See for yourself what it is like to be on a wilderness-based fly fishing float trip with us! Get a glimpse of our philosophy, and the way we do things.
Act now to join me this summer in Bristol Bay Alaska, your lifetime fly fishing destination. Fully guided trips for trophy salmon on crystal clear rivers, rainbows as long as your arm, adventure, sea run char by the thousands, wildlife. We’ll Raft and camp along wilderness rivers in solitude. Fly fish in 20 hours of daylight.
The days are getting longer and your family’s summer vacation plans might be a discussion item around the dining room table. It’s time to call me. There are just a few prime slots available and I want them to go to you anglers who have dreamed about this for years.
In a few short weeks I’ll load thousands of pounds of grocery staples and new fly-fishing gear onto a barge headed north from Seattle bound for Bristol Bay. Its “crunch time” if you want to make this dream come true call me or email me now! 1-206-617-9799.
Not Saying “Give Up Chasing Trophy Rainbow Trout” when you fly fish and raft down a spectacular tundra river. But you should know why Sea run Dolly Varden Char are spectacular and why anglers travel to Bristol Bay Alaska specifically for huge pre-spawn males in mid-late July.
Here’s the beta: There are more than 50,000 Sea Run Dolly Varden returning to the 5 primary rivers we fish. The peak of the run is July 15-30. The July fish are the largest adults and are returning to the river where they were born to stake a headwater territory and spawn. An 18- 24” adult is a great fish and is the backbone of the trophy fishery. The most memorable fish push 28”. They are often highly pigmented in pre-spawn colors and considered by many to be more beautiful than the Leopard Spotted Rainbow. Plus the return of the largest Dolly Varden Char coincides with the lowest water levels and best weather of the summer.
Want to know more? Does the enigmatic Char intrigue you? Do you wonder why a fish tagged on the Togiak River, Goodnews, or Nushagak is later caught hundreds of miles away up the Yukon? Dollies intrigue me! Like so many others I was once enthralled only with large Rainbows but then I incidentally took a few really notable Char. The whole deal is changed now. The big Char are treasured, they are not easy, yet are sublimely beautiful like a brook trout is beautiful. We cast as they bust balls of smelt in the brackish estuary or while herding salmon fry in the headwaters. We throw the biggest streamers in the box in deep channels or sometimes must make perfect matches to the salmon egg “hatch” on the flats. This is a fish you want to spend some time with and it doesn’t hurt that the Rainbow and Salmon fishing is spectacular at the same time.
Exciting news for Alaska bound fly casters. Wild River Guide Company was awarded an exclusive use permit for Togiak River fly fishing trips on the Togiak Wildlife Refuge west of Dillingham, Alaska. The Togiak is an exceptional wilderness river for King Salmon and Sockeye in July and Dolly Varden Char and Coho Salmon in August. There are some legendary Rainbow Trout. The July King Salmon run averages well in excess of 10,000 fish and more than 100,000 Sockeye return. The August Coho run is close to 10,000 and the July and August return of Dolly Varden Char is staggering. In the coming weeks look for the 2012 Season Report where we’ll report on a week long raft trip with wounded warriors fly fishing down the Togiak. Share a camp with me on the Togiak next summer!
The 2012 Bristol Bay Fly Fishing season was positively stellar for Wild River Guides with one exception. We took “One Tough Trip Through Paradise” when Erik Oster, Steve Call, Olly Merrill and I attempted the first rafting descent of Moose creek into Lake Beverly and that is an adventure story that you will want to wait to read about when the season reports are published. Continue reading
August days hold the potential to catch the largest wild rainbow trout of your life on a mouse pattern in the morning, Char on the flats at mid day, followed by absolute mayhem with Coho in the afternoon. August is defined by the absurdly aggressive Coho / Silver Salmon sharing the river with Leopard Spotted Rainbows and shoals of Dolly Varden Char in their full pre spawn coloration. There can be a brief window in early August where all 5 Salmon are present yielding the Pacific salmon “Grand Slam” for those who keep track of that sort of thing. When the factors of run timing and fair weather align themselves well, then the fishing experience in the Bristol Bay in August is properly regarded as among the greatest experiences of a fly fishers life. You should join me on a trip! Meanwhile read on.
Here is a multi species list of flies for 1 person for 1 week, with an emphasis on resident Rainbow Trout, pre-spawn Dolly Varden Char, Arctic Grayling, a strong focus on Coho / Silver Salmon, plus incidental Salmon, Arctic Char, and Lake Trout. The list was developed for my fully guided trips down the longer and wilder and more remote rivers of the western Bristol Bay but seems equally well suited to the Katmai / Naknek region and the Alaska Peninsula. I enjoy feedback and I’m curious what works for you. Continue reading
It is so much more complex to stock your Alaska fly box for July than for June or August! A great deal more total feed is available to resident fish in July than in June including fry of salmon, trout, char, and Grayling. There are Caddis, stone, & mayfly nymphs, plus salmon spawn and a bit of flesh late in July. While I have not seen stickleback in July, occasionally small Lamprey are present and Sculpin are pounced upon with enthusiasm. In July forage diversity is at the seasonal apex.
In mid July, adult sea run Dolly Varden Char begin to return to the rivers. In the last week of July a weather transition can begin bringing autumn storms. Finally you need Coho / Silver fly patterns in late July. All 5 Salmon can be present after Coho arrive yielding the Pacific salmon “Grand Slam”. Continue reading
Flies for 1 person for 1 week on a float trip or fishing with the region’s best lodges.
This is a multi species list, with an emphasis on June Rainbow Trout and Arctic Grayling, plus all of the other sport-fish in the Bristol Bay watersheds including Arctic Char, Lake Trout, early Kings, Sockeye, and Northern Pike. A short discussion follows.
First, don’t leave home without these 5 items in your carry on luggage.
- Your best Polaroid glasses.
- Your Rx medications.
- Your favorite waterproof/breathable wading or fully waterproof rain jacket with retractors for hemostat and line nipper and 2 large pockets for fly boxes.
- Waders you completely trust which will get the equivalent of a full year of normal use during your AK trip.
- Wading boots that fit. Felt soles were outlawed in AK in 2012. The sticky rubber soles are now quite good. No “cleated, nailed, or studded” boots in rafts or cabins.
Why? In case Alaska Airlines loses you’re checked bags with your clothing, rods, reels, and flies. You came a long way! Improvise and go fish! Continue reading