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Thread: Self-guided Steelhead floats in SE AK

  1. #1
    Member woodman6437's Avatar
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    Default Self-guided Steelhead floats in SE AK

    Caught the Steelhead fever this fall and looking at doing cool trip next fall. Anyone have any information on remote float trips in the SE AK area? Looking at getting away from the road system (possibly fly out) to target some Steelies and float for a few days. I looked at the Situk, but it looks mostly accessible by road.

    Sort of vague I know, but it is still a year out. I am open to other ideas not in SE AK as well.

    ArmoAK and Cody77 are invited of course, given that Armo keeps the lowholing to a minimum.

  2. #2

    Default Wish I was still here next fall

    woodman hope that someone can help you find a place to get away, the steelie itch lives on with all that experience it.

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    Member Tight Lines's Avatar
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    Woodman

    True the Situk is accessable by road but only in two spots. 9 Mile Bridge and the take out at the bottom end. There are two cabins at mid river that are fly in's. You might try the Akwe (just south of Yakutat). Hope you find what your looking for!!!
    I'll hold on to my Bible & my Guns, you can keep the change!!!

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    Member woodman6437's Avatar
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    Default Thinkin about going sooner now

    Thanks Tight Lines, I'll have to check out the Akwe. In the meantime the airfare to Yakutat is a lot better than I expected. Is the Situk fishable in December? I'm thinking about going down there this winter now to do some roadside/hike in fishing.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodman6437 View Post
    Thanks Tight Lines, I'll have to check out the Akwe. In the meantime the airfare to Yakutat is a lot better than I expected. Is the Situk fishable in December? I'm thinking about going down there this winter now to do some roadside/hike in fishing.
    Get in touch with Bob at the Situk River Fly Shop.
    He should be able to answer all your questions.

    http://situk.net/

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    Member Danny Boy's Avatar
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    You should interview the Naha River just out of Ketchikan. I never went into the river but picked up steelies in the salt in Naha Bay while trolling for silvers. Unfortunately I had yet to start fly fishing when I lived down there.

    It's fairly remote and from what I heard when living down there, the steelie fishing is pretty decent.

    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aktrails/ats/se/naha.htm

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I have some ideas but I will take them to the grave, sorry.

    For Useful info I can offer this
    talk to the sport fish bios in Ketchican and Craig.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Boy View Post
    You should interview the Naha River just out of Ketchikan. I never went into the river but picked up steelies in the salt in Naha Bay while trolling for silvers. Unfortunately I had yet to start fly fishing when I lived down there.

    It's fairly remote and from what I heard when living down there, the steelie fishing is pretty decent.

    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aktrails/ats/se/naha.htm
    The Naha is quite good, it either boat or plane access. I'd suggest you do some POW searches. Lot's of vehicle access rivers and streams holding nice steelies.

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    Member woodman6437's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions. Talked to Bob over e-mail and he said there are some potential access issues due to snow as far as doing a winter roadside Steelhead trip on the Situk. As far as a fall fly out trip he said that the Situk and the Akwe are better in the spring as the fish don't move in until late fall/winter.

    I'm looking hard at a trip to the Naha this spring now. It sounds like it has the potential to be a pretty BA trip. As far as a winter roadside trip I'm looking at POW.

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    Member CanCanCase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I have some ideas but I will take them to the grave, sorry.

    For Useful info I can offer this
    talk to the sport fish bios in Ketchican and Craig.
    Sorry to brag a bit, but I just have to tell Patrick about the cranberry farm I visited this morning... you see, it's cranberry harvest season around here, and I got to see the whole works in operation... when they're not flooding the bogs to harvest cranberries, the dikes make excellent R/C airplane landing strips. What does this have to do with fishing? The owner stocks kokes in his resovoir, and found a modest population of steelies in one of the bogs last spring! As long as Ocean Spray keeps cranberry prices low, I'll have world class steelhead fishing on the farm right next door!

    -Case
    M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  11. #11
    Member woodman6437's Avatar
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    Steelhead and a healthy urinary tract, does it get any better than that?

