June 18 – 25, 2023 #1
Welcome to the first Lava Creek Lodge, AK Fishing Report:
Throughout our time here this season, we’ve been enjoying the incredible meals prepared each day by Chef Betty and have even gotten in a couple of rounds of tundra golf. Ptarmigan, sandhill cranes, and red foxes are consistently roaming close to camp and small herds of caribou occasionally wander by. Last week, guides and guests spotted a few bears and a wolf on the river. The wildlife viewing opportunities here rarely disappoint.
Pods of kings are pushing into the river each day and we’re consistently finding holding fish in predictable locations. While some days have been better than others, the fishing has been steady for the last week. For the most part, the fish have been dime-bright and some are still covered in sea lice – a constant reminder of how fresh these fish are from the ocean.
Long time guest Steve and Kathy had the hot hand all week and averaged 7 fish per angler per day, not to be out done Sandy and Everett had the biggest day yet this year with 25 plus kings to the net in one day. While these numbers are rare, they do happen a couple times per year when all the stars align, our average for the week was 6 fish per angler a day.
Additionally, we’ve had a couple of solid days on a nearby river that we’re able to access by floatplane when the weather permits. While flyouts are never a guarantee, they can be a fun option to mix up the fishing and see some new water.
Flies and Equipment:
The fish are grabby, and there has been no single color or style that has worked best. If you have a favorite fly for kings, bring it and fish it with confidence. If not, the guides have a healthy selection that will get the job done.
Eight and nine-weight spey rods are the way to go up here. Single-hand fishing is an option, but two-handers make casting all day a much more pleasant experience, not to mention that they are able to handle windy conditions more effectively. Skagit lines with light MOW tips are working great for us at the present. Our waters are relatively shallow, and there is no need for heavy tips with double-handed rod or single-handed rod.
After a really cold and late spring thigs are starting to get back to normal here, the rivers were all really high the first week of the season but are getting back to normal levels now. The water was in the low 40s to start the season and has warmed to the low 50s now. Our temps are getting back to normal now and everything is starting to get green, and it feels like summer now!
We’ve had a mixed bag of weather, which is to be expected in Alaska. Wind and rain are ever-present, but we’ve had some beautiful, calm days as well. Make sure to bring layers for cold, wet, conditions because they are always a possibility.
Things are shaping up nicely for the coming weeks and we are seeing more fish on every tide, the run seems to be a little late all over South West Alaska this year, but we are getting big pushes or kings on every tide.
Looking forward to seeing in Alaska soon,
Phil Byrd and the Lava Creek Lodge Team