Alaska Fishing Reports May 2018

May 2018 Alaska Fishing Reports —  During our 2018 Alaska salmon fishing season we plan to fish Little Susitna River as our primary destination, but we also guide trips to Deshka River and Susitna River tributary streams.   You may want to bookmark this page so you can easily refer back to it in the future.   After making a reservation, some of our guests check our reports every day during the season until it is time for their trip.   Scroll down from our most recent Alaska Fishing Report update.   Note — we have May availability for both king salmon harvest trips (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays) and king salmon catch and release (C&R) trips.

May 1, 2018  — We now have more than 16 hours of official daylight per day — it starts getting light by 5 am and there is still dusky light at 10 pm in the evening.  As mentioned a couple times in our April 2018 Fishing Reports May 1 is our record date for our earliest catch of a Mat-Su Valley king salmon.  That fish was caught from the Little Susitna River on a Flashtrap Spinner on the first trip we made to the river back in 2003.  In addition, another king salmon was also briefly hooked on that May 1 trip.

Having fished Little Susitna River from the bank on April 30, 2018, and having taken a careful look at river conditions, I’m planning on having our first guide boat of the season ready to run  king salmon trips by Friday May 4, 2018 —  however, a king salmon fishing trip this time of year would be more a celebration of spring and enjoying an opportunity to get out and fish several prime sports along the river, and spot some wildlife.   Odds would be low for catching a king salmon, but we are willing to get out on the river and work several prime holes in search of early king salmon if you would like to take a trip.  Feel welcome to give us a call at 907-746-2199 if you would like to discuss a trip this coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday (May 4, 5, 6, 7).   If  you catch king salmon regulations allow them to be kept on Fridays, Saturday, Sundays, and Mondays during our 2018 season.

Today we had the wettest day we’ve had in over a month near Palmer.  It was cool outside most of the day, and I spent my time indoors wrapping two new fishing rods. It was good to get some rain, and I suspect it was likely snow in the mountains.  I plan to start working on getting my first guide boat prepped for the season tomorrow.

May 2, 2018  — I wrapped and finished two more custom salmon rods today.   I also wrote my weekly fishing column for the Frontiersman Newspaper — if everything goes according to scheduled it should be in the Friday May 4 Frontiersman.

May 3, 2018  — Today I wrapped what may be the last 2 custom fishing rods I have to build before my open-water salmon fishing season starts going.  I also noticed on the  Deshka Landing website that the Susitna River has finally opened up in front of the landing.   There is still ice in the boat launch lagoon as I write, however, it should only be a few days or a  week before members should have an opportunity to launch and boat from Deshka Landing.

I plan to take my boat on a king salmon fishing trip tomorrow  — May 4.  It is very early in the season, and my first opportunity to get out on the water with the boat this season.   I’ll be starting fairly late in the day — so check back Friday evening if you would like to know if I find any king salmon.

Friday May 4, 2018 — First Guided King Salmon Trip of the Season.  I guided my nephew Daniel Warta and a visitor from Texas, and we spent nearly 7 hours on the water, but did not see any fish or get any bites.  During the trip we did see quite a bit of birdlife, including bald eagles, hawks, owls, Canadian Geese, Trumpeter Swans, various duck species, and long-legged shorebirds.  Water conditions were better than I thought we would see — with better clarity than when I was at the river on the last day of April.   There was enough water volume that I drove my outboard jet motor equipped guide boat everywhere I wanted to go without any worry about hitting bottom.   What that tells me is when the weather finally warms up later this month, we are likely to get lots of run off, and the river should be high and dark colored.   There was a small amount of ice and snow along the sides of the river wishing a few miles both directions from the boat launch.  Several of the holes my guests were fishing seemed to be at a very good water clarity and depth for catching a king salmon, and even though it is very early in the season I was hopeful for someone hooking or catching a king salmon.  While on the river we saw a couple of people with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, another group of boaters, and while we were getting ready to leave a bank angler showed up to start fishing.   My assessment is a person can easily enough get out on the river in a boat and fish lots of prime water at this time for king salmon.  I’ve caught a few king salmon within a week of this date with similar water conditions in the past, so there is a change to catch one of the big boys, but it usually takes some luck or a good amount of effort.   My guests fished both Flashtrap Spinners and Kwikfish as we tried a plethora of prime spots along the river.  Fish On.

