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Thread: Gulkana Steelhead

  1. #1

    Default Gulkana Steelhead

    Anybody ever caught steelhead out of the Gulkana? I've caught lots of rainbows but never any steelhead on that river. I'm thinking about floating it this fall and I was wondering if anyone knew what time of year they run up the Gulkana and where they frequent. I'm assuming the Canyon is a good spot. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Fish & Game has all the info you need. Do a search on the net,,,sure you'll find it.

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    Above the outlet from Paxson Lake. Fish & Game hid this knowledge for years. They don't want anybody fishing for these steelhead.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Well I can't speak to keeping information hidden however I can point you ina reasonable direction. All The study's are available for the public just contact the ADF&G in Glennallen the gent who is reasonable for the data as well as others in Fairbanks are always willing to share if you ask them. It is public information paid for with public monies.

    That being said there are 4 distinct spawning areas within the system starting at Dickey Lake Outlet and Hungry Hollow Creek are the two with the best studies however there two other locations within the Main section that also have smaller populations of spawning fish. Please note the studies indicated the the Bow's and Steelies actually cross spawn.

    THE ISSUE: the Gulkana really is not accessable most years during early spawning and as Sportsman we really should consider the Fish in this case if you do find access into a place that may have spawning fish. In reality the population of actual Steelhead compared to Rainbow Trout in the watershed is very small talking like in the hundreds!!!!!!!!!!

    Little More Insight - A lot of the larger Rainbows caught in Mid June "Might" actually be Steelhead i.e. those fish pushing 6-10 lbs. There are some hold over Steelies that are mistakenly thought of as Bows. That beings said several years ago we were pigging and jigging for early Kings and Reds at the mouth and picked a very healthy Steelhead I will leave it as it was a very impressive fish.

    PM me if you wish for more specifics however ADF&G can give you detailed informaiton.l

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMoose View Post
    Well I can't speak to keeping information hidden however I can point you ina reasonable direction. All The study's are available for the public just contact the ADF&G in Glennallen the gent who is reasonable for the data as well as others in Fairbanks are always willing to share if you ask them. It is public information paid for with public monies.

    That being said there are 4 distinct spawning areas within the system starting at Dickey Lake Outlet and Hungry Hollow Creek are the two with the best studies however there two other locations within the Main section that also have smaller populations of spawning fish. Please note the studies indicated the the Bow's and Steelies actually cross spawn.

    THE ISSUE: the Gulkana really is not accessable most years during early spawning and as Sportsman we really should consider the Fish in this case if you do find access into a place that may have spawning fish. In reality the population of actual Steelhead compared to Rainbow Trout in the watershed is very small talking like in the hundreds!!!!!!!!!!

    Little More Insight - A lot of the larger Rainbows caught in Mid June "Might" actually be Steelhead i.e. those fish pushing 6-10 lbs. There are some hold over Steelies that are mistakenly thought of as Bows. That beings said several years ago we were pigging and jigging for early Kings and Reds at the mouth and picked a very healthy Steelhead I will leave it as it was a very impressive fish.

    PM me if you wish for more specifics however ADF&G can give you detailed informaiton.l
    Thanks Bluemoose. Pm sent. I'd give you a rep point, but it says I have to spread some around first.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMoose View Post
    Well I can't speak to keeping information hidden however I can point you ina reasonable direction. All The study's are available for the public just contact the ADF&G in Glennallen the gent who is reasonable for the data as well as others in Fairbanks are always willing to share if you ask them. It is public information paid for with public monies.

    That being said there are 4 distinct spawning areas within the system starting at Dickey Lake Outlet and Hungry Hollow Creek are the two with the best studies however there two other locations within the Main section that also have smaller populations of spawning fish. Please note the studies indicated the the Bow's and Steelies actually cross spawn.

    THE ISSUE: the Gulkana really is not accessable most years during early spawning and as Sportsman we really should consider the Fish in this case if you do find access into a place that may have spawning fish. In reality the population of actual Steelhead compared to Rainbow Trout in the watershed is very small talking like in the hundreds!!!!!!!!!!

    Little More Insight - A lot of the larger Rainbows caught in Mid June "Might" actually be Steelhead i.e. those fish pushing 6-10 lbs. There are some hold over Steelies that are mistakenly thought of as Bows. That beings said several years ago we were pigging and jigging for early Kings and Reds at the mouth and picked a very healthy Steelhead I will leave it as it was a very impressive fish.

    PM me if you wish for more specifics however ADF&G can give you detailed informaiton.l
    Very good info!

