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December 2016

Naknek Special

Departments  

Fish Alaska Traveler 6

Fish Alaska Creel 10

Fish Alaska Gear Bag 12

Fish Alaska Online 14

Fishing for a Compliment 16

Fish Alaska Families 18

Salmon Sense 22

EZ Limits 24

Fish Alaska Fly 26

Fish Alaska Boats 28

Fish Alaska Saltwater 36

Fish Alaska Stillwater 38

Fish Alaska Recipe 78

Advertiser Index 81

Fish Alaska Final Drift 82


Special section:
Holiday Gift Guide Part 2 40
Enter holiday shopping season with a plan this year, beginning with the products here, sure to delight the anglers on your list whether they fish a handful or a hundred days a year. 


COVER / Bear Trail Lodge's Nanci Morris-Lyon displays a 31-plus-inch Naknek River rainbow. Fish like this, and guides like Nanci, have propelled the Naknek to worldwide acclaim. Photographer Tim Hagerty snapped this shot and many more during his visit to Bear Trail Lodge, returning amazed by the health of the fishery and the fact that each trophy trout looked as if it had never been hooked before. © Tim Hagerty

Features

This is the Naknek
by Troy Letherman 46

The Naknek River drains the colossal, emerald-colored lake of the same name, which also happens to be one of the world’s most significant rearing grounds for juvenile sockeye salmon. As a result, it regularly pumps out trout of gargantuan size. These rainbows are a powerful draw for anglers, but the Naknek also hosts returns of all five species of Alaska’s Pacific salmon, and the multitude of streams and rivers of the greater drainage likewise present prolific angling opportunities to anglers during each stage of the season. It’s all here in this feature, the where and when of one of Alaska’s most significant angling destinations.  

It’s All About the Drift 
by Kathy Anderson & Patrick Speranza 60

The power of the Naknek, and the power of her beautiful rainbows, is something to behold. Fish Alaska Associate Publishers Kathy Anderson and Patrick Speranza turn their visit into a quest to conquer these famous rainbows, calling upon a range of fishing styles and techniques to reach the fish. What they discover is that on the Naknek, like everywhere else trout swim, it is all about the drift.  

Rainbow Bend Lodges Revisited 
by Scott Haugen 66

Nestled on the banks of the Naknek River, Rainbow Bend Lodges features a series of small, quaint cabins with a stunning view of the river, and some of Alaska’s best fishing is located less than five minutes from the dock. Here Scott Haugen makes his fourth visit to the lodge and explores the river, noting the abundance and variety of its fisheries.

Swinging Naknek
by George Krumm 72

Join Contributing Editor George Krumm on a late-fall visit to Alaska Sportsman’s Bear Trail Lodge for a week of casting two-handers on the oversized Naknek, river of giants. The Naknek is world-famous for the trophy potential of its rainbow trout, and there is no better time to encounter fish stretching 30 inches in length or more than in late September or October, after the salmon spawn is complete. But because the fish are there doesn’t mean it’s easy—far from it. Naknek trout take work, and the work makes them worth it.