October / November / December 2013 Alaska Fishing Reports

December 30

I guided one guest who caught limits of rainbow trout and Arctic char.    Like usual we saw eagles beside the lake.   Temperatures were quite cool.   My guests wife warmed up during the trip by hiking on the trails near the lake.

December 29, 2013

I guided a group of 2 women,  each of whom kept limits of rainbow trout and Arctic char.   The also caught some smaller landlocked salmon.  All of the fish were caught on single Balls O’Fire salmon eggs fished about a foot above the bottom.   On the trip we saw a couple eagles perched in trees on the edge of the lake watching the group catch fish.

December 28, 2013  Fishing report

I guided another group of 2 guests, ice thickness remained about one foot.   Each guest caught several landlocked salmon, rainbow trout, and Arctic char, and both guests kept limits of rainbow trout and Arctic char.   All of the fish were caught on Pautzke’s Balls   O’ Fire  salmon eggs fished near the bottom.    We saw several other groups out fishing today as well.   We also once again saw bald eagles near where we were fishing.  One very pleasant development was the temperature was 25 degrees warmer today compared to the day before.

December 27, 2013  Fishing Report

I guided 2 guests on an ice fishing trip.    The ice was about a foot thick — I would have guessed it should be thicker by now — but we have snow cover insulating the ice.    Each guest caught some rainbow trout by fishing with Pautzke’s single Balls O’Fire salmon eggs.   All of their fish were in the 8 – 10 inch range.  During the trip we also enjoyed the company of two bald eagles that landed in a tree behind us and watched the action.     Temperatures were cold for ice fishing on the open ice — about  negative 12 degrees in the parking lot when we started the trip.    I guide another trip Saturday and plan to post a report later in the day.

Nov. 23, 2014 Fishing Report —

I guided 3 guests on an ice fishing trip to the Kepler – Bradley system lakes near Palmer.  Since this was my first ice fishing trip of the season the first action was to drill a hole an measure the ice depth before venturing away from shore.   As measured ice depth at our first hole was 6 inches and I felt comfortable walking around and drilling holes in several locations.   I did not specifically measure ice depth in the other holes, however, at each spot ice depth was about the same.    My 3 guests each caught and released over 10 fish most measuring up to 12 0r 14 inches, but one of the guests also caught a fat arctic char that I estimate at about 22 inches.   All of the fish were caught on Pautzke’s Balls O’ Fire salmon eggs fished on a single hook.  We fished in depths of 8 – 25 feet and caught fish at all locations, although some of our best luck occurred in the deeper water and that was also where the largest fish was caught.  During the trip we saw a pair of bald eagles that perched in tall cottonwood trees near where we were fishing to watch the action.


Board of FIsheries Preparations —

I attended one day of the Board of Fisheries Work session in Girdwood in early October, and have also been attending October and November meetings of the Matanuska Susitna Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Matanuska Valley Fish and Game Advisory Committee in preparation for the upcoming Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries Meeting Jan. 31 – February 13, 2014 at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage where fishing regulations will be adopted for the next 3 years.  The outcome of this Board Meeting will have strong impacts on all fishers interested in harvested Upper Cook Inlet salmon — so I encourage people to learn more about the Board of Fisheries process and become an active participant in at least  a portion of this meeting.   Actions that could impact the board’s decisions could include writing a letter to the Board, signing up and providing a 3-minute testimony at the Board meeting, or individually explaining your concerns to a board member(s).   Shortly after Thanksgiving, Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff will be traveling to Wasilla to provide an annual update concerning fisheries management actions of the Department in regards to Matanuska – Susitna Valley salmon stocks.   If you want to rebuild and maintain strong returns of Matanuska -Susitna Valley to their native streams or would simply like a report on expected king salmon regulations for 2014, this is an important meeting to attend and voice your concerns.    The meeting is scheduled for 6 – 9 pm. at  Public Safety Building 61 in Wasilla at 101 W. Swanson (off Lucille Street).

In October I spent a considerable amount of time experimenting with and building new fishing rods “customized” for my guests and the techniques we  frequently use on Fishtale’s guided Alaska salmon fishing charters.  I built some lighter 7 foot spinning rods for casting lures for coho and chum salmon, some stouter spinning rods up to 7 1/2 feet in length  for casting lures to king salmon, but also useful for casting to smaller salmon, and for drifting bobbers and bait for all salmon species.   Finally I am building a few spinning rods up to 8’8″ long, specifically for drifting bobbers and bait for both king and silver salmon.

All the rods are built on rod blanks made in the USA — most using St. Croix blanks, with one rod  built on a North Fork Composite blank.  Guides are all been the new Fuji KR system spinning guides — designed to be light and sensitive, while casting smoothly and resisting line tangles.  Handle lengths have been optimized for two-handed casting, powerful hook sets and, comfortable rod balance, yet short enough for easy handling and lighter weight.  Cork sealer was applied to maintain and protect the “new” look and feel of all cork handles.  Custom work extends to the purple guide wraps on gray / black colored rods and green wraps on blue / green colored rods.    I am pleased with the results, and am looking forward to providing my guests an opportunity to fish with these new rods during our 2014 fishing season.