We are already chomping at the bit to get back to the mighty Alagnak Wild River in Katmai National Park, Alaska. This article highlights the tremendous trout and grayling fishing that is available at the beginning of the season.
June 8th sees the opening of this fabled river to fishing, and it is one of our favorite times of the year to be on the river. The resident fish have overwintered with limited food available and no fishing pressure for 8 months! They are ravenous and not shy or picky about what they will feed on! It is a fantastic time for traditional dry fly fishing methods. Early season fish can always be caught on natural insect patterns and dry flies with many hatches occurring simultaneously on the river.
Swinging black or olive leech and sculpin patterns is also extremely effective as this is a time when the leeches are spawning in the river. One of our most productive methods of fishing at this time is using big articulated patterns that have great movement in the current when fishing the many seams that the Alagnak River is famous for. With the many easily accessible wading areas all of our channels and gravel bars present, a light spey casting rod or switch rod can provide hours of action, with strong takes, leaping accrobatics and blinding runs where your reel will be screaming as your line is stripped into its backing in nothing flat!
It is not just the beautifully spotted and crimson striped rainbows that will keep your hands full; but you can use lighter tackle and drift elk hair caddis or simulators over schools of hungry grayling, often getting a dozen takes in as many casts (not to mention the possibility of a 28" leopard rainbow trout)! I think I hold the record for consecutive takes on a dry fly in June with grayling. I had 17 consecutive takes, with 16 consecutive misses before realizing that the hook had broken off my fly and after changing my fly, I finally landed one on the 17th cast!
I love how aggressive these Alaskan arctic grayling can be. Often times these greedy grayling will launch themselves completely out of the water on the take!
On occasion they will even hit the fly on their way back down, literally pile-driving the fly taking it under the water with them! This can be so exciting that you have to be careful to resist setting the hook on sight, as you will most likely pull it away from them before they have taken it!
But for those that enjoy something a bit more dramatic, this is the absolute best time of the season to target aggressive rodent eating trout (and yes even grayling) fishing mouse patterns across the surface. When done correctly, this type of fishing is by far my most preferred method and can trigger explosive takes often sending the fish totally air-born.
There is something very special about being in Alaska in June. Those in the know, tend to keep it a secret as they don't want too many others to cash in on the bounty that Bristol Bay rivers offer to the dedicated fly fisherman! It's true that June doesn't get the crowds that are common later in the season once the salmon make an appearance. While we are a remote location anyway, and there is never a time that you feel like the river is overcrowded with other anglers; this is especially true in June. We limit the number of spaces in June to only 12 anglers a week. And with well over 100 miles of 3 rivers to choose from, all accessible by our jet-boats, you are spoiled for choice and you can spend an entire day and not see another fisherman!
While it is true that June does not offer a lot for those wanting to catch salmon, the trout and grayling fishing is truly world class and has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. A fly out for King Salmon fishing can be organized at this time, and the last week in June is when we often begin to see the start of the Sockeye Salmon run beginning to enter the system. But it is the trout and grayling fishing that is the real attraction at this time, and it is not to be under-estimated. The Katmai region is renowned for some of the best trout fishing anywhere in the world and the Alagnak Wild River in June is one of the best rivers in the Whole of the Katmai and Bristol Bay to get into the action.
You may have caught many rainbows in the lower 48 or elsewhere around the globe, but I venture to say that if you haven't tasted what this region has to offer that you will be amazed at how hard these fish actually fight.
This is due to the nature of the river and environment that they live in. These are all wild, native fish that have grown strong in the currents of the Alagnak River and they fight harder pound-for-pound than the majority of other freshwater fish you’ve ever caught before. We have been in the midst of an upswing in the cycle of fish on our river. The average size has dramatically increased in each of the last few seasons. You can expect to catch many fish over 20 inches with many fish pushing 25 inches and up to 28 and 29 inches. The 30-inch mark is more than just a dream but is definitely a very real possibility!
So why not take advantage of this "slower" shoulder period of our season and experience the kind of trout and grayling fishing you've always dreamed of. We also offer a special deal in June not available the rest of the season. For those willing to share 3 to a cabin, boat and guide; 3 people can come for the price of only 2! In our opinion, this is the best price available anywhere in Bristol Bay for the quality of experience on offer! Follow this link to our website specials page to find out more:
If you are interested in booking a week for the 2019 season, we have some remaining space available.
Just get in touch over our website at www.atalodge.com; or email me at email@example.com or better yet give us a call and have a chat about your next fishing trip of a lifetime on +1 877 801 2289!
We hope to hear from you soon! In fact, we hope to welcome you at ATA Lodge this June!