When you plan your Alaska fishing trip determines which species of fish are available in our river system. We successfully catch all species of salmon, rainbow trout, arctic grayling and northern pike on a variety of spin fishing and baitcasting equipment and lures. To aid in planning your fishing trip, please view our Alaska fishing calendar to plan by species; or our Alaska fishing trip planner to plan by month.
When spin fishing Alaska, it is important to have the correct combination of rod and reels setups guarantee a successful trip. We enjoy the opportunity to fish a wide variety of salmon species and rainbow trout under a variety of water conditions throughout our river. As a rule of thumb, a strong back-boned spin or baitcast rod with a sensitive tip is best. This is the ultimate combination for indicating light strikes, guaranteeing a strong hookset and fighting large fish in fast water. Berkeley, G-Loomis and W.W. Grigg make great salmon rods. Reels should have ample line capacity and a very strong, smooth drag system.
|Spin/Baitcast Rods:||King Salmon: 8 to 9.5 ft med-heavy spin/bait cast rods (20 - 30# line rated) Other Salmon: Medium action 7'6" - 8' spin and baitcast rods (12 - 15# line rated) Trout/Grayling: Light action 7' spin rods (6 - 8# line rated)|
|Spin/Baitcast Reels:||King Salmon: Abu Garcia's Ambassador C3 6500 series baitcast reels. Spinning - Shimano Stradic ST 8000 FG Other Salmon: Ambassador C3 5500 baitcast; Shimano Stradic ST 4000 spin. Trout: Shimano Stradic ST 2000 spin.|
|Line:||King Salmon: 25# or 30# Maxima Ultragreen Mono or 50# Powerpro braid Other Salmon: 12# - 15# mono. Trout: 8# mono|
Plug fishing for king salmon is most effective in higher water conditions or when water clarity is tainted, usually during the 1st part of June. These conditions require a larger, rattling bait that salmon can easily locate. Plugs trigger vicious strikes. We typically plug by backtrolling. By this method, you can cover a large expanse of the river channel resulting in a very large amount of strikes. Plug fishing by this manner also has a large hook to landing rate as you are able to guide the boat downstream while you fight the fish.
Plugs also can be casted from the river bank and slowly retrieved cross-current, or simply cast and hold your rod tip high as the current will catch the bill of the crankbait allowing it to dive and swim downstream. We like to use Luhr Jensen Quikfish K-14 to K-16 size plugs in slower moving current and Storm Mag Wiggle Warts in faster current conditions. Blue/Silver, Green/Silver, Orange and Metallic Yellow seem to work best for most when fishing Lake Creek Alaska. We prefer to rig all plugs with a single Gamakatsu Siwash hook, Size 4/0, attached to the front hook clasp on each plug. We attache the siwash hook with a 6 bead stainless steel bead chain with strong split rings. Single hooks are stronger than trebles and we actually have a higher landing rate on singles v.s. trebles as well.
We prefer to rig all of these lures with strong single hooks (Siwash & Octopus hooks). Single hooks hold fish longer and allow for lower impact on fish you intend to release. In portions of our river, only single hooks are allowed as per regulations. Spinners and spoons are highly effective methods and are our preferred choice for catching silver, sockeye, chum and pink salmon. These lures are also effective for king salmon, but only under certain conditions. As we fish kings mid-river in faster current, spinners typically cannot reach deep enough to present appropriately although kings on occasion will come up for a spinner. Swinging a Pixee spoon is better in faster water. Ideally, lower water conditions or fishing channel seams is a better approach to fishing kings with spinners/spoons. For other salmon species, all of which congregate in shallow and/or still water. We spot cast and straight retrieve with spinners and spoons in these conditions. Note that spinners are more ideal in slackwater as they can be fished with more versatility with respect to presentation and retrieve speed.
Jigs are great because they are extremely versatile in all water conditions for every species of fish. Jigs can be tied to resemble many of our fly fishing patterns, but can be easily fished with conventional spinning gear. Jigs can be back-bounced in the main river channel. We often use this method for kings. Jigs can also be casted and retrieved in a swimming motion, which is very effective for silver, chum and pink salmon. Small jigs with inline spinners can be very effective for rainbow trout.
Our favorite and most successful method used to catch king salmon in Lake Creek! These are simple 'snell' rigs where we tie on a 2/0 - 4/0 Gamakatsu Octopus by means of an egg-loop knot directly to a 2-3 foot section of 25# mono leader. We then attach one or two strands of Glo-bug colored yarn to the egg loop, and then slide a corky drifter or spin-glo down the leader. The float rests just above the yarn and hook. The loose end of the leader is then tied to the barrel section of an interlock snap swivel. The other end of the barrel is tied to your main line leaving the 'snap' section dangling free. To the snap section we attach our weight. We use 1/4 oz pencil lead cut to length for desired weight. Using a Leadmaster pliers, flatten one end of the pencil lead and use the tool's hole punch to make a hole. The snap swivel then attaches to the lead by means of the hole. Your rig is set! It is important that the proper amount of lead is used so the drift rig establishes contact with the river bottom when fishing. Cast the drift rig upstream of king salmon holding water and drift through the deepest slot as the drift rig bounces on the river bottom, drifting with the current. Drift Rigs are great for consistent presentation to holding kings. After a successful catch, note lead length, color combination, and leader length. Presentation is key. You will likely have to change leader and lead length for each new section of water you fish. Fish drift rigs by holding your rod tip at 10 O'clock with minimal slack in your main line. This allows for a quick, solid hook set once you feel a hit. Sometimes strikes are as discrete as a simple pause in your drift. Watching the area where your main line meets the water often can help you see a strike or pause before you actually feel it. Strong double-pump hook sets are essential!
Northern pike fishing in a nearby chain of 5 small lakes offers a great side trip in addition to your salmon and trout fishing adventure. Pike are great as they are voracious feeders and are very aggressive when fished by topwater methods. We fish small, weedy bays, rock piles and drop-off edges with stickbaits, popper, buzzbaits and frog or mouse imitations. Due to the nature of these toothy critters, we advise a light wire leader in front of all lures to prevent line breakage.
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|King Salmon||June 5 - July 10|
|Silver Salmon||July 18 - Aug 25|
|Chum Salmon||July 25 - Aug 25|
|Sockeye Salmon||July 13 - July 25|
|Pink Salmon||July 15 - Aug 15|
|Rainbow Trout||June 1 - Sept 10|
|Arctic Grayling||Alaska Float Trips|