May 2016 Alaska Fishing Reports

May is the month when we usually start guiding our Alaska salmon fishing trips on Mat-Su Valley rivers and streams north of Anchorage and near Palmer, Wasilla, and Willow.  Although I’ve personally caught a king salmon on the first day of May, early May trips are mostly a chance to get out and enjoy our beautiful Alaska rivers at a time when few people are fishing them.  Before mid-May it more likely that guests may catch other species of fish rather than salmon.   Starting about mid-May our chances of catching king salmon start picking up with the inriver king salmon runs building through the end of the month and into June.  Fish caught by guests on our May trips have included: king salmon, rainbow trout, northern pike, arctic grayling, and sockeye salmon.

$120 May Special Price — from now through the end of May 2016 you may get this special price on May trips by making your online reservation for a trip run during May 2016.  Use the coupon code:  May King.

May 2, 2016 — First guided boat trip of the season — I guided 3 guests and everyone caught a fish, but nobody caught a king salmon.  The group caught one rainbow trout and 9 northern pike.   The trout was caught on a Maglip Flatfish, while all the pike were caught by casting with #5 silver / black Flashtrap Spinners.    During the trip we saw some eagles, ducks, one trumpeter swam, and some beavers.   We did not see anyone else out fishing the entire day.   Water was in good shape for fishing and boating.     We currently have space available over the next couple weeks, so  if anyone would like to join us on a guided Alaska fishing trip give us a call at 907-746-2199.

May 4, 2016Matanuska Valley Fish and Game Advisory Committee Election Meeting 7 pm at Wasilla High School.   This is your opportunity to help elect the people that will represent your fishing, hunting, and access interests on the Matanuska Valley FIsh and Game Advisory Committee or if you are an Alaska resident, at least 18 years old, and live in the area you could also run for a spot on the Committee.   Voting only take a few minutes.   I’m planning to be there and voting.    I also have another meeting to attend earlier in the day — so I am not planning to guide any trips or go fishing on Wednesday April 4.

Friday May 6, 2016 — I guided a group of 2 guests who started fishing about 9 am.  One guest caught 2 rainbow trout on a Kwikfish and 2 northern pike on a Flashtrap Spinner.   the 2nd guest caught a northern pike on a Flashtrap Spinner.   During the trip we spotted moose along the river 3 different times and also spotted several bald eagles.  We spent most of the trip attempting to catch king salmon without seeing or hooking any salmon.   I did talk with a couple different people today that told me the first few Mat-Su king salmon have already been caught from Deshka River in 2016.

Hooligan arrive at Yentna River area— Ben Allen went boating a d prospecting for these abundant smelt-like fish and found good abundances of theme now available down the Susitna River at the Yentna River confluence and up the Yentna River a ways.  For  Alaskans interested in catching a cooler full of hooligan, Ben guides hooligan fishing trips — contact him at 907- 892-6872.

May 10, 2016 — Ben Allen and I took his new riverboat to the Deshka River where he caught a grayling on a Vibrax Spinner, and we both caught several northern pike on Vibrax Spinners.  We fished near the river’s confluence with the Susitna River for a while, and saw king salmon surface 4 times, but were unable to draw a strike ourselves.   While at the mouth we saw one other boat of anglers catch a king salmon of about 18 – 20 pounds.   When we talked to the same group later in the day they said they had also caught a 2nd smaller king salmon which they had released.   A few early king salmon are continuing to show up at this location, and I will be guiding several trips later in the week and on the weekend.

May 12, 2016 — Eklutna Tailrace — I heard the power plant had finished annual maintenance and was once again running an increased volume of water through the tailrace — So I drove over and fished a couple hours.   I fished wet Fire Cured salmon roe under an ESB Bobber, but did not get any bites, nor did I see any big salmon.    I did see the usual variety of morning wildlife — a couple moose and some ducks as I was driving across Palmer Hay Flats, and more ducks and a beaver swimming around the tailrace.  Check back tomorrow evening and I should have some reports from a couple boat trips.

