Alagnak river float

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by jumbo215, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. jumbo215 Jasper hickman

    Posts: 331
    lake forest park, wa
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Our group is finailly getting a serious float trip together, we are pretty locked on the Alagnak river, and targeting rainbows. The question I have is out of June or July what would the best time to be up there?
  2. Couleeflyfisher Member

    Posts: 398
    .
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Been There, Done That, only we were after sockeye. 4th of July has been our date for the start of the sockeye run, fantastic fishery. Check out Branch River Air, Van Hartley for recommendations on best time for Rainbows. I know people that have targetted rainbows and done great but not sure of the dates they prefer. We spent 12 days on the river and caught a few 'bows and grayling but the sockeye were non-stop action.
  3. Lugan Joe Streamer

    Posts: 2,372
    Beautiful View, WA
    Ratings: +755 / 2
    I did that in 1998 from the source at the lake (forgot the name) to a few miles below the big lodge on the river (forgot that name too). We were there in mid-August and it was too early for silvers or bows, but too late for kings. We did fine, but if was a mixed bag. Great adventure though. Just be sure to take very careful bear precautions because they're everywhere. Camp on islands is my #1 bit of advice.
  4. jockomontana Member

    Posts: 38
    Seward, AK
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Timing depends on what species you are targeting... The Alagnak gets all 5 species of salmon returning, with sockeyes being most plentiful, mid-June to mid-July. However, if it is quality rainbows that you seek then you should consider going in late August or early September. If it is a Do-it-yourself wilderness float, then get dropped in at Nonvianuk Lake and float for 4-5 days... fish the braids hard, then get picked up on the lower river... plenty of places to land a float plane down there. Logistically, you could fly commercial to King Salmon, then charter a bush plane, or drive a rental to Soldotna and charter a bush plane from there. I've used High Adventure Air out of Soldotna for two Alagnak fall trips and they've been excellent to deal with.

    hope this helps. good luck!
  5. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,207
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Hope you don't mind 26 foot wooly jet sleds passing you all day... I'd seriously consider a different river if you are into rainbows or solitude. That being said...

    I get paid to be there...
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    shoot me a PM with questions I know the river decently
  6. Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    Posts: 428
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    "Jumbo"
    I have a few yearly trips up there on that very same water, if you are serious about Rainbows go on the opener about mid June 14-16 depending on the calendar year. It is a swing fishery with some nymphing possable, and great streamer fishing on the move. For a more mixed bag (salmon)and still some good rainbow fishing you can fish as late as mid July after that the bulk of the bows are above the lake (Nonvianek) chasing eggs in the feeders.
    This is from a July trip i did this season the water was very high and the bows that fed on the fry all June had re-enterd the lake, not normal at all. This is a trip I like to do once a season it is a six day float out of King Salmon. PM me or call and I can give better information on the fishery.
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  7. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,207
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Ha I saw you guys camped above Trappers this summer I thought those tents looked familiar when I saw that vid!
  8. Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    Posts: 428
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Awesome, wished you would of stopped by for a drink and some Rainbow talk, it was the toughest rainbow fishing I have seen there ever, doing the Goodnews and Kanectok next season...
  9. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,207
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Yeah this year was really really really tough... A couple more years of cool high water and it'll rebound... 70° water is fish killin' temps...
  10. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,860
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +53 / 1
  11. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,207
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    the new permits are for non guides, guides have needed permits for those rivers for a long time...
  12. jumbo215 Jasper hickman

    Posts: 331
    lake forest park, wa
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    thanks for input
  13. snarlac Member

    Posts: 264
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    what are AK-PM's camera setting?

    Those are nice pictures; I have a first digital camera and can't do shinola with it.

    can you clue me in on some settings for taking pics of fish? (ISO, flash or not, macro or not, zoom, whatever works) Anything with a flash looks like crap to me, and I can't get the flipping thing to focus like you; I mean look at your last picture, everything from the fish scales to the water surface is in perfect focus.

