July 2022 Alaska Fishing Reports

4 Alaska Salmon Species targeted  in

July 2022 — Chum Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Coho Salmon, Pink Salmon

July provides the best opportunity to target several species of Pacific salmon native to Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley in one single month. We expect our guests to catch  coho (silver), chum (dog), sockeye (red), and pink salmon during July 2022.   Since July is the most popular month for Alaska visitors, and also provides opportunities to fish for several different salmon species in the Mat-Su Valley, anglers are encouraged to make early reservations or call  for more information about our July Fishing Trips at 907-746-2199.    Added Note:  Numbers of all 5 species passing the Little Susitna River weir were low during the first half of July 2022.

July Alaska Fishing Reports 2022

Sunday July 31, 2022 — I guided morning group of 3 guests who harvested 5 silver salmon, 1 chum salmon, and released several pink salmon.  The fish were caught on #5 Flashtrap spinners and a #4 Vibrax Spinner.  The water was still high and quick.

I guided an afternoon group of 3 guests, who harvested 5 coho salmon and also released a chum salmon, and several pink salmon.   All of the fish were caught on #5 Flashtrap spinners in silver bald or orange blade patterns.  During the trip we saw a pair of bald eagles near the river, and some flocks of ducks and shorebirds.

LS USGS: average about 350 cfs.            Susitna NOAA:   dropping to 17.75 by 8 p.m.     

Saturday July 30 — I took my wife and a friend personal use dip netting.   They caught some chum, pink, sockeye, and silver salmon, but fished all day and did not harvest as many sockeye and silver salmon as they had hoped.  During the trip we saw bald eagles and a beaver.

LS USGS: average about 380 cfs.            Susitna NOAA:   average about 18.1

Friday July 29, 2022 — I guided a group of 3 anglers who wanted to specifically target pink salmon, so we went to the Deshka River today, where there were plenty of pink salmon surfacing near the Deshka /Susitna River confluence.  My guests casted and caught fish on #5 Flashtrap,  #3 Flashtrap and some spinners one of the anglers had made. Each guest caught pink salmon, one of them also harvested 2 coho salmon, and one of them caught a rainbow trout.  During the trip they saw a couple clear sunny views of Mount McKinley / Denali and a bald eagle along the river.

Note: The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued an Emergency Order that will open Fish Creek to sport salmon fishing 7 days per week from August 1 — 13 Between the hours of 5 am — 10 pm with a limit of 6 salmon daily (none of which may be coho or king salmon) — Except that during the Youth Only fisheries days on August 6  and 7 two of the 6 salmon daily bag limit may be silver (coho) salmon.

LS USGS:  average about 435 cfs.            Susitna NOAA:   dropped to 18 ft. 

Thursday July 28, 2022 — I guided a morning group of 3 anglers who caught 5 silver salmon, a few pink salmon, and two chum salmon.  The fish were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners , #4 Vibrax Spinners, and a spinner built by one of my guests.  During the trip we saw a moose and a bald eagle along the river.

I guided an afternoon group of 6 guests who caught 1 chum salmon, several pink salmon, and 3 coho salmon.   The fish were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners and #4 Vibrax Spinners.  During the trip we saw a bald eagle and ducks along the river.

LS USGS:  dropped below 500 cfs.            Susitna NOAA:   dropped to 18.6 ft. by 9 p.m.

Wednesday July 27, 2022 — day off.

Tuesday July 26, 2022 — I guided 3 people in the morning who caught and released chum and pink salmon.   All of the salmon were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners.   During the trip we saw a bald eagle along the river.

I guided 4 people in the afternoon  who caught 2 silver salmon and several chum salmon and pink salmon.  Salmon were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners and a #5 Vibrax Spinner.  Water remains high and muddy.

LS USGS:  dropped from 900 – 670 cfs.            Susitna NOAA:   rising to 19.8 ft.

Monday July 25, 2022 — I guided a family group of 3 anglers who caught 3 silver salmon, several pink salmon, and a few chum salmon.  All of the fish were caught on #5 Flashtrap Spinners.   They harvested the silver salmon and one chum salmon.   During the trip we saw a bald eagle and several groups of ducks.    Water was high, but dropping during the trip, although we received significant rain that could affect the water level in a day or two.

LS USGS:  rose from 600 – 1000 cfs .            Susitna NOAA:   19.2 ft.  

Sunday July 24, 2022 — I guided two people, and they caught one coho salmon, some rainbow trout, and 3 king salmon.   The king salmon were released without removing them form the water.  All of the fish were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.  Water was extra high today on the Deshka, while it was dropping on the Susitna River.  During the trip we saw several bald eagles, and several groups of ducks, along with a few other groups fishing .

LS USGS:   fell to 625 cfs by 8:30 p.m.            Susitna NOAA:  fell to 19.7 ft.  by  8:30 p.m.

