Alaska Fishing Reports for June 2018
These are fishing reports for Fishtale River Guides operating in the Mat-Su Valley north of Anchorage on the Little Susitna and Deshka Rivers. During May, June, July, August, and through September 15 we focus on guiding trips for ocean-run salmon in this beautiful part of Alaska. June is our best month for catching ocean-fresh king salmon. Currently catch and release fishing trips are allowed 7 days per week on Little Susitna River and Deshka River — these are the two primary locations where we will be guiding king salmon fishing trips during the 2018 May – July 13 king salmon season. We will be guiding salmon fishing trips for other species from early July to September 15. Scroll down for the latest daily Alaska fishing report for June 2018.
June 1, 2018 — I took 3 friends fishing and they caught 2 king salmon and 1 rainbow trout. All of the fish were hooked on Kwikfish. Water was a good height, although it was a dark colored with some debris. During the trip we saw one moose feeding along the bank of the river. Weather was pleasant the whole trip.
June 2, 2018 — Greg Acord guided a morning group of 4 guests. They had 3 bites during the trip, but were unable to land any of them. Greg saw two of the fish that were hooked and mentioned one was a large fish, and the other was about the size of a silver salmon.
I took 5 people fishing in the afternoon, and one of them caught a king salmon jack and a king salmon. 3 additional members of the group each had a bite, and two of them briefly hooked and fought a king salmon. These were times that the fish won the fight and managed to come off the hook before we could get them to the net. It was a very pleasant warm afternoon to be out on the river, and there was a considerable amount of boat traffic — partially I think folks just out running around enjoying the weather. Water was high and dark colored with quite a bit of debris that keep getting caught on our lines. According to the USGS water chart — after 2 days of warm weather in a row with more predicted, the river will be rising even more over the next few days.
June 3, 2018 –Greg Acord guided a group of 4 guests, one of whom caught a king salmon which was kept.
I fished with my nephew over at Deshka River. He caught 2 king salmon on a #5 chartreuse / silver Flashtrap Spinner and I caught 1 king salmon on a #5 silver / silver Flashtrap Spinner. Water was nice and clear, weather was sunny and warm, and we were seeing salmon surfacing. Was a fun few hours fishing in the afternoon. King salmon fishing at Deshka is on a catch and release basis.
Custom Rod Report — In search of the ultimate salmon fishing rod, I’ve custom built on many different blanks with different handle lengths, thread colors, and guide styles. Just talking about rod blanks, I’ve personally caught king salmon on 4 different rods this season, while guest have also caught king salmon with 2 additional. Hopefully we can add to that total on the next trip.
June 4, 2018 — Greg Acord guided a morning group of 4 guests to the Little Susitna River that managed to hook one king salmon at the very last spot they fished. Greg said they fought the fish for a few minutes and it simply came off the hook. The water was high and muddy.
Greg guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, who fished for 5 hours, but did not get a bite.
I guided 3 guests, 2 of whom caught a king salmon while casting with #5 silver / chartreuse Flashtrap Spinners. Darien the trip we saw a couple bald eagles in the distance.
In the morning I drove over to Eklutna Tailrace and casted a #5 pink / silver Flashtrap spinner for about 45 minutes, but did not see any large salmon nor did I get any bites. There were several other people fishing at the tailrace, and none of them seemed to be having any luck. I talked to three other anglers and they had not seen any salmon.
June 5, 2018 — I guided a group of 5 guests with on a mid-day trip and one guest caught a king salmon, a rainbow trout, and 2 clams all on a #5 Flashtrap Spinner. There were quite a few king salmon rolling around us, but my guests were unable to hook any other fish. We saw three other boats pull in one king salmon each as well. During the trip we saw some bald eagles, but not much other wildlife.
June 6, 2018 — I fished with my wife for a few hours in the morning, but neither of us were able to hook any king salmon. We saw one fish roll near the boat, and also saw a cow moose with 2 calf moose as we were driving along the river.
King salmon passage through Deshka River weir through Tuesday June 5 is 785 fish — 134 of which passed Deshka River Weir on Tuesday.
King salmon passage through Little Susitna River Weir through June 5 is 46 fish — 8 of which passed Little Susitna River Weir on Tuesday.
