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Looking to wet a line? Try these late-fall opportunities

Posted: October 11, 2012 - 11:00pm
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This chrome silver salmon was hooked in Gastineau Channel on Sept. 30. Sea lice can still be seen clinging near the tail.   Courtesy of Alaska Fly Fishing Goods
Courtesy of Alaska Fly Fishing Goods
This chrome silver salmon was hooked in Gastineau Channel on Sept. 30. Sea lice can still be seen clinging near the tail.

Summer seems to be holding on by a thread as recent sunny days have lured many outside — some may even be wondering why they winterized that boat so early, or whether or not the fishing is still worth the effort.

The experts at Alaska Fly Fishing Goods said the answer is still “yes.” Owner Brad Elfers said there are still fish to be had in areas such as Cowee Creek, parts of Gastineau Channel and in local lakes, such as Windfall, where Dolly Varden trout like to spend the winter.

On the topic of silver salmon, Elfers said their numbers aren’t thick and the end of the season is near, but there are reports of fish still coming into Cowee Creek and anglers were reporting fresh fish being caught in the channel around the first of October.

In a recent fly fishing report, Elfers said “roadside silver fishing has been tough compared to the last few seasons. Cowee and Montana are the best bets for these late silvers.”

He said since the influx of sunny weather, water levels of Montana Creek have dropped significantly and Cowee Creek is an angler’s better choice.

Elfers said the best place to still try for silvers in Gastineau Channel is between Nine Mile Creek and Bayview Subdivision. He recommends working the dropping tide for the three hours before the low or on the flood, and the three hours after the low.

“Swinging and stripping clouser minnows in charteuse/white, size 2 and Tutti Fruiti, size 2, and Dolly Llamas in purple/pink, in size 2, are very effective. Look for deeper slots where the fish can hold through the low tide,” he said.

Last season, anglers caught their final cohos on Oct. 14, in the channel, he said.

Dolly varden are another fish to target this time of year.

They’ve disappeared from the rivers, for the most part, but look for them in Dredge Lakes or Windfall Lake, where many dollies overwinter.

“Windfall has decent fishing in the late fall,” Elfers said.

He said he’s heard reports of large numbers of dollies that move in and are ravenous for leech patterns.

“They are all over grabbing streamers,” Elfers said. “Use black, olive ... sometimes try stripping something pink, or maybe an egg-sucking leech. Try sizes 6, 8 and 10.”

If more traditional spots aren’t producing, keep at it, Elfers said. And give lake fishing a shot. The dollies still have to eat.

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