My weekly fishing column comes out in the Frontiersman Newspaper on Fridays, and I mentioned icy conditions at several Mat-Su Valley locations, however, conditions continue to change as ice recedes.  Finger Lake now has enough open water for decent boating.  Bradley, Kepler, Echo, and Junction Lake are now ice free and fishable from both boats and the bank.  Lucille Lake and Wasilla Lake in downtown Wasilla have lots of open water for fishing, as likely do many other locations.  When we drove past Knik Lake in the morning it was still mostly ice covered, but when we drop back in the evening a considerable amount of the lake had lost its ice cover.  A friend of mine told me of catching about 10 rainbow trout in the 20-inch range yesterday from one of the lakes I’ve mentioned above — even sent me a couple pictures of two vividly colored larger specimens.   With cool spring water conditions it may take some persistence to catch fish, but open-water conditions and catches keep getting better.

May 8, 2018 —  Busy Work —   I’ve been helping several guests both answering questions and placing reservations for the upcoming salmon fishing season.  Yesterday I spent most of my time repairing / tuning spinning reels — including putting on new line.   I have a teleconference this morning with two other members of the Mat-Su Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission in preparation for a meeting in Anchorage tomorrow.   I’m planning to get  my boat trailer into Greatland Welding later today for some repair work — in addition I plan to put a new set of tires on the same trailer.    Today I also have a pre fishing season dental appointment later this morning.  Tonight I’m hoping to make it into Anchorage for the last meeting of the Alaska Sportfishing Association before the summer break.   Tomorrow is deadline for my fishing column for the Friday edition of the Frontiersman Newspaper.      Two days ago I had a chance to look at Fish Alaska Magazine’s  May 2018 issue and noticed the article I had submitted on Mat-Su Valley salmon fishing opportunities for the 2018 season had been printed.  Check it out to learn more about Mat-Su Valley salmon fisheries north of Anchorage.    I am definitely catching up on busy work this week — but plan to get out on a boat king salmon fishing later in the week.   It is still early in May, but spring water conditions keep improving and the first May king salmon should get caught from a Mat-Su Valley river before long.   Check back for more updates.

May 10, 2018   — King Salmon Fishing — It has been a while since I was out on the water so early this morning I drove over to Eklutna Tailrace in search of an early season king salmon.   The drive across Palmer Hayflats was spectacular as in addition to the morning commuter traffic I spotted a goose, 6 moose, and a bald eagle.   After turning onto the Old Glenn Highway toward the tailrace, I noticed extremely low water level in the Knik River side channel that the tailrace empties into.   Driving into the tailrace parking area, I had a good idea what I would find.   Sure enough water in the tailrace itself appeared stagnant with a significant amount of goopy green moss.   This occurs on an annual basis when water flow through the power plant is greatly reduced or shut off for spring maintenance work to be done on the power plant.  Considering that the Knik River water level is currently so low that no Knik River water is flowing down the tailrace side channel this presents terrible water conditions for king salmon interested in swimming back to the tailrace at this time.  I do not know when tailrace flows will return to normal levels — but simply wanted to let people know about current conditions at the tailrace in case someone was planning to do some fishing at that location.   The Eklutna Tailrace phone number is 745-3931  — I’ve left a message on their answer machine in hopes of hearing when normal flows will resume.

Deshka Landing — looking at the online Deshka Landing weather cam this morning I can see that enough ice has now cleared out of the boat launch that it looks possible to launch a jet boat.  No official word, yet, as to when the Deshka Landing boat launch will open for the season, but talking to landing manager, Amy Davis, earlier this week she was thinking the landing might open after the weekend.  Right about now (May 10 ) is what I consider normal timing for Deshka Landing to open — under average spring breakup conditions.   The Deshka Landing annual membership meeting is scheduled at the Willow Community Center for this weekend.         2:30 pm Deshka Landing Update:  Amy Davis told me today that Deshka Landing was now allowing members and season pass holders to launch — and boaters were already out today.    Deshka Landing is scheduled for opening to the general public starting Monday May 14.

