June 2020 Alaska FIshing Reports

June 2020 King Salmon Fishing                                                                                                                                          June is our best month for catching king salmon.   King salmon numbers in Mat-Su Valley rivers start building during the last week of May, and peak king salmon fishing and catching can occur any time through the 3rd or 4th week of June at Knik River, Deshka River, and Little Susitna River.     We provide first-class catch and release king salmon fishing trips at Deshka River and Little Susitna River with an opportunity to fish many miles of river and good chances of spotting  wildlife along the rivers on these scenic trips.   King salmon harvest is allowed at the Eklutna Tailrace / Knik River fishery.    Scroll down for our latest fishing report.

With favorable water conditions, good king salmon fishing can occur through the last day of our king salmon fishing season on July 13.   If enough king salmon migrate past the Deshka River salmon counting weir or the Little Susitna River salmon counting weir there is a possibility one or both of these rivers could open to king salmon harvest by mid or late-June.  During the 2019 season Little Susitna River opened to king salmon harvest on June 26.  Scroll down for our latest fishing report updates.   You may want to bookmark this page for easy reference to our June 2020 Alaska Fishing Reports.

COVID-19 Alaska Travel Mandate 10:   People arriving in Alaska were required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving OR they could take one or more COVID -19 tests as outlined in the mandate.     

Key June Dates

June 20 — Youth Fishery Day at Eklutna Tailrace  contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at (907) 746-6300 for additional information.

June 21 — longest daylight hours of the entire year, a fun time to fish for king salmon — legal fishing hours at Knik River are 24 hours per day.   Legal fishing hours on Little Susitna River and Deshka River are 6 am — 11pm daily.

June 2020 Fishing Reports

June 1-2    I  had a guided fishing trip scheduled for June 2, however it had to be cancelled because of the COVID -19  14-day quarantine regulation for people arriving in Alaska.   We spent our time preparing for a camping trip similar to one my wife and I went on last year.

June 3, 4, 5 — My wife, my brother, and 2 additional friends went on a camping trip.   Each of the other people did some fishing and caught some salmon in an  area where harvest is allowed.   I drove my boat, filleted some salmon, and enjoyed the trip, but did not fish.

June 6 — We are cleaning things up and putting them away from our camping trip.   I even have some salmon roe to cure today.   I hope to get the boat out and go fishing in the Mat-Su Valley tomorrow — check back for an update.

June 7, 2020 — I fished Eklutna Tailrace in the evening — and saw 3 king salmon surface, but I was not able to draw a strike and I did not see anyone else have any action while I was there.  The fish I saw surface were the first ocean-run fish I had seen at the tailrace this season — although I had not been there for about a week.  I casted a #5 Flashtrap Spinner the whole time I fished, but other people were fishing with salmon eggs and also with other lures.  The water was still quite low and clear in the tailrace, although the Knik River side-channel had risen some since I was last at this location.    There were 31 vehicles in the lower parking lot, so I figure the salmon I saw surface had likely seen plenty of baits and lures before I showed up.    I saw some ducks at the tailrace and a moose on the Palmer Hay Flats as I was driving home.

June 9, 2020 — FIRST GUIDED TRIP FOR SALMON  2020— I guided a group of 3 guests, one of whom caught 2 king salmon, and 2 of whom each caught one king salmon.   One king salmon was caught on a #5 silver / chartreuse Flashtrap Spinner and 3 king salmon were caught on #6 Vibrax Spinners.   During the trip we saw a moose, bald eagles, and ducks.  It was a rainy day and my guests did lots of casting in several spots to come up with their fish.

June 10, 2020 — I have a Susitna River Charter today   — It was a wonderful trip down the Susitna River — our trip went all the way down to where the Susitna River personal use dip net salmon fishery will occur in July.   We saw several bald eagles along the river, but not much else in terms of wildlife.   Even though we started relatively late in the morning, we still ran into some fog along the river before the reached the Yentna River confluence.   The fog was thick enough I slowed down considerably and proceeded carefully, but even so it was difficult to see shallow spots and snags as we boated down river, fortunately most of the fog burned off before long.  We did not fish at all during this charter.    

When we returned to Deshka Landing I had the opportunity to talk with Dan Suprak, owner of Alaska Chinook Charters.   He had been guiding a group who were king salmon fishing at Deshka River.   Even though Dan’s boat was the first one to pick a spot near the Deshka River / Susitna River confluence, and the first boat to catch a king salmon, he did not find as good of salmon catching as he expected and commented that each king salmon his group caught was a rather small fish.   Upstream king salmon counts have slowed down through Deshka River weir for the past couple days. 

June 11, 2020 — No Guided trips today so I worked around the house.   I will be guiding on Friday morning, so check back Friday afternoon / evening for the fishing report from that trip.   I expect some king salmon will be caught as it is prime time of the season.   We also have availability if you would like to join us on a king salmon fishing trip on the Deshka or Little Susitna River.   907-746-2199.

