Anyone fish Lake Creek lately??
Just thought I'd see if anyone has been to Lake Creek area fishing lately.I am coming to AK in one week and am really looking forward to the trip.(Coming in From MI) I talked to my friend a few weeks ago where I am staying, but have not chatted with him lately for a updated fishing report. This will be my first trip to your waters. Thanks, Jason
I have not fished Lake Creek but I have been talking with two different Lodges/ Guides about the river and posting a report online.
Got back from a float/fishing trip on Lake Creek on Sunday, July 15, 2007.
King run was late. People were hurrying down the river, which made it a bit more crowded lower down, but not bad.
We had rain 7 of our 8 days. A total of 6 (glorious) hours of sunshine. It was an 8 day trip, but the first two days were spent at a cabin by Shulin Lake, after our pilot couldn't get to Chelatna Lake because the ceiling was dropping.
Incidentally, our pilot/outfitter was Joe Schuster of Sportsman's Guide & Air Service. Due to a misadventure on the last day, we were a couple of hours late to the pickup point, and he never complained. We were very happy to see him at the pickup point -- fearing he'd gone home and we'd have to camp, fly out the next day, miss our plane connections, etc. We were also very happy with the gear he provided. Those cata-rafts are amazing.
Fishing was, for us, disappointing. We'd never fished for Kings before, and our expectations were shaped by the Duke brothers DVD of the trip. We met some very experienced fishermen & guides, who report that their experiences are much different. Incidentally, we also considerably overspent on fishing gear to take, based on their website. Recommendations like (for 2 people, for a one week raft trip):
500 size 4 octopus hooks; 400 size 1/0 octopus hooks; 200 size 3/0 octopus hooks; 20 feet of colored yarn ....; 400 Lil’ Corkies ...; 500 size 3 snap swivels; 15 pounds of pencil lead (also known as lead wire) ...
seem grossly excessive. Not being experienced, we cut their recommendations in half, and still had vastly too much. (Yes, of course, that made us half-vast.)
I'll bet guides hate it when customers show up with expectations from that video.
Fishing while rafting (the 60 miles is about 24 hours of rafting) is generally productive (it was with others we talked to on the trip). It was totally, weirdly unproductive for us -- not one bite. Experienced fisherman can be sure it was lack of skill; it felt, for various reasons, like we were jinxed, but there's no point in debating the matter.
Mosquitoes weren't bad along the river, but are thick 5 yards inland.
Best tip: also take a net tent. Most groups didn't have them. It was hugely more pleasant to be under the roof in the tent, during the rain, than sitting in our dark tent. People without a net tent expressed jealousy. If the bugs had been bad (like, maybe, if it weren't raining all the time) we'd have liked having the net tent as a refuge. If you have a guide, and he doesn't plan to take one, buy one at Walmart. I'm sure you'll use it, and be glad.
Plan B: Take mosquito coil (I've always found them useless), but use it on a piece of aluminum foil for 15 minutes in the closed tent before going to sleep. We met people who swear this completely kills all the mosquitoes & flies in the tent.
Weirdest tip: Take a PBZ-7 electronic bug swatter. It worked great for clearing those last mosquitoes out of the tent before going to sleep. I felt like a total dork for having brought something so silly -- until I saw a very experienced guide with one.
July 5th float
I floated Lake Creek with 3 buddies on the 5th. Initially, we were to go in on the 4th, but the weather in Willow sucked. Incidentally, we discovered a very cute barmaid at the Trading Post in Willow.
We were able to get to Chelatna about 9:30 AM on the 5th, and got things rolling. There were 2 rafts waiting for their clients to get in when we got there, but no one else.
The first 3 days I had the best Rainbow fishing I've ever seen. We fished from the raft constantly, but would stop and tie off on really fishy stretches. That's where the flesh flies and egg sucking leeches shined. Between the 4 of us, we caught 14 trout that were measured over 20 inches. Saw and/or lost some real pigs, and caught well over 100 trout between 13 and 20 inches. By far the best trout I've seen in my life.
We would leapfrog with 2 guides we knew and a big group we didn't, so camping was pretty nice. We all knew what each others' schedule was, and worked together. Fortunately we got on the river when we did, as we saw a ton of planes the first 2 days we were on the water. when we got picked up, the pilot said it was an absolute zoo above us.
The weather wasn't terribly cooperative. It was cloudy the majority of the time, but didn't rain much. It rained on the Tal every day we were on Lake Creek. Got lucky with our last minute river change.
All in all, an absolutely gorgeous river, full of big rainbows and some nice kings further down. A bit too crowded, but what do you expect that close to Anchorage. I just got back from Alaska Sun night, so I haven't gotten my pics in order yet. I will post some when I can.
Glad to hear you had a great trip.
I've a somewhat odd inquiry -- I'm hoping to find someone who took a lot of photos who'd be willing to send me a CD/DVD of them (costs reimbursed, of course). Here's my sad story: In our group, I was generally in charge of photos. In the course of a misadventure on our last day, I dropped the camera (with all the photos) into a fast-moving section of the river. If I find someone who took a lot of pictures on a summer float on Lake Creek, many will be of the same things we saw. Many/most would be of your party, of course, but others would show the river, those high bluffs, etc. Not as fun as having my own pics, but these wouldn't be underwater in Lake Creek (actually "Little Lake Creek", but that's another story).
As an amateur photographer, I take lots of pictures and rarely can find anyone who wants to spend the time to look at them. If someone on your trip feels the same way, maybe they'd like having an audience.
Thanks for your consideration.