SRC: Timing?


Proud to Be Alaskan
Might get to do some SRC fishing out of whittier next week and I'm wondering what people who have actully fished for SRC's think about where I should fish the bay or the stream right now I'm thinking the stream due to prespawn and smolts going out. What do you guys think?


Proud to Be Alaskan
Eshmay definately has pinks but it also has alot of sockeye and a big lake as far as I know the cutts spend the winter in the lake spawn, go out to sea for a bit then follow the salmon back up... By working the edges you mean weed beds and structure or tidal rips?



Active Member
Your Alaskan Cutthroat behave quite a bit differently than our fish here in Puget Sound.

It is my understanding that virtually all the adult cutthroat in SE over-winter in those large lakes. Some of the adults will be spawning in the tribs of the lake but many will also be spawning in the various tribs that enter the salt directly in the area of the lake's oulet to the salt. As the cutts reach their time to spawn they drop into the salt and migrate (sometimes significant number of miles) to their natal streams for spawning.

Not having ever fished in that region I'm just guessing at the best strategy but I would think fishing the various points and mouths of small streams either side of the lake's outlet could be productivity. You would be intecepting fish moving from the lake to spawn and post spawn fish that have either drop out from the lake or the independent tribs. I would focus on either side of the high tide fishing the side of the point or creek mouth that has the best "rip". For a fly I would start with a small 1 1/2 inch baitfish type streamer fished on a floating line.

Fishing the outlet river may provide acces to the pre-spawn and post spawn fishing leaving the lake and at this time year that may be good as well. If all you find are the small smolts you likely missed the adult migration and drop to the salt.

Some of our more expert anglers here may have better input on the best strategy.

Should be fun and it will interesting to hear what you find.
S malma
I've fished southeast Alaska several times in the spring and at about this time of year found chum and pink fry swarming downstream in every river on Prince of Wales Island. They are also dropping out of lakes after overwintering. You will also find Dolly Varden awaiting the fry hatch; probably more Dollys than coastal cutthroat. A friend, Dan Lemaich and I developed the Thorne River Emerger for this fishing and it has been a winner. It is effective all the way down to the estuary beaches. You just hang out and wait for the surface to erupt which means a swarm of fry are in the area and the Cutts and Dollys are all over them. Just chuck in your fly and give it a couple of yanks. This fishery is detailed in my book "Fly-Fishing Coastal Cutthroat Trout". There is in fact a complete chapter on Alaska.

Good Fishing.
Les Johnson

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Anyone who is interested in Fly Fishing for Coastal Cutthroats can obtain the masters degree in this subject by reading Les Johnsons new book. It has a wealth of information and will become a well worn reference to those pursuing this awesome fish. We are fortunate to have someone with Les' knowledge so willing to share it with us on this site. Check out the Thorne River Emerger. It is a great fly. You should also check out Jim Koolick's nothing with an attitude. It works very well as a dropper from Leland Miyawaki's Beach Popper. Both of those flies are also detailed in Les' book. There is nothing like having a large SRC come up and nail the Popper on the surface.


Proud to Be Alaskan
Thanks for the info guys we'll definately have to go check it out might be more fun then rockfishing. Hopefully this weather will hold and it will feel like june, and fish like august :)

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