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Thread: Situk Steelhead

  1. #1
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    Default Situk Steelhead

    Please give me a sanity check here.

    Just putting together a spur of the moment plan. A buddy is leaving the state for a while and we want to do one last trip before he roles.

    Plan
    Fly into Yakutat 23-26 Apr or 30Apr -1 May.

    Will hitch a ride to 9 Mile bridge and pitch a tent. Plan to fish anywhere we can walk from the bridge.

    Would you advise a small cheap raft to float down to the take out point and catch a ride back? Maybe camping along the way?

    Saw videos and pics of the water and it looks relatively tame. But am I assuming to much?

    Will have fly rod and spinning rods along with an assortment of flies and jigs.

    Thanks for any and all input. Excitment level is raging right now!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Raft?? Situk??.......NO!!!

    you could manage the raft but it would be borderline insanity and could cause alot of problems.ie miss plane out, have to walk out with gear, ask for a float out, etc. I've only floated the river one time over three days and we rented a boat from glacier bear lodge. I wouldn't use a raft ever, but my buddies bought a cheap costco raft and did it anyway. THay didn't have enough room and they ended up putting a hole in several of the chambers. they said they wouldn't do it again. IMO the situk is one of the woodiest rivers I"ve seen in SE---lots of trees and wood in there--bring lots of donations. THe jet sled boys usually go up the river and clear out the log jams with chainsaws so the boats can get through. I wouldn't use a raft--some of the log jams are like a gauntlet thats only barely wide enough. I remember my wife not liking to row when she saw the jams ahead. If you have the money rent a boat and stay a night or two on the river--fish the holes and camp where the fish are. Or catch a ride to 9 mile and camp out with all the other guys and have fun. there is usually fish in the hole right under the bridge. One thing I learned is that there is really no help once you leave nine mile and head downstream. also, no offense to yakutat folks, but it seems that they know your there and take full advantage of that---meaning bring lots of money. You'll be amazed at what a 12 mile taxi ride in Yak costs!!!plan ahead, make smart decisions, and stay safe. hope this helps oh yeah---the bears in SE love to use rafts as chew toys---happens!

  3. #3
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    Default thanks

    Thanks for the information brother.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've always floated the Situk in a driftboat but there is a group of guys that seem to go about the same time that we do every year and they use one man cataracts. Been seeing them do this for years so they must not have to many problems with it. I would advise to use high quality gear as the Situk is not a place to take a Costco type one man raft.

    One option for late April would to go to the lower landing and take the raft upstream as the tide comes in and either camp at that point, explore the holes within walking distance upstream of this point, or simply float back to the lower landing when you are done fishing for the day. I have had some really good days fishing the incoming tide on the Situk and the area in the tidal zone after the tide has gone back out so...

    Like rosscoak mentioned bring lots of gear as you will donate plenty of stuff the to snags and brush along the river. You can get a rent a wreck type car at a reasonable rate in Yakutat which would be better than doing the cab thing in my book but to each there own.

  5. #5

    Default Good info

    rosscoak gave you good advice on floating in a raft. I floated it years ago in high quality whitewater rafts and we were fine. I wouldn't however recommend you use a cheap/thin material raft if you think of doing it. If you really want to float it, I'd get a guide for a day and do it. After that, rent a driftboat and do it yourself. Save yourself the dangers and hassle by just getting the guide, and then rent a boat after that if it's what you think you want to do. I've always had great success just hiking up or down from the bridge. It can get really crowded at times, and I hate hiking around having guys try to run over me to get to "the hole", wherever that might be. I'm an especially fast hiker and had guys trying to almost jog to get around me last year. I finally stopped and just told them to go ahead of me, I wasn't gunning for "their hole" and was getting tired of having them try to hop-scotch me in the woods. Of course those guys looked like they just stepped out of an Orvis catalog with brand spankin new gear. The common lower 48 mentality of getting farther up or downriver in front of another guy isn't always the ticket on the Situk. Take your time and slowly walk the trails looking into the water, you'll often spot fish that many guys blast right on by. If the sun is high and bright, spend lots of time swinging those flies up under the dark spots, they're in there. Good luck, hope to see you down there if you're going during your later dates, I'll be at the bridge camping, stop on in.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Reguarding the drift boat rental, Situk Leasing will rent you a boat, but you are responsible for shuttling your vehicle. If you stay with a lodge, the lodge will shuttle your vehicle, and spot your boat to 9 mile. The lodges usually won't just rent anybody off the plane a boat. The reason for this is the Forest Service requires businesses who guide or outfit (provide shuttles and boats to fish) to buy user days. They increased te fee by 300% this year. Once the user days are used up that business can't rent boats or guide for the rest of the season. There are only so many user days avaliable... Very High Demand.
    The river is all cut out, and totally floatable, snow levels are low. There are enough fish to have fun, but not thousands, yet. Your timing would be good. Bring lots of tackle, as you know single hooks only, No bait. Make some calls and shop around for what you're looking for.
    Good Luck and have fun!

