Ketchikan Road System
I'll be heading to Ketchikan tomorrow for a work trip. I will have some time tomorrow evening and most of the day on Thursday to fish. I have read there should be a late coho run going on. I am also reading rumors about a fall steelhead run?
I would REALLY like to get into some steelhead but I would be stoked to have a great day fishing for anythin - cutthroats, dollies, brookies, silvers, rainbows. Anything would be a blast. Any tips about fishing the road system will be much appreicated. You don't have to worry about me taking over your honey hole - I'll only be there one day and probably won't ever be back!
As I said, my number one choice would be to find some good steelhead. But if they're not around, I just want to fish!
Any tips would be much appreciated!
If you are road system bound your best bet is to fish the Wards Lake area and its inlet and outlet. You should find cutthroat, dollies and maybe some late coho. I generally fish the inlet and the upper stream. Not sure if the steelies are in at this time but it's worth the try.
I lived Ketchikan 6 years mid to late 1990s and was 100% focused on steelhead fishing. Ward Creek was my weekday gig. This time of year you primarily have old silvers. Some trout - a few cuts, dollies, and 'bows but not that many. Best water is the inlet to Ward Lake. Walk out and fish the lip at the drop off. It fishes best when the water is high. Painful, slow drift when it's low. AS a general matter the entire system fishes far better in high water - pray for rain.
There are decent runs and holding silvers all the way up to the dam - about 2 miles of water. It's tiny water - leave the switch rod at home. 6 or 7 at perfect.
These fish can be hard to hook. Finicky. Dead drift is key - bring glo bugs. These are not swinging fish.
Re steelhead, there are very few fall fish. I hooked less than 10 in the fall in 6 years of hard fishing. But they are theoretically there and hope springs eternal. My favorite run above the bridge was named by my fishing buddy as the "October Run" after I nailed a dime bright steelhead this time of year.
Another option is Ketchikan Creek right behind the library. It actually has a few sweet runs - you can fish all of it in a couple of hours from the falls down to the library. Like Ward Creek, it has a TINY fall run of steelhead. Three might be a few old silvers in there now. And a few trout.