Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions

Ketchikan Fishing Minute 09/10/2015

The Ketchikan Fishing Minute for the first full week of September.

Labor Day is the traditional kick off for the fall coho run, and this weekend did not disappoint. I started getting good reports from the guests at Silverking Lodge last Thursday, so we headed out from Clover Pass Resort on Friday morning to see how the bite was coming along. We weren’t hampered by nearly as many shakers as we had seen the last couple of weeks, and the three silvers we pulled on board all had nice size to them. We also hauled in a humpy that day.

2015-09-08 08.14.25


On Tuesday we were back at it, and the fishing was dynamite. By 9 am, I had five nice coho in the boat along with two pinks and a chum. My buddy Oscar also caught two beautiful silvers that morning. On Wednesday, the shoe was on the other foot, as I caught one silver and one pink, while Oscar hauled in two nice silvers, two pinks, and a sockeye. It was my first time seeing a red caught while trolling in saltwater.

There were plenty of boats on the water each day, and everyone around us was catching some nice fish as well. After such an unusual summer, it is nice to see the fall run bringing a bit of normalcy back to the fishing around Ketchikan.

We’ve got more rain coming this weekend, but I will hit the water a couple of times in the next week, and give you another update next Thursday on the Ketchikan Fishing Minute!



Ketchikan Fishing Minute 08/27/2015

The story this week has been all about the shakers. I hit the water on both Tuesday and Wednesday for a few hours in the morning, and we were getting a lot of strikes on both days. Unfortunately, most of the fish we were catching looked like small trout rather than the large coho we’re used to seeing at this time of year. It can be a challenge to find the larger fish when smaller fish are attacking your bait as soon as its in the water. On Tuesday, our efforts were rewarded with a single silver that had decent size to it. and on Wednesday, we caught a couple of nice coho, a very hefty chum salmon, and one pink that was starting to get pretty ugly.

I was using a few different hoochies each day. It seemed when the bite died off a bit, I could switch from one color to another and get the strikes to resume. Pink has been strong, as usual, but white, blue and green have been productive as well.

The forecast calls for two to three inches of rain for our area between now and Saturday morning. Hopefully that will get the fish moving and we’ll see a big push of our fall coho run move into the area around Clover Pass Resort.

I will hit the water again a couple of times over the next week and give you another update next Thursday on the Ketchikan Fishing Minute.



Ketchikan Fishing Minute 08/20/2015

It’s time for another Ketchikan Fishing Minute, this one looking back on the third week of August 2015.

fly fishing

This week, I was afforded the opportunity to experience Alaska in a whole new way. On Friday, I boarded a float plane with guide Rick Collins and pilot Steve Kamm and headed out to McDonald Lake for some freshwater fly fishing. After about a thirty minute flight, we touched down on the north end of the lake. There we used an eight-weight fly rod to cast out to spawning pinks, sockeye, and coho. This was my first time fly fishing, and thanks to great instruction from Rick, I did get the hang of it pretty quickly. After a couple hours fishing salmon, we switched over to lighter tackle and waded up the creek for trout. We hit two or three different spots along the way, catching mostly rainbows, with Ryan Thompson landing a nice one about twenty inches long. Mike Teuscher even got a strike from a king salmon, but our three-weight rods were too light to land a fish that size. The experience was one of my favorites since coming to Alaska, and I would highly recommend a fly out trip for a day of freshwater fishing to anyone visiting Ketchikan. Even if you only do it once in your lifetime, it is an experience you do not want to miss out on.

I also got out on the saltwater on Sunday. we fished Vallenar Bay and Grant Cove primarily, pulling out three silvers and three pinks before the day was through. We spent a lot of our time shaking off little salmon, but the fish we did keep had good size to them.

I will be out again over the next few days, so check back next Thursday for another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.


Ketchikan Fishing Minute – 08/13/2015


The latest Ketchikan Fishing Minute, this one looking back on the second week of August.


