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Thread: Situk self guided?

  1. #1
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default Situk self guided?

    I am going to Yakutat end of April for self guided fishing. I would like any advice from folks that previously fished the Situk for steelhead. I have never fished the Situk, and never been to Yakutat. I am taking both fly gear and conventional gear.

    I have done some research from various sources. I have a general knowledge of what to expect and a gear checklist, including lures and flys. I plan on packing light and freezing at night. Personal experiences, lessons learned is what I am looking for.

    Any post would be nice. Thank You for your support. TSS
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  2. #2

    Default Situk R.

    I have not had a chance to fish the river, but it's on my to do list. A buddy of mine has a guiding operation on the Situk River. Bobber and jig on a conventional or center pin reel work well. Fly's when the water is really low and clear. If you have access to a boat you will be able to cover more water. Fish like to hold in heavy cover, and most of the time you can see them swimming in the holes. Be prepared for cold weather and rain.

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    Default get a car

    i rented a car and slept in it during my trip.... if i were to do it again, i'd probably do it the same way if i could afford the car. the car allows you to be mobile, which is VERY important for 2 reasons: 1) you can fish tidewater or around the bridge (the only 2 access points) and move whenever you want- depending upon conditions, tide, and what you prefer. 2) when it gets dark you can wander into town and stock up on food, beer, more beer, or whatever else you need without having to rely upon a $30 cab ride that may or may not be available.
    You'll also stay a lot more dry and comfortable in a suburban than you would in a tent.
    Sure, you can do OK without any wheels, but the advantages of being mobile (and dry) are likely to make your fishing more productive, and your time spent much more pleasant in general.
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    I've done the trip many times,of course this was back in the 80s and 90s,my advise would be to float the river,work the good holes fairly quick in the AM,expect lots of lodge traffic right after breakfest,if you have the time float it more then once,more then likely you'll wish you spent more time fishing one part of the river,so your second trip down you can put the hammer on them...I sure miss that river.....have fun and please bring back some pic...for us....

  5. #5
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default Thank You

    Quote Originally Posted by sheep man View Post
    I've done the trip many times,of course this was back in the 80s and 90s,my advise would be to float the river,work the good holes fairly quick in the AM,expect lots of lodge traffic right after breakfest,if you have the time float it more then once,more then likely you'll wish you spent more time fishing one part of the river,so your second trip down you can put the hammer on them...I sure miss that river.....have fun and please bring back some pic...for us....
    I have lined up a float boat now. I hope the water does not get to high with all the snow this winter melting.

    Pictures....of course! Thank you everyone that posted and for the advice.

    TSS
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  6. #6
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default Thank YOU

    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    i rented a car and slept in it during my trip.... if i were to do it again, i'd probably do it the same way if i could afford the car. the car allows you to be mobile, which is VERY important for 2 reasons: 1) you can fish tidewater or around the bridge (the only 2 access points) and move whenever you want- depending upon conditions, tide, and what you prefer. 2) when it gets dark you can wander into town and stock up on food, beer, more beer, or whatever else you need without having to rely upon a $30 cab ride that may or may not be available.
    You'll also stay a lot more dry and comfortable in a suburban than you would in a tent.
    Sure, you can do OK without any wheels, but the advantages of being mobile (and dry) are likely to make your fishing more productive, and your time spent much more pleasant in general.
    Thanks for your info. I am staying with a friend in town so I won't be in a tent or need of a vehicle. He's dropping us off at 9 mile bridge each day and he is getting us a float boat. I think the river is about 13 miles from the bridge to the mouth and takes about 6-8 hours to float? My friend has told me prices are $$$ on food in town so we are packing in our own. Thanks again for the reply.

    TSS
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    If you like to catch fish...hope for high water. The Situk can handle tons of rain and runoff without blowing out. More water is good. Springers don't like to enter the river if the water's low. They sit offshore and wait. Rain is your friend.

    Float boat? Like an inner tube with a seat? While easy to maneuver, you won't see fish nearly as well. The wind will work you. You can't fish from the boat. Drift boats are better. My fishing partner and I are both good rowers. We can fish 100% of the river and do so every day we're on it. You can catch fish without stopping to do so.