June 8 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, and we did not manage to land any king salmon. One Fish was briefly hooked on a Kwikfish. During the trip we saw a large bull moose cross the river in front of the boat.
I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and one of them caught a king salmon on a Mag Lip Flatfish during out last drift of the trip. During the trip we saw a cow moose out in the river. At the end of the trip while catching the king salmon we saw a bald eagle soaring overhead.
June 9 — I guided a morning group of 5 guests, 2 of whom caught king salmon on Spinning Cheaters.
I guided an afternoon trip of 5 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Spinning Cheater at the very start of the trip. We enjoyed a sunny afternoon of fishing, but did not get another hook up for the remainder of the trip.
June 10 — I guided a morning group of 5 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Spinning Cheater. We also had additional bites and briefly hooked 3 other king salmon — all of which were lost. During the trip we saw 11 moose along the river.
I guided an afternoon group of 6 guests, 1 of whom caught a king salmon on a Kwikfish. Two other king salmon were also hooked, but lost. One was hooked on a Mag Lip Flatfish and one was hooked on a Kwikfish. We saw some bald eagles during the trip.
We will be guiding more trips on Monday — and I will be reporting on my trips in the evening.
June 11, 2018 — I guided a morning group of 5 guests and no one was able to hook a king salmon. Three members of the group felt a fish, but we simply did not seem to get any solid bites. We did see a couple king salmon surface and fished those areas, but no bites resulted where we had seen the fish. The water was very high and muddy. During the trip we saw a bald eagle. A portion of the Little Susitna River salmon counting weir is underwater, and has been so for more than a week, even so, the crew at the weir had counted 6 king salmon and 5 sockeye salmon through the weir on Monday morning.
I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and no one was able to hook a king salmon. One member of the group felt a fish a couple times during the trip, however, once again it seemed to me that we simply did not get any solid bites. I saw one small salmon surface near the start of our trip. During the trip we also saw some bald eagles. There was a solid number of anglers out attempting to catch king salmon on Monday.
June 12, 2018 (Tuesday) — we have no guided trips scheduled for today, but I am scheduled to guide a trip Wednesday — so check back Wednesday evening if you would like to read a fishing report from that trip.
Frede and I fished at the Knik River and each of us caught a king salmon while drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.
June 13, 2018 I guided a group of 2 guests to the Deshka River where they caught 9 king salmon. 7 king salmon were caught on a #5 Silver / Chartreuse Flashtrap Spinner, 1 king salmon was caught on a #5 Pink / Silver Flashtrap Spinner, and 1 king salmon was caught on a #6 purple/ red / blue Vibrax Spinner. During the trip we saw some bald eagles along the river. The Susitna River is dropping and the Deshka River is low if one travels a few miles upstream. The Deshka River weir count is 1177 king salmon through June 12.
Later in the day I took my mother and wife fishing at the Knik River below Eklutna Tailrace. This is a fishery where king salmon harvest is allowed, and we saw a few small salmon rolling. We did not hook any fish or get any good bites.
Little Susitna River King Salmon Fishery Now Catch and Release When we got home from our family fishing trip we saw the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s emergency order that now allows only catch and release king salmon fishing on Little Susitna River through the remainder of the king salmon season — although the Department did include the caveat that the fishery could be adjusted based on further evaluation later in the season. The Little Susitna River salmon counting weir has been partially submerged for more than a week — so a full accounting of king salmon passing upstream is questionable at this time. Through June 12 the Department has counted 70 king salmon through Little Susitna River weir.
After reading the Department’s emergency order for the Little Susitna River king salmon fishery I spent the rest of the evening writing my weekly fishing column for the Frontiersman newspaper — it should be out in the Friday June 15 edition.
Thursday June 14, 2018 — Although we have no guided trips scheduled for today, we will be busy contacting guests who had made reservations for king salmon harvest trips on Little Susitna River to see how they would like to proceed.
Friday June 15 — Russ Colee, his wife, and I fished the Knik River below Eklutna Tailrace int he morning with Fire Cured salmon roe soaked in Pautzke’s Nectar, and we could not coax any salmon into biting. We saw a few fish roll, but did not see any other anglers hook up either.
