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

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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”

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Trip Report: Willow Creek (July 23, 2017)

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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)”

Trip Report: Willow Creek (July 21, 2017)

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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)

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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)

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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)”

Fishing Report Roundup! (June 3, 2017)

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A Susitna watershed grayling fell for a smolt pattern. 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.

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While king salmon fishing has been slow, the bite was on when the skies opened up Sunday afternoon. Just ask the folks from Drifterz Paradise, who caught and released a two beautiful fish.  Continue reading “Fishing Report Roundup! (June 3, 2017)”

Evening Run

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Google Maps shows the river is that way. Photo: Ben Rowell

Our plan was to drive Highway 3 to Talkeetna to search for open water, but with a late start (6:30pm) and an optimistic fishing report for a different spot, we called an audible. Talkeetna would have to wait. Tonight we’re fishing highway streams.  Continue reading “Evening Run”

Fishing Report Roundup! (April 29, 2017)

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Wetting a line as the sun sets in the Mat-Su Valley. 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 single day or week. Conditions can quickly change since first reported.  Continue reading “Fishing Report Roundup! (April 29, 2017)”

Fishing Report Roundup! (April 22, 2017)

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 single day or week. Conditions can quickly change since first reported.  Continue reading “Fishing Report Roundup! (April 22, 2017)”

For The People’s Paper: Keep ’em Wet to Conserve Mat-Su’s Resident Fish

By Chad Gage
Photographing fish in the water is easier on the fish and makes for a more interesting composition. Photo: Chad Gage

Last month I read a Facebook post by Keepemwet Fishing encouraging me to sign up for their newsletter. I clicked, explored the website, and was inspired to share their three principles for catch and release fishing.

Around the same time, I reread research on resident species in the Susitna River drainage. The research included depressing results in regards to deformities of rainbow trout in Willow and Montana Creeks due to catch and release fishing.

With these two reads in my mind, I wrote Keep ’em Wet to Conserve Mat-Su’s Resident Species.

A reader pointed out that the research I reference has been published. If you fish Susitna River tributaries, I recommend you read Seasonal movements and habitat use of rainbow trout in the Susitna River basin, southcentral Alaska  by Kevin Fraley.
Continue reading “For The People’s Paper: Keep ’em Wet to Conserve Mat-Su’s Resident Fish”