May 13, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Kwikfish.   Another angler caught a rainbow trout on a Magnum Wiggle Wart and caught a northern pike on a Flashtrap Spinner.   A third angler caught a northern pike on a Flashtrap Spinner.   The 4th angler has a pike close, but did not land it.   During the trip we saw a bald eagle sitting in a perch really close overlooking the river.   We also saw a small group of Trumpeter Swans.

I guided one guest in the afternoon who caught a small king salmon on his 3rd cast and released it to try for something else.   On about his 20th cast he hooked into a much larger king salmon, that he eventually led to the net.   It weighed 27 pounds and had sea lice.  Both fish were caught on a #5 Silver / Black Flashtrap Spinner.

May 14, 2016 — I guided my first two trips of the season to Little Susitna River.   I had a morning group of 4 guests, and although they all fished the entire time they did not get even one good bite.   We back trolled a variety of plugs the entire time.  We saw and heard lots of birds in the morning and also saw a moose along the bank.  Water was bit on the low side, but rising slowly.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and although we saw one king salmon roll we were unable to draw even a single strike.   Once again we back trolled a variety of plugs and covered lots of water during the trip.

May 15 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests, and no one even hooked a king salmon.   Each guest caught a northern pike  on a Flashtrap Spinner and one of the guests caught two.   I saw  one salmon jump completely out of the water during the trip.   Although there were several boats out in the areas we were fishing we only saw one other boat of anglers catch a king salmon.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and the group both cast Flashtrap Spinners and bag trolled a variety of plugs, but we failed to hook a single king salmon.   We spent the entire trip  fishing for kings.   During the trip we saw lots of bald eagles and a yearling moose that crossed the river below our boat.

May 16 — I took a group of friends and camera crew fishing, and one of them caught a king salmon on a kwikfish.   Another person also hooked a king salmon on the same kwikfish, but the fish was able to shake the hook before we could land it.   Those were the only fish we hooked on a beautiful  sunny day of fishing.

May 17 — I guided a group of 4 guests, and we did not hook any king salmon.   We saw one good-sized kings salmon surface in a hole we were fishing, but the guests were unable to hook up in that spot while casting with Flashtrap Spinners.   We did not see any other boats hook up salmon either.   During the trip few saw several bald eagles, and each of the guests caught a northern pike while casting with #5 Flashtrap Spinners.  The run is still building, but I’m expecting someone will catch a king salmon our next trip out.

May 18 — My niece and I fished at Eklutna Tailrace this evening, looking for an early season king salmon.  She fished Fire-brined shrimp under an ESB bobber, while I casted a #5 Flashtrap Spinner, but neither of us saw any large salmon, and we had no strikes.   The other dozen or so people fishing at the tailrace did not seem to be having any better luck.   Every thing looked like some early king salmon could be showing up — just no king salmon, yet.

May 19 — I’m planning to get my final boat ready to fish today.

May 20, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 2 of whom caught king salmon on the same Spinning Cheater.  One of the guests spotted a moose and a fox along the road while driving the the boat launch area.

I guided one guest in the afternoon who caught a king salmon on a Spinning Cheater.   During the trip my guests spotted a young bull moose along the river.

May 21, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 5 guests, one of whom caught a king salmon on a Kwikfish.  It was a cool and wet morning and we did not catch the fish until nearly the end of the trip.

May 22 –I guided a morning group of 4 guests, and although we fished hard the entire time, we failed to get a single bite.   We did see a couple bald eagles during the trip.  In the morning we did see a couple fish surface — one at the first hole we fished.  Water had come up and gotten dirtier overnight from Friday’s rain.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, once again we fished the whole trip without a bite.  We saw a yearling moose cross the river a short ways below us as we were fishing the first hole.

May 23 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 2 of whom caught king salmon.  1 king salmon was caught on a Kwikfish and the other king salmon was caught on a Spinning Cheater.  During the trip we saw two moose right beside the river as we were motoring back toward the landing.  We also saw and heard some sandhill cranes during the trip.  Water is still high, but at least the group was able to get some bites and land some salmon.

