Southcentral fishing forecast

July 21, 2010 

Mat-SU

Valley lakes +++

Trout, grayling, landlocked salmon, pike

Kepler-Bradley lakes offer plenty of grayling and, along with Matanuska, Knik and Finger lakes, plenty of room for kids to safely play. Early morning or late evening usually offers best results. Spinners, spoons, nymphs and leech patterns all work. Carpenter, Farmer, Meirs and Ruby lakes are yielding rainbows.

Willow area lakes +++

Trout, grayling, pike

Herring suspended beneath a bobber are a good bet for pike. Try top-water weedless lures and flies in the heavily vegetated bays and sloughs. Try the Nancy Lake Recreation Area and Long Lake.

Sheep Creek +

Rainbows

Still probably too early for silvers. Probing upstream for trout may be your best bet.

Montana Creek +

Trout, grayling

Should be quiet here now that the king anglers are gone.

Little Susitna River +

Silver salmon, rainbows, chum salmon

About 150 fish have been taken this year; the best fishing is near the Little Susitna Public Use Facility. Typically, few show up until August, with the meat of the run in late August and early September. Bait is not allowed until Aug. 6 and daily limit on silvers is two.

Willow Creek +

Silver salmon, rainbows, Dollies

Trout fishing is good; fishing for Dolly Varden and Arctic grayling should be fair.

Jim Creek +

Red, silver salmon

Reds have been caught at the mouth of Jim Creek and silvers are expected to increase throughout the week. This fishery can get hot in a hurry. And when it's not wall-to-wall with anglers, Jim Creek is a pretty location.

Eklutna Tailrace +

King salmon, silver salmon

Slow is still the word here. Bait and multiple hooks are legal for both kings and silvers. Vibrax spinners or cured roe early in the morning may be your best bet.

REMOTE FISHERIES

Deshka River ++

Red salmon, silver salmon, trout, grayling

158 silvers have been counted past the weir. For Deshka silvers, timing is the key. Of the 27,000 silvers that returned last year, 21,000 passed the weir on three days -- Aug. 14 to 16 -- and were at the mouth a few days earlier. That burst can come in late July too. Salmon roe under bobbers often turns the trick.

Talkeetna River ++

Chum, red salmon, rainbow trout

A few reds and chums have shown up on the Talkeetna River at the mouths of Clear and Larson creeks.

ANCHORAGE AREA

Local lakes & streams +++

Trout, graying, char, pike, salmon

Rainbow trout can be found at Jewel Lake, Delong Lake, Sand Lake and Campbell Point Lake. Sand Lake, Kincaid Park and Campbell Point have also been stocked with char. Remember, the bag limit at Anchorage-area lakes has been cut to two rainbows, two grayling and two Arctic char per day, with one 12 inches or longer. Catch-and-release rainbow fishing in Chester and Campbell creeks has been productive at times, though they haven't been stocked this year. Bait is banned in Chester Creek. Campbell Creek opens for silver fishing Sunday between Dimond Boulevard and C Street.

Symphony Lake ++

Grayling

Grayling anglers should have success here. Bag limit is two per day, with only one longer than 12 inches.

Ship Creek +

Silver salmon

Closed to king salmon fishing, and only a few silvers have arrived. Beware: The creek upstream of the Chugach Power Plant to the Reeve Boulevard bridge is closed through Sept. 30 to protect wild populations of spawning rainbows.

Bird Creek +

Pink, chum salmon

Pinks and chums are starting to show fishable numbers. Glacier Creek is another good place to try. Fishing is legal from Turnagain Arm to regulatory markers located about 500 yards upstream.

KENAI PENINSULA

Deep Creek +

Pink salmon, Dolly Varden, Halibut

Lower portion is open to everything but king salmon. Dolly Varden fishing remains fair, but pink salmon fishing will be poor to fair. Halibut fishing has been good; anglers have been catching their limit. Any steelhead hooked must be released without being removed from the water.

Ninilchik River ++

King, pink salmon

Expect poor fishing for hatchery kings, which have a missing adipose fin, but check the Ninilchik harbor for late-arriving salmon. Bait is allowed. Trolling for spawning king salmon has been mostly unsuccessful at Bluff Point and fair at Ninilchick. Wild kings must not be removed from the water and must be released.

