August is peak month for silver salmon catching on Little Susitna River, Deshka River, and other Mat-Su Valley streams. Our guests harvest more ocean-run silver (coho) salmon during August than every other month of the year combined. Chrome silver or coho salmon are inriver and available every day during the entire month of August, and we currently have good availability to run trips– after the first week of the August. Feel welcome to give us a call or use our online reservation system on this website to reserve your August fishing dates — 907-746-2199. Scroll down to read our daily August 2019 fishing reports. Little Susitna River is now scheduled to be artificial lures only from August 14 — September 30.
Thursday August 1, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 5 guests who caught 6 silver salmon, some chum salmon, and some pink salmon. All of the salmon were caught on #3 or #4 Flashtrap Spinners. During the trip we saw a moose cross the river right in front of us, and we also saw a bald eagle and a mink.
I guided an afternoon group of 5 guests who caught 3 silver salmon, a chum salmon, and a pink salmon. All of the salmon were caught on #3 and #5 Flashtrap Spinners. Water level is dropping once again. We covered lots of water in the afternoon, but had trouble getting bites even when we were fishing over salmon.
August 2, 2019 — I guided a group of 5 guests who caught 3 silver salmon, 1 pink salmon, and 1 chum salmon while casting with #5 spinners. During the trip we saw some weasels along the bank at the first hole we fish. The river level is dropping again and getting quite low.
Saturday August 3, 2019 — I guided a pleasant afternoon group of 3 guests, who caught 1 silver salmon and 1 pink salmon on #3 Flashtrap Spinners. The group also briefly hooked 3 more salmon on larger spinners and also foul hooked some salmon. Water is low, there is a good amount of pressure on the river, and the salmon are not biting particularly well.
Sunday August 4, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests who caught 6 silver salmon while casting with #5 Flashtrap Spinners and a Vibrax Spinner. 1 of the silver was caught on a guest’s Vibrax Spinner. Fishing was tough in the morning as we caught 1 fish per stop or fished some spots without catching a fish. During the morning trip we saw a loon along the river, and my guests saw a moose along the road as they drove to the river.
I guided and afternoon group of 6 guests who caught 1 silver salmon on a #5 Flashtrap Spinner and 1 Chum salmon on a #3 Flashtrap Spinner. Water level continues to drop and the salmon are quite spooky especially during the afternoons. During the afternoon trip we saw a young bald eagle along the river.
Monday August 5, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 6 guests, who caught 10 silver salmon and 2 chum salmon while casting with #5 Flashtrap Spinners. During the trip we saw a loon and a beaver along the river.
I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests who caught 3 silver salmon on #5 Flashtrap Spinners. During the trip we saw an immature bald eagle eating the remains of a salmon alone the river.
Tuesday August 6, 2019 — The first day of bait fishing on Little Susitna River was slower than most of us figured it would be. I guided a morning group of 4 guests, 3 of whom caught limits of silver salmon and 1 of whom caught 1 silver salmon. Conditions are much different than normal for August 6 — as it took us all morning to catch those silver salmon. All of the fish were caught on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers.
I guided an afternoon group of 5 people who caught 4 silver salmon by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers. It was another bright sunny afternoon and the fish we were fishing for did not seem to want to bite much. The river continues to drop.
August 7, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 6 guests who caught 4 silver salmon and 2 chum salmon on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers. 1 pink salmon was also caught on a Flashtrap Spinner. On the way the river a moose and her calf were crossing the highway in the dark along the highway. Drive with Care.
I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests who caught 3 silver salmon, 2 chum salmon, and 2 pink salmon. 2 silver salmon were caught on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers and all the other fish were caught casting with Flashtrap Spinners. There were plenty of fish available both in the morning and afternoon in the locations we were fishing, but they were not biting particularly well.
August 8, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests who caught 5 silver salmon while drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobber.