Saturday July 23, 2022 — I took some friends dip netting and they caught sockeye salmon and pink salmon.  It was a pleasant less-wet day on the river.   We saw several bald eagles during the trip.

LS USGS: 1000 cfs fell to 800 cfs by 7 p.m.                    Susitna NOAA:  fell to 20.5 ft.  at 7 p.m.  

Friday July 22, 2022 — I guided a morning group of 3 guests who caught several rainbow trout and some king salmon .  1 trout and 1 king salmon were caught by casting with a #4 spinner, and the other fish were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB bobbers.  All the king salmon were released with out removing them from the water.   During the trip we saw some bald eagles and ducks.

I guided an afternoon group of 4 men who caught 3 silver salmon, one rainbow trout, and some king salmon.  All of the silver salmon were caught in spots where we fished in the morning, but had not even hooked silver salmon.  During the trip we saw bald eagles, ducks, and other groups of anglers.   The water seemed even higher today than yesterday, but remained fairly clear.

LS USGS:   1250 cfs                      Susitna NOAA:  from 21.5 ft. dropping to 21.1 at 9p.m.

Thursday July 21. 2022 — I guided a group of 3 people who caught one silver salmon, some rainbow trout, and some king salmon.    All of the fish were caught by drifting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers.  During the trip we saw some bald eagles perched in a tree along the river,  a few groups of young ducks, and some other anglers out looking for salmon.  Water level was very high, but had dropped overnight at Deshka Landing.  

LS USGS:   1700 cfs at 7 p.m.                     Susitna NOAA:  21.9 ft. and rising at 6 p.m. 

Wednesday July 20, 2022 — I took a day off from guiding today and spent a good part of my day with friends.

LS USGS:  dropped to 1500 cfs at 8 p.m.                    Susitna NOAA:   22.25 ft peak.

Tuesday July 19, 2022 — A day of rain with more rain on the way — there was already plenty of water in the Mat-Su Valley rivers and I expect them to continue rising over the next couple days.  I guided a group of 4 adults on the Susitna River drainage and they caught some rainbow trout and some king salmon while difting Fire Cured salmon roe under ESB Bobbers, but they were unable to hook even a single salmon that we could identify as another species.  We did not see a salmon roll while we were fishing.   The water was high, but relatively clear where we were fishing.  All of the fish were released as quickly and gently as possible.   During the trip we saw some ducks, bald eagles, and a few other groups of anglers.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the Fish Creek Personal Use Dip net fishery will open from 6 a.m. — 11 p.m. daily from Thursday July 21 — Sunday July 31. 

LS USGS:  2800 cfs at 7 p.m.                    Susitna NOAA:   21.77 ft and rising at 7 p.m.

Monday July 18, 2022 — Susitna River drainage — I guided a group of 4 adults, who caught 5 rainbow trout, 1 jack king salmon , and 3 king salmon.  They started the trip casting #4 Flashtrap and Vibrax Spinners and casted for quite a while, covering lots of water with out any bites.   They next tried drifting Fire Cured salmon roe fished under ESB bobbers, and that is how they caught all of the fish.  The King salmon and jack king salmon were released, as quickly as possible, without removing them from the water.   The water was high and dark-colored from our recent rain — although it was mostly nice weather while the group was fishing.  During the trip we saw arctic terns, bald eagles, and several groups of ducks. 

LS USGS: peaked 1200 cfs before 12 noon                 Susitna NOAA:  20.45 ft at 9 p.m.

Sunday July 17, 2022 — I had a day off from guiding fishing trips, and spent part of my day picking raspberries with my wife, after which I will be getting some different fishing gear together for my next guided fishing trip on Monday July 18.  It is another wet day and our weather forecast is calling for more of the same for the next several days.   Sunny days are pleasant, but we had so many of them earlier in the summer that cooler wet weather we are getting right now will likely help salmon migrations into the rivers and keep the salmon more active and biting lures or baits better once they get into the rivers.

LS USGS  — 700 cfs upper river and falling at 7 am — back up to 800 cfs and rising at 7:40 p.m.   Susitna NOAA — 19.75 ft. and rising at 7 am. Up to 19.88 ft at 7:40 p.m.

Saturday July 16, 2022 — I guided 3 adults and a young boy for salmon, and one of them caught a silver salmon right at the start of the trip.  I was thinking my guests were finally going to have a good trip for silver salmon, but that was the last fish they hooked.  It was caught on a #4 Vibrax Spinner.   After that we fished lots of holes without even seeing another fish surface.   We had seen one salmon surface earlier in the trip, we saw a beaver, and multiple families of ducks, and some other anglers.   The rain kept most people away, or starting later than we did.  Water level remained low and relatively clear, however, the USGS water gauge for the upper river indicates there will be a large increase in water volume in the lower river before long.  It was a two-raincoat day for me on the river, and now it is time for me to dry out some very wet gear.

