The Orvis “20 Days in September” Challenge – Part 3

An early fall leopard rainbow from the Susitna Drainage.

Last month, Orvis challenged anglers to log 20 days on the water during the month of September. They didn’t have to be full days, just a legitimate attempt at catching fish. Anglers were asked to take a picture from each outing and post it to the Orvis Facebook page with the hashtag #OrvisFlyFishing and #20inSep.

I last wrote about my progress about half way through September, at which point I had logged just six days on the water. I knew I had to put in significant effort if I were to even come close to twenty days on the water. So here is how the second half of September went.  Continue reading “The Orvis “20 Days in September” Challenge – Part 3”


Trip Report: Montana Creek (August 27, 2017)

Rainbow trout caught in upper Montana Creek. Photo: Ben Rowell

We pulled up to Carrs at 8am to grab breakfast and a few snacks for the day. Being a member of the Facebook group Stop Valley Thieves has made me paranoid about leaving anything in the back of a pickup truck, so I threw my gear in the cab, locked the door, and went inside. When we got back to the truck, my fishing partner, Kory, had a slight look of concern on his face. Why? Because I locked the keys in his truck. Definitely not a good way to start a fishing trip. Fortunately, Kory use to steal cars (just kidding) and had us back in the truck in about ten minutes. The day was saved.  Continue reading “Trip Report: Montana Creek (August 27, 2017)”

Trip Report: Willow Creek (July 23, 2017)

Willow Creek rainbow trout taken on a streamer. Photo: Ben Rowell

As I wrote in the last trip report, Willow Creek was very low. At 300cfs, the discharge was about 200cfs below normal. These low water conditions make for a slow float but it was the perfect opportunity to take my 4-year old son down the creek in a raft for the first time. Joining us was Ryan and his 8-year old chocolate lab, Turk.  Continue reading “Trip Report: Willow Creek (July 23, 2017)”

Fish Creek Personal Use Dipnet Fishery to Open Wednesday

adfg-logoThe Fish Creek Personal Use Dipnet Fishery will open at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, 2017, and close at 11:00 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2017. Dipnetting for salmon will be allowed only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. each day.  Continue reading “Fish Creek Personal Use Dipnet Fishery to Open Wednesday”

Trip Report: Willow Creek (July 21, 2017)

8pm on upper Willow Creek. Photo: Ben Rowell

Some were saying last weekend could be the best fishing of the entire season. Salmon are in filling rivers all over the state, trout are still chasing flies while they wait for kings to drop eggs, and lake fishing is excellent. To top it off, the weather forecast called for 75 degrees and sunshine.  Continue reading “Trip Report: Willow Creek (July 21, 2017)”

Trip Report: Willow Creek (July 13, 2017)

A Morrish Mouse fooled this Willow Creek rainbow trout. Photo: Ben Rowell

Dark skies moved over the Talkeetna Mountains and into Wasilla, bringing thunder, lightening, and heavy, but brief, rainfall. Not exactly the weather conditions that gets one excited to drive north to bushwhack into a lightly pressured section of Willow Creek. But knowing  there are protein starved rainbow trout waiting for the king salmon egg drop was enough to ignore the weather. Besides, it was time to throw some mice!  Continue reading “Trip Report: Willow Creek (July 13, 2017)”

Fishing Report Roundup! (July 8, 2017)

Rainbow trout caught in the crystal clear water of Montana Creek. Photo: Ben Rowell

The Fishing Report Roundup gathers reports from around the web for your easy reference. Reports from multiple sources provide you with an idea of what is happening in an area and where to focus your efforts in the upcoming days. Remember that fishing reports state how conditions are on a specific day or week. Conditions can quickly change since first reported.  Continue reading “Fishing Report Roundup! (July 8, 2017)”

Susitna River Drainage Closes to Sport Fishing for King Salmon, Including C&R


Late this afternoon, ADF&G announced the closure of sport fishing for king salmon in the Susitna River drainage beginning July 4. The closure includes targeting kings for catch and release. If a king salmon is hooked while targeting other species, the fish must be kept in the water and released immediately.

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Poor Salmon Runs Have Guides Targeting Trout, Sitting It Out

Last week ADF&G announced two emergency orders limiting opportunities to harvest king salmon. The first banned the use of bait on the Deshka River. The second closed the Little Su to king salmon fishing except for a few upcoming weekends. With such poor returns, some anticipate both rivers closing to all king salmon fishing, including catch and release, as early as this week.  Continue reading “Poor Salmon Runs Have Guides Targeting Trout, Sitting It Out”

Trip Report: Montana Creek (June 11, 2017)

Leopard rainbow trout from Montana Creek. Photo: Ben Rowell

For the second straight year I headed north to Montana Creek on a solo outing the same day as the popular Russian River opener. Last year I saw just one other angler and I expected about the same this year. The weather was partly cloudy heading out of Wasilla with dark skies father north over Talkeetna. Anglers fishing Willow, Little Willow, and Kashwitna were dry but anyone fishing further north was getting wet.   Continue reading “Trip Report: Montana Creek (June 11, 2017)”