I guided a group of 2 guests who caught and released 4 king salmon while casting lures. 1 king salmon was caught on a #5 Chartreuse / Silver Flashtrap Spinner, 1 king salmon was caught on a Orange/Silver Flashtrap Spinner, and 2 king salmon were caught on a #5 Silver / Chartreuse / Blue Vibrax Spinner. During the trip we saw and heard a few bald eagles flying over the river.
Give us a call for more information if you are interested in making a reservation for an upcoming June king salmon fishing trip — 907-746-2199. Reservation may also be placed using the online reservation system on this website.
June 16, 2018 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests who caught 3 king salmon. 2 king salmon were caught on Flashtrap Spinners and 1 king salmon was caught on a Vibrax Spinner.
I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, who caught several king salmon on #5 Chartreuse /Silver and #5 Orange /Silver Flashtrap Spinners. During the trip we saw a seal swimming around the Deshka River, however, the fishing remained good throughout the trip.
June 17, 2018 — I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests, and each of them caught king salmon. King salmon were caught on K14 Kwikfish, Mag Lip 4.0 Flatfish, and #5 silver / Chartreuse Flashtrap Spinner. During the trip we saw several bald eagles. Water is rising and the king salmon are moving up the river.
June 18, 2018 — I guided a group of 2 guests in the morning who caught a total of 6 king salmon. Fish were caught on a MagLip 4.0 Flatfish and a K-13 Kwikfish. During the trip we saw a moose swim across the river and several bald eagles along the river.
I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, who caught a total of 8 king salmon. 6 king salmon were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners, 1 king salmon was caught on a K-14 Kwikfish and 1 king salmon was caught on a Mag Lip 4.0 Flatfish. During the trip we saw a seal several times swimming near the mouth of the Deshka River and several bald eagles along the river.
June 19, 2018 — I guided a morning group of 2 guests, who caught 6 king salmon. 4 king salmon were caught on #6 Vibrax Spinners and 2 king salmon were caught on aK-14 Kwikfish. During the trip we saw 2 seals near the mouth of the river and several bald eagles. Early in the trip we also heard wolves howling near the river’s mouth.
I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, who caught 14 king salmon. The group caught king salmon on #6 Vibrax Spinners, Mag Lip 4.0 Flatfish, K-14 Kwikfish, and K-13 Kwikfish. During the trip we also saw and heard several bald eagles. The water was even high in the afternoon than it had been previously.
June 20 — I guided a non fishing trip on the Knik River today. It was a beautiful sunny day to be out on the river, and the glacier was out in full view. During the trip we saw some bald eagles, a pair of swans, and lots of water from our recent rains.
By emergency order issued today, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced that the entire Susitna River drainage (including Deshka River ) and the Little Susitna River would close to all king salmon fishing (including catch and release) on Friday June 22.
Thursday June 21 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests who caught 4 king salmon. 3 king salmon were caught on spinners and 1 king salmon was caught on a MagLip 4.0 Flatfish. During the trip we saw a seal and several bald eagles along the river.
I guided an afternoon group of 3 guest who caught 4 king salmon. 3 king salmon were caught on Kwikfish and 1 king salmon was caught on a MagLip 4.0 Flatfish. During the trip we saw lots of bald eagles perched along the river and flying overhead.
We are honoring all reservations we can through Thursday June 21, but will be contacting guests who have king salmon reservations with us after June 22 as to how they would like to proceed with those reservations.
Saturday June 23 — Frede and I drove over to Eklutna Tailrace and fished for king salmon this morning. We fished Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers, and saw some salmon surfacing, but did not get any bites ourselves. Ben and Amber Allen and a couple of their relatives were fishing in the same spot with the same gear and they caught one jack king salmon and one larger king salmon. We saw quite a few other anglers, some of whom also had a bit of success.
3 Rivers Fly and Tackle — 907-373-3454 has stocked up on some of our single hook Flashtrap Spinners in preparation for newly arriving chum, pink, sockeye, and silver salmon. They also have a limited selection of my custom spinner rods designed specifically for casting for these salmon with braided line.
