Alaskan trip [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Alaskan trip

09-03-2003, 11:40 PM
Need some advice from you experts. When is the best time to fish salmon in the Alexander Creek area of Alaska? Will a 9' 8wt rig be sufficient? What's the best moderately priced reel for the setup? Would appreciate your input. Thank you.

09-04-2003, 12:49 AM
hey Corky,

You need to provide details when you say "salmon". If you're talking king salmon, you're too late for 2003 in Alexander Creek. The best time for this system is late May/June/ early July. By mid-July most of the Cook Inlet tribs are full of king salmon but they are dark and not the best table fare and not the best fighters.

August / September is prime time for silvers (coho). I've fished most of the Cook Inlet tribs for both kings and silvers but only kings in Alexander Creek. I'm sure the timing is the same for silvers in that system, however.

I caught many kings on a 8/9 weight fly rod. I picked my spots, waiting to find them in shallow flats away from the log jams. 8/9 is a bit on the light side for 20 - 25 lb fish , just take your time landing them. I hand-lined them in once they were close to the beach so I didn't have to hear the magic sound of graphite snapping. There's also rainbows in there, and pike!

Any reel is sufficient as long as it has capacity for at least 100 - 150 yds of backing plus 30 yds of fly line. My recommendation would be to get any moderately priced fly reel that has RIM CONTROL (it's the one drag system that never fails, no matter how big or strong the fish) . My most productive line was a 20 ft. sink-tip with just normal steelhead flies.

Hope this helps.

09-04-2003, 09:51 AM
That body of water is not the best salmon river. In fact it is pretty bad. The run is short and not all that big. You should try the Nushagak it's a bit further out (you fly our of Dillingham), but well worth the trip. Third largest salmon run in Alaska behind only the Yukon and the Copper, both much bigger rivers. My buddy runs a camp there and has got catching kings on a fly down to a science. If you don't want to go to Dillingham and just want to do flyouts from Anchorage you should try the Talachulitna or Lake Creek. Much better fisheries with more flyrod friendly water and actual flyfishing guides. Alexander Creek is not where I would go. Got stuck there for four days once. Never again. In fact the only place we actually found kings that we could cast a fly to, we found out later that it was in an area of the river that you are not supposed to fish.

09-04-2003, 09:23 PM
I can see that I've hit the mother lode for salmon advice. Thanks for the input marketic and capt.

The reason I chose Alexander Creek is because it's the first place that came up when I did a search for south Alaskan fishing. I've only flyfished for trout. Looking forward to this new experience. Looks like it'll require investment in more research as well as equipment. Hope you won't mind if I pick your brains a little more. If I go with a Ross reel, can I go with a Gunnison G4 or G5 or should I pay the extra for the Canyon Big Game? Are there places to purchase flyrods if my equipment breaks or fails?

Appears that guide fees there may be more reasonable than here in the contiguous U.S. Watched Jimmy Rogers flyfishing show recently. They were salmon fishing in Alaska and one guy was wearing a hogleg on his hip. Do bears pose that big of a danger? Wonder if there are places a fellow can rent for a month for a reasonable sum. Nothing fancy, a place to shower and sleep is all I need. Without going into the big cities, can a fellow find good chow and drinks in the small fishing villages; maybe a little socializing?

Hope this post isn't too long. I'm just too excited. Thanks.

09-05-2003, 01:14 AM
hey Corky,

Listen up. Alexander Creek is not really a creek. And it's not really a village. It's a river. It drains a lake and flows about 50 miles to the Susitna. In its upper reaches, it's a bonafide wilderness experience. It might not necessarily be called a
"fly fishing destination" or offer the "world-class fly fishing experiences" that some people demand from the Boreal but it's a very cool place to go in ALaska and last but not least, it's accessible.

Here's the scoop: if your choice of "trip" is a wilderness experience that's close to civilization where you drift in a raft and sleep under the stars and catch some really gorgeous fish, Alexander Creek is a good choice to make.

Forget about the equipment or the brand names of reels or rods that you may or may not need on such a trip. First and foremeost, make a decision on what type of fishing experience you want: lodge or tent. If you choose lodge, you'll be in the lower stretches (below Sucker Creek) on Alexander. You'll also be choosing jet boats, flat water, float planes and Kwik Fish.

If you choose wilderness, make it interesting!! Hire a plane to drop you in the lake. Take five days to drift back down to the Susitna (and the "town" of Alexander Creek). Take a tent and a sleeping bag and some Kool Aid and any 8-10 weight fly rod with any reasonably constructed reel that will hold at least 100 - 150 yds of line. Forget the stinking brand names or who recommended what reel on which promotional video on cable TV. The salmon don't particularly care, nor will the fly fishing guides. Because they won't be there.

Don't feel like you have to pack heat. There are indeed bears on Alexander Creek (blacks and browns) but as long as you act like a bear (trying to catch fish) instead of a tourist or a fly-boy (trying to catch a "world-class fly-fishing experience"), the bears will leave you alone to go ahead and rip some lips.

And oh yeah: wear a watch-cap on your head doused with bug dope because the skitters are thick as thieves and thirsty as fly- fishing guides.

09-05-2003, 09:39 AM
I agree with everthing that marketic says, except for going to Alexander Creek. The pike have infiltrated the entire system. Therefore any fish that lives in the river is now bait. Red salmon are gone because their smolts live in freshwater for a year and in the lake and the pike ate them. Kings seem to have made it but the run isn't very strong. I still think you could do the same thing at Lake Creek or the Tal and have the same great experience that marketic talks about, but have WAAAAY better fishing.

09-06-2003, 12:30 PM
I do prefer out of the way destinations. That's why I chose Alaska to begin with; although it may not be as solitary as it once was. I'm not particular to any species; just love the thrill of the thump.

Do any of you on this board ever plan such trips together, ie., with people you only know through this board? Wouldn't mind going with a few like minded anglers who enjoys the peace and quiet that Alaska offers. Just fishing, eating, telling lies over a few cold ones. Could fish several locations for various species. I relish all learning experiences; especially those of fishing.

09-07-2003, 01:39 PM
A fun and easy trip is to camp someplace along the Parks Highway and fish the creeks there. Willow, Montana, Sheep...all good fishing spots and offer plenty of solitude once the king salmon run is over. Just get off the road a little bit. Don't even need to get into a flaot plane. Save yourself about $1000 (or thereabouts)