Goodnews River Fishing Report

Goodnews River Fishing Report

I’m back at Alaska’s Goodnews River Lodge. As always, it’s great to be here. The internet connection, however, is dreadfully slow. I was not able to load up my email protocol last week. You can see last week’s vacation report here…

The state of Alaska has closed the Goodnews to the taking of king salmon. As the photos below show, there are some fish in the river. One of these fish was taken on a Wiggle Wort, the other on a Pixie spoon. We’re at the tail end of July, so we’re also nearing the tail end of the king salmon run.


goodnews river fishing report

This king salmon whacked a plug.


goodnews river fishing report

This 41 pound king was fooled by a Pixie spoon.


Likewise, I missed most of the sockeye run. Dimitri at the weir told me that over 25,000 fish passed through their counters there. But only 200 went through the day before we spoke.

There are chum salmon, also known as tiger salmon, everywhere right now. These fish average 10 to 12 pounds and get significantly larger. They eat small pink flies (#4 or so) readily and you can get 30 or 40 in a day, incredible fishing.

Those thousands of chums will start dropping eggs soon. Then the trout and dolly fishing will go of the charts.

There are relatively few pink salmon in the river- it’s an off year. They will be back in force next season.

The dolly varden are coming in now too. Tom Olden got one yesterday while salmon fishing that was about two feet long, a beautiful fish. He also got a 24 inch rainbow trout on a salmon fly given to me by Steve Silverio, a fly every bit of four inches long.

We saw three bears yesterday, a sow with two cubs. I’ve already equalled the total bear sightings from last year. There seems to be many more bald eagles here this year as well.

No one here has caught a silver yet but before I write another fishing report someone will. They are my favorite fish here and I look forward to their arrival!

And that, folks, is this week’s Goodnews River Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Get out and live!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.

Goodnews River, Alaska Fishing Report

The kings are running in the Goodnews River, but to this point the run has been inconsistent. Some days have been good, followed by tough days in which a few boats went king-less. Some boats have been running plugs, others have been tossing flies on fast sinking lines. The fish of the week in my boat was caught by Chuck Trover, who got a 36 inch king, using a cerise bunny leech on a 500 grain line.

Monster King Salmon, Goodnews River Alaska

Chuck Trover was real happy with this fish.

The salmon slack has been taken up by chums and sockeyes, with an occasional pink for good measure. Today we caught two sockeyes fairly, one on an articulated bunny streamer and one on a synthetic silver salmon Clouser Minnow. Chums aren’t usually very fussy and pink flies will produce a lot. Gary Vasques and Gordon LaFortune got four salmon species on fly today, all of the Pacific salmon except for silvers.

Chum Salmon, Goodnews River Alaska

Chum Salmon, courtesy of Gary Vasques.

Trout and grayling fishing has been consistently good, with catches in the double digits for fly casters who know the drill. Grayling have been taking dry flies, rainbows black streamer flies.

Fish Story of the Week- one of Drew Rosema’s fishermen, while fighting a king salmon, had their spool fall off the fly reel into the water. Drew grabbed the line and started pulling. After he pulled all the backing off the spool (piling it in the bottom of the boat) the runaway spool was recovered. Drew started coiling the backing back on the reel by hand. A huge wad of it came up, too complicated to untangle while the guy was still fighting the fish.

Double hookup, Goodnews River. Drew is winding line like crazy.

Then his second angler hooked up on the spinning rod. Drew was too tied up with angler number one to help him. He lost the fish when it got around the anchor line and broke off. In the meantime Drew had cut the tangle out of the line, tied the ends back together, and wound the rest of the backing back onto the spool.

When he put the spool on the reel they quickly realized Drew had wound it on the wrong way. It all had to come off and be wound on properly.

Happy ending- the angler caught the fish, a king salmon of 10 pounds or so.

Drew is happy, his angler caught the king salmon.

That is this week’s Goodnews River, Alaska Fishing Report. All my reports until mid-September will be from the Goodnews River.

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 2012. All rights are reserved.