Whale Pass

Halibut, Cod and Salmon

John Kumiski June 28, 2015

It’s not really the end of June yet, there being two more days in the month at the time of this writing. However, it certainly will be the last fishing report posted by me in June 2015, so it is the End of June Whale Pass Fishing Report.

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Photo: This is how some Alaska drivers decorate their vehicles, in this case a Ford Ranger – spottedtail.com

It started last Sunday afternoon when I took wife Susan and Ethan Ryter up into Barnes Lake. The stretch of stream between Barnes and Sweetwater Lakes is the only one I’ve ever fished that has a reversing flow. As the tide comes in it flows one way. As the tide drops it flows the other way, in my experience a unique place to fish. The coastal cutthroat trout were biting and we caught some on both fly and spin tackle. If last year is any indication they will soon be gone, following the salmon smolts out to sea.

After we left there we went to Neck Lake Outlet, where fishing has been tough. We did get a silver salmon on a hootchie, though, and Sue posed with it.

I’ve guided parties of fly fishers to Neck Lake Outlet three times this week and we did not get a bite. This morning’s excursion was the first time we were sure that we were casting to fish. It was the first time we’ve been able to see them in the water this season. The salmon run is late, and nowhere near as strong as last year’s. The weather has been dry (for southeast Alaska) and the streams are all low, perhaps the cause of the less than enthusiastic salmon in Neck Lake Outlet.

On Thursday we took a party of four out on the Blashke for some halibut fishing. The Blashke had been being used for glacier trips and did not have all the requisite fishing implemenets on board, as we discovered when Bob C. hooked a nice ‘but. No net. No gaff.

Mick had a cod on at the same time. The two lines got all tangled. I was able to get the cod on board and untangle the lines so Bob could keep fighting his fish. We decided I would try and get my hand in its gills and haul it aboard, not exactly standard operating procedure. First try did not work, and the fish ran back into the depths. Second try did not work, nor did the third, fourth, or fifth. The hook had worn quite a large hole in the fish’s jaw by the time I was finally able to get my hand into the fish and pull it onto the boat. Bob was very happy, as was I!

All the anglers managed to get a halibut, along with numerous cod and a silver salmon, a pretty good day for everyone.

Saturday the Wilson family from Nevada joined me for some salmon fishng at Neck Lake Outlet. We hooked and lost two silvers, broke one off, and landed one about eight pounds, all on a pink hootchie. The increase in the number of fish was encouraging!

And that is the End of June Whale Pass Fishing Report from Spotted Tail. I’ll be back in July!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

Contact Info:
John Kumiski
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