    In a drift boat a guy could bust his hump and run the river in half a day if he never stopped, assuming there's enough water. We usually push the boat off at about 6:30 and return well after dark. Guided drift boats are usually gone by dinner time. We work the lower 2 1/2 miles hard depending on the tides. 2 of the past 3 years have seen water levels so low that it was hard to get a boat down. We've dragged the boat more in those 2 years than in the previous 15 combined. 3 or 4 years ago we had a better time walking and skipped the boat after the first day. I walked nearly the entire river from the bridge down that first day, the water was that low. We had a great trip, one of our most productive ever. Everybody else in town was miserable. Be flexible.

    Being first to a hole is almost impossible. You'll see guys putting in at 9 mile well before dawn so they get a head start. I don't find doing so to be an advantage. Show the fish something different and they'll bite.

  8. #8
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    If you like to catch fish...hope for high water. The Situk can handle tons of rain and runoff without blowing out. More water is good. Springers don't like to enter the river if the water's low. They sit offshore and wait. Rain is your friend.

    Float boat? Like an inner tube with a seat? While easy to maneuver, you won't see fish nearly as well. The wind will work you. You can't fish from the boat. Drift boats are better. My fishing partner and I are both good rowers. We can fish 100% of the river and do so every day we're on it. You can catch fish without stopping to do so.

    In a drift boat a guy could bust his hump and run the river in half a day if he never stopped, assuming there's enough water. We usually push the boat off at about 6:30 and return well after dark. Guided drift boats are usually gone by dinner time. We work the lower 2 1/2 miles hard depending on the tides. 2 of the past 3 years have seen water levels so low that it was hard to get a boat down. We've dragged the boat more in those 2 years than in the previous 15 combined. 3 or 4 years ago we had a better time walking and skipped the boat after the first day. I walked nearly the entire river from the bridge down that first day, the water was that low. We had a great trip, one of our most productive ever. Everybody else in town was miserable. Be flexible.

    Being first to a hole is almost impossible. You'll see guys putting in at 9 mile well before dawn so they get a head start. I don't find doing so to be an advantage. Show the fish something different and they'll bite.
    Great info..thank you very much...this is what I was looking for. My friend has only lived in Yakutat about 7 years and does salt water fishing..I am pretty sure he does not steelhead fish that much. He kept telling me more water is bad...thanks for clearing things up for me. also about floating, drifting in a boat. all the pictures I have seen shows wading and fishing...this helping confirming my thoughts on it all.

    Thanks again for your help. TSS
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    Default

    About 15 years ago my partner and I arrived on a sunny day and enjoyed hiking around 9 mile getting acclamated. The next day dawned the same. The water was low and clear and there were enough fish to keep things exciting. Then the rain started. It rained over 12 inches in the next 5 days. The river rose considerably. Muddy Creek colored the Situk for it's entire length. The first day caught us in the drift boat with only fly rods and we were helpless. The next day we took baitcasters. Fishing got better every day, and it was all blind fishing. I'll warn you though, if it rains like that and you spend your days in a drift boat, you'll get cold. Really cold.

    Since that trip I never climb into the boat with only one rod. I usually have three or four. Like I said....be flexible. Oh, and take lots of gear in case the water's high. You'll literally be casting under the overhanging brush. If you miss a couple of inches high, you re-tie.

    Have a good trip.

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    i would also recommend fishing down at tidewater occassionally to target those chromers. you'll catch a high proportion of hold-overs fishing around the bridge (fish that have been in the river all winter), but the tide brings fresh, aggressive fish during that time of year. if you hit it just right in the morning it can be dynamite. hiking up above the bridge is also a good way to get away from the crowds. oh... and the float was much longer than 6-8 hours when i did it. if the water is high it'll surely go faster, but plan on a FULL day. hope this helps
    Mark W.
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  11. #11
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    Default Situk

    OH, but how nice is the sun, low clear water and flash flies!!!

    Flats master!!

