Alaska Salmon on the Fly
Angler’s Alibi is most noted for catching Alaska salmon on the fly. This is due in large part to our superior location on the Alagnak River, and being centrally located in the tidewater section of the river. This part of the river where the lodge sits can actually see the river reverse flow on tides and raise about 4 feet above its normal height. In Alaska terms, this is not that big of a deal, but on the Alagnak River, where the salmon runs are huge and the crowds none, this is truly one of the best places in Alaska to catch salmon on the fly.
The Alagnak River is one of 4 major rivers that empties into the fabled Bristol Bay. It is here that almost half of all salmon in Alaska come from, and it is no doubt the best natural balance left in the world with commercial fishing and sport fishing coinciding together to not only harvest salmon, but also catch and release them for future generations to come. It is the management of the harvest in Bristol Bay that allows the mighty sockeye salmon numbers to be so large. Sometimes the total sockeye salmon harvest can be 30 million or more, while still providing a premium amount of spawning sockeye salmon to make it up to their spawning grounds. It is here on the spawning grounds that we target the fabled Bristol Bay rainbow trout.
The sockeye salmon make it up the Alagnak in late June and early July. Sockeye salmon fishing is done entirely on the fly, with limit catches the norm on a daily basis our first and second weeks of the summer. Sockeye salmon share space on the daily tides with King Salmon. These are the largest of the Pacific salmon, and like to travel and hold in the deepest parts of the river. The King salmon is by far the premier Alaska salmon on the fly. The take can be a light grab to an aggressive strike that can steal your rod right out of your hands! The swing is the preferred method for the kings, but they will strike on the strip while preparing for another cast….so hold on!. Check out this link for more information on the might king salmon, and fly patterns that work well.
The chum salmon is the next salmon to arrive on the shallow bars of the Alagnak River. These are no doubt the most underrated salmon in Bristol Bay. These come in the Alagnak chrome bright and full of fight, and the best thing is that they are eager to hit a fly on top or below the surface. Yes, on topwater patterns! Check out this link to see and read more on the chum salmon fishing.
There are a few more species of salmon out there, and I will dedicate my next article to even more on Alaska salmon on the fly!
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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.