Susitna Landing — The first jet boat was launched today at Susitna Landing.   Joe Rouswell said there is still a little ice around the side of the launch, but the party who launched did fine and boated out on the Susitna River.   Joe mentioned that some ice chunks are still floating down the Susitna River, but that the Kashwitna River has been mostly ice free.    Boaters should be cautious and know there are shallow spots that have to be navigated around as well.   People have also been catching some rainbow trout by fly fishing near the Kashwitna River confluence with the Susitna River.  For more information contact Joe or Marilynn Rouswell / Sustina Landing at 495-7700.

I am planing on going on a guided king salmon fishing trip tomorrow.  Check back Friday evening May 11 — if you would like to  read the fishing report update from that trip.

Little Susitna River Weir Counts — According to an ADF&G spokesperson May 9 was the first date of fish counting at the Little Susitna River weir and that daily count has already been uploaded onto the ADF&G website.   For anyone wondering — 0 king salmon passed through the weir on May 9.    King salmon counts through Little Susitna River Weir are usually quite low through the month of May, however, we will be watching salmon count numbers passing the Little Susitna River Weir as posted on the ADF&G website throughout the season.

May 11, 2018 — I participated on a king salmon trip guided by Ben Allen.  In addition to Ben operating the boat, there were 4 of us fishing.  We back trolled plenty of prime spots and fished them rather thoroughly, but we did not get any bite or hook any fish.   Water level was lower than what was present 1-week ago.   The day started cool and got colder as rain and wind picked up later in the trip — so after everyone was thoroughly chilled we quit a bit early.    River water level looks like it should be rising once again for the next few days so that could draw salmon in from the saltwater.   During the trip each member of the group saw some moose, bald eagles, Trumpeter Swans, Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and lots of ducks.   A little of the vegetation along the river was just starting to turn green.   We are now in the part of the season where guests have caught early king salmon in the past, so we grow more hopeful with each time out on the water.   Ben will be out guiding another trip tomorrow for us — check back late in the day if you would like to see that update.

ADF&G staff boated outed of Deshka Landing today in a visit up to the Deshka River Weir site — to check out the effects of another winter.   The Department is working towards getting the Deshka River salmon counting weir installed after the weekend.   Still some ice out along the Susitna River and floating down the river at times.   The boat launch at Deshka Landing is now nearly entirely ice free (Friday May 11 evening)   additional ice could drift into the launch as it drifts down the river, but river and launch conditions should continue to get better on a daily basis.

Talkeetna Boat Launch — Aaron Benjamin with Talkeetna RV Park and Boat Launch left me a message that the campground was open, but there is still some snow around.   He said the river channel still had ice down to the boat launch, but the Talkeetna River had risen enough to where people could now launch some boats — only thing was the Talkeetna is rather brown colored at this point.

May 12, 2018 — Ben Allen guided an afternoon group of 6 guests for us and one member of the group had two bites.   The guests hooked one of the fish and it jumped a couple times before throwing the hook — Ben could clearly see it was a rainbow trout of about 20 inches.   Although the other fish was not hooked when it struck — Ben was thinking from the quick way it struck that it was also likely a rainbow trout.   During the trip the group saw a good number of waterfowl and fished lots of prime spots.

Deshka Landing Meeting— the board showed some of the improvements that have been made at the landing for the coming season — including a well graveled parking area — drainage was also upgraded in the parking lot area — the heated indoor restrooms were fixed and upgraded –and maintenance work was performed on the boat ramp along with a good dredging job of the boat launch last fall.   The landing looks dried out and ready for the official opening on Monday May 14, 2018.

May 13, 2018  — Mother’s Day — I saw my mother briefly today over at my sister’s house — but spent most of the day at home.   Frede Stier, my wife has been sick the last couple days, but I’m hopeful she should start feeling better tomorrow.    It is getting greener with spring vegetation around our house — and it simply smell like the time to catch king salmon.   The water rose significantly today on the Susitna River and washed lots of the remaining ice downstream from both Susitna Landing and Deshka Landing.   In the next few days there may still be some ice flowing downriver, but I’m confident that most of it is over now.   I plan on going king salmon fishing tomorrow — so check back Monday evening for a fishing report!

