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Thread: Sitka?????

  1. #1
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    Default Sitka?????

    Hello everybody,

    New member looking for some info on Sitka.

    I lucked into a free ticket from a friend and will be there sept 5-12th.

    We will probably get a saltwater charter for 2-3 days out of that time.(any suggestions on an outfit would be great)...but we also want to do some trout fishing on our own.


    The charter info is easy to find on the web, but river fishing is a little more difficult. Any help?

    We will probably rent a car and we may spend 4-5 nights camping.

    What areas/maps should I be looking at?


    And since I know there is no such thing as a "free" lunch...I'd be happy to provide a "guided" duck/goose/pheasant hunt here in Boise, ID for anyone that gives us a hand in having a successful fishing trip!!

    Thanks everyone
    3Putt

  2. #2

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    well - I was there year before last, at exactly that time of year....so here's the dealeo.

    Sitka is best known for the saltwater fishing, so you are on target with that. I haven't done it....but it was still going on then, I saw fish being unloaded, although winding down as the fish were entering the streams. There are lots of charters there.

    IMO, there is minimal fishing that you can drive to, if that's what you are asking for. There is one road period....and most of it is even paved (a luxury in alot of Alaska). But the road does not take you anywhere signficant to fish. Not to say it isn't worth having a car....but....if you want to fish a car won't take you there. There is some limited fishing near town, but IMO not worth crowing about, at least when I checked it out. The particular roadfishing points in Sitka are well-covered in Haugen et al.'s recent book "flyfishing Alaska" or something like that. It has a map with what is there locally. There is a fly shop in town, and a good coffee shop with great lemon-sesame cake that is hard to find - but recommended.

    So if you want good fishing, you have to fly or take a boat, or, as you have planned - take a daily charter. As far as "trout", the fishing in Sitka, like most of Alaska - is dominated by anadromous (sea-run) fish. There are a number of lake systems that can be flown into....I personally chose lake Eva and lake Sitkoh....and stayed at the forest service cabins there. Sitkoh Lake and creek, while known for steelhead, actually have a very nice resident rainbow/cutthroat/dolly population (up to 20" for rainbow, small for others). There is about 4+ miles of creek, which is alot to fish and hike to.....and a long way from salt.....where the river will be filthy thick with all sorts of salmon. The lake is several miles long and a mile wide. Lake Eva and Eva Creek are different. The creek is bigger, and shorter (less than a mile). Eva Lake is an overwintering area for searun dollies and has lots and lots and lots of these fish, concentrated at the inlet and outlet. They can be caught by typical ESL's, bunnies, and even dryflies (unusual in my experience) at the mouth of the inlet stream, by ESL's at the top of the outlet stream, and by globugs in the inlet stream itself. The Eva fish were very nice size - 16" to 22" for the big ones, and many others.

    Of course the target fish at that time of year would be early silvers. I didn't have much luck at Sitkoh for silvers (caught plenty of pinks - but who cares), although the trout fishing was good (a shade early, it was a dry year, and even the sockeyes hadn't fully run into the creek yet), but it was fair-good at eva. Getting better. 9/5-12 seems to be a very good time for river-fishing silvers (especially at the outlet, accessible only by the cabin's skiff). A week or so later would be even better.

    There are some closer in systems to Sitka itself....though I've not been to them....I've heard that Redoubt Lake and it's inlet stream has good globugging/silver fishing there (you'll have to fly in), as does the Nakwasina River (no cabin), and another lake close by - I think it's Salmon Lake or something common like that. It also has a FS cabin. You can find out about all this stuff at recreation.gov.

    A couple more things. One, both systems I visited, and probably many others at the peak of salmon runs, had large grizzly bears near the streams. Second, it can rain....alot....or not, at that time of year. So it might be worth looking into the forest service cabins (some of which aren't used that much), or otherwise, being prepared for the elements. Clean camping is vital. I won't get into the argument of whether gun/pepperspray offers any "protection" from bears, other than to say that most of these animals don't show much interest in people, but are attracted to cooked food smells (other than boiled water) and don't like it if you approach them (especially if they are with cubs). But they do use the same trails (to the extent there are any) and fish the same places...so there you have it. The other thing, if you are going to a cabin on a lake, is to realize that a motor might help - depending on the system. For example, Lake Eva's cabin is no where near any trail, and 1 mile minimum from either the inlet or outlet....get there in an hour rowing, or 10 minutes by motor. Walking would not be possible. Sitkoh Lake is 4 miles long. It takes about 25 minutes to motor from one end to the other. You wouldn't need a motor to fish the creek (1/4 mile away), but it takes at least 2 hours to hike to the mouth. Redoubt's cabin is right by the outlet, so no motor required.