Guests at Silverking Lodge have been doing well fishing the back side of Grant Island, and as usual, guests that have been out with our guides have been bringing in some really nice fish, including this fifty five pound king salmon brought to the dock at Clover Pass Resort.

big king

I had a busy week this week, and honestly, I did not get on the water too much. Guests at Clover Pass Resort have reported better fishing in Vallenar Bay, so when I went out on Friday, we shot straight over there. I only had ninety minutes to fish on Friday, so I wanted to get on them quickly. Right away, we had two pinks on board, and before we headed back to the dock, we also caught a nice silver. On Tuesday, I was back at it from a Livingston skiff. Again, I didn’t have much time, but the small cove north of Pup Island produced one humpy and another nice coho. Lately I have been using very small hoochies, and having some success with those. Also it seems that pink hoochie, green flasher combination is attracting more strikes.


I will be fishing most of the day on Sunday, and at least one other morning this week, so tune in next Thursday for another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.

Ketchikan Fishing Minute 08/06/2015

It seems that fish are finally moving closer to town. Typically when August arrives, we see pink salmon start to move into the streams, leaving mostly silvers out in the saltwater. This year has been unusual however, and it seems all of the species have been a bit late to get here. I had family in town this week, and was out on the water with them all day on Saturday and for most of Sunday morning. We headed south of Vallenar Bay to Grant Cove and the bite was on! Unfortunately, there wasn’t a coho to be found on Saturday, but we had our limit of pinks by 10:00 am.

When I was out on the charter last week, we were having much more success on the deeper trolls than the shallower lines, so I tried to copy that in the yellow boat this week. On Sunday however, my brother-in-law caught his first silver right on top of the water before we could even hook his line to the downrigger. After that, we pretty much retired the downriggers and started trolling with banana weights. We still caught our limit of pinks on sunday, but we also added three coho to the box.

I will be fishing from the Livingstons a couple of times over the next few days, so check back on Thursday for another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.



66th Annual Ketchikan King Salmon Derby Under Way!

The salmon season officially began this past weekend as the 66th Annual Ketchikan King Salmon Derby kicked off on Saturday. This year’s ladder totals more than $90,000 in prizes for participants, including the $10,000 grand prize for catching the largest king! Communities all over Alaska take great pride in their annual King Salmon derbies, and Ketchikan is no exception. This year’s derby starts, as usual, on Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27), then continues for the next two weekends in June (June 1-2 & 8-9). Michael Briggs caught the first fish of the derby on Saturday, a 28.3 lb king salmon. That fish tumbled down the leader board as the weekend progressed however, and Michael currently finds himself sitting in 8th place with two weekends left to fish. Ketchikan local Brian Thompson is the derby leader after the first weekend. His 40.0 lb king was weighed at Clover Pass Resort on Sunday morning. This fish would have finished in 2nd place had it been turned in last year. We will see if Brian can hold on to the top spot for two more weeks! Beyond the cash prize of $10,000 for winning this year’s derby, there are another thirty prizes available on the adult ladder, ten spots are up for grabs on the youth ladder, plus there are special prizes like hidden weights, largest fish caught from a skiff 16′ or smaller, permanent license holders, and more!! Adult tickets are only $35, and kids fish the derby for free when accompanied by an adult ticket holder. For more information, visit the derby website or Facebook page!!

And don’t forget, derby participants can have their catch processed by Clover Pass Resort or The Cedars Lodge for FREE when they present their valid derby ticket.

Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions Assists Oregon Youth on Texas Hunt!

Through the work of the Washington Outdoor Adventure Foundation, Natalie Hill recently found herself on elk hunt in Texas. Natalie, of Coos Bay, Oregon, first developed cancer in her right knee. After removal of her right leg, Natalie was fitted with a new knee and prosthetic leg. Unfortunately, the cancer then spread to Natalie’s lungs.