Monday May 14, 2018 —  First King Salmon Passed Little Sustina River Weir — according to weekend  counts posted today on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) website the first king salmon swam past Little Susitna River weir on Saturday May 12.   This is the 2nd earliest date for the first king salmon past the weir in the past 5 years.   Sunday’s count went back to 0.  Typical for this time of year.   Will report  later in the day about my own king salmon fishing today.

Susitna River Fish Wheel — One of my nephews works on this project for ADF&G, and the crew has already been down the Susitna River in preparation  for putting the fish wheel in.   The wheel and a test netting program provides the department with their earliest inseason data for the number and age classes of king salmon migrating up the mainstream of the Susitna River drainage.   This project is located a short distance upstream from  the Sustina River’s confluence with the Yentna River.

King Salmon Fishing – Last time I went to Eklutna Tailrace there was very  little ( if any) water running through the power plant.  This evening I went right at high tide and there was additionally good flow from the power plant — so I am hopeful that spring maintenance is now over for another year.   The water was a bright beautiful glacial green once again, and there was plenty of water down the river side channel all the way to the main river.  I saw some gulls and ducks while fishing, but did not get any bites while casting both a #5 Silver /Black Flashtrap and a #5 Pink-bladed Flashtrap Spinner.  There were some other people parked in the parking lot and one other person walking around looking for salmon activity in the tailrace, but as far as I know no one saw anything.   The best I can say is it looks to me that there may now be enough water from the tailrace out flow and the incoming high tides to draw the first few king salmon into the tailrace channel.  Once again, no hits, no runs, no errors, and no one left on base.   Each such trip only means I’m that much closer to hooking up or landing a king salmon.   I’m planning to get out again tomorrow, so check back in the evening to learn out if Tuesday May 15  is the day my luck changes!

May 15, 2019 — Yesterday there was a small number of boaters launching at Susitna Landing and a considerable number of boaters launching from Deshka Landing (first official day open to the public).    I will report on king salmon fishing later today.  Check back for the update(s).

Eklutna Tailrace — I casted a #5 Silver / Black Flashtrap Spinner in the mid-morning sunshine — absolutely beautiful at the tailrace and only saw one other person while I was there.  I enjoyed about an hour of casting and swinging the spinner in the current — but no Big Grab.   I did see some geese and a moose while driving over.

Little Susitna River — I fished several hours in the afternoon / evening with Leif Birnbaum and Spencer Cook of I Fish Alaska Guide Service.   We casted spinners and plugs for a while at one  spot, but mostly back trolled a number of hotspots along the river.  No Big Grabs, but the spring temperatures are warming up and it is more pleasant to be out traveling and fishing from a boat.   We saw some waterfowl and a bald eagle near the boat launch area.   Vegetation keeps greening up a bit more each time I visit the river.  Water was the clearest I’ve seen this spring, although I expect to start rising again with the warmer temperatures.

May 16, 2018 — Ship Creek (Anchorage) — A few people had been asking me about if anyone was catching or seeing king salmon at this fishery for hatchery released king salmon in down town Anchorage.   Ship Creek almost always has some king salmon before they arrive further up Knik Arm at the Eklutna Tailrace fishery.  I called Dusty Slinker, owner of The Bait Shack at Ship Creek (907) 522-3474,  and Dusty told me he had heard of no  one catching a king salmon at this point.   He further provided that the first king salmon at Ship Creek is usually caught around May 20 — 22 on an annual basis.    Dusty said that it has been his practice to give away a rod / reel combination to the first person who brings in a king salmon caught from Ship Creek each year.

Deshka River — Spencer Cook is the first person I’ve talked to this spring who has already fished the Deshka River for king salmon.  Spencer, Leif Birnbaum, and Pat Donelson drove all the way to the weir location and checked out some of the upriver locations.   Later in the day,  Spencer was along as Leif guided a king salmon trip on the Deshka.   They were still fishing when I talked to them, and Spencer mentioned they had one bite, and also had earlier seen activity on their fish finder, but at that time they had not yet caught or hooked any salmon.   There is plenty of water in both the Susitna River and Deshka River at this time.   According the Spencer the outflow from Deshka River into the Susitna was providing enough current to back troll from the area near the borough campground down toward the bluffs above Kroto Slough.

