The Drive-by Whale Pass Fishing Report

The Drive-by Whale Pass Fishing Report

This week’s report is dedicated to my friend and fishing buddy Tammy Wilson who would have loved being with me on Friday’s trip.

Grocer Don lent me his Suburban, a nice gesture if ever there was one. I got into the vehicle around 8:30 and headed out of Whale Pass.

I stopped at the Bridge Hole on 108 Creek. I’d never fished there before, and while checking it out from the bridge a salmon rolled, then another. I put on my waders and grabbed the four-weight. The morning light was gorgeous, falling through the spruces onto the creek. Three or four casts in the line came tight.

A silver danced on its tail to the music of the creek, only to be released a few minutes later. It was a harbinger of things to come. Two pink salmon came to hand before I climbed back into the Suburban.

The next stop was the Cable Hole, also on 108 Creek. I was hoping for a Dolly varden, but didn’t complain when the hole proved to be packed with pinks. After three fish I left, since there was an agenda to keep. I stopped for some berry picking on the way back to the car.

Forty minutes of curvy, bumpy dirt road later the ‘burban stopped and discharged me at Red Creek. I was hoping for a cutthroat and a rainbow trout. I got the cutt, but the rainbow (if it was in fact a rainbow- it did jump amazingly high) jumped off. I got a pink as a consolation.

Back into the ‘burb, off to Memorial Beach. Didn’t know what to expect. Grocer Don told me that it was possible to catch Dollies from the beach. I was intrigued and wanted to try.

whale pass fishing report

A five minute walk brought me to a gravel beach with giant limestone outcroppings along the water here and there, with fantastic views of the bay and snow covered mountains to the north, not at all a bad place to wet a line. An older couple was there with at least a half-dozen kids. The kids were having a blast, running and playing, screaming and shouting. The man came over to me and apologized for their noise.

“Hey, it’s happy noise, it’s all good. This place is amazing. It’s good they’re enjoying it,” I told him. He told me he often caught Dollies from the beach on an incoming tide, using spinners. The tide was coming in. I didn’t have any spinners, but I did have streamer flies. I walked back to the car to get the rod.

I’d like to say I was covered up with fish. That would be untruthful. Maybe a dozen were caught and released, with the largest a solid eighteen inches. But the fish became an afterthought when a humpback whale swam by, blowing again and again, not 100 yards away from me. Un-Bee-Leave-A-Bull.

whale pass fishing report

If I were a better caster I could have presented the fly to this beast.

When I was finishing up the man came back and again apologized for the kid’s noise. He introduced himself as Pete and gave me an unopened package of smoked salmon, a very kind and completely unexpected gesture.

When I got back to the car some color in the bushes caught my attention. Fifteen minutes that might have been used for fishing were spent picking and eating berries. I do not view that as a waste of time!

whale pass fishing report

Son Alex had asked me to check out Alder Creek. It looked small, shallow, and difficult to fish, but there were salmon rolling in it so I parked the car and hiked upstream a couple hundred yards.

The stream was drop-dead gorgeous. Stopping and checking it out was the smartest thing I could have done.

The sun was shining into a little hole. It was full of salmon but there were other fish in there too, either trout or dollies. I went upstream a cast farther, put on an egg-sucking smolt, and tossed it into the hole. Bang! The nicest dolly of the day.

The stream was loaded with them. The biggest was 22 inches, a beautiful fish. It was the hottest fishing I’ve had this year, with a fish on almost every cast until I ran out of time.

dolly varden

Drive-by fishing, Alaska style. It was a wonderful day. I thought of Tammy the whole drive back.

Silvers are still being caught in numbers at Neck Lake Outlet. They are beginning to show some color, and are a lot fussier than they used to be.

whale pass fishing report

Grocer Don and son Alex with a party at Neck Lake Outlet on a foggy morning.

The halibut bite remains strong. Lots of cod and rockfish are being caught, too.

Mooching and trolling around the Triplets is producing pink, silver, and king salmon. The whale shows have been awesome, too.

And that is this week’s Whale Pass Fishing Report from the Lodge at Whale Pass.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski


All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.

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