July 2009


I spent the day attempting to contact all guests who had reserved king salmon fishing trips with us between July 1- 13 to see if we could reschedule their trips, refer them to other guides, or send them a down payment refund. As mentioned in yesterday`s fishing report, king salmon fishing has been closed for the remainder of the season or until king salmon spawning escapements improve on all of the rivers and streams we normally guide trips.

We plan to start guiding trips for silver salmon and chum salmon on the Little Susitna River, Deshka River, and tributaries of the Susitna River as these fish start to arrive. By July 10 – 13 I would expect some of these fish to start showing up, and we have good availability for most of the month of July at this time.


I guided one guest, who wanted to fish the Little Susitna River in search of early silver salmon and / or chum salmon. We fished the lower river several miles below the boat ramp, and spent most of our time in the tidal zone. I did not see a single fish that far down, but my guest spotted a single fish roll as I was busy working on different tackle. We fished several locations, but did not get a bite. As could be expected, there are very few salmon down in the lower river at this time. We fished every hole I wanted to try and only saw one boat down river the entire time, and they were not fishing when we saw them. I would expect we could have catchable numbers of silver and chum salmon in about a week, as commercial fishermen out in Cook Inlet have already been catching a few.


Eklutna Tailrace — I casted a #5 pink Flashtrap Spinner at the tailrace for a while this morning, and saw a few salmon roll, but did not manage to hook any fish. There were several other anglers out, many of them fishing with bait, which is allowed at the tailrace. I saw one angler who had caught a nice bright jack king salmon of about 16 inches, but otherwise saw no one with a fish. One of the anglers told me there were even more salmon rolling earlier in the morning, but not many biters. The misquito tribe was in and biting good when I ventured upstream of the bridge — so a good idea to bring insect repellant if you plan to fish here.

Commercial fishermen have been catching some silver and chum salmon out in the inlet, so I expect some of these fresh arrivals should be entering some of the valley rivers and streams now with more coming as the season progresses. I plan to fish the Little Susitna River again in the next day or two, so check back to learn what I find.


I took 4 of my nephews fishing for silver and chum salmon on the lower Little Susitna River. We fished all of the prime spots I wanted to fish and only saw one other boat on the lower river, but did not see or hook any salmon. Visible and catchable numbers of salmon should be showing up within the week, as sockeye, pink, coho, and silver salmon are all being caught at this time in the Upper Cook Inlet commercial fisheries. The river came up a little since the last time I was on the river, but according to the water chart results from the upper river, it should be dropping somewhat over the next few days. On an average year we usually start guiding for silver and chum salmon around July 10 – 14.


I talked with Mike Hudson, owner of 3 Rivers Fly & Tackle this morning, and he reported that some chum salmon were being caught all the way up on the Talkeetna River. He`d also talked with an angler, who this morning saw a small group of sockeye salmon in Cottonwood Creek. It is getting to be time for these salmon to be showing up, and from these reports it is clear some of them are moving up into Mat-Su freshwater systems now.

Commercial catches of silver salmon have increased significantly in the Central District of Upper Cook Inlet, and set netters in the Northern District of Upper Cook Inlet also caught 46 silver salmon, over 1600 sockeye salmon, over 450 pink salmon, and 5 chum salmon on the Thursday July 9th opening.

I am scheduled to guide my next salmon fishing trip on Monday July 13 and hope to have a positive report posted in the afternoon / evening after the trip. Check back then to learn more.


I guided a morning group of 3 guests, 1 of whom caught a chum salmon and a rainbow trout, another guest caught a jack king salmon, and the 3rd guest hooked and lost 1 rainbow trout. I did not see any salmon roll all morning and only saw three large red king salmon in the water on the morning trip. in the morning all the fish were hooked on Flashtrap Spinners. #3 black spinners and a #4 silver and black got all the bites. We also fished #4 orange blade, but did not have any bites with it.

In the afternoon I guided a group of 4 guests, and 1 guest caught 1 chum salmon while back trolling a Wee Wiggler. The guests also cast with Flashtrap Spinners, but did not get any other bites.

The water is currently quite low, but running with a considerable amount of glacial green color to it.


I fished with one guest today, and he caught a king salmon which we immediately released and a silver salmon, which he kept. I caught a sockeye salmon. All the fish were caught on Flashtrap Spinners. The sockeye was caught on a #4 silver and black spinner, the king was caught on a #3 all black spinner, and the silver was caught on a #4 orange blade spinner. Water remains low and will likely get lower unless we get some rain. We saw a few jumping salmon today — although mostly only in one spot, and it looked like most of those might have been sockeye.