June 12, 2020 — I guided one guest who caught several king salmon by casting spinners and trolling a Mag Lip Flatfish.   Multiple king salmon were caught on a #5 silver / chartreuse Flashtrap Spinner, a #6 Vibrax Spinner, and 1 king salmon was caught on the Mag Lip Flatfish.   During the trip we saw and heard several bald eagles and also saw ducks along the river.  This was a catch and release king salmon trip where we also saw good numbers of king salmon surfacing during the trip.  At this point I am also scheduled to guide another king salmon fishing trip on Saturday morning, but have good availability during the coming week if any one would like to try king salmon fishing at the peak time of the season.   907-746-2199 to learn more or make your reservation.

June 13, 2020 — I guided a group of 3 guests, 2 of whom caught a king salmon.  Both fish were caught on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers.  We could hear bald eagles calling while we were fishing, and we also enjoyed a beautiful sunny day.   We saw other anglers out fishing,  and  saw some salmon surface that we could not get to bite.  In other words there are still fish left in the river waiting for our next trip!

June 14, 2020 — Knik River –I took my nephew, Daniel Warta, fishing this morning and we each caught a king salmon on Fire Cure salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers.   It was a gorgeous morning to be out on the water, and we also saw two moose, bald eagles, and ducks during our trip.   

I took my mother and my wife king salmon fishing in the afternoon.   We enjoyed each other’s company and a beautiful sunny and warm afternoon on the river.   My mother briefly hooked the only king salmon of the trip, but it managed to shake loose before she could bring it to the boat.    The fish was hooked on a Kwikfish plug.

June 15, 2020 — I guided two experienced anglers for king salmon this morning, and they managed to catch some smaller jack-type king salmon.  2 fish were caught on a mag lip flatfish and 1 was landed on a orange / silver Flashtrap Spinner.  The also hooked and lost 4 additional fish.    During the trip we saw several bald eagles, and we also saw quite a few salmon surfacing at one location, but had to work at getting them to bite.  It was a wonderful day out on the water and we had the opportunity to fish a few prime spots with no other boats in sight.

June 16, 2020 — I guided a morning group of 4 guests, each of whom caught a nice-sized king salmon.   The group caught several king salmon on Flashtrap Spinners, a couple king salmon on Mag Lip Flatfish, and a couple king salmon on a Vibrax Spinner.   During the trip we also saw some bald eagles, ducks, and a moose along the river.

I guided one fisherman in the afternoon, who hooked one salmon on a Flashtrap Spinner, but the fish came unhooked before he could lead it to the boat for a picture.   During the trip we saw some bald eagles and quite a few salmon surfacing near our boat.

In the evening I wrote my weekly Frontiersman Fishing Column before hitting the hay.

June 17, 2020 — I had a day off and did not fish.     Coronavirus issues saw the cancellation of our guided fishing trip for June 18 as well.     We currently have morning space available to guide salmon fishing  trips on June 18, 19, and 20.   Give us a call if you would like to make a reservation or you may also use our online reservation system on this website for trips more  than 24 hours in advance.

June 18, 2020 — Eklutna Tailrace — it had been a while since I fished the tailrace, so I drove over and spent some time casting a Magnum Wiggle Wart this morning.  I saw one angler with a king salmon he had caught, and I saw a few king salmon surface, however that was all the action I saw while at the tailrace this morning.

Deshka River, Knik River, Little Susitna River — King Salmon  If you or someone you know would like to fish for king salmon in 2020, I have been fishing at each of these locations with my guide boat.   Both Little Su and Deshka River remain open to catch and release king salmon fishing at this time, while king salmon caught at the Knik River may be harvested.   

June 19, 2020 — Although I did not have a guided trip today, my wife and I took the boat out on the Knik River and caught 1 king salmon salmon.   The fish was caught on Fire Cured salmon roe fished behind a Spin-N-Glo and Jet Diver.  During the trip we saw some bald eagles and ducks.   We had a few additional light bites that we were unable to hook, and also saw 3 other king salmon get caught by other anglers.   

June 20, 2020 — I guided 4 people, 3 of whom caught king salmon.  2 king salmon were caught on Fire Cured salmon roe fished behind a Spin-N-Glo, and the other king salmon was caught on a Kwikfish.    The group had a fair amount of bites, but were unable to hook quite a few of the bites.   I suspect a good number of those missed bites was the result of smaller fish doing the biting.        During the trip we saw some bald eagles and plenty of rain to keep us cool.    There were also about a dozen other boats fishing the same small stretch of river we were fishing.

June 21, 2020 — I guided a group of 2 guests to the Knik River, and although we were near surfacing salmon and had at least a couple bites, we were unable to even hook a salmon this morning.   My guests did a great job of fishing and staying attentive the whole time, and we even fished a bit extra, but simply could not get many bites.  During the trip we saw 3 salmon landed by other boaters, but that is all the action we saw.   I saw a couple moose before the trip started, and we saw a trumpeter swan fly over while we were out on the trip.   There were quite a few people out fishing this morning, and we watched several boaters and some bank anglers attempting to catch fish.   I have high hopes for better fishing tomorrow.