  7. #7

    Default drift boats

    Good point about the drift boats capt.k, I forgot about the user day deal down there and Forest Service. I guess I've seen some websites that advertise drift boat rentals but haven't checked into them further. That could get awful expensive in a hurry renting a boat then and having to doing the shuttle and all. Probably cheaper to rent a quality raft from Ak Raft and have it sent down to Yakutat.

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    Default fuel

    How about stove fuel for and MSR whisperlite. How readily available is it?

    Food, will we be able to pick up some food to take with us to the bridge, not sure if they have a grocery store there?

  9. #9
    Member Tight Lines's Avatar
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    Smile

    There are two grocery stores in town and an ACE Hardware so fuel should not be a problem. A single peson pontoon type raft is yiur best bet for drifting without a guide.

    Good Luck, Set The Hook!!
    I'll hold on to my Bible & my Guns, you can keep the change!!!

  10. #10
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    Default Do-it-yourself

    Reading this thread makes me jealous because I have decided not to go to Yakutat this year.

    Everything is expensive in Yakutat. There are a couple hardware stores and a grocery store in town.

    I have found in the last three years of visiting for the steelhead run in the spring that you can easily fish without the use of a drift boat/raft or a guide. However the river is a good hump from the town and taxi is expensive.

    If I could be of any help answering questions about self guided fishing the Situk, send me a email, its the only thing I can do this year since I wont be there. I am not an expert, just saying. tk9234@live.com

    Next Year, I shall return!
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
    Jedi Salmon Powers Activated!
    www.alaskansalmonslayers.com


  11. #11
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    Default Rental car in Yak

    A rental car in Yakutat is: An 85 chevy beauville van or 91 astro van 2 wheel drive in which only 80% of the vehicle works and the astro van has bald tires. All this for for the low low price of $99/day!!! Did i mention a day is from plane to plane --meaning the 737 AK Air. I had a bad experience with situk leasing, if you want the details pm me. Bring your visa and cash!!! Yakutat is an expensive place, but fun!! I'd stay at the lower landing and fish the bottom---best fishing we had was at low tide way out their...The guys at the situk fly shop (airport) are great for local info and up to date info---they have a website--should be able to google it. I really like camping at the lower end because we saw millions and millions of migrating waterfowl---did I mention the awesome sunsets!!!
    have fun let us know how it goes down!!

  12. #12
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    We rented a four wheel drive Toyota from LEO'S VEHICLE, LLC (907-784-3909) when we were down there last year. Car was older, had a 140,000 miles on it, and sputtered when we drove it but it was cheaper than having a taxi run us around. Forgot how much it cost a day but if I remember correctly it was like $75 a day. Split three ways and it was only $25 bucks each a day. I do remember that it was way cheaper than a cab and more reliable than hitching a ride. We could go up to the bridge fish for awhile, go back into town to get something to eat, and then head to the lower end and catch the incoming tide all in the same day.
    Another option would be to rent one of the cabins (probably all rented now for the end of April) out on the middle Situk and get a plane to take you into the runway. We looked into this but decided against it but the cost was real reasonable. Bob from the Fly Shop gave us this idea but we went the rental car route.

