September 2019 Alaska Fishing Reports

We usually fish for Alaska silver salmon within a 90 minute drive from Anchorage during September.  Earlier on Augus 21,t 2019 both Little Susitna River and Deshka River were closed to silver salmon fishing by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.    In addition, the McKinley Fire near the Parks Highway caused an evacuation order and closure of Susitna Landing during the later part of August.  

September normally provides opportunity to fish for salmon with little competition from other anglers.   At this point we have extremely limited opportunity to fish for salmon during September.    Feel welcome to bookmark this page for easy referral.  Scroll down for our latest daily report.

September 1, 2019 — Ben and Amber Allen told me about boating on the Talkeetna River and upper Susitna River in search of silver salmon today.   Amber said they managed to catch some fish at the Clear Creek and Fish Creek confluences with the Talkeetna River, however, all of the salmon they caught were getting dark.   Today was the first day restricted to artificial lures only throughout the Susitna River drainage (including the Talkeetna River drainage).   

I ordered up some  supplies for building 5 new custom fishing rods.   It will likely be a couple weeks before those rod materials arrive, but I’ll have some more projects to work on once cold weather arrives.    I will be building 2 heavy 8-fooot bobber fishing rods, 2 medium 2-piece spinning rods, and one 7 foot heavy spinning rod for fishing bobbers and bait.     I also have other rods to work on or repair before next season and have been busy rebuilding spinners.

Tuesday September 3, 2019 — Although we still have a salmon fishing trip scheduled for Thursday of this week, I’ve been working at getting summer salmon fishing gear cleaned up and put away.  There is always plenty of work to do getting everything put away — and hopefully that project is nearly completed before the coming cold weather.   In Alaska you always know that sooner or later the cold weather is coming.

Wednesday September 4, 2019 — Little Susitna Coho Salmon Count — 4,226      The Alaska Department of Fish and Game pulled their Little Susitna River salmon counting weir on Tuesday September 3 with a final coho salmon count of 4,226 fish.  I had an opportunity to talk with the biologist in charge today, and he mentioned when the weir was pulled that nearly all of the salmon had migrated upstream of the weir following a slight river level rise after the previous couple days of rain.  While exploring the river today Greg Acord and I  saw a few salmon, a couple beavers, bald eagles, ducks, and shorebirds.

Thursday September 5, 2019 — I guided two guests, each of whom harvested a limit of silver salmon.   Before harvesting their limits they  also released several fish.   It is getting late in the season and most of the salmon are getting darker in color, although a couple smaller salmon were still chrome.   My guests caught most of their fish on a #3 silver / black Flashtrap Spinner, but one of the guests also caught several salmon and one rainbow trout on a small jig fished under a float.   During the trip we saw ducks and a bald eagle along the river.

Monday September 6, 2019 — Deshka River silver (coho) salmon spawning escapement goal attained.  The 2019 accumulative coho salmon  count past Deshka River weir finally exceeded the  bottom end of the 10,200 — 24,100 Deshka River coho salmon spawning escapement goal as posted today.  Although reaching the minimum goal number required complete closure of this sport coho salmon fishery starting August 21  — it is reassuring to know the Alaska Department of Fish and Game did reach an escapement level deemed necessary to maintain abundant future returns of Deshka River coho salmon.

Tuesday September 10, 2019 — We have concluded our open-water salmon fishing trips for the 2019 season.   For all practical purposes our season ended  August 19 — with closure of the Little Susitna River and Deshka River silver salmon fisheries following on August 21.   I had been  exploratory fishing, checking out some other options, and guided a single trip on September 5th.   At this point it is time to move on to other fall activities.      In the next few days I hope to get some work done on our website.

Thank You to all our guests for choosing  Alaska salmon fishing in the Mat-Su Valley with Fishtale River Guides!

September 14 — 20  Flashtrap Spinner Work.   For several days I have been rebuilding spinners in need of repair, building some new inventory for next year’s fishing seasons, and experimenting with new Flashtrap Spinner Designs.    I’ve also been getting some price quotes for materials and considering using some new materials for spinner building.

September 23, 2019 — New Flashtrap Spinner Tests.  I’ve been testing my new designs and thoughts on how to improve our Flashtrap Spinners — and in particular the #5 size lures which we use the most while guiding for king salmon and silver (coho) salmon on the Little Susitna River and Deshka River.   The new designs worked well (spinning easily at start up and producing good vibrations throughout each presentation).   New Features I plan to incorporate on made-in- Alaska, USA spinners include:

  1.  Heavier spinner shaft (this makes for a more durable lure and reduces shaft bending while battling hard-fighting large fish).  Shafts that stay straight continue to allow easy spinner action start up and smooth lure action after multiple fish have been battled.
  2.  Larger Clevis — the Clevis holds the spinner blade on the shaft — and a larger clevis is needed to accommodate larger spinner shaft diameters.  A larger clevis is also more durable — and will  promote continued smooth and easy action of spinners for longer periods after heavy use.
  3. Extra Strong Oval Split Ring — Over time, while fishing, even quality hooks will dull, or be bent while pulling lures free from snags.  Incorporating a quality split ring makes it easier to swap out compromised hooks or to switch between single and treble hooks.  Additionally, these split rings will provide an extra joint that will minimize both shaft and hook damage while battling large  salmon or removing hooks after the fish has been landed. 
  4. Eco Finishes — Nickel and Polished Brass are better both ecologically and economically compared to silver-plated or painted lure components.  I’ve caught salmon with both of these finishes and like them when salmon are reluctant biters and during low / clear water conditions.                                                                           

September 30, 2019 — Ordering spinner building supplies and getting price quotes on customized components.

For people wondering — we will continue to build our standard Flashtrap Spinners, but will soon be building some New Models.  Some of the newer models because of additional, stouter, and customized components will be more expensive, however, I am confident we can build  a newer model / more a durable performance spinner using Nickel and Polished Brass Eco Finishes at a similar cost in parts compared to our standard Flashtrap Spinners using silver – plated and painted lure components.  If your would like to discuss our Flashtrap Spinners feel welcome to give me a call at 907-746-2199.

For our next 2019 Fishing Report, see our October 2019 Alaska Fishing Reports page.