Katmai National Park of Bristol Bay, Alaska's Alagnak River
Wow! What a season! We had a lot to smile about!
Time sure flies when you are having fun! And that is what the 2018 season at ATA Lodge seemed to be all about....having fun!
Great Guests!! Great Staff!! Great Friends Old and New!! Great Fishing!! And a whole lots of laughs with doing it!!
And who can blame us for having such a good time?
When you happen to be in such an amazing part of the world as the Katmai National Park of Bristol Bay, Alaska....
and fishing on what is perhaps Alaska's most prolific as well as scenic rivers, the Alagnak River...
then you are bound to enjoy yourself!
At least that is our goal at ATA Lodge.... That each and every one of our guests have the time of their lives while here!
And this season had it all! As an even numbered year, we had all 5 species of Pacific Salmon return this year to spawn. And return they did! We had huge numbers of every single species of pacific salmon. It is such a privilege to fish what is one of Alaska's truly most diverse and prolific of rivers.
Apart from the Sockeye, King and Sliver Salmon coming a few days later than what we had expected, when they did arrive, they came in force and kept our guests very busy all season long.
The salmon just kept coming and in record numbers throughout the whole summer and into the fall.
Considering how challenging fishing has been in many other areas of Alaska, Bristol Bay has continued to flourish and is fishing a strong as ever! July finished strong with large numbers of Kings moving in and the Sockeye Run continuing well into August!
All those salmon, of course, keep our "neighbors" busy as well! The coastal brown bears had plenty on the menu to keep them fat and happy and that's a fact!
It was reported that Bristol Bay saw a staggering return of 62 million Sockeye Salmon this season, and the Alagnak Wild River had its fair share to be sure!
The Sockeye are the main food source for the brown bears in our area, and we were seeing between 20 - 30 per day throughout most of July and even close to 10 a day throughout most of the rest of the season as well!
But it was not just the Sockeye that were back again in big numbers. We must have had one of the biggest Silver Salmon (Coho) returns in recent history as well!
We started catching good numbers as early as the first week of August, and a part from a short lull (during which we still caught plenty of Silvers) around the 3rd week of August, the latter part of the month, all the way through September, we were covered in large pods of cohos up and down the whole length of the river!
Trout fishing this year was on fire as well!
Once the salmon started to drop their eggs while spawning, the "bead bite" was incredible! Flesh flies were a great choice as August finished up and September started.
But I have to say that early season trout fishing was superb on mice patterns, dry flies as well as large leech and sculpin patterns. June trout averaged about 20 inches with many pushing 30 inches long.
We were thrilled with the numbers of trout that surpassed the 24" mark this season. That was true from opening week in June all the way through the whole of the season.
2018 was a Pink Year as well. We get a big run of Pink Salmon that come into our system every 2nd year (even numbered years). These Pinks are aggressive and keen to chase down a stripped streamer! They provided hours of great action from the end of July throughout most of August.
It was a lot of fun having the "Untamed Anglers" here with us in September. James Stokoe, Ripon Khalique, Jonathan McGee and Marina Gibson come out from the UK and spent a week, fishing and filming while here. We had the most amazing weather that week and the fishing was superlative! Constant double and triple hook ups on Salmon, Trout and Grayling, with the odd char caught as well while here!
The Alagnak River has always been a great destination for those who want to target Arctic Grayling! We have a very healthy population of resident Grayling and they fish well all season long.
If you want to have action all day long on light tackle and in particular fishing dry flies - then you need to consider booking a trip in June as these "ladies of the stream" are ravenous and will keep your rod bent all day long.
We catch them all year long, but June dry fly action has to be one of my most favorite times and types of fishing for them!
Without going into too much detail, let's just say that the season couldn't have been much better. We had an amazing staff, the best guests we could ever have hoped for and the fishing and wildlife viewing keep us smiling and having fun all season long!
We experienced full weeks almost every week this season, and Sue and her team in the kitchen did an amazing job all season long keeping everyone fed with delicious meals and decadent desserts!
Oh, and did I mention that the Coho and Rainbow Trout Fishing was "On Fire""?!?! Seriously the fishing was “Off the Hook" this season! :)
The last week of the season, we had the distinct pleasure of welcoming renowned outdoorsman and artist Bob White to ATA Lodge.
We had the honor of watching him paint while here, and even more than that he surprised us with a painting of the view from our lodge before he left. We are looking forward to getting it framed and hung for all our guest to enjoy! Thanks Bob! We are looking forward to your trip back here next year!
As we stop to assess the season just finished by both looking back over our 14 almost full weeks with guests, as well as gazing forward to next year.... the only thing that we can say is that we hope 2019 is just as good!
The rainbow that appeared the day I left, I will take as a sign in the sky, that next season will be as amazing as this season was! And we hope that you will be part of making that happen.
So, as we "make tracks" out of here and call 2018 a wrap, we hope you'll take the time to visit the rest of our website at www.atalodge.com and consider making your next adventure an Alaska Trophy Adventures Lodge one!
As the Sun sets on the 2018 season, it is already rising on 2019!!
We are presently 3/4's booked for the 2019 season, but we still have at least some space most weeks.
So get in touch soon and book your week at ATA Lodge!
Email Wayne at: firstname.lastname@example.org to book your trip.
Or call on +1 877 801 2289