October is a month where we catch up on paperwork, pay bills, work on boats and fishing equipment, prepare for the next open water fishing season, and sometimes do a bit of vacation fishing ourselves. There are lake and stream fishing opportunities available in the Mat-Su Valley for rainbow trout, arctic grayling, and northern pike. Scroll down for fishing reports and updates.
October 2 – 9, 2019 — Oregon Vacation Fishing. Ben Allen and I made a trip to Oregon and fished several days with our friend, Martin Thurber, owner of Willakenzie Guide Service (541-968-9557). During our trip we trolled in saltwater and caught some chrome fall king salmon and silver salmon, and also fished 4 different rivers and caught king salmon, coho salmon, one steelhead, smallmouth bass, lots of stocked rainbow trout, and 5 fish species often considered less desirable. During the trip we trolled with flashers and plug cut herring, drifted Fire Cured salmon roe under bobbers, jigged buzz bombs, casted and retrieved small plugs, and back trolled with both nightcrawler / Pautzke Balls O’ Fire egg combinations and sand shrimp. Each technique and bait / lure we used caught our target species and all but one also caught additional species. Weather was rainy on a few of the days, and while a little cool during early morning hours, we dressed appropriately and were comfortable at all times. During our vacation we enjoyed spotting quite a bit of wildlife including: bald eagles, seals, elk, blacktail deer, and wild turkey.
October 17, 2019 — I attended a Matanuska — Susitna Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in which we started planning and prioritizing what we would like to get accomplished at the February 7 – 20, 2019 Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries meeting currently scheduled to occur in Anchorage. We would like to encourage as many people as possible to join our efforts as we work to pass adequate salmon through the Central District to not only meet escapement needs in Northern Cook Inlet, but also to provide reasonable harvest opportunities for all Northern Cook Inlet user groups.
Saturday October 19, 2019 — Flashtrap Spinner Update. On our September 2019 Alaska Fishing Reports page I p posted some of the New Flashtrap Spinner Design I am preparing to have available for our 2019 open-water salmon fishing seasons. I have ordered most lure components I will be using, but still have a few additional items to order. Since some of these items are customized components I expect it could be a month or more before all of them arrive. Feel welcome to give me a call at 907-746-2199 if you would like to talk about our Flashtrap Spinners.
October 23 and 24 — Alaska Board of Fisheries Worksession in Anchorage — I attended this organizational meeting for the Fall /Winter coming Board of Fisheries cycle. It provided an opportunity during breaks to talk with Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff, board members, and and both commercial and sport fisherman that I’ve met over the years. For those who may not know the Board of Fisheries adopts state fishing regulations for the all of Alaska, however, since Alaska is such a large state with fisheries for so many types of fish and shellfish the board regularly only reviews regulations from each specific part of the state one time during each 3-year cycle. This fall / winter the board will be reviewing Kodiak, Lower Cook Inlet, and Upper Cook Inlet regulations — each of which can have significant impacts on salmon stocks returning to Upper Cook Inlet and the Northern portion of Upper Cook Inlet where we normally do all of our guiding for ocean-run king, silver, chum, pink, and sockeye salmon. At the meeting the board elected Reed Morisky as chair, Marit Carlson-Van Dort as vice-chair and set the schedule for the upcoming area meetings. The Upper Cook Inlet meeting is currently scheduled to be held in Anchorage from February 7 – 20 (however, the board voted to shorten this meeting by one day although it has not yet been announced whether the meeting will be shortened by removing a day from the beginning or end of the schedule).
October 26, 2019 — New Flashtrap Spinner Building and Testing — I picked up a shipment of spinner parts from the post office this morning, and was able to build some of the new spinner designs we will be fishing on our river salmon fishing trips during the 2020 summer fishing season. Using different combinations of lure components I assembled 6 different designs of #5 Flashtrap Spinners for testing. Later, I drove to Eklutna Tailrace and tested those 6 designs. Since we primarily fish our spinners in flowing water — I like to test them in flowing water, which the tailrace provides. Each of the 6 lures casted well, started up easily, and provided good solid vibrating action throughout several presentations. I used 3 different spinner bodies during testing, since a standard lure body we have used for several years will become unavailable. Each of the body / lure component combinations tested well for casting, sink rate, and action during presentation — I believe our Alaska salmon should like them as well. As mentioned in a September post I am attempting to build stouter / more durable spinners which can easily be modified with new or different hooks. These premium spinners feature:
- Stouter spinner shaft — resists bending, provides longer lasting easy-spinning action.
- Larger Stouter Clevis — required with larger shaft diameter and provides durability.
- Sharp and Extra Strong VMC Hooks — optimizing hooking ability and holding power.
- Built in Split Ring — provides hook swap-out ability, while minimizing shaft deformities.
- Built on Rosco Swivel — reduces line twists / tangles while maintaining spinner action.
Two additional shipments of spinner components are currently being customized for us, and after today’s testing, I will order larger quantities of specific components / finishes.