Parks Highway Kings/Birch Lake Derby
Exhausting but fun weekend...
Thursday night/Friday morning arrived Sheep Creek 0230. Woke up at 0430 and fished confluence below campground...no hook ups, only saw a handful of fish roll in the same spot below the leaning birch tree (same fish?? maybe). Moved down to confluence with main branch of the Su. Brought a 30lb slightly blushed king to hand in only a couple casts. Fish caught on hand-tied pink yarn fly. Fished for another hour and caught nothing...headed to Montana Creek. Lots of action here, all caught with corkies/yarn "pond fishing". Saw a 52 pounder landed (according to digital scale). Stayed just upstream of all the "pond fishing" anglers and threw a vibrax (chartruese/silver blade, #5). After about 100 casts caught a nice bright 20lb female. Moved out to the point across the confluence and hooked into a large bright red male. This fish broke me off (line was buried, drag useless) but it was holding like a trout behind a log on the silt line.
Checked out Willow Creek...looked pretty slow. Didn't fish but watched for about an hour total. Saw two fish being cleaned, none landed. Several rolling in the silty water but none in the creek (this was true of all the creeks: Montana, Sheep, Willow...saw none holding in creek water).
Decided not to fish Willow so hooke up with buddy and went back to Montana.
Tried the "pond fishing" from 2300 Fri - 0600 Sat...no hook ups (guess I don't know how to do it) and it had slowed down dramatically from fishing earlier. That was enough for me...had to sleep. Got up at noon and drove home.
Met the family at Birch Lake for Father's Day. We caught some nice fish trolling panther martins (#6 yellow with silver blade) on the outside weedlines. There were a ton of small (freshly stocked?) grayling and trout working the edges of the lake where the surface was calm. Caught lots of them with a Griffiths Gnat. Sunday morn woke up and took the nephews fishing. We again caught a ton of small fish, but my father and nephews were able to hook a couple decent trout at 11" and 10.5". My nephews wanted to enter them in the derby...we thought - "long shot, but what could it hurt?" They ended up winning first and second place and got a nice wooden plaque with the date/event on it. That's something they won't forget for a while.
Well, that's it till next report...I see the Chena has come back down to fishable levels...I'll head that way during the week. Next weekend: Chulitna Kings!