Spring has sprung and it appears we may have finally made it through a tough fall and winter full of unknowns, shut downs, and cancelled events. The vaccines are clearly on an accelerated schedule and it’s hard not to be optimistic that travel restrictions are going to continue to be lifted and so it appears there is light at the end of the tunnel for a return to normalcy! Boom!
I have visited with most of the guests scheduled this season and I am pleased to report that I do not know of one that will not have the vaccine by the time of their trip this summer - creating an even safer environment at Angler’s Alibi!
Just as a point of reference - last summer we were able to pull off a somewhat normal season (although with reduced capacity), even with a few one-week cancellations from some of our European clients. Further, those that made the trip had to arrive in Anchorage with a negative COVID test within 72 hours upon arrival. This was a real challenge with limited tests available. Luckily, we were able to secure a testing system right here in my home state of Colorado that was able to make this loophole of testing window 100% attainable. A big thank you to Covid Consultants for being a key player in our success last summer!
That all brings me to the exciting announcement that this summer Alaska will no longer be requiring the negative test upon arrival. This is not to say that we don’t want our clients to stay vigilant with regards to travel rules and social distancing - but clearly there will be a lot less hoops to jump through this summer. With the use of our private charter system for all Angler’s Alibi guests coming and going from Anchorage to King Salmon, we are also streamlining the travel situation which has brought on long delays in the past especially with regards to “departure day” in King Salmon waiting hours for flights to Anchorage.
More good news: We have ordered a new generator this summer. For most of you this addition will not be noticeable - but for the camp it will be a huge improvement. First, it will allow us to have a second fish freezer to freeze up sockeye salmon fillets hard and fast after being vacuum packed assuring the best possible quality product to take home. Second, it will allow as us to put in an icemaker in the bar. For some of you – this is a great new feature (you know who you are!).
Now to fishing! The summer of 2020 was spectacular with very little pressure and rivers teeming with salmon, trout, and char. The only downside was a lower than average king salmon run and a slow and smaller chum return to the river. We caught plenty of chums and even some beautiful kings on the fly - but not as many as in a normal year. Mother nature can be fickle. On the bright side, we landed plenty of silvers, pinks, and had no doubt the best rainbow trout season Angler’s Alibi has ever witnessed! We caught rainbows all season long and even added an old fly-out location to our list of opportunities last summer - the fabled Lower American River. This small river allows only 6 daily access permits and utilizes a jet boat to access amazing trout and char fishing. Early season last summer yielded some of the largest trout we have ever caught - most on mouse patterns and dry flies!
Fishing this summer on the Alagnak River and Katmai National Park should be really solid with plenty of snow to fill the streams, lakes, and rivers this winter - not only in the King Salmon region, but also the mountains of Katmai National Park. The past few summers on the Alagnak have been what we consider “low water years”- but with the amount of moisture we received in the fall and winter, we feel confident that levels should be much more normal and help spread out our salmon fishing in the lower river.
We have also added rainbow trout weeks on both ends of the season, early fishing 2 weeks in June, and 2 more weeks at the end of the season in September. All these weeks feature only a 6-guest maximum so that we can utilize one of our 3 jet boats to fish the entire river system. Fly out options are off the hook in all these weeks and we will have a boat on the Kvichak as an option for early season swinging for huge Lake Iliamna trout or bead fishing in September for the same big migratory trout so famous to this river system.
The Covid season of 2020 created a large guest rollover issue so we are completely booked for the 2021 season. The only spots left is our second trout week of June, June 15 – 22nd. This week is a guide favorite and features the best mouse and dry fly fishing of the season as well as ideal conditions for swinging big streamers for HUGE rainbow trout!
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.