Yakutat steelhead fishing is among the finest in Alaska. The Situk River is recognized at having the largest run of steelhead in the Great Land and it’s also got some big specimens. Buck steelhead that are 36 inches and larger are caught each year, with an occasional fish coming close to the 40-inch mark. A 20-pound steelhead is possible in the Situk if you are willing and able to put in the time over many seasons.
The Situk River
In addition to wild steelhead, the river holds Dolly Varden char, resident rainbow trout, and migratory runs of king, sockeye, coho and pink salmon. Anglers can stay busy catching fish from April through September on the Situk River when you come fish with one of our expert guides. The 14-mile Situk River float winds through spectacular old-growth timber, in a rainforest filled with resident animals like bears, moose and eagles. To have the best chance at catching fish on the Situk, we strongly encourage that you hire one of our river guides to row the 14-mile float and dial you into the best fishing techniques.
Yakutat steelhead fishing has been technical so far this year. Low water and crystal-clear conditions have enhanced the challenge. Still, there’s plenty of chrome steelies to be found. We began fishing the river in early April, and were able to tail many nice incoming fish. Several in the 36-inch class were landed, with one brute taping at 36 inches long with a rotund 20-inch girth. We figured this fish was approaching 20 pounds. Early season fish came to hand on an assortment of offerings: 1/4-ounce jigs (Nightmare pattern was particularly effective) under bobbers; 3- to 4-inch plastic worms on jig heads under bobbers; and on side-drifted aeropuffs.
From the beginning of April through the 27th, water conditions were very tough with low flows and super clear water. Fishing has definitely been picking up this past week or so. The river got a shot of rain that raised the river up to good levels, then the area got about 3 inches of rain. Our guides fished yesterday, May 2, and said it was blown out with very poor visibility throughout the entire system and very poor numbers for them. The May 3 report was better fishing, but still not banner. As the river comes back into shape, fishing should get good.
The guides have been averaging double-digit chances each trip, with 20-30 chances on better days. It seems like the spring spawn is on as the bucks are staging on redds and hens are beginning to dig in the upper system. There has been a steady amount of boats in the system this past week….26 was the highest day we saw. As of May 2, wade fishing may be tough for the next day or so but the boat guys should start to do very well with this shot of rain and the steady drop we’re headed for with a few days of decent weather. When Yakutat steelhead fishing reaches that sweet spot where fish numbers are good and water conditions are right, then bent rods and happy fishermen holding steelhead for pictures are the norm.
Steelhead fishing will continue into the middle of May, and then we will slowly begin to transition to fishing for salmon. Ocean-bound anglers will have good chances to catch halibut, king salmon, lingcod and rockfish. There’s still time to come enjoy Yakutat steelhead fishing this year, but don’t delay. Since the river is the best in Alaska for steelhead numbers, and there’s always a chance that the next fish may be a bruiser, we highly recommend you plan in advance and book a 2024 Yakutat steelhead fishing trip to Yakutat Lodge.
Contact us to plan your Yakutat steelhead fishing trip!