LS USGS  — peaked at 1400 cfs. upper river.   NOAA — over 19 ft. and rising on Susitna River.

Friday July 15, 2022 — I guided a group of 3 men who caught 1 pink salmon which was harvested and 1 king salmon which was released while still in the water.   In addition one other salmon was hooked, but lost.   The men were casting spinners the entire time and covered holes along several miles of river.   We saw one salmon surface during the trip, and saw ducks along the river, and other anglers out trying their luck as well.   The water level remained low on the Little Susitna River, but rain over the next 3 days may raise the river substantially if it materializes as forecasted.

LS USGS  — 225 cfs est. upper river.   NOAA — 18 ft. est.

Thursday July 14, 2022 — I guided a group of 4 anglers in the morning, and they spent the entire trip casting spinners.  One angler briefly hooked a salmon that thrashed on the surface and came off before I could identify what species it was.    That was the only hookup the group had, despite fishing many spots along the river.   We saw a couple salmon surface today — so there was likely more salmon in the river.   We saw some ducks along the river during the trip along with  other anglers enjoying a day on the water.

Bait / Multiple Hook Opener on Susitna River Drainage. — I talked with an angler who had been at the Willow Creek / Susitna River confluence this morning and he saw a total of two salmon caught — one of the fish was a small coho salmon and the other fish was a small pink salmon.   His assessment: There  was very fish compared to the number of people out attempting to catch a salmon.    A second experienced angler I know fished near the Sheep Creek / Susitna River access with bait — he told me the only fish he caught was a single rainbow trout.    I talked with one of the staff at Susitna Landing, and she told me the landing had not even had a single angler fishing today — that is a comment in itself — Not even a single person was fishing on the first day (July 14) bait fishing was allowed for the entire summer.  I also talked with a Deshka River guide who has been out checking the Deshka / Susitna River confluence on a regular basis who told me he had run his fish finder at Deshka yesterday and could not see even a single salmon.   Finally one of the staff members at Deshka Landing told me the landing had been really quiet today with hardly anyone launching a boat.  Not many salmon in the river system –yet.

LS USGS  — 280 cfs. upper river.   NOAA — 18 ft.

Wednesday July 13, 2022 — I guided two men on a morning trip who casted spinners the whole  trip and caught 1 rainbow trout.   One guest hooked but lost a chum salmon before he could bring it to the boat.  We saw what looked to be a couple small salmon surface during the trip, but they did not get any additional hookups.   Once again we fished lots of different spots and covered several miles of river looking for salmon.  During the trip we saw a couple beavers, a muskrat, families of ducks, and a few other anglers out trying their luck.

LS USGS  — 260 cfs. upper river.   NOAA — 17.8 ft.

Tuesday July 12, 2022 — I guided a father and son on a rainy day salmon fishing trip that started at 10 a.m.  These were experienced guests who had fished with me multiple times before, and they made strong casts and presentations throughout the entire trip, but nothing hit the variety of spinners they tried.  We did not see any salmon surface until we were boating back toward the boat launch and spotted some rising pink salmon.   The pinks were in a snaggy spot — let a lure sink and it got snagged — reel it in too quickly and it went buzzing over above the fish.   After losing one last lure and not catching a fish we called it a day.

LS USGS  — 350 cfs  upper river.   NOAA — 17.8 ft. 

Monday July 11, 2022 — My wife, a friend, and I took an exploratory fishing trip out of Deshka Landing into the Susitna River drainage looking for silver and pink salmon.  We fished a couple different locations and my wife caught the only salmon — which happened to be a king salmon, so  it was released immediately with pliers removing the hook while the fish was in the water.   During the trip we saw ducks, bald eagles, and a seal.

Although we did not try the mouth of Willow Creek, Sam Ivery, fisheries biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game told me there are pink salmon present and being caught at the Willow Creek / Susitna River confluence(s).  We only saw one other group fishing near us.

LS USGS  — 250 cfs (most of day).   NOAA — 17.6 ft.

Sunday July 10, 2022 —  Coho Ho!   I guided a woman and her 14-year old son today who were visiting from California, and the young man caught his first salmon — a nice large male coho.   They casted spinners during the entire trip and that was the only salmon they managed to hook, but they were both pleased and took several pictures of the angler and his fish.   It sounded like they were planning on cooking up fresh salmon for dinner tonight!   This was the first coho (silver salmon) of the season taken from my guide boat and caught on a #5 Vibrax Spinner.  During the trip we saw several bald eagles, a beaver, ducks, and shore birds.

LS USGS  — 275 cfs.   NOAA — 17.8 ft.

