keeping them.   All of the guests caught at least a limit of salmon — mostly chums and pinks, although one guest caught and kept a silver salmon.   All of the fish were caught on #4 and #5 Flashtrap Spinners.   During the trip we saw some bald eagles along the river.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests interested in catching silver salmon.   We tried to catch silvers but the whole group only caught 1 silver salmon, 1 chum salmon, and 1 pink salmon.   Not many bites in the afternoon, although one  guest also hooked and lost two other salmon.   All of the fish were caught on #4 and #5 Flashtrap Spinners.   We saw a blade eagle close to the river and also heard some eagles calling during the trip.

 

July 29 –– I guided a morning group of 3 guests, each of whom caught chum salmon on Flashtrap Spinners.   They also caught a couple pink salmon, but no silver salmon.   We opted to fish for the chums to provide more for sure action than pursuing silver salmon.

I guided an afternoon group of 3 experienced salmon anglers, 2 of whom caught a limit of silver salmon, and 1 of whom caught one silver salmon and one chum salmon.   All of the fish were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners.

July 30 — I ended up not guiding any trips on Saturday.

July 31 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, each of whom caught a limit of silver salmon while casting with Flashtrap Spinners.

I guided an afternoon group of 5 guests, 3 of whom caught a limit of silver salmon, and 2 of whom each caught 1 silver salmon.   All of the fish were caught while casting with #5 Flashtrap Spinners.   While driving home from the river I saw a red fox run across the road in front of my truck.

For our next Alaska Fishing Report update go to our August 2016 Alaska Fishing Reports page.