Like all of Bristol Bay, we were more than ready for some normal Alaska weather with wind, rain, and the need to wear more than a t-shirt. The month of August came, and with it the rain….and the silvers! Our first day of August was a nice rainy day which seemed to draw in the first big push of silver salmon of the season. Sure, we had caught a few up to this point, but August 1 was definitely the start of the best silver salmon run the Alagnak River has ever had in my 20 years on the river.
Chrome bright chums were also on the menu, and during the first week of August, we caught many chrome bright chums and silvers, both on top water flies and wet flies. The chums were very aggressive as the water temp of the Alagnak got down to a more normal 59 degrees from a high of 69 degrees in July. We fished the banks hard, either drifting or wading, making casts to the grass lines of the bank and stripping immediately seemed to draw the most vicious strikes of the week from the silvers. In fact, there were times that before guests could strip line, the fly was immediately inhaled by a bank hugging silver as if it was going to eat it’s last meal….and some did!
Week 6, the second week of August, was experiencing the best wade fishing for silvers I have ever seen on any river in Alaska, and it only seemed to get a little better each day. In the lower river, our guests were catching over 20 silvers a day while wading, and added to that tally were several chrome bright chums that were jumping, running, and breaking fly rods left and right!
Fly out fishing this week was amazing on Moraine creek as we were able to get into some incredible runs and holes filled with eager rainbows over 20″ eagerly taking our egg imitations. The braids of the Alagnak fished very well too, with great numbers of trout and grayling providing bent rods all day long for our customers.
Week 7 came up really fast as we were all caught up in the silver salmon fishing blitz that was occurring daily. The chum run was coming to an end, and it seemed that the silvers were just continuing to take over the river, a fantasy come true! There were days that some of our guests landed over 50 silvers on fly while wading, a feat only thought possible with chums and pinks. The highlights of this week were definitely discovering how well the silvers like to hit top-water flies from deep cover on some of the banks. This added to the overall silver salmon spectacle that was happening daily. Our last fly-out this week was back to Moraine, and our group had a rainbow catching trip of a lifetime. The largest bow was 28″, but the average was over 20″…so not a bad day considering the guests caught over 50 rainbows!
What a season, and why did we not stay for an 8th week? All our guides wanted to stay for more, and reports came back that fishing stayed hot right in front of Angler’s into September. I will try and fill an eighth week in 2014 after I fill up all 7 weeks. The last 3 seasons we have left feeling as if we were leaving great fishing. At this point, our returning guests are filling up the weeks, so it may just be reality in 2014 for an eighth week. Time will tell, and I will make an announcement on this site if we will make it happen.
About the Author
The primary contributor, John Perry, is the owner and manager of the lodge. He'll offer fishing summaries and tips too...check back or sign up for the email news to get updates when posted.