June 22, 2020 — I guided two guests, each of whom caught and released two nice-sized king salmon.   1 king salmon was caught on a Spin-N-GLo and 3 king salmon were caught on Kwikfish.  During the trip we had the opportunity to fish lots of prime sports with little competition form other anglers,  and saw quite a few different birds including bald eagles.   We also saw a cow moose along the river.     

King salmon count numbers are 5,642 at Deshka River weir through June 21 and 64 at Little Susitna River weir through June 21.   Water conditions are now good for fishing either location.

We still have space available on my guided boat  the rest of the week. so give us a call if you would like to join us on a king salmon fishing trip.   907-746-2199.

June 23, 2020 — I guided  group of 2 guests that called interested in fishing the day of this trip, each of them caught and released some king salmon.   The guests caught king salmon on Kwikfish, Mag lip Flatfish, and Spin – N- Glos.   It was a pleasant day on the water  with great weather.

June 24, 2020 — I guided 2 guests, each of whom caught and released 2 king salmon.   In addition, one guest also caught and released a rainbow trout.  2 king salmon and the rainbow trout were caught on Mag Lip Flatfish, while the remaining 2 king salmon were caught on Kwikfish.  Another pleasant day on the river, although we got a bit wet from rain showers.

June 25 — Since I did not have a fishing charter this morning I drove to Eklutna Tailrace and cast a #5 silver / chartreuse Flashtrap Spinner.   I caught a jack king salmon, and that was the only bite I had.   I saw one other persona catch a king salmon on salmon roe fished under an ESB Bobber.   There were quite a few salmon surfacing, however, they must have already learned to avoid lures and bait, as I did not see any additional fish hooked.  On the trip to the river I saw two coyote cross the highway in front of my vehicle as I drove across the Palmer Hay Flats.   WE currently have charter space available for the next week. and king salmon fishing has been good for groups who have fished with me in the boat recently.

Deshka River Weir Count — Yesterday another 1,117 king salmon swam through Deshka River weir raising the season count total to 7,786 king salmon passing the weir through June 24, 2020.   The Deshka River king salmon spawning escapement goal range is 9,000 — 18,000 king salmon past the weir.   Only 1,214 kings are needed to put the escapement within the goal range.   According to Jim Tilton, owner  of Deshka Landing Charters and Lodge, there were still plenty of king salmon being caught at the Deshka River / Susitna River confluence area this morning, and when he boated upriver today he saw good numbers of king salmon below the weir.  In other words weir counts will likely continue to climb for the next few days.  Remember this year, because of high Deshka River water flows, the weir installation was delayed until June 2.  Some uncounted Deshka River king salmon escapement likely occurred between the normal target weir installation time of May 20 and the actual installation time of June 2.

Once the Alaska Department of Fish and Game projects the escapement goal will be attained, from a biological standpoint, the current emergency restrictions should be liberalized.

Expect to see an emergency order liberalizing the Deshka River king salmon fishery some time next week.  

June 26 –– I guided a group of 2 guests who caught 1 jack king salmon and 3 king salmon .  1 fish was caught on a Kwikfish, 1 fish was caught on a Mag Lip Flatfish, and 2 fish were caught on Spin-N-Glos.  During the trip we saw lots of shorebirds, some ducks, and bald eagles.  There were more people out on the river today, but it was still a very enjoyable experience with plenty of spots to fish and lots to see.

June 27, 2020 — I wrapped and put the finish on a new custom spinning rod this morning.   This afternoon we are helping a friend get some work done at his house.   I will be guiding another salmon fishing trip and posting a report again on Sunday.

Sunday June 28, 2020 —  I guided a group of 6 guests, 5 of whom caught king salmon.  The group caught mulitple salmon on Kwikfish, Mag Lip Flatfish, and Spin-N-Glos.  It was a wet cool morning, but very enjoyable fishing trip with very few people out on the river.  During the trip we saw quite a few birds, including bald eagles.  I also saw a cow and calf moose while I was waiting at the landing for my guests to arrive. 

We have good availability for guest to join us king salmon fishing trips in the next week.   We have 3 locations to fish — Knik River, Deshka River, and Little Susitna River.     We expect king salmon harvest to be allowed at Deshka River starting some time in the next week.   Give us a call if you would like to make a reservation or if you would like more information.

June 29, 2020 — When the king salmon count through Deshka River weir was posted this morning, the season total is now 9,141 king salmon past the weir.   This puts the count within the Deshka River king salmon spawning escapement range of 9,000 — 18,000 fish, so I hope the Alaska Department of Fish and Game issues an emergency order to allow some sport king salmon harvest — although I have not seen one yet.

This morning I wrapped and finished another fishing rod that I hope to have in my boat nearly every day during our July, August, and early September silver salmon fishing season.

June 30, 2020 —     I wrapped and finished a bright pink custom fishing rod.   I have another pink custom fishing rod to start wrapping and finishing after the first one drys.     NOTE:  I did not go fishing today — but did manage to write my weekly fishing column for the Frontiersman Newspaper — it should be in the Friday edition.

I am guiding a king salmon fishing trip on Wednesday July — See our July 2020 Alaska Fishing Reports page for our July fishing report updates.