September 2021 Alaska Fishing Reports

COVID-19 Requirements for Travelers to Alaska


September Fishing Reports 2021

September 1, 2021 — I guided a group of 4 guests, each of whom caught a limit of coho salmon — although all of them did not keep a limit.    They selectively kept 7 silver salmon and released darker fish.   Fish were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers and by casting with #5 Flashtrap Spinners and a #5 Vibrax Spinner.    During the trip we saw quite a few ducks –even though it was the opening day for duck hunting season.  Water level remains high, but the water continues to drop and clear up.

September 2, 2021 — I was scheduled to guide salmon anglers — but with a change of plans I had a day off from guiding.  I  spent the day getting things done around the house, and stopping by the store.

September 3, 2021 — I guided a group of 2 guests on a mid-day trip, and each of them selectively harvested a limit of coho salmon.     All of their fish were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.   During the trip one of my guests spotted a beaver swimming up the river and we also saw several flocks of ducks.

September 4, 2021 — I guided a group of 2 guests, each of whom caught multiple coho salmon, but they only kept one prime chrome fish.   All of their salmon were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.   During the trip we saw a bald eagle perched beside the river and several flocks of ducks.    Water level continued to drop but remains higher than normal with heavier rain forecasted for tomorrow.

September 5, 2021 — I started feeling ill with flu-like symptoms last night — so following COVID-19 protocols I did not guide my salmon fishing trip today.     We were able to switch that reservation to Ben Allen with Miller’s Riverboat Service for tomorrow.       I had a couple additional days of guided fishing for Monday and Tuesday — and will not be guiding trips either of those days either — Today I am working on best accommodating my guests desires for those trips.

September 6, 2021 — Ben Allen with Miller’s Riverboat Service (907) 715-1085 guided a group of 3 people for us and each of them caught multiple coho salmon — although the fish were blushed and they did not keep many.   They also caught several rainbow trout.   Water was rising quickly after heavy rain yesterday and last night, but looks like it will likely stabilize before long.   Ben is intending to guide fishing trips for species other than salmon as long as he can this fall.   He is out go to choice when guests want to fish with flies for salmon or trout.  Feel welcome to give Miller’s Riverboat Service a call if you are interested in a September fishing trip in the Mat-Su Valley.

Greg Acord also guided a group of 3 guest for us and they caught good numbers of coho salmon as well, although the group released all of the fish as they were getting blushed.

We are thinking that September 4 was likely my last guided open-water salmon fishing trip for the 2021 fishing season.   To all of those who fished with us this season — Thank You very much for a solid summer of fun and salmon fishing business!

September 11, 2021 — I am Feeling Better Now — for those who had been asking.   I seemed to have had a cold or the flu that lasted about 3 – 4 days.  Always had my senses of taste and smell — and did not have a fever — so just a usual fall sickness.

Tuesday September 14, 2021 — I built 5 color patterns of size #6 Flashtrap Spinners in a single hook configuration as required by regulations in many southcentral Alaska rivers this time of year.   Single hooks artificial lures have been a frequent requirement during portions of Mat-Su Valley king salmon seasons for the past several years as well.   These are patterns we test fished for both king salmon and coho salmon during our 2021 season, so I was wanting to build up a supply.

Wednesday September 15, 2021 — I built additional supply of single hook #6 Flashtrap Spinners in the same 5 color patterns as yesterday.

Thursday September 16, 2021 —  I built #7 Flashtrap Spinners in 2 color patterns.   During this summer’s king salmon season — this new size 7 Flashtrap was my guests most successful spinner for catching king salmon.   We used it primarily at Deshka River, but it caught king salmon at Little Susitna River as well.  

I also got my guide boat ready for one last river fishing trip tomorrow, and got my second boat out and ready for one my nephews to take on a moose hunting trip — he was planning to head out this evening.  So hopefully he is in moose camp now.

I also helped my wife trim back some of our raspberry bushes in preparation for cold weather and winter.   Temperatures are cooling off and days are getting considerably shorter — before long winter will be arriving in parts of Alaska.

