Alaska welcomes a considerable warming trend throughout the month of May. The Lake Creek valley is no exception with temperatures climbing into the 60s by midday. Substantial mountain snowmelts cause our river to crest almost overnight in the early part of the month. Massive iceflows from Chelatna Lake roar down Lake Creek, carving new channels, creating gravel bars, islands and cutbanks. This spring rebirth cleanses and reconfigures the awesome diversity of our scenic waterway. As water levels subside following spring melt-off, clarity clears and a feeding frenzy of hungry rainbow trout and arctic grayling kicks off a fast-paced and exciting start to the summer season. Salmon smolt (baby salmon) running to the ocean is the first big food source for 'bows and grayling.
Rainbow Trout fishing is awesome in early June! Native rainbows congregate in the lower river to feed heavily on migrating salmon smolt kicking off their first giant feeding frenzy of the summer. For trout enthusiasts, definitely consider the first few weeks of June for a phenomenal trout fishing experience combined with king salmon. Cold spring water flows welcome the first of the King (Chinook) salmon into the Lake Creek system by June 1 of each year. Fresh, chrome-bright kings stack up at the confluence of the creek and the glacial Yentna River. Spin fishermen access a bottleneck of fresh water, finding success fishing kings with spoons or plugs in deepwater holes. Arctic Grayling fishing is also good to excellent during the first two weeks of June. Both trout and grayling are targeted by spin and fly fishing methods with exceptional results.
By June 10, king salmon begin to find their way into the lower sections of Lake Creek, with some of the finest fishing just minutes from our fishing lodge. We prefer to fish kings from the shoreline gravel bars, midstream island and other wadeable territory within reach of deepwater runs that kings prefer and congregate within. As water levels recede we see an increase in fish numbers daily. Alaska fly fishing enthusiasts have found our river to be a very enjoyable and productive river to tackle these large migratory salmon. We often fish heavy 500-650 grain sink-tip fly lines to drift a fly at eye-level with the kings in the deepwater slots. Channel convergences and seam lines hold large pockets of king salmon and provide excellent ambush points for the fly fisherman. Spin fishermen target the same stretches of river by fishing drift rigs such as corky floaters or spin-glos. Drift rigs are fished off the very bottom of the river and are an excellent way to consistently present lures to running salmon while covering a substantial amount of water in the process. Trout fishing remains excellent during this time. fly fishing and spin fishermen are both very successful catching dozens of trout 14 - 22".
As Lake Creek subsides into the latter stages of June in Alaska, water clarity lightens and many of the king salmon are visible along the river bottom. By this time, kings are spread throughout the lower 6 miles of Lake Creek and a variety of locations are available to fish on a daily basis. Our guides navigate the river by jetboat to our favorite fishing holes where we fish from shore in pursuit of the king salmon, 20-60lbs on average in Lake Creek. The versatility of our river, the many diverse channels, gravel bars and cutbanks provide an excellent opportunity to tackle these world-class fish in a glorified blue-ribbon trout stream setting.
Alaska rainbow trout fishing as mentioned above, is awesome during early and mid-June. Our resident, native trout population is substantial and trout eagerly feed after the long overwinter period in the headwaters of the river at Lake Chelatna. Migrating salmon smolt swim downstream to the ocean in late May through mid-July and provide the main forage source for rainbow trout. Fly fishermen focus on smolt/minnow imitators fished on the drift or retrieve in deepwater holes below runs and gravel riffles. Spin fishermen imitate smolt with blue/silver attractor patterns such as vibrax spinners and splitshot streamer rigs. Rainbow fishing exceptional during this period of June.
Overall, June Alaska fishing is excellent for spin and fly fishermen to target native rainbow trout, arctic grayling and huge king salmon in a classic mountain-fed stream. The ability to catch a 40 pound salmon in a swiftwater pattern successfully is an opportunity few places in the fishing world offer. We're blessed with a great river, an excellent fishery and beautiful weather to boot.
Browse further categories on our Alaska fishing resource page to learn more about our techniques for fishing king salmon and rainbow trout. We also update our photos often to provide a visual resource of your experience at Wilderness Place Lodge in June.
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