I mostly talked to people today and gathered information for my Frontiersman newspaper fishing column which is published in the Friday edition to provide anglers a fishing information update going into each weekend.   To learn more you may want to purchase a Friday paper or check out the online version of my columns at    Sometimes it takes me  a few days after publication before I can find the latest online version.

May 17, 2018 — Everything felt just right as I was casting and swinging my #5 silver / black Flashtrap Spinner at Eklutna Tailrace this morning.  I was there right as a monster 32 foot tide was raising the Knik River water level, but once again I did not get any bites or see any fish.   There were a couple other anglers who drove out to give the tailrace a try this morning as well, and someone launched a riverboat at the Knik River bridge and was likely fishing somewhere down below the tailrace on the Knik River side channel.

I’m hoping to do a check out run with my second guide boat later today, and this evening I plan on attending a Matanuska –Susitna Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.   We have a king salmon charter trip scheduled for tomorrow after noon, so check back Friday evening if you would like an update on that trip.

Eklutna Tailrace — I drove to the tailrace one more time before dark and casted with my #5 Flashtrap Spinner for about half an hour right near the peak of the evening tide.   Once again I did not see any fish or get any bites.   I could hear quite a few birds calling in the distance, I saw a beaver swimming in the river below the tailrace, and on the rides to the tailrace and then back home I spotted several moose feeding close to the highway as I crossed the Palmer Hay Flats.

May 18, 2018 — This afternoon Russ Colee guided two guests for us and they  covered lots of prime water with competition from only a few other boats, but they did not hook or see any king salmon.

Leif Birnbaum also guided a group of 3 people for us this afternoon, and although they were good anglers and dressed for cool rainy weather, they were unable to hook into a king salmon.   They also covered lots of miles of water in their search for an early season king salmon.

A total of 4 king salmon have passed through the Little Susitna River weir through Thursday, so a few of the big bruisers are cruising up the river.   It was reported in the news today that the first king salmon of the season was caught at Ship Creek in down town Anchorage yesterday, May 17.   Our  guests should be catching some soon.

Saturday May 19, 2018 — We will have two guided trips out for king salmon on Saturday, so check back later in the day if you would like to read the daily fishing reports.

King Salmon to Boat — Ben Allen guided a morning group for us and one of the guests brought a king salmon to the net, however, it was hooked in the side had had to be released.  In addition the group caught one Dolly Varden of about 14 inches.   Ben tried lots of holes and even fished  a bit longer than normal in hopes of landing more fish, but that was all the action they had.   Check back this evening to see the fishing report from the afternoon guided trip.

2nd King Salmon a Keeper — Russ Colee guided an afternoon group of 4 people and one of the guests caught a chrome king salmon at the last hole they fished for the trip.   Russ said they covered lots of water, and the one bite was the only action of the trip.   The fish weight 27 pounds.

Eklutna Tailrace — I casted a Spinner at the tailrace for about an hour this morning.   I did not get any bites and the only fish I saw moving were very small (like young salmon that might be out migrating to the ocean before long).  The water level was quite low and the tailrace water is considerably more silty than it was even two days ago.  I’m thinking our  first king salmon of the year should be caught this weekend.   Stay tuned for reports from today’s guided trips.

May 20, 2018 — Ben Allen guided 3 people and they once again fished miles of river, but today they did not get any bites, and they also did not see any fish.   During the trip they saw a cow moose who had just given birth to twin calves.   These are the first new moose calves we’ve seen on our charters this year. Ben mentioned there  were several other boats of anglers out fishing as well, and he thought water conditions were about ideal.

May 21, 2018   Ben Allen guided a group of 2 guests who fished miles of river, but did not see any salmon or get any bites.

I took my wife and 3 friends fishing in the afternoon, and with 4 people fishing the entire time, we did not get any bite or see any  large salmon.   There were lots of out migrating salmon smolts jumping along the river.   We also saw a cow moose with twin calves in the same location where Ben Allen’s group had seen them the day before.   It was a pleasant afternoon to be out fishing with relatively warm temperatures and good company onboard.

