USGS Stream Data

Kenai Rvr @ CooperLndg

  • Water Temp: 36.32 ° F
  • Flow: 1290 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 6.75 ft
USGS

Middle Kenai @ Skilak

  • Flow: 2280 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 7.43 ft
USGS

Talkeetna Rvr

  • Water Temp: 32.18 ° F
  • Water Level: 3.98 ft
USGS

Situk Rvr

  • Water Temp: 35.78 ° F
  • Flow: 115 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 65.10 ft
USGS
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Talkeetna River: Cubed – May 18, 2017

I wrangled an unprecedented opportunity to fish the Talkeetna River for the third time this spring. All the factors that control my fishing life came together in a prefect union. Although mostly it was the fact that the weather has been cooler this month, the water quality/clarity on the Talkeetna has remained good, and my brother could go. Lance was committed to a work trip to Ninilchik; bummer.

Worst part about this trip was the 7AM launch time. It was a really early morning for both of us but we did well, and by 7:10 we were loaded on Jerry’s boat ready for the trip up to Clear Creek. We had decided to start a little lower than we usually do as we had been much more successful below Clear Creek than above it the last two trips. We wanted to save the couple of hours we usually spend upriver concentrating on the confluence area.  We ended up running up Clear Creek a little ways to launch. That gave us a chance to fish it in a couple of spots before dropping down to the confluence. I caught a mid-teens rainbow in Clear Creek and we saw a few rises which I later figured out were probably small grayling.

My fishing karma must have kicked in this trip as a few times during the day we pulled up to fish an area and I was into a fish within a couple of casts. Twice it was on the first drift through a run. This is the sort of thing than can frustrate your fishing companions, especially when they aren’t getting any “fish love” themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Talkeetna River: Redux – May 7, 2017

It’s eleven days later and we’re up on the Talkeetna again; only this time Lance was able to make the trip as he’s back from conference and it’s a Sunday.  However, the word is out, and it is a weekend in Alaska, so even with a meet time of 8AM we see friends at the launch, and hear that anglers have been on the river, doing well, all morning. Seems 8AM isn’t really early enough in the fishing world.

Jerry with Talkeetna Fishing Guides  runs upriver to the same spot as last trip, only this time its most beach, with very little ice left on the bank.

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First Trip – April 26, 2017: Talkeetna River

Early for Alaskan waters, but I had got word from a friend that Jerry Sousa of Talkeetna Fishing Guides had put his boat in the river Sunday, the 23rd, and had been able to run the jet upriver to Clear Creek. Good news for those of us with Spring Fishing Fever. A phone call Monday morning confirmed a drop off trip on Wednesday for my brother Dennis and myself; Lance was trapped at a conference in Vegas until Thursday and was going to missed this opportunity (we don’t talk about it).

The Talkeetna River is one of the two rivers than can provide some decent spring fishing in south-central; the other being the Kenai. The Kenai River is road accessible and had been seeing anglers for most of the month in its upper reaches below the lake. We wanted to test the Talkeetna as it is much harder to access, receives much less pressure, and therefore more apt to fish better; if the water is decent. That’s the risk with the Talkeetna; it doesn’t flows from a lake like the Kenai and is very susceptible to runoff, water level fluctuations, and turbidity depending on the weather and runoff. It’s a roll of the dice.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Spring Fishing – Plan D: A Friend of a Friend

So it’s mid-April and we’re having an extremely early and warm spring this year. Coupled with a very mild winter, this means that spring fishing is at least 3 weeks early and we are already seeing signs that if we don’t get out soon, the rivers are going to silt up with runoff and high water. Our challenge is that the river boat operator that we usually hire to run our rafts up the river we like to fish in early spring is out of state until May and we don’t have that much time. Lance is saving up vacation time for June when his brother is coming to Alaska, so fishing needs to happen on a weekend. Due to my schedule, I have only one open weekend, the 23rd of April, which is before Rhett at Phantom Charters will be back. What now?

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Kenai Lake Outlet & a follow-up on our Flying Rafts

Two weeks have gone by since losing our rafts off the trailer (see Flying Rafts post). Lance & I are headed back down to the outlet of Kenai Lake to fish. My raft has been repaired from the road rash holes, I have invested in tie-down straps with locking clips, and we came up makeshift side bars that allowed Lance to check if the rafts were still on the trailer from his side mirrors. We stopped and checked everything a couple of times during the 100 mile run to the river. Mostly because we were a bit gun shy after the last trip. Everything held tight.

Safety clips on my new tie-down straps

Safety clips on my new tie-down straps

Side bars of a visual check while driving.

Side bars of a visual check while driving.

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Flying Rafts

This blog was supposed to be so much different than it is, but (BLEEP) happens!

