The coho salmon run came, and it went. Summer salmon season on the Alagnak River went out with a bang. The camp is closed up, and everyone who worked here is now scattered across the U.S. in their homes. Mistakes were made, lessons were learned, friendships were formed, customers caught a lot of fish, and a greenhorn crew made a season out of it. The 2018 Alaska fly fishing season was a success.
t's been a very busy couple weeks at Alagnak Lodge, one of the premier Alaska fly fishing lodges. There was a typhoon, dolphin, and sunsets that lasted for hours. We even saw a sunrise. Bears are everywhere. The zombie chum salmon run has begun as the spawned-out chums are making their way back downstream, dying while we still occasionally catch bright chrome chums loaded with sea lice, which is why we have so many bears.
Busy Busy Busy! At this point in the season, everyone has seen one of the wolves at least once. To see a wolf in the wild is a pretty incredible experience for most of us. We all have more than one close-call bear story to tell. The bald eagles are flying over in full force with nesting materials. Bacon, the camp porcupine, is regularly sighted as we have its schedule figured out.
The weather is now as unpredictable as the bears here at our Bristol Bay fishing lodge. We have rainy days, sunny days, windy days, and sometimes all three of those at once. We have bears swimming up to boats, bears hunting alongside the river where we are fishing, bears walking through camp, and bears mostly just being bears. Guests keep coming, and the guests keep going.
There were days that the whole gang lined a bank and fished together. Old friends and strangers alike with fishing as the common denominator. It was sad to see everyone go. As is lodge life, though, when one plane leaves, there’s another plane landing at the dock with brand new guests and brand new Alaska fishing adventures waiting.
The loons call back and forth across the river. The gulls call. There are no sounds of traffic, no honking horns, no loud music, and no commercials blaring from televisions. The only sounds are the soft hum of the generator, the occasional seaplane flying over, and boats going up and down the river with the sporadic scream of an excited angler who has hooked into another fish of a lifetime.
Wednesday also brought the biggest king salmon of the lodge to date this season as well as the first king salmon on-fly. The largest king salmon of the week came in on Tammy’s boat, weighing 25 pounds, while the first caught on-fly came from our latest guest Thorsten from Germany, guided by Glen.