by Michael Bales – Head Guide for Alaska Rainbow Lodge
In our last few BLOGs we have moved through the fishing season in Bristol Bay and Katmai National Park. This time we look at Mid August thru September. The last weeks of the fishing season can be quite exciting in Bristol Bay and the surrounding tributaries. Sockeye Salmon are spawning, spawned or starting to spawn. By mid to late August, the Rainbow Trout are now in full “Gorge Mode”, eating as many salmon eggs as possible to prepare for the long winter ahead. Bead and flesh imitating fly fishing continues to be good across the region. You’ll have excellent silver salmon fishing. Some of my key fisheries to visit during late August into September are below:
Day One, Two and Three – Moraine Creek – this is a well known and well documented stream that flows from Spectacle Lake in the tundra to Kukaklek Lake. This utopian stream is famous for its large rainbow trout. Rainbow over 24″ are relatively common on this fishery. This is a destination water for anyone considering an Alaskan fishing trip for Rainbows. There are three sections to target, each section a full day’s fishing.
First, float the lower river in rafts. You’ll stop at key locations during the drift to fish to large rainbow trout feeding on spawning sockeye. There will be plenty of bear activity, so bring your camera, goPro, or iPhone for some amazing photos.
Second, fish Funnel Creek. This a very small stream that feeds into the main stem of the upper section of Moraine Creek. You will see lots of bears on this trip, so again, bring your camera.
And lastly, if you’re up for a good hike, take a third trip to Moraine Creek. You’ll focus on the Crosswind Lake area of the river – essentially the Middle section. Hike up the river and find a fascinating sight – from the bluffs high above, you can see Rainbow Trout feeding as they dart around the pods of Sockeye Salmon. You’ll hike from pool to pool, stopping at select ones to fish for hungry Bows using bead patterns and flesh imitating flies.
Day Four – The Kvichak is ALWAYS a great place to fish this time of the season, The Chum Salmon spawn is wrapping up on the Kvichak River and the Sockeyes are spawning heavily. Drifting egg patterns or swinging big leeches is very effective during this time for large chrome bright Lake Iliamna Rainbows. Some of the largest rainbow trout in Alaska are caught here every season!
Day Five – Fly south to the Egegik River where we keep a jet boat. You’ll chase Silvers fresh from the seas on the tide. These aerobic jumpers will take surface poppers and streamers very aggressively, sometimes charging right to your feet for the strike. You can see them following your fly from twenty to thirty feet away.
Whether you target Rainbow Trout on the Kvichak River, Moraine Creek, or Silvers in Becharof, late August into September offers anglers the chance to fish multiple rivers – way too many to list. This is just another great time to experience what Alaska has to offer. Our next BLOG will cover September fishing so stay tuned.
We’ve posted another one of Ron’s great old stories titled “Hunting Bears & Dodging Game Wardens” on the Alaska Rainbow Lodge website, we hope you enjoy it!