May 24, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 3 of whom caught king salmon.  1 king salmon was caught on a #5 Silver / Black Flashtrap Spinner, 1 king salmon was caught on a Pixie spoon, and 1 king salmon was caught on a Kwikfish.    In addition the 4th guest hooked and fought a king salmon for a while before the hook pulled loose — that king salmon was also caught on a Kwikfish.   We also saw some bald eagles during the trip.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Kwikfish.  During the trip we saw several bald eagles and enjoyed a warm sunny afternoon.   2 additional king salmon were hooked on Kwikifsh, but lost before they could be brought to the net.

May 25, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 2 of whom caught king salmon.  1 king salmon was caught on a Pixie Spoon and 1 king salmon was caught on a Kwikfish.   In addition 1 king salmon was hooked and lost on a Flashtrap Spinner.   Near the end of the trip one of the guests spotted a pair of moose near the river.   We also saw several bald eagles during the trip.

I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests,  1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Mag Lip Flatfish.   In addition, one other king salmon was hooked, but lost near the boat on a Flashtrap Spinner.  We saw several bald eagles during the afternoon trip.

May 26, 2016 — I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 3 of whom caught a king salmon.  1 king salmon was caught on a Kwikfish, and 2 king salmon were caught on #5 silver / black Flashtrap Spinners.   During the trip we saw several bald eagles and a moose that waded out in the river below us.  It was  a bright sunny afternoon on the water, and very pleasant for fishing — fortunately some fish were biting as well.

May 27, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Spinning Cheater.   That was the only hook up the guests were able to get during the trip even though we covered lots of prime water.   Near the end of the trip we saw a moose with a new born calf along the river.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 2 of whom caught a king salmon.  1 king salmon was caught on a Spinning Cheater and 1 king salmon was caught on a Kwikfish.   We also saw a few king salmon surfacing during the trip, and had a few additional bites that we were unable to hook.

May 28, 2016 — I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 2 of whom caught a king salmon.   1 king salmon was caught on a Spinning Cheater and 1 king salmon was caught on a Kwikfish.  We had a few other bites, and hooked but lost one other king salmon.   We also saw a bald eagle looking down at our boat from his perch over the river, and on the trip back to the landing one of the guests spotted a moose that everyone got to see along the river.

May 29, 2016 — I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Spinning Cheater.   Another guest also briefly hooked two fish — one on a Kwikfish and one on  a Spinning Cheater.   In addition, we saw several salmon surface, but could not get anymore to bite.   Along the river we saw several bald eagles and one moose doing the trip.

May 30, 2016– I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Spinning Cheater, and a second who hooked also hooked a king salmon on a Spinning Cheater, but the snap that the leader was tied to pulled free and the salmon was lost.  The guests hooked both fish fairly early in the trip, however, we were unable to draw any additional strikes after that — even when we were fishing directly over places where we had seen king salmon roll.   Water had come up and muddied overnight.

I took 4 family members fishing in the afternoon, and they had 3 bites, and caught all 3 king salmon.   Two fish were caught on Kwikfish and 1 king salmon was caught on a Spinning Cheater.  We were fortunate to get all 3 fish, as one of them got wrapped up in some brush, but we were able to move around until the line worked free.

May 31, 2016 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 2 of whom caught king salmon on Kwikfish.   One other angler also hooked a king salmon on a Kwikfish, but lost it close to the boat.   During the trip we saw lots of bald eagles, a couple beavers, and 2 young bull moose.  We also saw several king salmon. most of which we could not get to bite.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and although we saw several king salmon rolling, only one member of the group managed to get a bite, and even though he made a strong hook set, he did not hook the fish.   During the trip we once again saw plenty of bald eagles, and one large bull moose that was eating wet vegetation along the river.

I hope to start a June 2016 Fishing reports page for tomorrow’s fishing reports.  Look for the new page for the latest update.