  13. #13
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    the cabins on the airstrip get rented out well in advance, i would be extremely surprised if one was still available during steelhead time. yakutat lodge has a tent camp about a mile downriver from the cabins that they rent out to unguided groups but seems to get very little use. last year it looked like they had done some work to fix it up. i have stayed at the airstrip cabins and there are trails that go all the way down to the yakutat lodge tent camp(depending on snow levels snowshoes may be required) so if you stayed there you would have access to a fair stretch of river. one strategy we have thought of but never done would be to rent a boat and take a whole day to float down to the tent camp then be up early the next am to be the first down the river ahead of the flotilla. get picked up at the landing that night then rinse and repeat.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by plentycoupe View Post
    Please give me a sanity check here.

    Just putting together a spur of the moment plan. A buddy is leaving the state for a while and we want to do one last trip before he roles.

    Plan
    Fly into Yakutat 23-26 Apr or 30Apr -1 May.

    Will hitch a ride to 9 Mile bridge and pitch a tent. Plan to fish anywhere we can walk from the bridge.

    Would you advise a small cheap raft to float down to the take out point and catch a ride back? Maybe camping along the way?

    Saw videos and pics of the water and it looks relatively tame. But am I assuming to much?

    Will have fly rod and spinning rods along with an assortment of flies and jigs.

    Thanks for any and all input. Excitment level is raging right now!!!
    A Sure

    The spur of the moment can be done, but bubbas are bubbas, check a rent u-guide for one day, or camp at the bridge, camping can be fun with bubbas, even if there is no catching involved….. Me I rent a DB, 80’S car & Cabin, worth $360 a day. Lets go fish-ing….

  15. #15
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    Default bubbas are bubbas

    I don't get the comment.
    So what techniques do you all have to through out here?

    Rod setup, weights used, type and size of flies?

  16. #16
    Member Skookumchuck's Avatar
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    Default

    Jigs under a float can be dynamite on the Situk. They worked best for me in the bigger, deeper pools and runs, and on the lower river. I just tie simple jig-headed marabou-type jigs b/c their cheap and easy, and I lose a lot of em. Experiment with colors. Usually the bright stuff works (orange and pink was my best combo last time), but sometimes the dark stuff is better, especially early in the am or evening....at least for me

    I tie my globugs on size 1 or 2 gamakatsu octo hooks...the actual "glo-bug" hooks are way too wimpy.

    Little thunder creeks and clousers have produced well for me too, mostly in the more subdued colors...gray, olive, tan, black etc. Never done so hot with brighter ones.
    Nice Marmot.

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    Default again

    Thanks for the recipes Skookumchuck.

  18. #18
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    Default

    I fished the situk last year and hitched a ride out (and back), camping at nine mile bridge was great! met lots of cool people had a blast. if I were to do it again (more than likely I will ) I would pay the money and take a taxi, I know they are expensive but unless you make quick friends with someone who is renting a truck. most people are already at the river by the time the plane comes in so you won't have many people that you could hitch a ride from. (I heard its 150 for the ride) you can get a ride back pretty easy though.

    flies, I would recommend anything dark,(egg sucking leachs, skunks) also egg patterns (glo bugs work great!) try to be the first one out (its easy when your camping on the river) the fish bite the best then.

    mostly have fun, last year I caught two steelhead in a week of fishing, (it was a bad week for everybody) but I still had a blast.

  19. #19
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    14 More Days....

    Cannot wait, I know it is going to seem like a lifetime...

    Check out these websites for reports if you are headed there this spring:

    http://situk.net/river_reports_index.htm

    http://www.hobofishing.com/

    I'm going without TSS this year, I'm hoping I will have as much success as last year...

    Fish On!
    You know your not catching any fish when you start talking about the weather...


    http://www.alaskansalmonslayers.com/

  20. #20
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    Default

    5 1/2 hours untill I am in Yakutat!!

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