May 22, 2018 — Deshka River King Salmon — I heard from two different sources (including Kim at Deshka Landing) that some king salmon were caught this past weekend on the Deshka River.   We currently have space available to guide trips to Deshka River, and I’ve heard of more king salmon being caught form Deshka than any other Mat-Su location at this time.   Remember that currently regulations allow only catch and release fishing for king salmon — 7 days per week with artificial lures only.     The hooligan (small smelt- like fish)  are in on the Susitna River as well and people have already been going out catching personal use hooligan.   This fishery is open to Alaskan residents only, and people are allowed to harvest as many hooligan as they can use.     We have no guided trips to report on today.

May 23, 2018 — Ben and Amber Allen invited me to fish with them in the afternoon, and Ben caught 2  northern pike, Amber caught a northern pike, and I caught a northern pike and 2 king salmon.  3 northern pike and 2 king salmon were caught while casting with #5 silver / chartreuse Flashtrap Spinners.  I believe Ben may have caught the other northern pike on a swimsuit minnow type lure — he was  a ways away from me at the time.  During the trip we saw several bald eagles.

May 25, 2018 —  King Salmon Trips — Russ Colee guided a morning group of 3 guests and covered lots of water, but his guests did not manage to hook a king salmon.

Russ guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and one of them had a pull down, but did not manage to hook the fish.   Like the morning they fished lots of spots and covered lots of water.

Greg Acord guided a morning group of 4 guests, and attempted to fish spots less people were fishing, but they had similar luck and did not hook a fish in the morning.

Greg guided an afternoon trip and one of the guests caught a nice-sized rainbow trout which was released.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)staff  attempted to install the Deshka River weir for king salmon counting purposes yesterday, but water level remains high and they were unable to get the task accomplished.   A department spokesperson told me today that the next effort to install Deshka River weir will occur after Memorial Day Weekend.

My weekly fishing column should be out today in the Friday edition of Mat-Su Valley’s Frontiersman Newspaper.  FISH ON!

Saturday May 26, 2018   Russ Colee guided a group of 4 guests in the morning, and one of them hooked a king salmon, but had it get wrapped in a snag.  They were able to get the fish off of the snag, but there was still a stick stuck on the line about 10 feet up from the fish.  While attempting to get everything cleaned up so the fish could be netted, it managed to get off the hook.  The number of king salmon will continue to build as we move further into the season.

Sunday May 27, 2018 —  Russ Cole guided a group of 4 people in the morning, who back trolled lots of holes, but did not even see a king salmon.   During the trip the group did get the opportunity to see a cow moose with twin calves close to the river.

Greg Acord was scheduled to guide an 11:30 am trip,   and I also drove to the river to assist with that trip.  Greg’s guests first drove to the river without fishing licenses or king salmon stamps.    It is a solid 30-minute drive from lower Little Susitna River to the 3 Bears store where fishing licenses and king salmon stamps may be purchased.    After reaching the store the guests decided they did not want to pay the additional expense for getting the fishing licenses and king salmon stamps, and chose not to go on the trip.    As mentioned on our website — a one-day nonresident Alaska fishing license costs $25 per person and a one-day nonresident Alaska king salmon stamp costs $15 per person.   Guests need to purchase their Alaska fishing license and their king salmon stamp before meeting up with us at one of the boat launches for a king salmon fishing trip.  By regulation we are not allowed to let guests fish for king salmon without necessary  paper licenses / stamps.

While we were waiting at Little Sustina River Greg and I talked with  several anglers who had seen a few salmon surfacing in the river.   Catching success has remained slow — but catch numbers should go up soon.  We enjoyed some beautiful sunny weather out at the river, and late May temperatures keep warming up and becoming more pleasant.  It is  a wonderful time of year in Alaska to be out and enjoying the outdoors. Water is  rising on Little Susitna River from snowmelt, while the water level should be dropping on Deshka River — as it usually does this time of year.

Ben Allen took two friends fishing at Deshka River in the afternoon and they saw a few king salmon surface, and had a couple bites they were unable to hook — but they did not catch any king salmon or see any get caught at Deshka River.  Ben mentioned that Deshka River remains high with spring runoff and the salmon counting weir has yet to be installed.