    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to BlueMoose again.

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    Back in the mid 1960.s F & G said it was not a large fishery but it was the farst north steel head run in Alaska , from what I hear it is still going strong
    but not A big run SID

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMoose View Post
    Little More Insight - A lot of the larger Rainbows caught in Mid June "Might" actually be Steelhead i.e. those fish pushing 6-10 lbs. There are some hold over Steelies that are mistakenly thought of as Bows. That beings said several years ago we were pigging and jigging for early Kings and Reds at the mouth and picked a very healthy Steelhead I will leave it as it was a very impressive fish.

    PM me if you wish for more specifics however ADF&G can give you detailed informaiton.l
    Steelhead are merely sea-run Rainbows.

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    They're "merely" awesome.

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    This is true ATA!~ very true.

  11. #11

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    I have done this float during "prime time" and it was tough going to say the least. I did it solo in a one man cat and the air temp was so cold that the spray would freeze to my wading jacket instantaneously.

    Fish and game also floated it during what they believe to be the peak of the run and caught 2 fish between 10 people who ostensibly knew what they were doing.

    I would echo Moose's thoughts that when you do the reading and find out where the fish are that they will most likely all be spawners and that they will have spent the entire winter in the drainage struggling to survive.

    It was a beautiful time to be on the river and I had the entire place to myself, so in that regard the trip was a success but make sure you bring some extra hot hands!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    They're "merely" awesome.
    Indeed they are!

    Many years ago I was fishing a river here on the road system for King Salmon or really whatever would bite my lure. I was quite young at the time. It had to have been late august as all the pink salmon were color-turned and starting to get nasty. There were lots of blush and dark king salmon in the river. All of a sudden I hooked up; and landed a chrome bright fish that I had no idea what it was. When I think back on it today, I think it was a fall-run steelhead which for the our area is highly uncommon. It definitely wasn't a pink, king or chum. I suppose it could have been a small coho as they are still chromers that time of year, but it looked totally alien to me at the time. Well, I guess it will remain a mystery!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armo_Ak View Post
    I have done this float during "prime time"
    And what time would that be?

  14. #14
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    MATTTTTTTTT! SHHHHHHHH! :-) just kidding I forgot to thank Matt for his input! Matt has done a GREAT JOB of getting out and finding lots of things out for him-self. Entire Family is the real deal and so is Matt. You should PM him! Great young man who has done it correctly!!!!!! As us older people become those who talk about bag in the day Matt has a bright future! I know flippen love fest sorry but he works his tail off!

  15. #15
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    I have had some clients catch them over the years and i hooked one below Sailor's Pit back in 97 during the tail end of King season. We always tell our groups to look for them but be sure to let then go!

    Walt
    Gulkana Raft Rentals
    07-259-4290

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    Back in 2007 a bunch of families got together spending a week King fishing middle June from the RV Park down to the bridge, sometimes pulling out at sailorís pit, first night while camping the kids were playing in a back slew catching frogs so I broke into my tackle box and found an old Heddon Magnum Tadpolly ďfrog colorĒ shinny forest green with black spots. First hole next morning I rigged it up for my daughter flat lining slow deeper water, not more then 30 seconds latter while letting another rod out smack fish-on of course we thought it was a King so I rowed boat to the bank for a grip & grin. While she worked it to the net I realized it wasn't a King hum? little early for reds then it struck me WOW this is a Steelhead, I kind of freaked out dancing while yelling donít net it donít net it,,LOL,, I gained my composer and said Sissy you just caught and will release your first Steelie,what makes it so special kiddo is you done something very few have this far north stating NORTH AMARICA. It tape 40Ē and was skinny as a rail, guessing maybe 13 pounds would have been a trophy on any river if caught in its full glory. It must have been an over winter fish after spawning making it way back to the ocean. Will post a picture if I can find it. Thanking itís on my old PC.

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    Member Ak Laker Hunter's Avatar
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    Dont worry most ppl wont make a trip for fish that are hard to find, and arent that abundant. to far to drive. Cool that they are there
    Got to look good even in defeat. IMAGE is everything.

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    They run up the Copper in the Summer, I've caught them in the dip nets before...not many, but a few....

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    Iím on the same page as Ak Laker Hunter with Rivers like the Anchor Kasilof, Situk, Karluk, Skeena and countless more out of Forkís Washington where there might be a tad more fish to hunt. Iíve fished the Situk many times with a couple steelhead bums sharing cost for under 600 bucks, thatís including airfare. With that said Hungry Hollow early springs probably not on my radar. just sayin.

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