Still undecided on when to go to Alaska for your dream fishing trip this year? As discussed in our last blog, we’ll try to help shed some light on the fishing season during the summers in Alaska. In this Blog we will cover six days of fishing in late June to early July time-frame in Bristol Bay, Katmai Park and the Becharofs. This is a time of transition when the salmon start to arrive into the region.
Sockeyes and Kings are flooding into the various drainages to start their spawning process for the summer. The other species that rely on this food source such as the char and rainbow trout, not to mention the bears and birds know it…They have been waiting all winter for this annual migration.
Late June fishing in Bristol Bay into early July can offer some of the most diverse fishing of the year. The salmon have started their runs into the various systems in Bristol bay which can make for some prime fishing. As we continue to progress thru the season, things change rapidly. In June there were NO salmon in the area streams, rivers and creeks and all of the fishing has been focusing on early season tactics. Late June brings the massive King run to the Nushagak district and the Mulchahtna drainage.
These kings will travel hundreds of miles to reach their spawning grounds. AS they do this, the trout, char and grayling in the region will be hungrily waiting. The Kings will have avoided predators at sea, commercial fishing fleets and the random sport fisherman who is lucky enough to be here to witness the largest salmon run in the world and perhaps do battle with one of these beautiful fish. A multitude of options are available during this timeframe, here is a list of the places to fish and the different tactics used during this time of year.
One -King Salmon fishing the famous Nushagak River – Spend the morning swinging flies with the spey Rod for bright Chrome Kings on the tide and return to our riverside tent camp for a freshly prepared lunch out of the elements and a warm fire. After a coffee or two, anglers and guides can get into the boats, move upriver and troll conventional tackle such as plugs and lures for more arm bending action.
Two-Spend the morning targeting a few sockeyes on the fly rod, Catch a few of these on the fly and you’ll never forget the fight, we will freeze or smoke a few filets for you to take home, then take the to swinging Leeches for rainbow trout on our home river, the Kvichak(Always an option for those wanting to target large lake run rainbows). The Kvichak’s Sockeye Salmon run numbers into the millions. The Sockeyes annual migration takes them right by the lodge, providing great angling opportunities and an impressive display of nature’s bounty.
Three-Hike into many one of the small creeks in the Becharofs to sight fish for hard charging arctic char and monster grayling on dry flies and leeches. Contact and Featherly creek are two great options. Fishing under blue skies with volcanoes on the horizon can make for a great day in Alaska. Here you can try twitching buggers and streamers out of the brush and watch these hungry fish attach your fly.
Four-Upper Alagnak via Jet boat, fish for sockeye salmon, rainbow, trout and grayling throughout the day. The Alagnak river, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River that originates in Katmai National Park and Preserve, is a fisherman’s paradise and the most popular fishing float trip in the Bristol Bay region. From it’s headwaters at Kukaklek or Nonvianuk Lake, it is a 75 mile Class I and II river with one Class III canyon that is a mile long and has a short falls, not easily portaged or lined due to the steep walls. This river supports a run of all five(5) pacific salmon and acts as a nursery for the rainbow trout in the Kukaklek drainage. This include the well known rivers like Big Ku, Little Ku, Moraine Creek & Battle Creek.
Five-Char and Rainbow fishing on the Lower American creek continues to be strong this time of the season. It is easily possible to catch over 50 fish per day on this stream. Spend the morning hiking the myriad of braids and channels fishing for rainbows and char, Using caddis flies or Adams type dries can catch the wary rainbows hugging tight to the banks and overhanging branches of this little stream.
Six-Take a beautiful jet boat ride up the Stuyahok River, we can target rainbow trout and arctic char who will be feeding on the eggs from the Spawning Kings. Using a six weight fishing bead rigs or flesh and leeches can be effective. You also have the chance at hooking a king with the fly rod!
Whether you target grayling and char in a small stream or bright chrome kings in a big river, Late June into July is a great time to take advantage of the fishing in and around Bristol bay. Our next Blog will cover the fishing in July. Where we will target Chums, Kings and Rainbows. The Char continue to get fat on spawning salmon eggs and are still very eager to take the fly. This is also a prime time to experience several species that Alaska has to offer. Be sure to stay in touch with us on FaceBook for constant updates, Messages from Ron and his old Alaska stories ,as well as photos from flying and fishing in and around Bristol Bay Alaska.