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Thread: Gulkana in July

  1. #1
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    Default Gulkana in July

    Hey folks
    I'm new to this forum, just discovered it a few days ago (shame on me). I'm heading do Alaska in 3 weeks time and it's going to be my third visit. My wife is going mad when I say that but yes I fell in love with this place and I can't help it. This time our team decided to go east and fish the Gulkana 2nd to 12th July. I'm told it should be prime time for kings which is our main target. We're going to swing flies mainly but if we have to we'll swap out double handers for spinning rods.
    I would realy appreciate guys if you recommend me some rv park close to the river. As far as I'm concerned the land below the highway bridge is owned by Ahtna Inc and special permision is required to hike in and fish the lower part of the river. Is it worth it?
    How about the land between the highway bridge and Sourdough Campground, are we OK to hike in?
    Tight lines

    Lukasz

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    For what it is worth and this is just my opinion there are two runs of King Salmon on the Gulkana the first one is well on its way so far this year with a larger than expected return of fish through the Copper River System. The first run peaks through the lower / middle part of the river normally prior to the week of the 4th of July. Normally the best fishing would be above Sourdough Landing. With the strong early return of fish to date by Sonar on the Copper System and high water we might be seeing a push of prime fish through the Gulkana system earlier than normal.

    The 2nd run which is much smaller i.e. less fish tends to start about or around the 5th of the July peaking in the middle of July maybe some years about the 1st week in August however the King Season closed on the 19th of July so most of these fish are not a targetted by guides and or considered a prime fishery. This happens for two reason: first being the BOG which changed the Klutina fishery to be open later in the year and 2nd more fish are available in the Klutina River which tends to have larger fish.

    That being said you can find ample walk in access along the Gulkana River on the Richardson Hgwy. There are several books some available on this we site that breaks down the walk in access for areas you may consider for fishing.

    IMO you will be in between the two prime runs of Gulkana fish however you will find fish available. The Gulkana River RV Park has access as well as Sourdough Landing and or the Public Access at the Lower River Bridge on the HWGY. Most lands on the lower river are private and or controlled by the Native Corp which will require an access permit seaonal premits are $100.00 if I am not mistaken day permits depending on camping or access if I am not mistaken run $10.00 - $20.00 - $30.00. Concerning the question is it worth it depends on what your doing Fishing or Catching if it is fishing then Heck yes if it is Catching well!!!!!

    You can also look into Sailor Pit for fishing however no trails but three good holes and runs to fish by walking in.

    Well I have rambled enough. Best of luck in your choices and we hope and trust you will have a fun trip.

    Rmm
    BMR

  3. #3
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    Thanks for reply! For us it's all about fishing, all kings are going back to the river and every second day we may want to keep fresh sockeye for dinner if we catch one. We got used to work hard for a whole day to catch one fish. This is a standard in Scotland and anything on top of that would be a bonus. Going by the ADF&G and their fish count data we should hit the tail of the first run, however each year run seems to arive in slightly diffrent time and pattern, so I'm trying to be optimistic.
    If it's really slow our alternative plan is to go to Klutina and fish with plugs and spin'n'glow with eggs. BTW is there any fishing store in this area so that we could buy salmon eggs?

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Couple of places. I would stop in and see Todd at Soudough Lodge great place to have a meal and he has what your looking for.

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Going up on the 21st of June to the Gulkana, hopefully it will at least remain open to catch and release.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mkay View Post
    ...hopefully it will at least remain open to catch and release.
    I'm not too sure how to understand it. Does it mean that the river may be completely closed to kings fishing in July?

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    This river has had restrictions put on the last 3 years and a few other years going back to 2004 or so. Last year catch and release only. Year before closed. Year before C&R. I find it funny how certain people who operate commercial enterprises on this river always rave about the fishing. Truth is its gone downhill. Don't be fooled by some posters claims of "wow did you see the fish counts on the Copper" or "so many kings in the river". Very few kings are showing up in wheels and the commercial catch was low the first few openers, though it has improved since. I would anticipate some sort of restrictions being placed between June 24 and July 1. Lucky for you you can go down to the Klutina and get some fish. Enjoy that, its already getting hammered due to everyones need to go on social media and brag about their snagging abilities. I do hope you have a good trip and if its kept to C&R you will find some fish in the Gulkana and have a good time too.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Hopefully the numbers will continue to grow for 2012. Although some fish come back at year 4 most at year 5 and some at year 6 on average lets use the 5 year return for the Kings on the Gulkana. 2002 and 2007 were better years if in fact that trend continues which we all hope it will there will be fishable numbers for the fishery to be maintained open for 2012. Of course there are several factors that might change that however there is always hoping. The total number of fish returning on the Copper will not always reflect the total amount of fish returning to a particular system however it is a reasonable indicator to make assumptions the fishing will be slightly better than years past.

    As of today at 1400 hours the ADF&G posted a restriction on the retention of Kings to Dip Netters where as in their initial openings posted that one King would be allowed. As Cory100 stated the intial commercial openings were low however improving.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/FishCo...ectYearSpecies

    You can visit the ADFG and find ample data concerning both systems that have been discuss.

    Regrads

    RMM
    BMR

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    Thanks again, guys. C&R restriction wouldn't bother us too much, it could be even helpful by limiting crowds on the river. Lets hope it's going to be THIS year.
    Yeah, Klutina is our plan B for kings. But I'm told flyfishing is almost impossible and that would break my heart - 6 months of fly tying and practicing skagite style

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