USGS Stream Data

Kenai Rvr @ CooperLndg

  • Water Temp: 36.5 ° F
  • Flow: 1740 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 7.51 ft
USGS

Middle Kenai @ Skilak

  • Flow: 2030 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 7.28 ft
USGS

Talkeetna Rvr

  • Water Temp: 32.18 ° F
  • Water Level: 4.91 ft
USGS

Situk Rvr

  • Water Temp: 39.38 ° F
  • Flow: 1050 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 68.02 ft
USGS
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Loon Lake – June 28, 2014

Lance and I made it out lake fishing again. We spent a few hours kicking our pontoon boats around Loon Lake in Mat/Su Valley Saturday night. Catching wasn’t great, but it was a wonderful evening for fishing. Given our weather (mostly rain) the previous week, Saturday was the nicest day to get out. We decided to fish late, getting on the water about 7:30PM. The air was still, the sun popped in and out of clouds, and the projected thunder showers never showed up. Although the mosquitos were ravenous on shore while were getting ready, once we were on the water they disappeared.

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Looking towards our fishing area from the public access.

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Launching from the public access.

Loon Lake is only a little over an hour out of Anchorage, mostly private property with a Public Access on the northwest shore. We had checked with some friends that had fished it earlier in the month and they gave us some advice on where to concentrate our efforts. ADF&G stocks it every year with rainbows and the holdovers can get to be over 20 inches. The lake is just over 100 acres, a bit bigger than what we like, but we had inside info and a report that fishing had been decent. They had done well on leeches and had seen a few blue damsels; we were going prepared with a little bit of everything, always a good idea in Alaska.

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Slow troll on the opposite end of the lake.

Lance started with a floating line and a black & maroon Woolly Bugger, I tied on a new version* of my UV Diamond Fry. Because the fly was unweighted, and I had a floating line, I added a 3/0 split shot 3 feet up the leader to help keep it down while we kicked over to our primary area. Within 30 minutes I LDR’d a fish about 13 inches. The aerobatic rainbow, with a heavy spilt shot on a long line and a pinched barb, got the best of me. I got to see him twice from about 40 feet out. A short while later I changed to a BB shot as I had picked up bottom snot twice. I trolled the minnow pattern for another hour without any luck. Lance had been tapped several times but hadn’t had a solid hit. There wasn’t any midge activity, no damsels, and a local couple trolling in a canoe hadn’t been catching anything either. There was sporadic rises, all within viewing distance, but even they were spread out all over our end of the lake. Time for a change in tactics; let’s dredge the bottom.

I took the long leader off and looped on a 100 grain sink tip, four feet of fluorocarbon tippet and a conehead Woolly Bugger that had been showed to me by AFF member Bob Wallick. Lance must have had the same thought as he was switching flies and tied on a pattern he learned about in Idaho, the Halloween Leech. By the end of the evening we had both caught a 10 inch killer apiece on our second fly. Not what we hoped to see, but at least we caught something. We pulled out about 11PM. The sun was going down (you’ve got to love Alaska in the summer) and we still had an hour plus drive back to town. We were disappointed in the fishing, but both agreed it was a marvelous night out be out on the water. No regrets!

Footnotes:

* The original version of the UV Diamond Fry was designed as a small pattern to imitate the out-migrating fry of sockeye salmon. This spring I was talking with AFF member Larry Arend who told me that he was very successful on the Kenai River with a version he tied on a size 4 hook. I decided to upsize the pattern to a size 6 and added a back of Krinkle Mirror Flash in peacock black.  I was thinking Sticklebacks when I tied a couple up on Saturday morning. My next attempt will be on a straight shanked hook for better control of the Krinkle Flash over the back. Down eyed hook for swing in the water on a loop knot.

Update – June 30th: As I was finishing this blog Monday night I talked with Mike Malone, who had given us the location advice on Loon Lake. He was surprised at our results until he found out the timing of our trip. Seems his experience on lakes (which is vast) shows that we should have been fishing the lake in the afternoon. Mid-day sun gets the damsels moving, which gets the fish moving, which gets anglers some hits. He and a mutual friend were on a different lake, the same day, noon to four, and between the two released close to fifty fish. Big sigh!

Mike has offered to take Lance and me for some tutoring in his current methods, an offer we will gladly accept. Keep tuned for some updates this coming month. Mike says the action should stay good through July.

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