USGS Stream Data

Kenai Rvr @ CooperLndg

  • Water Temp: 40.28 ° F
  • Flow: 2840 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 8.49 ft

Middle Kenai @ Skilak

  • Flow: 3660 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 7.78 ft

Talkeetna Rvr

  • Water Temp: 43.7 ° F
  • Flow: 8540 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 5.51 ft

Situk Rvr

  • Water Temp: 48.92 ° F
  • Flow: 195 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 65.63 ft
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Posts Tagged ‘tubluar smolt’

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?

Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


Talkeetna River Trip

Gearing up our boats on the Talkeetna River_0002


Finally… a day of fishing! Our first trip out was about 10 days later than normal this year. The water levels on the Talkeetna River stayed very low due to a cold spring, and when they did come up enough to get a jet boat upstream, it was a matter of juggling three different schedules on short notice to make a date for Friday, May 24th.

Tri-River Charters ran us and our pontoon boats up river on their 21’ Woolrich. Strap three 9’ boats to the back of a river boat, add the three of us, two additional anglers headed upstream, plus the captain, and you have a full boat. Good news is that we were able to get a “freight run” price which kept the trip really reasonable, dollar wise. We asked to be dropped off just upriver from Fish Creek; and geared up our boats against a steep bank.

10:00AM launch – 11:00AM fishing: not bad.

We were greeted by sheets of bank ice on much of the river. It looked more like early May as opposed to the third full week into the month. However, the day was absolutely gorgeous, with sun all day long and temperatures that had to be in the 70’s. It was a weird way to fish; being almost too hot in shirt sleeves, while casting our flies into water that was cold and off color from ice and run off. It didn’t take us long to realize that the main stem Talkeetna was turning darker as we watched. Visibility went from almost a foot in the morning at the launch site to about 6” in just a few hours. We decided to concentrate on the areas where clear water from Fish Creek and Clear Creek mixed with the Talkeetna. Read the rest of this entry »


Tube Fly Class – AFF Tying Clinic/February 18, 2012

Next Saturday!!! Don’t Miss It!!!

For those of you attending my Tube Tying Class at the February 18th Tying Clinic sponsored by the Alaska Fly Fishers, I have created a page that lists some of the basic tubes and tools available both locally here in Anchorage, and through the web.

Download the pdf at:  Tube Flies – Materials and Sources

Tube flies are just starting to make some inroads into the American fly tying culture, and although they are not a total solution, tube flies have several advantages over traditional hooks in some specific applications. In my opinion, it’s always a good idea to have a couple of different tricks up your sleeve, especially when you are targeting our larger salmon (Kings and Silvers), or those beefy rainbows and char that Alaska is known for.

Long shanked hooks, necessary when creating large bulky patterns, have the disadvantage of creating a lot of leverage once the hook is in the fish’s mouth. The current trend of using stinger hooks is one way of addressing this problem. Truth be told, using a stinger loop off the back of any fly pattern is a great solution to the problem of shank leverage.

However, in some cases stinger loops may not be the most practical solution. Tube flies were based on the concept of keeping the fly away from the fish’s sharp teeth after the hook set. The fly body is designed to disconnect and slide up the leader, allowing the angler to play the fish on a short shanked hook tied directly to the leader. This offers the advantage of not having your fly in shreds after one or two fish.

An additional advantage is that the hook doesn’t have a chance to hinge over during casting and hook itself onto your leader, or in some cases the fly body itself. Using junction tubes, you can control the distance behind the body that the hook is riding; which can be important when the fish are short striking, or nipping at the rear of the fly. The junction tube is flexible, but not enough so that it will hinge back on itself like most stinger loops.

Or, as in the case of most of my fishing with tube flies; I just let the fly slide down to the hook knot. I find that a junction tube isn’t necessary most of the time. Without a junction tube the fly will have a tendency to spin on your leader, something that I hope the fish fish find as tantalizing as I do. (I am a fan of the “If it moves, it’s alive and food.” school of thought.)

Whether you get into tube flies big time or just for a couple of specific uses; spend some time getting familiar with this style of tying.

Tubular Smolt

Rainbow Trout caught on a Tubular Smolt


Here’s a sample of a tube specific pattern that is working very well for our meat eating rainbows. The Tubular Smolt will be featured in a new fly pattern book from the Alaska Fly Fishers, most likely to be published later in 2012.


“Any day on the water is a GREAT day”