Michael Bales, Head Guide at Alaska Rainbow Lodge

Michael Bales,
Head Guide at Alaska Rainbow Lodge

Guide Confessions: A Few Short Weeks Every Year – the magic of late June and early July in Bristol Bay

Late June and early July is probably my favorite time in Alaska. The days are long and sunny, and just about everything is in bloom. The King Salmon runs are in full swing, the big Leopard Rainbows are chasing salmon smolt and starting to hit dry-flies. It’s a pretty special time here in Alaska. The truth is that we’re not known for dry-fly fishing. But for a few short weeks every year, we will chase Rainbows, Grayling, Arctic Char and Pike on a few special rivers with dry flies.

The Featherly River is one such special place. Here, the water is teaming with huge (up to 21 inch) Grayling. These Grayling are quick to take your fly and put up a great fight. Mixed in with the Grayling are some hefty Arctic Char. And you know how they will fight.

Imagine this perfect week: On one day, we’ll fly to Brooks or Featherly River and dry-fly fish for the day. Then the next day, we’ll fly to the mouth if the Alagnak River and chase the monster King Salmon. Then another day, we’ll fish with streamers and nymphs for Rainbows, Char and Pike. It’s really your choice. But the only time we can do all this is during this special three-week window of late June and early July.

The American, Nushagak, Moose, Moraine, Featherly and Brooks rivers—our home rivers—in Alaska are legendary for quality fishing. Come fish with me this year. I’ll show you something you’ll remember and talk about forever.