The rainbow trout opener was another first for us at Angler’s Alibi in 2018. We wanted to share what our lodge fishing guides and I have been experiencing for the past several summers with some guests on the now annual trout opener in Bristol Bay. This trout opener is always on June 8, and has been a good break for the staff to head up river and target trout on mice patterns, dry flies, or swing flies.
We only took 4 guests for this special opening event and the results were actually better than we imagined they could be. We started out by splitting up the guests into two groups. One group headed up to a special place where they camped out for the midnight opener while the other pair headed up river to some very solid places in the Alagnak River Braids for that first cast of the season at midnight.
The group that was on the overnight got lines in the water at midnight and fished until about 3am, landing more trout than they could ever imagine on mice patterns. The rainbow trout were extremely concentrated with an appetite that was literally ferocious. By 3am, our guests were tired out and ready for bed, so they went back to the tent for a short rest. By 10am, they were back at it all day until the pick up at 5pm. One of the anglers in this group was quoted as saying:
“This is literally the best trout fishing I have ever seen in my 35 plus years of trout fishing all over the country,” they went on “After several trout openers in Yellowstone, this is by far the most superior opening day event ever!”
The other group went to the braids and, despite being hindered by some fog, was able to squeeze out some great trout fishing before heading back to camp for a good nights rest.
The week was spent in the Alagnak River Braids using primarily mouse patterns and dry fly attractor patterns. These fish were hungry and were looking up for meals. This was by far the best top-water fishing of the season and being able to hit so many runs and riffles for the first time of the year sure did make a difference. Sure, we did use some leeches, but the top-water was hard to beat. We were amazed at how well some large dry flies were producing adding to the ultimate top-water fishing experience in Alaska for sure!
Most articles written on Alaska trout fishing are centered on the salmon spawn and using either egg patterns and or flesh flies. While these are great methods to use during August and September, June and early July is really the best time to target these super strong trout on more “normal” methods that most are accustomed to in the lower 48.
The plan for next summer will be to take another 4 anglers up to our special camping spot for the opener. This will be such a fun way to start the week with an actual midnight sun start and all rods busy with hungry trout that have not seen a fly in 8 months!
As of this writing, spots are available for the 2019 opener on June 8th, so contact Anglers Alibi if you’re interested in catching wild Alaska trout on mice, dry flies, and streamers. It’s a bucket list trip that we hope to see you on!
Pictures from the actual 2018 trout opening event: