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The Alagnak River

The Alagnak River meanders 67 miles from the two lakes on the northern end of the Katmai National Preserve to Bristol Bay. The Alagnak river is properly designated as wild and scenic by the National Park Service. You will share the river with many bear, moose, beavers, bald eagles, and other indigenous wildlife. There are no roads to the Alagnak River, everyone and everything flies in on float planes.

The fresh tidal waters of the Alagnak River, just a few miles from Bristol Bay, offer some of the best salmon fishing in Alaska, with all five species of Pacific salmon passing through as they begin their journey upstream.

Chrome-bright salmon will often stage for days in the tidal waters of the river while acclimatizing to their new freshwater environment and contemplating the migration upstream. Each tide brings a fresh batch of fish, full of energy for their upcoming journey.

If you had to design a river perfect for fly-fishing, you couldn't do much better than to copy the Alagnak River. In the lower stretches the river is wide enough to give the biggest kings plenty of room to make spectacular long runs, and has numerous sandbars perfect for the fly-fisherman who likes to get out of the boat and wade the river. The combination of shallow and deep water is ideal; in the clear water of the Alagnak River you can expect to see schools of silver and chum salmon holding on the edge of shallow sandbars, while the larger kings can be found holding in the deeper channels.
Take a journey upriver to the area of the river known as the "braids", and you will see the river undergo a major transformation. As the river breaks up into hundreds of smaller channels, gravel beds provide excellent spawning areas for the salmon, and the opportunity to fish for big rainbow trout. Once again, wading opportunities are numerous. Crystal clear water adds to your fishing experience. Grayling can be found in the braids in June.

Few rivers compare to the Alagnak for such a diversity of fishing opportunities, from all 5 species of salmon, to rainbows, to grayling, to northern pike, all accessible by boat from the Alagnak Lodge.

As well as fishing the Alagnak River, optional flyouts give your the opportunity to take your adventure a step further and explore the other tremendous fishing opportunities that this region has to offer.

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Photo credits: Ed Sozinho, Thomas Woelfle