Swinging For Steelhead Trip Report

2021 steelhead yakutat

Guide: Jolynne Howard

When fly fishing talk turns to catching big big Steelhead trout, the Situk River is one of the best destinations in the world. Nowhere can you find bigger specimens fresh from the ocean or on an out-migration from Situk Lake. What drives these rainbow trout to go out to sea and return behemoth size? We were about to find out on the Womens Fly Fishing Swinging for Steelhead 2021.

This trip was slated for early May 2021 but the excitement began much earlier with emails and fly tying and YouTube videos to stir anticipation. When the day finally came, our group gathered at the YAK airport for a quick shuttle to Glacier Bear Lodge, which was our home base for the next four days. We were equipped with a van for sight seeing and snack runs.

Fishing required an early start to be first on the river. Six anglers paired off two to a boat with experienced guides on the oars. From the 9-Mile Bridge to take-out point, Situk is a 14 mile drift. We fished strategic holes next to downed trees and channels along cutbanks. We fished log jams and riffles. We fished it all.  (We did not fish near the many many fresh redds found in the river each day.)



Early on, Electa and Lyndel proved top anglers. Jim, Angie and Shannon were not far behind. Most steelhead we caught were in the 30-35 inch range and bright bright chrome. Yarn flies and beads were most effective. Did I say bright Wow! These large powerful fish were all our 8-weight rods could handle. The first strong tug was all it took to spark an obsession with these magnificent steelhead trout. Landing the steelhead required some technique - we termed it "getting medieval" - to keep them from tangling in wood piles and other safe spots.

This trip is an opportunity to take your fly fishing skills to the next level.  
We had comfortable accommodations and plenty of delicious food. It was great and you should come next year! I will be dreaming of those big fish and anticipating the next tug. 



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