I guided an afternoon group of 2 guests, and they fished lots of prime holes with bobbers and bait, but did not hook any salmon. At the last spot we stopped with tried casting Flashtrap Spinners and I hooked a couple of silver salmon.
Saturday August 9, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 6 guests, and we fished lots of prime spots — many of which had salmon moving through them, but the group only caught 1 silver salmon on Fire Cured salmon roe and a jet dive and also snagged and released a 2nd silver salmon.
August 10 — We guided a 3-boat full day trip with 14 guests. The guests caught 12 silver salmon and 1 chum salmon. Most of the salmon were caught on Fire Cured salmon roe drift under ESB Bobbers, but 3 silver salmon were caught on Flashtrap Spinners. Water continues to drop and was warm to the touch again this morning — all of our boats or the jet motors are scraping bottom at some point during most of our trips.
August 11, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, who caught 5 silver salmon by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.
I guided an afternoon group of 4 guests — and we did not catch a salmon. During the trip we mostly drifted Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers, but the guests also casted Flashtrap Spinners. 3 salmon were briefly hooked on the Fire Cured roe, but each managed to get off the hook before we could catch them. During the trip we saw a moose in the river.
Monday August 12, 2019 — Scheduling changes gave us the day off. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Restricts Little Susitna River fishing to artificial lures only — effective Wednesday August 14 through September 30. The Department issued the emergency order today based on low silver salmon passage through Little Susitna River Weir.
Tuesday August 13, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, who caught 1 chum salmon on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers and 2 silver salmon on #5 Flashtrap Spinners. During the trip we saw a pair of mink along the bank.
I guided an afternoon group of 2 guests, each of whom limited on silver salmon. They caught 3 silver salmon on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers and 1 silver salmon on a Flashtrap Spinner. This was the last day of bait fishing on Little Susitna River.
Wednesday August 14, 2019 — Greg Acord and I guided a 2-boat morning group of 8 guests. Greg’s group of 4 caught 6 silver salmon and my group of 4 caught 3 silver salmon. All the fish in my boat were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners. There was a similar number of people fishing Little Susitna River today compared to yesterday. Water level remains low.
In the evening I wrote and submitted my weekly fishing column for the Friday edition of the Frontiersman Newspaper
Thursday August 15, 2019 — Greg Acord guided a morning group of 4 guests, 1 of whom caught a silver salmon on a spinner.
My wife and I fished along the lower Knik River in the afternoon and saw few salmon, but did not catch any. We also saw several bald eagles, a beaver, quite a few sandhill cranes and a trumpeter swan.
Friday August 16, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 2 guests to the Susitna River drainage and they caught 4 silver salmon and 2 chum salmon on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers.
Saturday August 17, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 5 guests to the Susitna River drainage, who caught 2 silver salmon and quite a few chum salmon on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers.
Sunday August 18, 2019 — I guided a morning group of 2 guests, each of whom managed to hook 2 salmon, but we were only able to land one nice silver salmon. All of the fish were hooked on #4 or #5 Flashtrap Spinners. During the trip we saw a bald eagle and a moose along the river. There were few other people out fishing today. The morning started rather smokey form wildfires further north, but the smoke cleared up later on..
Monday August 19– We were unable to set up fishing trips today because of logistical issues —- we did have a few people call us about the possibilities.
The Alaska Department of Fish & Game issued two emergency orders today. One emergency order closes the Little Susitna River to silver (coho) salmon fishing starting at 12:01 am Wednesday August 21, 2019.
The second emergency order closes Deshka River and all waters within a one half mile radius of the Deshka River confluence with the Susitna River to silver (coho) salmon fishing starting at 12:01 am Wednesday August 21, 2019.
Tuesday August 20, 2019 — All of today’s guided guests chose to cancel their reservations and receive refunds rather than fish under restricted regulations and poor fishing conditions.