Saturday July 9, 2022 — I stayed home and tied hooks and worked on my bobber and bait gear — in preparation for the bait fishing openers (July 14 on Susitna River drainage — and August 6th on Little Susitna River).  I also helped my wife do a little work in our raspberry patch — and sampled a few early-ripening berries!

LS USGS  — 280 cfs.   NOAA — 18.2 ft.

Friday July 8, 2022 —I guided a group of 3 people, who caught 2 rainbow trout, and hooked, but lost 2 ocean-run salmon.  During the trip we also saw a few salmon surfacing, as we fished through lots of prime spots.   There were at least 3 bald easel we saw along the river along with several families of ducks.  Weather was pleasant, but cloudy and not too hot during the trip — we also had a bit of rain the day earlier which may have benefitted fishing conditions.

LS USGS — 300 cfs.       NOAA —  18.4 ft.

Wednesday July 6, 2022 — I guided 4 women who casted spinners and fished throughout a late – morning salmon fishing trip.    They learned quite a bit about fishing spinners, but were unable to catch a salmon.   We saw one ocean-run salmon surface during the trip at a spot where they were fishing, but did not hook any salmon.  Water continues to drop and is at a great level right now for casting lures.   During the trip we saw several bald eagles, ducks, and shorebirds.  The trip was a bit shorter than normal as they had to leave early to catch an airplane headed South — I enjoyed fishing with them during part of their last day in Alaska.

First coho (silver) salmon caught at Ship Creek — This is the first ocean-run  coho salmon taken in 2022  (that I know of) from a Northern Cook Inlet freshwater sport fishery.  There is a picture of this fish posted on The Bait Shack‘s Facebook page.  Anglers  should  be catching  early-arriving coho salmon at other Northern Cook Inlet freshwater locations before long as well.   

LS USGS — 380 est. cfs.       NOAA — est. 18.75

Tuesday July 5, 2022 — I  wrote /edited my Mat-Su Anglers Fishing Column for the Friday Frontiersman Newspaper.

UCI Commercial Harvest July 4:  approximately 67,000 sockeye, 29 coho, 98 pink, 451 chum 

Little Susitna River weir  counts through July 4: 2,049 king salmon and 1,025 sockeye salmon.  Water level continues to drop and water temperature is getting warm as well.

Deshka River weir count through July 5:  5,183  king salmon

Fish Creek Weir (installed July 5):  3 sockeye on day of installation.

LS USGS — 400 cfs.       NOAA — 18.75

Monday July 4, 2022 — I fished with a couple of the new custom rods I had built last winter, and casted spinners in lots of prime holes along the Little Susitna River, but did not find any of the 4 salmon species I was looking for.    I caught one rainbow trout, hooked but lost another rainbow trout, caught two small king salmon, and hooked one additional fish which I lost and did not have a chance to identify. All the fish I caught were released as quickly and safely as I could.   During the trip I saw a beaver and bald eagle along he river along with several families of ducks, shorebirds, and some mosquitos early in the trip.   There were a few other people out enjoying the 4th of July holiday on the river as well.

LS USGS — 420 cfs.       NOAA — <19

 July 3, 2022 — In the morning I drove over and fished Eklutna Tailrace with a #5 Orange-bladed Magnum Spinner.   I watched another angler catch a king salmon as I was driving into the parking lot, and there was a second angler cleaning a fish on the cleaning table at the same time.   That was the last fish-on-a-line action I saw in the 90 minutes or so that I spend at the tailrace. Soon after I arrived (approximately 6:30 am)several salmon were surfacing from the Tailrace confluence with the Knik River to just upstream of the pedestrian bridge.   There was a decent number of people fishing in this area, but while I was fishing no one managed to hook a single salmon.

LS USGS — 440 cfs.       NOAA — 19

July 2, 2022 —  LS USGS — 480 cfs     NOAA — 19.15

July 1, 2022 — As mentioned in our June 2022 fishing reports page — The Knik River / Eklutna Tailrace fishery remains open to king salmon fishing and harvest and to fishing for all other species of salmon as well.   This is a  fishery in a small area and during July most king salmon in the Knik River portion of the fishery are caught by still fishing with bait (often in a very few locations).     Deshka River and Little Susitna River  are open to fishing for all salmon species EXCEPT king salmon at this time.   There are several miles of river open to fishing on both Little Susitna River and Deshka River, and Little Susitna River currently has 925 sockeye salmon that have migrated past the Little Susitna River weir as of July 1.

LS USGS — 530 cfs.    NOAA — 19.1


Significant Date:

July 14 — Bait fishing opportunities open at many Susitna River drainage locations.  Check back on July 14  for an update on  Susitna River drainage bait opener.

July 20,  23,  27,  30 — I have days off scheduled to fish with family and friends– however we have Greg available to guide groups of up to 5 people on these dates.  Availability is limited and all trips will be booked first come – first served.    907-746-2199.