The holidays are again upon us, and I can’t help reflecting on what an incredible season we had on the Alagnak River this summer! Naturally, we had some world-class salmon fishing; but this year we were also able to take advantage of multiple fly-out options (and at peak times), in what I can only describe as a “giant trout cycle” that we are experiencing here in Bristol Bay and nearby Katmai National Park. This cycle is due to an overwhelming return of sockeye salmon numbering in the millions annually that is helping to provide a great food source for the trout population and keep average lengths of over 20” in many rivers!
Candidly speaking, it was not all “peak” this summer, but it was definitely much better overall than our challenging 2020 season. It started out immediately with a bang as we had a record sockeye return that started like clockwork on June 29th. With this giant push of sockeyes came the king salmon, and thankfully we had a much better return of kings this summer than we have seen for many years! We aim to continue our catch and release policy for all kings in our river systems with an attempt to one day bring it back to where it was in the 90’s and early 2000’s. This is exciting news! The sockeye salmon limit was again raised this summer with the daily limit increased from 5 to 10 sockeye a day. Our guests loved it! I think we even set a new camp time record for 30 sockeye salmon harvested in less than 55 minutes! Let me explain: The clock started when we left the dock. We caught the salmon and were back to the dock in 55 minutes with 30 fresh sockeyes ready to clean! Needless to say, our guide, “Thermo”, was a busy man for that very brief window of time. These sockeyes were often running 15 to 25 fish wide, going nonstop and was absolutely incredible to witness!
In other good news, our chum salmon run was also significantly better than 2020 where we saw the lowest numbers we have ever seen. The timing was also perfect with the peak chum run occurring in week 7. It felt like “normal” again. With this strong run of chums, you get the additional benefit of again having a solid food source for our resident rainbow trout in the Alagnak “braids”.
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.