We were going to fish the Upper Kenai again this weekend. Only this time we were planning on staying in the lake above the bridge and the slow section of the river just below. Reports were that, although there were fish being caught down in the upper river, this section was producing well. Besides, after last Friday’s adventure of getting off the river at dark-thirty, we wanted to be within an easy row of the truck and trailer. Lance and I had decided to take our flippers and slow troll our flies back and forth across the outlet banks. We felt that even below the bridge, the current was slow enough that flippers would allow us to cover the water much like we do in lakes. And, if we needed to, we could just get our feet up on the pegs and row out of any faster current. My brother Dennis decided to take his electric motor and Hummingbird fish/depth finder. He had tried the fish finder a few years earlier while floating the main river and it didn’t work well. He was pretty sure that at least he would be able to find the ridge line that defined the shallower water just up from the bridge from the much deeper hole a bit up into the lake. Saturday worked for all three of us, so we planned for a 9:00AM “Get out of Dodge” departure. Surprisingly, we were loaded and away from the house about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Read the rest of this entry »

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Earliest 1st Trip Ever

The First Day of Spring in Alaska is usually acknowledged with an understanding wink between those of us that live here, as we know “spring” is still four to six weeks away.

Boats loaded and ready by mid-morning

Boats loaded and ready by mid-morning

However, this year we’ve had an unbelievably mild winter, and with virtually no snow and lots of day time temperatures in the low 40’s Lance & I decided we needed to go fishing. Besides, a fishing trip is good for what ails you.

I had driven to Homer on March 5th and the Upper Kenai was as low as I’ve ever seen it. No bank ice, clear water (for the Kenai) and a spurt of late run Silvers that arrived in the upper river in really late, all promised for as good of fishing as you could hope for. Now we were not after the Silvers; the season for them is closed, but where there’s spawning salmon you can be sure there will be Rainbows, and since we were going to be by the lake, possibly Dolly Varden.

As luck would have it, Friday March 20th was the earliest day we could get together that the temperatures were going to be near the 40 degree mark; the First Day of Spring. This would be the earliest first trip of the year I had ever been on, and by no small margin. However, as usual, Murphy started to mess with us. (Murphy is a regular on lots of our fishing excursions. He seems to just invite himself.) Lance ended up with a doctor’s appointment first thing Friday morning. No biggie, we’ll just leave later; that will give the day time to warm up. Dennis discovered a leak in one of his tubes Friday night and can’t find his patch kit. Ok, off to Alaska Raft for a patch kit (and some advice about the fishing at the bridge because the guys at AK Raft are like that). I had friends that came in from Nome Thursday afternoon and back off to Texas at 3:00AM Friday morning. Deal with it; a couple of short naps are way better than no sleep.

But as it turned out we were buying sandwiches at Subway just after 12 Noon, and didn’t get onto the water until about 3PM. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fly Fishing Festival & Spey Clave

Casting instructor Mark Huber works with AFF member Jolynne Howard's 2-handed technique.

Casting instructor Mark Huber works with AFF member Jolynne Howard’s 2-handed technique.

Up Coming Event

Saturday, August 16th at Mirror Lake Park

The 2014 Fly Fishing Festival and Spey Clave

sponsored by the Alaska Fly Fishers and Fish Alaska Magazine.

Click the link below to go to AFF’s Facebook event page.

https://www.facebook.com/events/740018756039241/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

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More Lessons from a Lake Master

Healthy wild  rainbow from a undisclosed Mat-Su lake.

Healthy wild rainbow from a undisclosed Mat-Su lake.

Lance and I fished with Lake Master Mike Malone again, and like our last outing, we let Mike pick the destination. This time we headed north of Wasilla on a Sunday; which turned out to be a very pleasant day, given the forecast was for rain. It was a short (fishing time) day trip with a lot of driving attached. Lance and I had been to this particular lake before, about 15 years ago; with Mike, his son Tim, and a mutual friend Greg Heister. We fished small Lake Leeches back then, and I don’t remember the day being nearly as nice. I seem to remember cool drizzly skies. I do know we did not catch nearly as many good fish. (In fact, I think I went fishless.) Today’s trip was different. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lake Fishing Lessons from a Master

We had an opportunity  to fish with a fellow AFF member that is, in my opinion, a master lake angler. Lance and I are making an effort to fish lakes a bit more. We’ve been off of them for over 10 years and it’s amazing how much methodology has changed. Mike Malone, a long-time friend, offered to help us out in that department.

Mike has lived in the north Wasilla area for over 20 years and has spent most of his fishing time on the local lakes that surround his home. In the Mat-Su Valley ADF&G lists over 80 lakes that they stock, and almost 40 that are managed as wild fisheries. Granted the Mat-Su Borough is huge in terms of square miles, but most of these lakes are near a road, have public access points, and are within a 50 mile radius of Wasilla. As a result, Mike has experience fishing a diverse set of waters. Read the rest of this entry »

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