Mid-August Whale Pass Fishing Report

The season at the Lodge at Whale Pass fairly hurtles towards its conclusion. Please enjoy this Whale Pass Fishing Report. Every day now we lose four or five minutes of daylight. It’s dark at bedtime now!

Some thought has been given to what the highlights of the season have been. I have several candidates, but since I have two weeks left here I’m not yet willing to share. There is so much that enchants me in this misty, watery, mountainous place. Who knows what the next two weeks will bring?

I’m sure missing all the election nonsense will be high on the highlight list. I don’t look forward to going home to that. The lack of television, telephone, and internet here is mostly a blessing. Talking to my bride more often would be so nice, though.

The pink salmon run in the 108 Creek is in full swing. Hundreds of new fish enter this small creek every day. Black bears take advantage of this incredible bounty. My last three trips to the Cable Hole have resulted in bear sightings, all of which have been memorable. Twice bears sauntered across a fallen log which spans the creek. The second bear held a salmon in its jaws. Their claws must be an aid in this endeavor, for I am sure that if I tried the same stunt there would be a loud scream followed by a big splash.

A couple weeks ago Alex, Allison, Matinicus, and I went to Memorial Beach on a fact-gathering mission, concerning fishing at the beach and at several of the creeks between here and there. Although we got some dollies, we’ve seen the fishing be better.

Alex with a memorial Beach Dolly varden.


This was the first fish Matinicus ever caught with a fly rod.


Heart-shaped leaves make for a St. Patrick’s Day valentine.


Miss Allison was more interested in shelling than fishing.

We stopped at the Black Bear General Store on the way back to the Lodge. Grocer Don was dressing out a blacktail deer buck he’d just shot and very generously gave me a backstrap. I must say, it was very delicious, sauteed with onions and sweet peppers and eaten in a fresh bread roll. Thank you, Don!

Yours truly is still running trips to the LeConte Glacier.

On a west-side trip I found a message in a bottle at the boat ramp. I gave it to my guests, who live in London. They left the bottle here at the Lodge. I opened it and answered the note inside, written by an eleven year old in Wrangell, Alaska. I have not yet tossed the bottle back into the sea, but intend to at my next opportunity.

Shell Island, our destination on the west side of Prince of Wales Island.

The silver salmon run never did amount to much in this part of Alaska, although my understanding is that other parts of this gigantic state have had record runs. Hopefully, next year will be better. I hope I’m fortunate enough to be here again to find out.

And that is the Mid-August Whale Pass Fishing Report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski

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