    If you have significant boating experience in this type of rocky, high-amplitude tidal environment, there are boat rentals available.

    As far as getting maps.....you can go to acme mapper for the land maps and MapTech for the navigational charts.

  3. #3

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    Look up Dennies guide service....I think thats his title. He does some duck stuff in the fall (sept 1) so he might be a tad bit hard to get ahold of, but he also does freshwater fishing along with saltwater...great guy, runs a nice, clean and organized seasport. You can find his add in Fish Alaska Mag. If ya need more help let me know I can get you his number! Chatted with him a bit on the docks in the mornings, great guy!

  4. #4
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    Great info!!!

    We Would still be happy to meet up with anyone for 2 or 15 beers while we're there. Its always nice to find a local bar and chat up the bartender/locals for inside info on cool things to do. Its primarily a fishing trip but we will need to find a few other things to pass the time.

    Suggestions?

  5. #5

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    well:

    I did have a couple days in town. I stayed at the Westmark with an room/car package (best room, biggest car - leather and all), and would recommend the filet mignon in their restaurant. There is good beer on tap there.

    As far as locals - I didn't see that much of the "locals/night life" thing - you'll see them picking up cases of suds at the market - but as far as where they go, someone else will have to chime in on where that is, if it exists. They do hang out at that coffee shop in the mornings, as I mentioned earlier, if you can find it.

    There is a fly shop is on the ground floor (below) of the westmark hotel. There is a park with a bunch of totem poles in it. Whales can be seen if you bring binoculars.

    There are various tourist souvenir shops in town.

    Fishing is the main attraction and is quite good in the ocean, as well as rivers and lakes if you get to them; it has a significant retiree component of the community as well from other places.

  6. #6
    Member fishak's Avatar
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    I've actually graduated from the boarding school down there. I think that Westmark is the best hotel to stay in while there. For food, the best in the town has to goto the Channel Club. You can also find good chinese at Kennys and good mexican at Agave. For fishing, I've seen people fish at Indian River, but I am not sure for what.

  7. #7
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    Bill and Mary Jo at the fly shop have great info on what's biting in the rivers. I definetely agree that here in Sitka we have limited road accessible fishing sites. The beginning of September might be a little early for the Silver run, but end of last September I caught some really nice bright silvers at both Stargavin Creek and Indian River.(Road Accessible) You'll just have to step around about a million dying pinks. If you can get a boat ride out to Katlian or Nakawasina river. you should find some pretty decent Dolly Vardin fishing. both at the mouth and up the river if you want to hike. BUT as somebody mentioned, We've got lots and lots of bears at all four of those rivers in September, In fact Sitka is crawling with them right now as they wait for the pinks to start running hard. Katlian and Nakaswina's tidal flats aren't very big but can be some what spooky with tall marsh grash and lots of bear trails and scat throughout. So just be smart carry some type of protection and know that you and the bears are both fishing the same spot. As for charters the two guys I like the best here are Howie Merkel who runs the Carpe Diem, (Just google it) and Jim Mitchner who runs a boat for Alaska Adventures Unlimited (907-747-5576) both are great guys who will definetely know where the fish are.

  8. #8
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    Thanks again for the info.


    We are looking at the FS cabin at Salmon Lake.

    Anyone fish or have info on that location? how much would a floatplane out of Sitka for 2 guys and equipment cost?

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    The P bar is the place to go for beer, I remember a night at the p bar that ended with a buddy having a fight with a rose bush, good times, good times.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10

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    pbar eh...not so highly recommned if you are a charter fisherman on the nite before comm troll opener .

    Ernies being the other go to with decent pool tables and not such a 'packed' crowd. Tell Joe high if you see him, and trixie his palmeranion he brings in usually earlier in the day...

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