Friday September 17, 2021 –– I guided a  group of 5 men with Ben Allen of Miller’s Riverboat Service.  Ben also guided a group of 5 men in his boat.   Both boats caught several silver salmon, and one guest in Ben’s boat kept two of the salmon.   My guests caught several silver salmon on #5 single-hook Flashtrap Spinners, one silver salmon on a #6 single-hook Flashtrap Spinner, and more silver salmon on Fire Cured salmon roe drifted under ESB Bobbers.   All of the fish my guests caught were blushed, and each fish was carefully and gently released.   During the trip we saw ducks along the river and Ben’s group saw some swans.   It was a wonderful clear and warm fall day on the Little Susitna River, and a great end to my open-water fishing season.

At this time I am hoping to spend a couple days rounding up some hunting gear and then moose hunt for a few days before the season closes.   Check back to learn how that turns out.

Saturday September 25, 2021 — Moose — Today was the last day of  moose season and my wife and I spent a good part of the day processing moose meat.    I did not get a moose this year, however, a friend gave us some moose which we processed in the morning / early afternoon.    Also on Friday September 24, one of my nephews finally harvested a good – sized bull moose after more that a week of camping and hunting.   They brought that moose out of the field on Saturday, and we helped cut it up in the later afternoon / evening.   For those that enjoy and depend upon wild game meat, a moose cutting party (beside being plenty of work) is a joyous event.   We are thankful for the bounty of beautiful meat, and hopeful we may get to participate in one or more moose cutting parties again next year.

Monday September 27, 2021 — My wife and I took my primary guide boat to the Little Susitna River to look for an anchor I lost while guiding a silver salmon trip in August.   I was pulling on the anchor rope when it broke, but I knew the general area where I lost it during high and muddy water conditions.    Today was the lowest level the water had been since I lost the anchor, and weather has been getting colder — below freezing at night.   When we arrived at the river, in the afternoon, I quickly noticed the water was still higher than I expected and colored enough that visibility down into the river was limited — the lower September sun angle also reduced the distance one could see into the water.   We ran up to where I had lost the anchor and I started looking around in a fairly shallow stretch of the river with good sunlight.   In a few minutes I spotted the anchor, was able to position the boat beside it, and we fished it out of the river with a gaff hook.  May sound like quite a bit of trouble for an anchor — but it was one my younger brother had made for me several years ago — and it works very well.    My wife and I fished several spots as we boated back downstream toward the boat ramp, but aside from seeing a few dark red silver salmon in the water, we did not have any additional luck.   It was, however, a very successful trip — and I  also  ran fuel stabilizer into my outboard motor as I  started the process of getting it ready to go for the 2022 season.

2021 and 2022 Summer Salmon Charter Availability    After several days of discussions — we finally posted on this Fishtale River Guides website one boat per day of charter boat availability for the next two years.   There are 6-hour morning trips, 6-hour afternoon trips, and one 8-hour trip posted per day.   Our online reservation system will accept May 8 — September 7 reservations for all except for a few days/ partial days we have scheduled for our own personal use.   Exclusive boat reservations are available through the website reservation system at this time.

Keep in Mind:

**Salmon are often more active and bite better during early morning hours.  For best fishing catching you may want to consider a 6-hour  early morning trip.

**Afternoon trips may provide a better fit for groups with kids or older individuals who prefer sleeping in later.   For a more restful and relaxing river trip  or one that better fits a schedule you may decide on a 6-hour afternoon trip.

**Our 8-hour trips provide more opportunity to catch limits of salmon — something that you may want especially during the shoulder parts of the salmon seasons.   An 8-hour trip may also provide you some flexibility with trip timing — if you request a specific start time between 4:30 am — 8 am during the reservation process we may be able to accommodate the request and will do our best to meet your schedule. 

All of our fishing trips include:   An experienced Alaskan guide, customized jet boat, fishing gear, fish filleting and helpful instruction.  Trip times are from scheduled departure to return to launch site with fish filleting / cleaning included within the trip time.

Feel welcome to Call for additional information — or to make a reservation for our 2022 salmon fishing season.  (907) 746-2199

After September 30, 2021 — For our next Alaska  Fishing Report — please go to our October 2021 Alaska Fishing Reports page.