I fished with 2 guests, 1 of whom caught 3 chum salmon, 1 of whom caught 2 pink salmon, and I caught 1 chum salmon. 1 salmon was caught on a Brad`s Wee Wiggler plug, and all the remaining salmon were caught on #3 and #4 Flashtrap Spinners. Water is low and clear, and numbers of salmon are low, but increasing.


I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a silver salmon on a #4 orange Flashtrap Spinner, and 1 of whom caught a pink salmon on a #4 silver and black Flashtrap Spinner.


I guided a group of 3 guests who caught 4 silver salmon, 4 chum salmon, and a pink salmon on Flashtrap Spinners. The water remained low and clear, and we saw more fish rolling than on any other trip this year — although we only saw fish rolling in 3 spots.


I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, one of whom caught a single chum salmon. We only saw two other fish roll during the entire trip, and did not manage to hook any other fish.


I fished with a group of 3 guests and we caught 4 silver salmon on Flashtrap Spinners. The river has risen over the past couple days, but we only saw a few fish roll during the trip — although we see more salmon than the previous day. Water conditions are good for fishing.


I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, and everyone hooked one salmon, but the guests only caught two silver salmon. All of the fish were hooked on Flashtrap Spinners. The river has dropped and clear once again.


I guided a family of 6 who caught 6 silver salmon and 1 chum salmon. All of the fish were caught on either orange #4 Flashtrap Spinners or Pink #5 Flashtrap Spinners. We saw more jumpers today than on previous days, and also hooked more additional salmon which got away before we could land them. Water remains low and clear.


I guided 3 guests who cast Flashtrap Spinners the entire trip and caught 3 silver salmon, 1 chum salmon. and a pink salmon. They also hooked and lost a few additional salmon, but for the most part catching silvers has required lots of casting and persistence. On the trip we saw several beavers, ducks, and shorebirds. I expect to catch salmon every trip now, and guests with good casting ability and willing to learn some new techniques and stick with them have a good opportunity to limit on silver salmon.

If this sounds like a trip you might be interested in give us a call at (907) 746-2199 and we should be able to set you up with either a morning or afternoon trip, as we currently have good availability on most dates.


I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests interested in catch and release salmon fishing, so we went upstream and they caught about a dozen salmon on wee wigglers and kwickfish. It was a fun and enjoyable trip watching two young boys catch most of the salmon.


I guided a group of 2 guests, and we went down river into the tidal zone in search of silver salmon right away. We good numbers of salmon rolling down there, but only one of the guests managed to hook and land one silver salmon. The fish was caught on a #4 orange Flashtrap Spinner. The river has dropped to an extremely low level, and the further one travels down river the muddier the water gets from all of the boat traffic — nothing unusual to that — except that the water is even much more muddy than normal down there. My guests fished hard and did a good job casting to specific spots and presenting their lures, so I was surprised they did not hook or catch more salmon.


I guided a group of 2 guests interested in catching salmon, so I decided to fish for chums and each guest caught and kept a 3 salmon limit on Wee Wigglers. The guests kept 5 chum salmon and 1 silver salmon.


On short vacation returning July 28.


On short vacation — guiding next salmon fishing trip Tuesday July 28.


i guided a morning group of 2 guests who wanted to catch and release salmon. so we fished for chum salmon and they caught about a dozen fish on Flashtrap Spinners.

I fished with an afternoon group of 2 guests who chose to fish for silver salmon, so we fished different holes and caught 3 silver salmon on Flashtrap Spinners. Water remains quite low.


I guided 2 people on the Susitna River system and they each caught a limit of 3 silver salmon on the Deshka River fishing Fire Cured salmon eggs under ESB Bobbers. They also caught several king salmon which grabbed the eggs while we were fishing for silvers. We kept all the king salmon in the water and released them as soon as we could. There were plenty of people and boats at the Deshka, but after moving around for a while we finally found a good school of silver salmon that had not been bothered for a while, and were willing to bite.


I guided a father and son in the afternoon, and we had trouble finding many silver salmon willing to bite. I hooked 2 silvers on Flashtrap Spinners which and let the boy bring them in, and then quit fishing. The father had a few bites / briefly hooked a few salmon, but could not keep them on the hook. I think the boy had one bite, but could not keep the fish hooked either. We saw and hooked most of the fish down low in the river as the tide was coming in.