Fish Alaska's 2016 Fishing Report 
for Bristol Bay

Check back for updates from around the state all summer! Submit your local fishing reports here, be sure to include all pertinent information.
____________________________________________________________ 

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
August 22, 2016
Bristol Bay Area

Week of August 22 to 28
Issued August 22, 2016

Regulation reminders

During the December 2015 meeting, the Alaska Board of Fish made the following regulatory changes to Bristol Bay sport fisheries. These new regulations are published in the 2016 Bristol Bay sport fishing regulation summary, and are in effect this season.

  • “No chumming” regulation amended to include only sport fishing guides and guided anglers.
  • During the March 2016 statewide meeting, the Alaska Board of Fish made the following regulatory changes that applied to Bristol Bay sport fisheries. These new regulations are NOT published in the 2016 Bristol Bay sport fishing regulation summary but are in effect this season.
  • A bare single hook is now included in the definition of an artificial fly.
  • Clarified that an attractor bead that is either fixed within 2 inches of the fly (or bare hook) or is free sliding on the line or leader may be used in fly-fishing only waters.

Fresh waters

Silver Salmon

  • Naknek and Alagnak drainages:
  • Silvers are being caught and fishing is reported as good.
  • Nushagak drainages.
  • Fishing is reported as good to very good.
  • Togiak River and nearby drainages:
  • Water is reportedly high and slightly off color but fishing is reported as good and should remain good this week.

Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling

  • Naknek and Alagnak drainages:
  • Fishing is reported as fair to good for rainbow trout.
  • Togiak River and nearby drainages:
  • Fishing is reported as fair to good.
  • Wood River Lakes system:
  • Fishing is reported as good for rainbows, Dollies, and grayling.

Northern Pike

  • Naknek and Alagnak drainages:
  • Fishing is reported as poor to fair.
  • Wood River Lake system:
  • Fishing is poor to fair along lake and slough shores and in shallow weedy bays.

Salt waters

Halibut

  • Nushagak Bay
  • Fishing should be fair off the coast of Protection Point.

____________________________________________________________ 

Naknek River Camp
Alagnak River
August 2 to August 9, 2016

The Naknek, Kvichak , and Alagnak rivers are starting their migration of silver salmon. If you can avoid the massive schools of chums and pinks, there are silvers hiding. You can also embrace the chums or pinks, and have fun catching fish that fight hard and are eager to bite. We have been doing well with pink dolly llama flies for all of these salmon; casting them towards the banks and giving big strips. Trout fishing in the Naknek river and fly-out rivers has been hot with spawning pinks and kings giving out enough eggs to get the rainbow trout, arctic char, and arctic grayling keyed in on eggs. Casting sink tips with sculpin or leech patterns has also been productive for trout species. Casts for pikes have been paying off as well with multiple 40-plus inchers caught this week. 

____________________________________________________________ 

Naknek River Camp
Alagnak River
July 13 to July 20, 2016

Sockeye continue to run in the Naknek River and sister rivers, the Kvichak and Alagnak. Even though it is past its peak, limits of fresh fish are still being caught. Kings have stopped running in the river, but are in staging areas and still biting. The kings should continue to be good fishing until season closes with plenty of large fish being caught in the 30-40 pound range, and even some breaking 40-pounds. Fishing streamers for rainbows has been great with large rainbows in the high 20’s being caught regularly and those hawg 30-inchers still making appearances.  Small tributaries across Bristol Bay have begun to host spawning of king and chum salmon leading to great bead fishing.

____________________________________________________________ 

Naknek River Camp
Naknek River
July 5 to July 12, 2016

Bristol Bay sockeye are running in full force; most rivers have reached their minimum quota for sockeye runs and are still continuing to flood in. The Naknek River has now passed one million fish that have passed through the river. King Salmon entering the rivers has slowed, but fishing has continued to be productive with plenty of healthy plus-sized fish waiting to show you what they can do. The Naknek River has been continuing to have a good smolt migration, and the rainbows are taking advantage of it, resulting in multiple rainbows over 30-inches being caught. Flying out to remote destinations has been great for grayling, Dolly Varden, and leopard rainbows. We have been flying out to some of these locations to fish dry flies, streamers, and mousing, and it has been paying off.

____________________________________________________________ 

Naknek River Camp
Alagnak River
June 25 to July 2, 2016

Lower rivers below lakes are ahead of schedule for water levels because of early thaw and spring showing up to 21⁄2­feet of extra water (i.e. the Naknek, Alagnak, and Kvichak rivers). Trout fishing in the Naknek and Alagnak River areas are going very well with good numbers and increasing size; lots of rainbows in the Naknek in the 24­ to 28­inch class with giants showing up occasionally. Steady numbers of kings on the Naknek with multiple hook­ups most days, and expecting a strong run like last year. Flying and hiking into small streams has been showing its worth with hidden gems all across the Bristol Bay area. Leopard bows and grayling can be found in wilderness locations if you are willing to make the journey.

Naknek River Camp
Naknek River
June 25 to July 2, 2016

The Naknek River had a late start for the sockeye run, but they are flooding the river in full force. We are seeing large groups traveling from Bristol Bay all the way up the river, and jumping the falls at Brooks Camp National Park. Lower rivers below lakes are ahead of schedule for water levels because of early thaw and spring showing up to 2 1/2-feet ofextra water (i.e. the Naknek, Alagnak, and Kvichak rivers). Trout fishing in the Naknek and Alagnak river areas are going very well with good numbers and increasing size; lots of rainbows in the Naknek in the 24- to 28-inch class, with giants showing up occasionally. Steady numbers of kings on the Naknek with multiple hook-ups most days, and expecting a strong run like last year. Flying and hiking into small streams has been showing its worth with hidden gems all across the Bristol Bay area. Leopard bows and grayling can be found in wilderness locations if you are willing to make the journey.

Naknek River Camp
Nushagak River
June 25 to July 2, 2016

The Nushagak River is ahead of the average run of king salmon with good reports most days.

____________________________________________________________ 

Angler’s Alibi
John Perry
Alagnak River
June 30, 2016 

King salmon are just starting to trickle into the system here on the Alagnak. Sockeye salmon are not here yet, but we expect a big push on any tide now.

We landed a 25-pound king salmon today on fly. We were using a green and blue squidro pattern on a Teeny 400 grain sink tip. Not a bad start to the kings, but we would like to see a lot more. We have been catching some jack kings, so hopefully this is the start of the run for us. On one of our braids boats today, we caught and landed a 4-pound Jack King Salmon on a mouse pattern. This is the first time I have ever witnessed a jack king salmon on a topwater fly!

As far as rainbow fishing in the Alagnak River braids, we are having great success on mouse patterns as well as smaller gurglers in orange. We are also using the standard spring patterns of black leeches and large sculpin patterns for the trout. Grayling can be caught nymphing if they are not on top with attractor nymphs and small woolly buggers.

The trout are very active and aggressive right now, and fishing has been stellar on the Alagnak for trout.