Area Sport Fishing Reports
September 9, 2022
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Resident freshwater species
High water has been a hindrance through much of the season, and August tends to have more rain than other months. This was especially true for this year. Many of the Kuskokwim area freshwater drainages are prone to high and turbid water conditions very quickly after a period of heavy rain.
There are many guides and outfitters that provide excellent services and opportunities throughout the Kuskokwim-Goodnews area. Operations are more normal after a drastic decrease in business and operations in 2020 due to Covid-19. If you have made arrangements with any of these services for fishing this season, please touch base with them prior to your travel to ensure you are able to be compliant with the Covid-19 precautions that their business or local communities may require.
Sheefish fishing in the fall is usually good as they move upriver in preparation for spawning. Fishing has been reported to be good at the mouth of the Aniak River, and the lower Holitna River from the mouth to near the conjunction of the Hoholitna River. Fishermen have been using large smolt patterns and large colorful spoons as well as diving lures with great success.
Rainbow trout fishing has been relatively poor in the lower Kuskokwim River tributaries (Kisaralik, Kwethluk, Kasigluk and Aniak rivers), as well as the Kuskokwim Bay tributaries (Kanektok, Goodnews, and Arolik rivers), due to continued high water. Most fishermen have been using salmon flesh-colored flies or similarly colored spinning gear, or light colored jigs to some success.
Dolly Varden fishing has been consistent throughout the area, even as high water conditions have hampered the catch and harvest of other species.
Arctic grayling are found in similar locations and conditions, generally in fast-moving water in clearwater tributaries.
Northern pike fishing can be world-class because pike are not often targeted in this drainage, and they inhabit large waters with plenty of room and forage to grow. The bigger fish often tend to occupy clearwater mouths or connected slough complexes along the mainstem Kuskokwim River. Anything that imitates prey and attracts attention will work. Crocodiles and larges spoons work anytime, and topwater lures such as jitterbugs and large fly patterns work best in the late evening under the midnight sun when the large pike will lurk in the warm surface waters.
Sport fishing for king salmon closed for the season on July 25.
The chum salmon run has been low and sport fishing has been closed in the Kuskokwim River drainage. This includes catch-and-release. However, the Kuskokwim Bay drainages remain open to sport fishing for chum salmon.
Coho salmon reports indicate that they returned in good numbers. After the season-long closure for king salmon in the Kuskokwim River drainages, sport fishermen are eager to catch some coho salmon! They are easily catchable using large, flashy spoons for spinning gear, or any comparably flashy fly-fishing gear. They are commonly caught throughout the clearwater tributaries of the Kuskokwim River and Kuskokwim Bay, but within the Kuskokwim River sport fishers often concentrate their effort at the mixing zones where the clearwater streams mix with the glacially turbid waters of the Kuskokwim River.
Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip:
For More Information
Call the Kuskokwim Goodnews Area Manager John Chythlook at (907) 459-7361.
Don’t forget to bring your 2021 sport fishing license. Help maximize social distancing by purchasing your sport fishing license at the ADF&G Online Store and printing it off from the comfort of your home. Also, be sure to review Emergency Orders and the 2021 Northern Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for the area you are fishing in before you head out.