Fishing Report: Deshka River Kings

Catching Kings on the Deshka River with two newlyweds on their honeymoon.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 3:39 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Editor’s note: This story was filmed before sport fishing for kings was shut down on the Deshka River June 20-July 13 by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Fishing on the Deshka River is very memorable — not just because the thrill of catching a king salmon is unmatched — but because of the beautiful views. This fishing feport is memorable for a different reason though, as John and Parker Bohon are spending their honeymoon adventuring in Alaska.

“It’s really like, why not Alaska,” Parker Bohon said. “It was just like you wanna go to Alaska? Okay, cool.”

“It was Parker’s idea,” John Bohon said. “I feel like most people go to the beach or do something like that and Parker was like you wanna go to Alaska and I couldn’t say no.”

The newlyweds picked quite the trip to go on with Miller’s Riverboat Service, a morning king fishing trip on the Deshka river. Ben Allen was the guide and got us on the fish early, with Parker hooking into the first king not far from the confluence of the Deshka River and Susitna River. You can’t take the king’s out of their kingdom, so for pictures they have to stay in the water before you release them back.

Once one of the Bohon’s got on a fish it became a challenge, now the other Bohon wanted to get one. We went up the river, stopping periodically at fishing holes and putting into practice a technique called back trolling.

“These salmon, it’s the middle of the day, they do not want to leave this hole,” Allen said. “We are backing these plugs on top of them and they can either get out of the way or they can hit em.”

Slowly backing up the quick fish and vibrax lures worked great as we hooked into seven kings and managed to get five up to the boat to make memories that will last a life time with everyone landing a fish.

This fishing trip took place on June 3. Since then the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has shut down sport fishing on the Dehska drainage due to very low fish counts from June 20-July 13. The ADFG is hoping that shutting it down this season will help the population and have anglers in these waters for years and years to come.

For Miller’s Riverboat Service, they don’t just offer fishing on the Deshka, they also offer trout float trips on the Parks Highway streams and guided lake fishing all across the Matanuska-Susitna Boroug. Even the experienced lake fishermen could learn a thing or two from our guide Ben Allen, who was full of fishing knowledge.

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