One Fisherman's Tale
It was a perfect evening for fishing on the Naknek River. I heard an eagle call. A few alder leaves floated by catching in the back eddy behind a rock; they bobbed in the foam for a few seconds before swiftly spinning down the river. In the distance the faint click of caribou hooves on stone muffled through the evening air; and a flock of teal banked, peeling around the corner, wings slicing toward the south. I saw my line suddenly stop, and slowly I raised the rod tip.
The quiet moment was shattered as the water exploded in ringlets bent around a bright silver and red body. Eight pounds of rainbow trout, airborne for an instant, deep crimson in the autumn light, turned and dove into the swift current for the dark rocks in the rapids. My reel spun out of control spraying drops of water across my face, the line rapidly disappearing into the green glacial current.
We struggled in the darkening canyon. The moon, rising across the river hinted at the oncoming night. Finally, after a long battle of give and take, I was seventy yards down river holding the writhing trout in a deep back eddy and watching it recover to swim strongly into the current. It hovered like a hawk for a few seconds before gliding silently away to its refuge among the moss and gravel. Such are autumn evenings on the Naknek River.
If you are interested in large and abundant fish, this region is the place you want to be. The Naknek, Kvichak, and the Alagnak are all world famous river destinations. Sport fishers travel from all over the world to seek trophy rainbow, salmon, dolly varden, grayling and other species. They’re all here, those famous rivers, and many more. Have you ever heard of American Creek or the King Salmon River? They may not have the reputation the bigger rivers do, but they hold big fish and they are as close as a short boat or floatplane ride from King Salmon or Iliamna.
Here’s the secret to catching your trophy. Hire a guide. The fish are here by the millions and you can catch them until your arm hurts. A guide is the best way to know how, where, and when to fish for whatever species your might be interested in. Can you fish without a guide? You sure can, but try to tap the local knowledge before heading out.
Source: Bristol Bay Visitor Guide