Memorial Day May 28, 2018  — Russ Colee guided a morning group of 3 people  that fished lots of prime holes, but could not manage to get a bite.

Russ guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and one of them got a good bite, but  did not manage to hook the salmon.   Russ said most of the other anglers had cleared off the river before he returned in the evening.   Water keeps going a bit higher on almost a daily basis now, but is still a good  color and not much debris.   Looks good, but the fishing has not been that good — yet.

Knik River — Frede and I took my boat to the Knik River for the first time this year, and both of us caught small king salmon.   Frede caught her fish on a K-14 Kwikfish, and I caught mine while driving Fire Cured salmon roe under an ESB Bobber.

May 29 — Eklutna Tailrace — It was a beautiful morning to be out at the tailrace.   The air was clean and fresh smelling after last night’s rain showers, and the water was a beautiful glacial green.   I casted a #5 silver/black Flashtrap Spinner for about an hour and covered quite a bit of tailrace water as well as about a 1/4 of water below the tailrace.   I saw some salmon smolt working in the shallows, but I did not see any larger fish, nor did I get any bites.    I saw one young beaver swimming up the tailrace in an unconcerned fashion, and there were some other anglers giving it a try that had the same luck as me — while I was there.      Driving to and from the tailrace I always look for wildlife.   IT is getting harder to spot the moose for a couple reasons.    The vegetation is growing and makes it much harder to see as far back from the highway, and the cow moose are giving birth to calves — I suspect that makes the new mothers more concerned about being concealed than they were earlier in May.     I managed to spot one moose this morning and also saw a flock of about 30 sandhill cranes.

In stream flow in the Little Susitna River has really started to bump up.   On the upper river above the Parks Highway the peak daily flow of water has doubled or increased by 100% over the past 3 days.

I fished with one other guest on a trip guided by Ben Allen, and the two of us each hooked and brought multiple king salmon to the boat.  We caught king salmon on a #5 Flashtrap spinner, a Pixie Spoon, and a #6 Vibrax Spinner.  During the trip we saw multiple bald eagles and drove to the Deshka River weir site where Alaska Department of Fish and Game(ADF&G) staff was busy installing the weir.   Although the water level is still higher than normal for this date on the Deshka ADF&G had it nearly installed when we visited and were planning to have it finished and ready to count migrating king salmon before finishing work today.   I’ll be looking for 2018  Deshka River king salmon counts on the ADF&G website over the next few days.   All  king salmon fishing on the Deshka is limited to catch and release fishing with single hook artificial lures only at this time, but this can still provide a very memorable fishing trip.   Give us a call at 907-746-2199 if you would like join us on a Deshka River trip.

May 30, 2018  Deshka River — I talked with Ben Allen who guided another trip to the Deshka River today — with similar, but better results.   Ben’s group caught several king salmon primarily by casting and trolling single hook spinners.  He even mentioned that the group caught 3 or 4 large king salmon far above the average size for Deshka River.   Ben will be guiding at Deshka River again tomorrow.

The Deshka Weir did not pass any king salmon before midnight, after getting installed yesterday, however, I’m betting kings will have passed the weir before midnight tonight.   Check out the fish counts for Deshka River weir on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website if you would like to know how the king salmon passage numbers are going.

Frede, Terry Warta, and I went to the Knik River and I caught a king salmon.  It was the only bite we had during the trip.

Thursday May 31, 2018 — We have no guided trips out today — but I will be fishing with friends and reporting on that trip tomorrow.   So check back Friday evening if you want to see that fishing report.  Since Friday will be June 1   — please check back on our June 2018 Fishing Reports page.

Charter Availability Note:  We currently have charter availability on Saturday June 2, Sunday June 3  — booth are days king salmon harvest is allowed on Little Susitna River.   Give us a call at 907-746-2199 if you would like to make a reservation or would like more information.   Reservations may also be placed with our online reservation system on this website — but not within 24 hours of the trip date.

–For Next Fishing Report Update:   Please Visit our June 2018 Fishing Report Page–