Unlike many Alaskan lodges,
for most of the season we
lucky enough to treat fly-outs as an optional
fishing usually right on our doorstep,
However, when you have traveled so far to be in the
Alaskan wilderness, and when you consider some of the fantastic places accessible from the
Alagnak Lodge by float plane,
take your adventure a step
further. Listed below are
some of the most popular destinations
we can take you to.
If you visit the lodge in July, consider a flyout to see the bears at Brooks Falls. Flyouts in August are geared towards the spawning areas for sockeye salmon (pictured left). Sockeyes are easily the most numerous of the 5 salmon species, and are very important to the whole ecosystem. Where you find sockeyes spawning, you will find bear, birds, and most importantly rainbow trout!
As well as
excellent fishing opportunities for rainbows, these late season flyouts give
you a chance to witness nature at it's best, as you visit small streams
loaded with spawning fish. These salmon have completed their final journey
and will soon be dead. Their effort was not in vain however, as their final
gesture is to plant the seeds of a new generation of fish, and the dead
salmon provide a vital food supply for several other species of wildlife to
survive the long hard winter ahead.
Flyouts are provided by Branch River Air Service using their fleet of De Havilland Beavers and Cessna 206's.
Please note that different flyouts require different levels of physical exertion. On many flyouts we are fishing small remote streams that cannot be accessed directly by float plane. The planes will land on the closest available lake or stretch of river, but hiking is often involved. Hiking across tundra is physically demanding. If you have any doubts about your ability to participate in flyouts, please contact us to discuss this before booking them.
Please also note that the pricing for flyouts is based upon planes being full. For this reason, our standard flyout pricing is based upon a minimum of 3 guests. To make sure that planes are full, we often need to combine groups on flyouts. This allows us to make flyouts available most of the time to singles or pairs.
The Brooks River contains the world famous Brooks Falls, where bears enjoy a perennial feast of salmon as they ascend the falls. This is a tremendous opportunity to see one of nature's great spectacles. Brooks offers bear-viewing platforms to assist visitors in viewing and avoiding the bears. These platforms give you an elevated view of the bears in total safety and are a must see for photographers.
The Brooks River can also provide excellent rainbow and sockeye fishing for anglers, provided the bears allow you to fish. At peak bear times there can be so many bears as to make fishing difficult.
Sockeye fishing and bear viewing is best from late June through July. Bears also return in September.
Brooks Camp consists of a ranger station, general store, lodge, and campground. The National Park Service conducts daily natural history and interpretive tours, while a concession provides a full day motor tour of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in human history.
Nanuktuk Creek (or Little Ku)
The Little Ku is a small tannic colored stream that empties into the west end of Kukaklek Lake. As the name implies, the Little Ku is diminutive, but the trout that return to it each year are not. The Little Ku has good numbers of big rainbows that can either cooperate nicely or border on stubborn. The stream is brushy with no particular extraordinary scenery, and can have a lot of bears. The Little Ku is also a long walk. You are dropped off at a pothole lake and then must walk one mile over tundra to the stream. You can fish and then return to the pothole, or continue fishing downstream to be picked up at Kukaklek Lake. Either way there is plenty of walking. The appeal for those who endure the walk is the opportunity to catch big native trout without the crowds.
The Big Ku
The Big Ku is the outflow of the Alagnak River at Lake Kukaklek. This is a wide-open, big place with beautiful views of the lake and surroundings. The Big Ku is a great early June trout fishery where trout lay in wait ready to attack clouds of salmon smolt as they make their migration to the ocean. Trout fishing remains good until hordes of adult sockeyes ascend the Lake in early July. Rainbow fishing is replaced by excellent sockeye salmon fishing.
Kulik is one of the most beautiful fly-out destinations within the Katmai region. Surrounded by mountains, the river is a little more than a mile long and drains Kulik Lake into Nonvianuk Lake. Kulik is a great fishery providing good numbers of aggressive trout ranging to 25 inches, with the average fish being 17-18 inches. During peak times Kulik can lack the wilderness atmosphere desired by some anglers traveling to Alaska. But on most days, the river is generous with fish, elbow room, and wilderness scenery.
Moraine Creek Click here to take our virtual flyout to the Moraine
The Moraine Creek flows 15 miles from Spectacle Lake to Kukaklek Lake. Funnel Creek is its major tributary. The Moraine has the reputation of having some of the biggest rainbow trout in and around the Katmai National Park and Preserve. This stream consistently produces the largest trout that our clients land each year, with some fish exceeding 30 inches. The Funnel also produces big fish on the right days to the skilled and patient angler. Both streams can be busy by wilderness standards, especially during the peak of the sockeye spawn. Anglers desiring more of a wilderness experience can still be rewarded with big trout by trying the Moraine at off-peak times. Views of surrounding glacial valleys, wildlife, and river scenery also help make the Moraine a popular destination.
Upper American River at Hammersly Lake
The Upper American River offers beautiful views of the surrounding tundra and mountain slopes. The sockeye salmon here have climbed almost 2000 vertical feet to spawn, and the rainbow trout and arctic char that have followed are some of the most feisty in the region. There is a good variety of water to fish with usually minimal fishing pressure. Rainbows range from 16 to 22 inches, with char to 26 inches. If you've ever wanted to catch a fish on a mouse, this is perfect water to try. Fishing is best in August.
The Naknek River, like the Kvichak, is a big river with big fish. The Canyon stretch of the Naknek offers "steelhead-like" runs. The Fan, a large gravel fan, has acres of gravel bottom at times covered with salmon and trout. Some of the largest rainbows in Alaska have been caught in this river with 10 pound fish not an uncommon occurrence. Early June is excellent, as is the end of August, but any time you are in Bristol Bay the Naknek is worth a try.
Upper Nonvianuk (or Hammersly Camp)
Hammersly Camp is at the outlet of Nonvianuk Lake where the Nonvianuk River starts its short 10 mile flow to join the Alagnak River. This is an excellent spring fishery during smolt migrations and it is generous with big rainbows in the late fall. This is a popular starting point for those rafting the Alagnak River.
The Kvichak River drains Lake Illiamna, the largest lake in Alaska, and is a large trout river by any standards. Big water and very big, chrome bright rainbows are what the upper reaches of the Kvichak River are all about. This is a great early season fishery, with fish over 30 inches a good possibility for anglers. The Kvichak is the closest fly-out location to the Alagnak Lodge. Fishing is best in June.
We are always working hard to make sure that we fly you to the best possible destinations for the type of fishing you want, and will gather any information available to us about current conditions to assist us in our decisions. However, please remember that conditions can change quickly.
and maintained by: Tony Starkie