Natalie Hill with Elk

The Washington Outdoor Adventure Foundation was contacted in December and told that Natalie’s dream was to harvest a nice elk. The Foundation contacted many hunting operations in Washington, Oregon, and other neighboring states before finding a ranch in Texas that could host the hunt on very short notice. Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions was able to assist in fulfilling Natalie’s dream by sharing the expense of the hunt with the ranch, the Washington Outdoor Adventure Foundation, and others.

The hunt was a great success! In addition to the 7-6 Bull Elk that Natalie took down, she was also able to harvest a gemsbok. After five or six stalks, Natalie was able to put the animal down with a terrific shot!

Natalie Hill with Gemsbok

The Outdoor Adventure Foundation provides hunting and fishing adventures for children under the age of 18 and young adults under the age of 25 with cancer or other life threatening illness. They also provide hunting and fishing adventures for disabled veterans under the age of 40 that are wheelchair bound caused by injury during active service or who have lost a limb during active service. The hunts include big game hunts such as deer, elk, moose, bear and also small game including duck, goose, pheasant and quail. The fishing trips are fresh and saltwater species of many kinds including bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie, salmon, halibut trout and others.

Natalie Hill at Circle E Ranch

Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions is proud to have helped Natalie realize a dream, and proud to support organizations like the Outdoor Adventure Foundation.

Georgia Pellegrini appearing at 2012 Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic!

Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions is pleased to announce that author and chef Georgia Pellegrini will be attending this year’s Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic at Clover Pass Resort in Ketchikan, Alaska. In addition to participating in the one-day pink salmon derby, Georgia will be attending the seminars and leading the salmon cooking demonstration.

Georgia graduated from the French Culinary Institute before working in “farm to table” restaurants in the U.S. and France, where she drove the heavy farm equipment, harvested the meat and plants for dinner, and prepared the evening’s meal with products fresh from the farm. From these restaurants, she built relationships with the salami makers, fig collectors, and other foragers that arrived at the restaurants. She would journey with these people into the woods and over rolling hills as they collected their ingredients and preserved the food traditions of their regions. The stories collected during this time resulted in Georgia’s first book, “Food Heroes”, which describes the traditions of sixteen culinary artisans across the world.

It was at this time that Georgia decided to get to the heart of where our food comes from – Mother Nature. She bought a shotgun and set her sites on the cutting edge of culinary creativity, weaving the lessons learned in school with the satisfaction of living off the land. These experiences resulted in a second book, “Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time”. The book was named a Best Book of the Month by Amazon and has also been lauded in the New York Times, among many other publications.

The Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic is in its second year, following a successful debut in 2011. In addition to the one day pink salmon derby that concludes the trip, participants will be introduced to their Alaskan fishing experience with a day of guided fishing in the waters surrounding the resort, followed by two days of self-guided fishing for salmon, halibut, and bottom fish from one of Clover Pass Resort’s 20’ covered aluminum Thunder Jet boats. The event will include fishing-related workshops designed to not only introduce Southeast Alaska fishing techniques to potential first-time fisherwomen, but to also improve the techniques of ladies that have extensive experience fishing in Alaska.

Entry fees for the event are $1,800 per person. Ten percent of each entry fee will be donated to charity, with five percent being donated towards breast cancer research, and the other five percent being donated to the derby winner’s charity of choice. Included with each entry fee is five night’s accommodations, ground transfers to and from the resort, all meals, one day of guided fishing, three days boat rental, bait and tackle, and fish processing for each person’s catch. In addition, each participant will receive fishing workshops, dockside demonstrations by the resort’s world-class staff, a pedicure, a thirty-minute massage, and a Ketchikan welcome basket.

Clover Pass Resort is one of the longest operating fishing lodges in the State of Alaska, opening its doors in the early 1950’s. The resort is located on the road system about 12 miles north of downtown Ketchikan and on the shores of Clover Passage, a corridor for salmon returning to their spawning grounds each summer. All five types of pacific salmon, halibut, rock fish, and ling cod are available in the waters around Ketchikan. The resort has capacity for 60 guests, with a restaurant, marina, and RV park.