  12. #12

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    woodman:

    -steelhead in Alaska are mainly a spring run fish. So you are really 6 months out, or a year and a half out; with the exception of a few runs on Kodiak (see below) or wherever someone else might mention.
    -the rivers are mainly short and small, and aren't really fished by floating, altho the Situk is one; I know the new Italio has been floated as well - but very rarely. Mainly what people do is go to one of the Forest Service cabins in the dozen or so systems that have decent steelhead - and do the hike/bushwhack thing. There is keen competition for booking cabins at peak spring times for the best-known systems with the largest steelhead populations; and less for the less-known systems
    -Kodiak Island has some significant floatable rivers with steelhead; and even fall steelhead; the Karluk and Ayakulik have had decent runs and catches. There is an article in the past 2-3 years in "Fishing Alaska" magazine on fall steelhead fishing in Kodiak.
    -The weather can be bad in Fall, or not. In Spring, there can be (and definitely is, depending on when you go) alot of wet snow on the ground - like several feet of it. And it can rain, or snow, on top of that; affecting fishing and certainly camping conditions and equipment needs. Many people who fish the Situk do a day-long float and stay at a local motel in Yakutat.
    -I don't think the Naha is suitable for floating. It's another small stream with a significant steelhead run. Be advised it gets visitation and guiding activity due to a public anchorage at the mouth, and a lodge there as well.
    -The Akwe has alot of glacial till in the water. I'm not sure I would do that one.

  13. #13
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesch View Post
    woodman:

    -steelhead in Alaska are mainly a spring run fish. So you are really 6 months out, or a year and a half out; with the exception of a few runs on Kodiak (see below) or wherever someone else might mention.
    -the rivers are mainly short and small, and aren't really fished by floating, altho the Situk is one; I know the new Italio has been floated as well - but very rarely. Mainly what people do is go to one of the Forest Service cabins in the dozen or so systems that have decent steelhead - and do the hike/bushwhack thing. There is keen competition for booking cabins at peak spring times for the best-known systems with the largest steelhead populations; and less for the less-known systems
    -Kodiak Island has some significant floatable rivers with steelhead; and even fall steelhead; the Karluk and Ayakulik have had decent runs and catches. There is an article in the past 2-3 years in "Fishing Alaska" magazine on fall steelhead fishing in Kodiak.
    -The weather can be bad in Fall, or not. In Spring, there can be (and definitely is, depending on when you go) alot of wet snow on the ground - like several feet of it. And it can rain, or snow, on top of that; affecting fishing and certainly camping conditions and equipment needs. Many people who fish the Situk do a day-long float and stay at a local motel in Yakutat.
    -I don't think the Naha is suitable for floating. It's another small stream with a significant steelhead run. Be advised it gets visitation and guiding activity due to a public anchorage at the mouth, and a lodge there as well.
    -The Akwe has alot of glacial till in the water. I'm not sure I would do that one.
    Correct on non floatable for the majority of the river. It does get an excellent fall run which lasts into the winter. There is no lodge on the river but there is a church camp which gets used in the summer.

  14. #14

    Default what week for Naha

    So i have the jordan lake cabin booked for the third week in april on the Naha. Can anyone tell me what to expect in terms of fishing and conditions that week? Also what would be the best way to get to the cabin? Boat to the mouth and hike up or float plane to heckman and walk down? Also could anyone reccomend a water taxi or plane service out of ketchikan?

  15. #15

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    well, maybe not on the river, but close to it: I do remember seeing a lodge very near (a mile or so to) there from the air; possibly the one in Loring known as Naha Bay Lodge - you can probably sleuth them on the internet and find out the dealeo on what they do, if anything, that time of year. But no matter - lodges either there or nearby are a common situation in many "remote" systems in Alaska. More significantly, the place is also 20 miles from Ketch, so I bet you won't be the only one fishing there if the fishing is any good. There are lots of people in Ketch with boats. As for getting to these places; ummm, I personally only fly to some place like that (4 miles uphill from salt). I would not walk from salt, or between lakes, in spring, with gear on my back - I would find someone to fly me to the doorstep or go elsewhere. Without gear, in spring, with who knows what snow or other wet trail condition; would take several hours; of course - if the lake is frozen over then you will be walking from salt only (someone local like kingfisher may be able to advise you better on this, it depends on elevation and can vary between years). I personally have flown with SeaWind aviation and was very pleased; there are a half dozen or so bush outfits with one to several planes of various sizes depending on your need.

