Goodnews River, Alaska Fishing Report from Spotted Tail 7/7/12
Phalanxes of fish swim up the river, wakes visible even through the fog. Eddies are packed with salmon. They roll like miniature tarpon, jump like crazed mullet. The air temperature swings wildly, sometimes changing 40 degrees in 12 hours. It’s summer on the Goodnews River.
The king salmon are running in the Goodnews River, which apparently is having the best run of any river in Alaska. The numbers of fish have not been huge, but the size of the fish has- there are very few jacks. More fish are in the 35- to 40 inch range than below that size. The fish of the week in my boat was caught by Larry Hillis, who got two 36 inch kings on the same day, using an articulated purple fly on a 300 grain line. Larry’s best fish of the week was taken with another guide, a 42 inch beauty.
The chums and sockeyes are pouring in by the thousands. Chums take almost any small, brightly colored fly quite readily. Since they run between eight and twelve pounds, a fly caster with a seven- or eight weight can have a field day, easily catching 20 or more.
Pink salmon are in the mix. This is supposed to be a “pink year” but the main part of the run has definitely not hit yet.
Sockeyes don’t strike lures or flies very well. Most of those caught are not hooked in the mouth. Most salmon connoisseurs prefer sockeyes for the table, though, so we go sockeye fishing fairly regularly.
Trout and grayling fishing dropped off this week for reasons that remain unclear. We have had some nasty weather. Perhaps that has affected those species. I’m sure it will get better. Trout fishing here is consistently excellent.
Dolly varden catches have been sporadic. They have not started entering the river in any numbers yet.
Fish Story of the Week- Jeff Arnold reported that one of his fishermen was complaining all morning about how much his feet hurt. His fishing buddy finally told him, “It’s no wonder they hurt- your wading boots are on the wrong feet!” When Jeff looked the guy’s boots were all splayed out like a duck’s.
In general fishing has been pretty darn good, as evidenced by this photo of the Trover family-
We had a nice evening and some of the staff hiked up Lookout Mountain-
That is this week’s Goodnews River, Alaska Fishing Report.
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