Monday June 25, 2018 — I fished Eklutna Tailrace this morning for about 2 hours and saw several king salmon surface (or perhaps I only saw a few king salmon surface several times). I fished with two of my favorite king salmon catchers — Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under an ESB Bobber and a #5 silver / chartreuse Flashtrap Spinner. I did not get a single bite and I did not see any of the other anglers get a bite while I was there. The tailrace water remained high, but seemed a bit lower than the last time I had fished there. There are some king salmon at this location, but it definitely takes some persistence (for the most part) for people to catch one of them.
Tuesday June 26, 2018 — I did not fish today, instead I spent the day communicating with guests who had previously booked trips. In addition I did some research for my weekly fishing article the deadline for which is Wednesday evening. I also prepped some additional fishing rods and gear I will be using on our guided fishing trips soon. Looking at Deshka River weir king salmon passage counts I noticed that 4, 234 king salmon swam past the weir in the past 10 days increasing the season passage total to 6,588 king salmon. I suspect this will likely be the largest 10 day period of king salmon weir passage at Deshka River for the 2018 season. Looking at Little Susitna River weir passage numbers shows an entirely different pattern. For the past 13 days from June 13 – 25 no fish were counted passing the Little Susitna River Weir — although substantially more salmon likely passed the weir during this time period. A large portion of the Little Susitna River weir was underwater during this time, and in addition during the period of high water some logs and brushed washed down the river and up against the weir continuing to hold the weir underwater, damaging the weir, and simply making for a non count situation at the weir. Talking with an Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesperson today I learned Department staff has been working at clearing the brush and logs from the weir, repairing the weir, and hopes to have it ready to count salmon again by the end of the week. The Little Susitna River king salmon escapement will be assessed later in July by aerial survey (if water conditions are good enough for assessment at that time).
I plan to get out on the water in the next 3 days so check back for those daily Alaska fishing reports.
June 27, 2018 — I have been experimenting with a new resin jet foot that I got this spring from Greatland Welding and Machine in Palmer. This newly designed jet foot has cut down on cavitation while allowing me to keep my outboard jet foot high in the water to skim through shallow waters without hitting bottom. Another feature I like about the resin jet foot is it seems to be more stable and has cut down on side to side torque with my tiller operated motor. I’m driving to Greatland Welding today to pick up a second resin jet foot for an additional boat. Give Greatland Welding a call at 907-745-2383 to learn more about this innovate product or if you would like to give one a try.
June 28, 2018 — I guided a morning group of 5 people and an afternoon group of 3 people as we looked for early season chum and / or coho salmon. We did not find any — although one member of the morning group caught a very nice rainbow trout on a Mag Lip Flatfish. He released the trout to fight again another day. We got a close river-side view of a bald eagle on the afternoon trip. Water was still high and fairly muddy — conditions should continue to improve from this point.
June 29, 2018 — I guided a group of 4 guests for another guide service to the Knik River. There are only 3 good spots that I like to fish in that portion of the Knik River open to king salmon fishing below Eklutna Tailrace and we fished them all and some not so good spots as well. The group saw 3 different salmon surface, but my guests were unable to hook any of them. We did float up very close on a Merganser duck and her flotilla of ducklings, and we also spotted a band of 13 Dall sheep on one of the mountains above the river.
Later on June 29 — I looked at commercial salmon harvests in Upper Cook Inlet for June 28 — in addition to harvesting 182 king salmon, the commercial fleet also harvested 30, 256 sockeye salmon, 3,348 chum salmon, 161 coho salmon, and 84 pink salmon. All of these other salmon species will be arriving in Mat-Su Streams before long — if not already. Numbers of salmon should all build through the entire month of July.
June 30, 2018 — I wrapped and finished a custom spinning rod which we will soon be using on my charters for chum salmon and silver salmon fishing. I also built more #5 single hook Flashtrap Spinners, since single hook artificial lures are required through July 13 on both the Susitna River drainage streams and the Little Susitna River. Our #5 Flashtrap Spinners are our first choice when casting for chum salmon and silver salmon on the Little Susitna River and Susitna River tributary streams.
For the next fishing report update please go to our July 2018 Alaska Fishing Reports page on this website.