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Alaska Salmon Fishing Gallery

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Silver Salmon Fishing in Alaska

Silver Salmon (Coho)

Silver Salmon are characterized by their aggressive behavior and are famous for their spectacular acrobatic leaps and line-peeling runs. The Coho Salmon runs have increased in numbers and consistency each year and have become a major attraction for both fly and spin fishermen on the Alagnak River.  

The Silver Salmon begin to enter the river at the very end of July and are still be running strong into September. The peak of the run is in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of August.  Coho Salmon on the Alagnak River are among the largest in Bristol Bay and Alaska and commonly fall in the 8 to 12 pound range, but larger fish up to 18 pounds are caught each year.  

These Silver Salmon are effectively targeted using fly or spin fishing gear while wade fishing or fishing from the boat.  Fly fishermen use either 8 or 9 weight rods and the spin fishermen use a rod with a strong butt section and a flexible tip to aid in casting.

King Salmon Fishing

King Salmon (Chinook)

The King is the largest in size of the five species of pacific salmon. They offer anglers true big game fish excitement. Alaska's Alagnak River has the reputation of producing the largest kings that are caught in Bristol Bay.  The adults range from 20 to 55 pounds.  They start entering the Alagnak in late June and are still entering the river when regulations preclude us from catching them after July 31st.  The heart of the run is typically from July 5th through July 25th.  

As the Chinook enter the Alagnak River they are sleek and silver bright with little distortion of the jaw. At this point they are still very strong and aggressive.  The Alagnak River has a second DNA pool of Chinook Salmon that enter the river in mid-July.  They are larger and darker with broader heads and thicker bodies. 

As the Kings Salmon assimilate to the fresh water their body starts to deteriorate as they prepare to spawn. They gather upriver and lay in groups as their bodies become progressively red and distorted until they are ready to spawn.  At the Alagnak Lodge we fish for the Kings only when they are fresh, we do not disturb them upriver as they prepare for spawning.

Sockeye Salmon Fishing in Alaska

Sockeye Salmon (Red)

The sockeye run on the Alagnak starts about July 4th, peaks about July 12th through July 20th then tapers off the rest of July. The commercial boats harvest about 40 million Reds in Bristol Bay each July, but about 2 to 3 million Sockeye still manage to evade the nets of the Bristol Bay commercial fleet and swim by the lodge each July.  

The Alagnak River Reds are among the largest in Alaska.  Most of our sockeye fall within the 7 to 10 lb range. We have developed special techniques to ensure success for any angler in landing enough of these Sockeye to fill your box on the days the run is strong. 

Once you have them on the hook, they are great fighters and powerful fish. Sockeye are silver and sleek when they enter the river but evolve to bright red bodies and green heads as they approach their spawning grounds in the upper reaches of our watershed.

Chum Fishing

Chum Salmon (Tiger, Dog, Silverbright or Keta)

Chum Salmon are pound for pound the strongest of the five species of salmon and are also very aggressive. Starting about the 10th of July they start entering the Alagnak River from Bristol Bay along with the sockeye. Their overwhelming numbers often convince the commercial fishermen to stop fishing for sockeye for the season. These Tiger Salmon start holding on shallow sandbars near the lodge during the second week in July and continue entering the river until the third week of August. 

The average chum salmon on the Alagnak is about 9 lbs, but fish up to 15 lbs are caught each year.  The annual run is about 1 million. They seem to be everywhere in the month they are at the peak of their run.

Our guides and clients have started referring to these as Tiger Salmon to show the proper respect for these striped wild fighters. Our clients’ fish for kings for their size, the sockeye to fill their boxes and the Chum Salmon for the sport and consistent fishing success.  When the Tiger Salmon is caught fresh from the ocean and processed quickly, the mild taste and flaky texture make it a great eating fish.

These Silverbright Salmon do spawn in the lower sections of the Alagnak River and their stripes become more pronounced and colorful as their bodies ripen for spawning.  All the colorful chum salmon are released when finally brought to hand.

These Tiger Salmon are effectively targeted by both fly fishing and spin fishing gear while wade fishing or fishing from the boat.  They cause a few broken rods and reels, a tribute to their tenacious nature as well as their size and strength.

Pink Salmon Fishing

Pink Salmon (Humpback or Humpy)

The Pink Salmon are unique among pacific salmon in that they go to the ocean in their first year of life then return to spawn in their 2nd year.  In Bristol Bay and the Alagnak River they spawn in numbers only on even-numbered years.  

These Humpback Salmon begin their migration upriver the last week in July and continue until late August. When the pinks are running, they can be found in schools along the sandbars and banks in the lower river. The run numbers often approach a million fish. Humpy Salmon are the smallest of the five species of pacific salmon, mostly falling in the 3-7 lb range.  

As with the other salmon they are pretty sleek when entering the river, but the males develop a pronounced hump on their backs and they all become darker in color as their bodies prepare to spawn in the mid sections of the Alagnak River. They are renowned for their aggressive nature.  Pinks are excellent for both fly rod and spinning rod fishermen and are relatively easy to catch.

Rainbow Trout Fishing

Rainbow Trout

Bristol Bay is a renowned rainbow trout fishery as the rainbows are notable for their beauty and size. The Alagnak River drainage is one of the best locations for rainbows in Bristol Bay and Alaska. 

The Alagnak River rainbows are renowned for their beauty and size, with trout often growing to the 6 to 10 pound class.  After the ice breaks up on the Alagnak River in the spring,  the trout follow the salmon smolt downstream as they head out to sea. 

In recent years we have successfully targeted the rainbow trout in the lower river as an increasing number of large rainbow trout hang around even after the salmon enter the river. We can also go upriver to the braided section to more effectively target these native stream fish.

Wildlife

Wildlife

Your fishing boat becomes a floating game viewing vehicle as you move about the Alagnak River and get up close and personal with brown bears, moose, fox, beaver, wolves, and over 150 bird species including eagles and osprey. 

This is a true wilderness and you experience these animals in their natural habitat.  The Alagnak River is truly on of the best places in all of Bristol Bay and Alaska to view and interact with wildlife in its native habitat.  

The Alagnak watershed is blessed with a plentiful annual return of salmon and the nutrients they bring inland from the sea are a huge blessing to the whole ecosystem.

Alagnak Lodge Facility

Alagnak Lodge Facility

All guests are housed in the main lodge building.  The lodge has all the amenities you would expect; modern indoor plumbing, 24-hour electricity, comfortable accommodations, housekeeping services and wonderful meals. The 12 client bedrooms are upstairs.  Downstairs are three full bathrooms with toilets, sinks and showers.

Our main great room offers spectacular views of the river and is the place to dine, relax or take advantage of our well stocked fly-tying area.  We also have separate small rooms to view videos, play cards or have quiet time alone.  We even have an outdoor steam hut for those so inclined.

The support tents and structures house the staff accommodations, generators, work-shop, storage, laundry and boat motors. On the river we have a polyethylene EZ Dock with space for our boats and a float plane. This connects by ramp to the standing dock with its 48 steps and cargo cart to the lodge plateau.

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