Homer Spit +

King salmon, Silver salmon, Dolly Varden

Though silvers are starting to arrive in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon, fishing is still expected to be poor. Snagging is illegal. Dolly Varden are available at the end of the Homer Spit; try small silvery or orange spinners for best results.

Anchor River +

Pink salmon, Dolly Varden

Slow pink and Dolly Varden fishing. King salmon angling closed. Any steelhead hooked must be released without being removed from the water. Marine waters adjacent to the mouth of the Anchor have reopened.

Kasilof River +++

Red salmon, Dollies

Fishing for late-run king salmon is fair. Success has been found with plugs wrapped with sardine or with egg clusters. Average numbers of sockeye salmon are entering the Kasilof River, providing opportunity. Anglers fishing between slack-water near the Tustumena Lake outlet and the Sterling Highway Bridge are having success. Sockeye salmon will continue entering the Kasilof River for the remainder of the month.

Russian River ++

Red salmon, rainbows

The high water in the Upper Kenai River has receded some this week, which should improve fishing for rainbow trout. Late run sockeye salmon have not reached the Upper Kenai River in large numbers. Sockeye salmon fishing is slow, but will improve later this month, as they move through the lower Kenai River. Remember, the weir at Russian River is located upstream of the fishery and weir counts might not be a great indicator of the fish numbers in the open areas of the Russian River. Russian River anglers are asked to clean fish at the cleaning tables located at the Russian-Kenai confluence as well as at the Ferry Crossing. Anglers are also encouraged to chop fish waste into numerous small pieces and throw them in to deep water with fast moving current.

Upper Kenai River ++++

Rainbows, red salmon

Late run king salmon are entering the Kenai River. The size of fish as represented in department sampling programs, including the harvest by anglers, indicates king salmon are smaller and younger than average. Overall fishing success has been below average, but is improving. Egg clusters have been working better than plugs wrapped with sardines.

Lower Kenai River HHH

King, red salmon

Sockeye salmon have started moving into the Kenai and will continue for the rest of the month, downstream of Skilak Lake. Water level in the Kenai River is above historical averages. Water conditions are rated as fair for fishing because of higher water levels and day-to-day change in the water clarity.

Clam Gulch +++

Razor clams

The next clamming tide series begins Saturday and runs through Wednesday. Razor clams can be found on the sandy beaches from Kasilof to Homer and are exposed on any minus tides. Expect to find many small clams on the Ninilchik beach in the 2 to 4 inch range. Larger clams may be difficult to find. All razor clams that are dug must be kept regardless of size.

MARINE FISHERIES

Outside Resurrection Bay ++++

Halibut, rockfish, lingcod, silver salmon

Try hanging a right out of Resurrection Bay for halibut. Lingcod fishing has been good. Try a small silver spoon or jig for kelp greenling. Kids can easily catch these fish and they are tasty table fare when eaten fresh.

Resurrection Bay ++

Salmon, halibut, rockfish

Silver salmon fishing is good in Resurrection Bay, with anglers continuing to catch limits on Pony Cove. Fish the slack tide and keep your bait on the bottom to boost your odds with halibut. If looking for Dolly Varden, try bait and a bobber or small silver spinner off the South Beach on Lowell Point. Rockfish are active and often easy to catch, but keep what you pull in because rockfish don't survive release well. Limit is four per day.

Deep Creek offshore ++

King salmon, halibut

Halibut fishing is fair to good out of Deep Creek. Most anglers have been catching their bag limits, averaging fish just less than 15 pounds.

Kachemak Bay +++

Halibut, pink, silver salmon, rockfish

Trolling success for feeder king salmon has been poor to fair in Kachemak Bay locations. Pink and chum salmon are starting to arrive, with good numbers of pink salmon reported in Tutka Bay.

Prince William Sound +++

Halibut, lingcod, shrimp, salmon

Sockeye are in at Coghill, Eshamy and Main Bay. Chum and pink salmon make for some great action in many of the systems in the Sound. A mixed assortment of lures and flies will do the trick. The first few coho tend to enter the Eyak River and Ibeck Creek this time of year and may be found downstream. Egg patterns and flesh flies will be the name of the game for the rest of the year, when going after cutthroat and rainbow trout. Dolly Varden fishing has been good and has worked best on egg patterns, spinners and spoons.

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