Eklutna Tailrace — I drove over to the tailrace and fished for an hour and 40 minutes. There were between 20 -30 people fishing from 6 am until I left at 7:40 am. I casted with a #4 and a #5 Flashtrap Spinner the entire time, but did not get any bites. I saw 4 silver salmon landed — all at or within 50 yards of the tailrace’s confluence with the Knik River. 3 of those fish were caught on salmon roe, and 1 fish was caught on a spinner. Salmon were surfacing at several locations along the tailrace, and in greater numbers near the confluence area. The river had dropped at least a foot in the last week or 10 days.
August 21 — First Day Deshka River and Little Susitna River were actually closed to silver salmon fishing. Susitna Landing also closed to the public because of wildfire along the Parks Highway. We did not fish. My wife, mother, and I took some produce to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer — 1st time I’d entered anything at the fair in a long, long time.I also wrote my Frontiersman Newspaper fishing column for the Friday edition today.
August 22, 2019 — Built some Flashtrap Spinners and went to see the Alaska State Fair with my wife.
August 23, 2019 — I have been getting some calls about fishing, but do not have what I consider a good location to guide people for silver salmon at this time. I talked with one of the operators of Susitna Landing and was told the evacuation up there would go through the weekend — after which this would be reassessed.
August 24, 2019 — Built Flashtrap Spinners — there is still considerable more stock to build before the 2020 fishing seasons. I plan to go fishing with Ben Allen and his wife tomorrow.
Sunday August 25, 2019 — I went on a silver salmon scouting trip to locations I have not fished for silvers in the past. Got back later than expected so a day late posting this report. Ben and Amber Allen of Miller’s Riverboat Service and I went from Deshka Landing down past the Yentna River to Anderson Creek. There were some old-looking salmon swirling around in extremely silty water at that location and near a camp where a guy was hunting moose. Conditions looked poor enough that we did not even attempt to fish. Next on the fishing agenda we drove up the Yentna River looking to find silvers in some of the sloughs — but the Susitna and Yentna River water levels were extremely low and we could not find any sloughs with both good water and salmon together. Most of the sloughs with cleaner water only had a little dribble of water. We drove all the way up to Lake Creek and fished below the mouth of Lake Creek where we all caught some silver salmon and some chum salmon. We caught fish on a Flashtrap Spinner, Fire Cured salmon roe, and flies. We kept a total of 7 silver salmon. During the trip we saw seals, bald eagles, coyotes, lots of ravens, and some magpies, ducks, sandhill cranes, and gulls. We drove about 120 miles round trip in the boat and decided we did not consider what we found good for a guided trip out of Deshka Landing. Simply to far to go, and once we got to the Lake Creek area there were quite a few other anglers staying at lodges already fishing that location. The weather was nice and clear in the morning, but grew increasingly smokey from wildfires burning in southcentral Alaska as the day progressed.
Monday August 26, 2019 — I wrote and submitted some agenda change requests to the Alaska Board of Fisheries seeking changes to Northern District commercial fisheries management plans in hopes of future seasons without so many emergency restrictions for all Upper Cook Inlet user groups. The coming Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries Meeting scheduled in Anchorage next winter should be interesting.
I also learned today that the McKinley Fire up the Parks Highway continues to keep that area tied up with an evacuation order and not readily available for sport fishing. Although we will not be guiding any salmon fishing trips further north out of Talkeetna, other guides are providing that option for people and their guests are still catching silver salmon and chum salmon from the Talkeetna River drainage. Bait fishing on portions of the Susitna River and Talkeetna River drainage is allowed through the last day of August.
August 30, 2019 — coho salmon are stating to move upstream past Deshka River Weir in greater number the past couple days. Deshka River remains closed to king salmon fishing, however, it is good to know more silver salmon are moving past the weir — even if escapement numbers past the weir remain well short of the escapement goal range.
Saturday August 31, 2019 — Susitna Landing re-opened to public use — although I believe areas upstream from the Landing and on the east side of the river are still part of the evacuation area.
For our next fishing report see our September 2019 Alaska Fishing Reports Page.