  16. #16
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesch View Post
    well, maybe not on the river, but close to it: I do remember seeing a lodge very near (a mile or so to) there from the air; possibly the one in Loring known as Naha Bay Lodge - you can probably sleuth them on the internet and find out the dealeo on what they do, if anything, that time of year. But no matter - lodges either there or nearby are a common situation in many "remote" systems in Alaska. More significantly, the place is also 20 miles from Ketch, so I bet you won't be the only one fishing there if the fishing is any good. There are lots of people in Ketch with boats. As for getting to these places; ummm, I personally only fly to some place like that (4 miles uphill from salt). I would not walk from salt, or between lakes, in spring, with gear on my back - I would find someone to fly me to the doorstep or go elsewhere. Without gear, in spring, with who knows what snow or other wet trail condition; would take several hours; of course - if the lake is frozen over then you will be walking from salt only (someone local like kingfisher may be able to advise you better on this, it depends on elevation and can vary between years). I personally have flown with SeaWind aviation and was very pleased; there are a half dozen or so bush outfits with one to several planes of various sizes depending on your need.

    I have walked it in 3' of snow on the trail in April an it a tough show. And I've seen Heckman frozen over too. Steve's got it right--see the bold above.

    I'd recommend Misty Fiords Flightseeing with Dave Doyon, Seawind Aviation or Family Air.

    They'll all provide you a good service.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I have some ideas but I will take them to the grave, sorry.

    For Useful info I can offer this
    talk to the sport fish bios in Ketchican and Craig.
    You dont have to fly that far south of junaeu, ak monk,but thats all Im gonna say

    ak4195

  18. #18
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    Flying to Ketchikan for a short steelhead trip on the Naha is a bad idea. There are a few streams nearby with small runs. Good luck getting the fish to be in decent numbers at the one stream that you are fishing for the few days that you have booked. Good luck having the weather cooperate for your trip. The water can be too low, way too high (the Naha can be scary at times), or frozen. Hard to plan for that 6 months to a year ahead of time. Many steelhead groups have been skunked, or weathered out of the Naha system.

    Naha can be decent at times when the "Conditions are right". Considering you will pay thousands to come fish the Naha, you might consider some other options before rolling the dice.

    There is a reason that most destination steelhead fisherman go to one of 3 places. They produce! The places best known for steelhead fishing are Northern BC, Prince of Whales Island, and the Situk. BC and POW provide multiple rivers. If the fishing is slow in one river, you can drive to the next. This is a much better idea than sitting in Ketchikan waiting for the weather to break. Of the 3 areas that I have listed BC is known for larger fish. Check out this youtube video on steelhead fishing in BC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTuVsh6juek

    If you insist on staying at Jordan next spring I would recommend Seawind Aviation, or Carlin Air. Jordan Lake is a small lake. You should plan to go in with someone who has flown into the lake many times.

    BTW. There are a few lodges near the Naha River, however, guiding is not allowed on the Naha. If you see any guiding please report it to ADF&G, and the USFS. Photos would be great.

    Good luck and have fun.
    Last edited by ifishktn; 10-27-2009 at 18:39. Reason: Poor english

  19. #19

    Default

    I gotta agree with Ifishktn- If we have a winter like last year you won't be able to fish the Naha that early. I was post-holing through deep snow up there in May to get to the upper holes. If you are planning a trip this far ahead I would go to P.O.W.- more systems to try and a greater chance to get into some fish.

  20. #20

    Default weather?

    Will the weather really be that much better on P.O.W. and if so is there any one place you would reccomend staying? I really like the idea of the forest service cabin at or near the salt.

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