  12. #12
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default More Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    i would also recommend fishing down at tidewater occassionally to target those chromers. you'll catch a high proportion of hold-overs fishing around the bridge (fish that have been in the river all winter), but the tide brings fresh, aggressive fish during that time of year. if you hit it just right in the morning it can be dynamite. hiking up above the bridge is also a good way to get away from the crowds. oh... and the float was much longer than 6-8 hours when i did it. if the water is high it'll surely go faster, but plan on a FULL day. hope this helps
    Mark W.
    I really appreciate all the great info, much thanks

    TSS
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  13. #13

    Default Good luck Jedi

    I went 2 yrs. ago with 2 of my regular fishing buddies and it was a great time. We floated the river 2 days and fished on our own 2 days walking from the bridge. Both days on our own wading the river, I caught more steelhead than when guided in the boat. And lots of dollies. Water wasn't real high so we always got out of the boat and sightcasted. The float is more like 10 hrs...esp. if you are like me and are ready to stop every time you see a number of fish. And yes, the fish are usually on the side of the river so you will be casting under the low-hanging branches that are all along the river's edge. I bought a bunch of jigs and all the flies recommended from the Alaska Fly Shop in Fairbanks. Tried 'em all on the 1st and 2nd day and caught a few. Switched to a Gamakatsu sz. 2 Octopus hook with some blue and chartreuse yarn twisted together, trimmed to egg-size and secured through an egg-loop. And it was Fish On! time...simple and very effective...not sure if it was just right for conditions (sunny days) or what, but I was hooking up like crazy. And the dollies loved it too as when I wasn't catching steelies, I couldn't keep the dollies off, not that I wanted to. My partner was using purple and blue yarn with similar results. Anyway, have a good time...I plan to go again next year. The float is a beautiful trip, but I like being on my own with a small backpack and fishing at my own pace. And did better on those days. The river is awesome habitat and when you see it, you will see why it is such a productive river.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salmonslayer View Post
    I went 2 yrs. ago with 2 of my regular fishing buddies and it was a great time. We floated the river 2 days and fished on our own 2 days walking from the bridge. Both days on our own wading the river, I caught more steelhead than when guided in the boat. And lots of dollies. Water wasn't real high so we always got out of the boat and sightcasted. The float is more like 10 hrs...esp. if you are like me and are ready to stop every time you see a number of fish. And yes, the fish are usually on the side of the river so you will be casting under the low-hanging branches that are all along the river's edge. I bought a bunch of jigs and all the flies recommended from the Alaska Fly Shop in Fairbanks. Tried 'em all on the 1st and 2nd day and caught a few. Switched to a Gamakatsu sz. 2 Octopus hook with some blue and chartreuse yarn twisted together, trimmed to egg-size and secured through an egg-loop. And it was Fish On! time...simple and very effective...not sure if it was just right for conditions (sunny days) or what, but I was hooking up like crazy. And the dollies loved it too as when I wasn't catching steelies, I couldn't keep the dollies off, not that I wanted to. My partner was using purple and blue yarn with similar results. Anyway, have a good time...I plan to go again next year. The float is a beautiful trip, but I like being on my own with a small backpack and fishing at my own pace. And did better on those days. The river is awesome habitat and when you see it, you will see why it is such a productive river.
    SS

    Thanks you very much for your input and testimonial. Great photo. I can not wait. Did you encounter any bears?

    TSS
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  15. #15

    Default Bear encounters...

    No bear encounters on this trip. Just a moose rounding a tight bend in the driftboat who acted like he was going to go for the boat and then changed his mind when he saw my GLoomis. Musta figured he didn't have a chance...

    BTW, if you walk straight upriver from the bridge there is a nice hole where the river turns left. Just below the hole I pulled four steelhead out in about 45 min. using blue and chartreuse yarn. Try whatever colors you like. Chartreuse has always worked good for me all over Alaska.

    OK, here's another pic...the hole is in the background...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Member Tight Lines's Avatar
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    Default

    I have beet fishing the Yakutat area for the last ten years. My advice
    for camping on the river is to rent a boat (jon boats work well in this river, a drift boat isnít necessary). Boats can be rented from Glacier Bear Lodge and Yakutat lodge. Fishing down from Nine Mile Bridge to the take out is 16 miles so itís a fair walk and might take 3-4 days due to the terrain. There are two public use cabins at mid river (Raven & Eagle Cabin) reservations can be made through reservations.com, they sleep 4 and have oil stove/heater. There is also an airstrip between the cabins. Bears can be an issue and I recommend at least pepper spray (available at the Ace Hardware store in Yak) or a 12 gauge. If your going for Steelhead early to mid May is best, if salmon is your target mid June is always great (easy 100 fish days for Sockeye). I also advise at the very least one guided day on the river, float down from the bridge to the take out to get to know the river. Contact Ron DeNardi @ 1-907-784-3301 he is one of the best guides in the business and will also show you the methods that work in this river.




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