Spey Fishing Alaska
Spey fishing Alaska is beginning to be more the norm than the oddity. We have been honing our skills on this two handed technique for years and love the how we can move a whole lot of line with very little effort. This two handed cast is ideal for fishing the “swing” on the Alagnak River. King, silver, pink, and chum salmon all will hit this presentation, and in many cases, it is even more effective than the traditional single handed rod. The Alagnak River has shallow sand bars that are ideal to fish the spey rod. The key component to casting the spey rod is to have moving water while wading. This is easy to achieve on the Alagnak with the gentle current and firm bottom. It is difficult to do this from a boat, due to the height off the water you are in versus having the water at your thigh level.
Alaska Salmon Fly Fishing
Angler’s Alibi is situated on the Alagnak River, one of Alaska’s best Alaska salmon fly fishing rivers in the entire state. We are fortunate to experience all 5 species of Pacific salmon on this river, and most notably are the king salmon, silver salmon, and chum salmon runs. These 3 salmon species account for most of out catch rates throughout the summer. We also have a phenomenal sockeye salmon run on the Alagnak River, with this years estimate to be near 2 million! The pink salmon runs are something to behold! The numbers are truly mind blowing with unbelievable action on sub surface and top-water fly patterns for weeks! The Alagnak River is noted for these prolific salmon runs fresh out of Bristol Bay every summer, and Angler’s Alibi is situated right on the tidewater section of the river so that we can experience world class Alaska salmon fishing right at our lodge daily on the tides.
The Alagnak River ranks as one of the best rivers in Alaska to fish. Part of what makes this river so amazing is that there are no roads that lead to it, and no cruise ships that can access it via small boats. The only way to get to the Alagnak River is by float plane. The Alagnak River starts out high in the Katmai range in Southwest Alaska. This area, also called Katmai National Park, is one of the most famous places on earth for anglers. The Alagnak river actually originates from 2 distinct lakes. These 2 lakes, the Nonvianuk and the Kukaklek Lake, both have tributaries that are necessary for the spawning life cycle of sockeye salmon. These tributaries are also noted as having some of the best trophy trout and char fishing in all of Alaska.
It is no secret that spey casting and switch rod fishing is, and has been, the new rage for steelhead fisherman and salmon fisherman in the United States for the past several seasons. Spey fishing on the Alagnak River is the perfect classroom as there is great, stable wading on firm sand bars for silvers, chums, pinks, as well as King Salmon.
String Leech Fly Patterns
The string leach fly patterns for both salmon and rainbow trout have made a huge impact on the number of fish caught over the traditional fly patterns. With a fly pattern having the hook set back, the short striking Alaska rainbow trout, Alaska king Salmon, silver salmon, and even the short striking pink salmon do not stand a chance of missing the hook! I have seen the progression over the past several seasons that we are going to the string leach patterns almost exclusively over a traditional fly. While fishing for king salmon especially, every grab counts, and with the string leach, there are very few misses!
Alaska Felt Ban
We would like to note that this season, fly fishing in Alaska can no longer be done with the use of felt sole wading boots. Starting January 1st, 2012 marks the start of the new Alaska law banning all felt sole wading boots. There is no better grip than felt sole boots while wading, but we feel that the possibility of spreading invasive species outweighs the grip factor tenfold.
Many thoughts come to mind when anglers envision what an Alaska fly fishing lodge is supposed to look like, what amenities an Alaska fly fishing lodge is supposed to offer, and what fishing opportunities a true Alaska fly fishing lodge is supposed to offer. At Angler’s Alibi, we do not claim to be the best Alaska fly fishing lodge in the state, but we do claim to be among one of the best Alaska fly fishing lodges. It is no mystery that with a return rate of near 90% that we offer something very special. We take our fishing program very seriously, and second to that is our menu. With only 10 guests, we can custom plan each and every day around the specific desires of the individual guests. We can also offer up special menu items for special dietary restrictions some of our guests have. For example, we make special sugar free ice cream and deserts for a pair of diabetic guests we have, and also home made gluten free items for some guests with wheat allergies. This is just a small example of what we can do with such a small group of weekly guests.
The mighty king salmon are for sure the most sought after species of salmon in Alaska. While they are the largest, King Salmon are also the least numerous…but don’t let this fool you as far as how many king salmon you can catch in a day.
Sure, there are tough days and great days on every river in Alaska – consistency of fishing should be something to consider when looking at locations to target king salmon in Alaska.
Bristol Bay Salmon Fly Fishing Lodge
Angler’s Alibi is located in the Bristol Bay Watershed on the Alagnak River. This is one of the top spots in Alaskan for fishing for all species of salmon – and we take full advantage of the world’s largest salmon runs Bristol Bay has to offer. We specialize in catching king salmon, silver salmon, sockeye salmon, chum salmon, and pink salmon daily on the tides as we are located only 6 miles from the salt. The tides affect the current at camp, even reversing the flow on larger tides.
What does this mean to Angler’s Alibi guests?
Chrome bright salmon, full of fight every day of the season within a 10 minute boat ride from camp!
We contributed an article to My Alaskan Fishing Trip about fly fishing the Bristol Bay Watershed
Also, check out our intro to fly fishing for all salmon species
Have questions or interested in planning your Alaskan fishing trip? Contact Anglers Alibi and our team will help with all your questions. It’s important to know that all our guides are experienced fly casting instructors and licensed Coast Guard Captains. We are only open for 7 weeks a season when the lower tidewater section of the Alagnak River is teeming with fresh salmon – we look forward to helping you find them!
“When is the best time to come to Angler’s Alibi?” is a great question that we obviously are asked quite often. The answer really depends on what you or your group of anglers is looking for. The salmon enter the Alagnak River almost to the hour every year as if set by a computer. This allows the fishing guides of Angler’s Alibi to know exactly when each species will be available to target.
Check Out: Updated Alaska Fishing Season Calendar
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.