Toby’s Alaska Trip Summary
So, Alaska was a great trip with my dad. We fished a lot of the waters flowing into Bristol Bay in the Katmai region. The region is one of the main Rainbow parts of the state and has been at the center of the Pebble Mine issue. The area we were at is not exactly there, but near enough. Look at a map and you’ll be able to figure it out as I never really did, but could find it on a map.
The fishing season opened June 8th, so we were there early and fishing some of the more popular rivers and streams in the state, but months ahead of the crowds of August. The water temps were still very cold and most of the streams were just starting to get some rainbows moving up into them form the donwstream lakes as the Sockeye Fry head towards lakes lower in the drainage’s to spend a year growing to smolt after which they head to the ocean.
Most of the rivers seemed pretty sterile in terms of insect life and everything here pretty much revolves around the Salmon. So the main seas really starts in mid-July and goes through mid-Sep, characterized as bead fishing behind the masses of spawning salmon. This early season fishing is primarily swinging big leeches and streamers on sinking lines or fishing to rising fish that are feeding on fry. We got a little bit of both on our trip.
We fished for Rainbows on most days, got a few Lake Trout most days and spent one day wailing on Arctic Char. The Char are the same fish as Dolly Vardins (I think) except that these were not sea-run, thus they are char. My dad earned the nickname of Char-Lee on this day. The fishing got better and better throughout the week as more Rainbows started to move up the rivers to feed on the fry.
The actual catching of Rainbows consisted mostly of fish in the 20-24″ range that were 3-4.5 pounds on average. We got a few bigger and a few smaller. Other than the Char day, most days consisted of 10-15 fish between my dad, another guy, and me…so it was not red hot yet the quality of fish made it worth it and the fact that we fished fry patterns to mostly rising fish the last few days really made it worth it. I’ve fished a lot of places and I have to say that the size and quality of some of these fish were as good as it gets in terms of wild fish.
We stayed at Kulik Lodge, booked it through Yellow Dog Flyfishing and would highly recommend the trip to someone looking to get out into some Alaska’s best trout waters without the crowds. Also, they typically run an early season special for the first couple weeks of the season, so you can do the trip for around $6,000 a person from Anchorage for 6 days/ 7 nights with 5 fly outs. Not cheap, but less expensive than most of the fly out lodges. Plus, they have their own airline so you go straight from Anchorage to the lodge and we were able to fly home the same day we left the lodge. Plus you actually get a day of fishing at the lodge on the day you arrive so you end up getting 7 days guided fishing with 5 fly outs. Excellent guides, pilots, staff, equipment, food, and accommodations.