    There has to be an easier way than taking a million bad pictures; just thought I'd ask....
  14. teylor1975 Patagonia Argentina South America

    I was there 3 years ago, second week of August, if you are going for rainbows I recommend morein river too, smaller than the alagnak but plenty of really good rainbows. we went with Chad from the rainbow river lodge.
    View attachment 35072

    good luck on your trip
    gonza
  15. Ulfinator New Member

    Posts: 25
    Kent, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    If you go with Branch River Air you might want to consider avoiding flying with Dan if he still flies for them. This was the result of my last flight with Dan:

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  16. Tyler Sadowski Member

    Posts: 473
    Kirkland, wa
    Ratings: +21 / 0
    Whats the story behind the crash?
  17. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,454
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,576 / 0
    Bush flying does have its ups and downs. Ouch!
  18. circlespey Member

    Posts: 244
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    I did an Alagnak float in late July some years ago. The river was pretty barren and there were a lot of jet boats from the two lodges on the river (Katmai lodge is the big one). We caught some decent fish but the large fish were just not there; either they were migrated somewhere else or they are much reduced from the Alagnak of yesteryear. If I did another similar trip in Alaska I would not go to the Alagnak again, regardless of season.
  19. snarlac Member

    Posts: 264
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    yes it does. Bing search this: "branch river air" crash

    or search, "crash" and the name of most other major bush flight operations, and you will find plenty of such stories and reasons. It is not a particularly forgiving environment, either in the air, or on land.

    The proximate cause is usually something having to do with weather (visibility, wind), pilot skill, mechanics, ground conditions, etc., and dumb luck or the lack thereof. Speaking of which, I would be happy to be alive after such a landing.
  20. Ulfinator New Member

    Posts: 25
    Kent, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    We were in King Salmon, AK for the week with Patty from Blue Fly (http://www.fishbluefly.com/).

    On Tuesday August 19th my uncle, his friend, our guide Will and myself were picked up by a Cessna 2006 Float Plane at the Blue Fly dock on the Naknek river. We were flown out to a small lake near the Little Kukaklek River to do some hiking, fishing and bear watching. Had a fantastic day catching nice trout and we saw 14 bears. At the end of the day we hiked out to the little lake to catch our ride home.

    We boarded another Cessna 206 for the flight home. The pilot went as far down the lake as he could to get a good take off run. I was watching the airspeed and was getting a bit worried as we neared the end of the lake. The pilot was able to yank the aircraft off the water just in time to keep us from slamming directly into the bank on then end of the lake but we managed to smack the bottom of one of the floats on a rock. As far as I remember we pitched nose up and started to turn to the right and then all of a sudden the pilot placed the plane down on the tundra. We slid about 200 yds before coming to a stop with the prop kicking up moss and grass.

    At this point we started asking if everyone was okay. Miraculously there were no injures, not even bumps or bruises.

    We did however find out real quick that the float struts had buckled upwards and were blocking us from exiting the aircraft. The pilot had to use his multi-tool to open the window and crawl out that way. He then was able to bend some of the struts out of the way so we could get the rear door open enough to pop it off its hinges.

    To add to the accident the plane we were in had a bad radio and the pilot had only a crappy hand held radio that he couldn't raise anyone on. He ended up turning on the emergency locater beacon on to get help. After about 30 minutes a Helio Courier flew over and landed to help. He had a full load but a Beaver was on the way to help shuttle us out to nearby Kukaklek Lake where another Beaver picked us up and flew us back to King Salmon.

    A few days later the aircraft was brought back to town by helicopter, cost 10k from what I heard, and as of Sunday 24 Aug when I left King Salmon was still sitting there.

    Thankfully no one was hurt physically.

    Also I have been long interested in getting my pilots license and this day was my first experience with smaller aircraft. The experience did nothing to persuade me from my interest in flying and in fact we flew again a few days later, albeit, in a Beaver to a much bigger lake

    FAA Probable Cause Report:

    http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20080924X01524&key=1

    Me on the far left pilot on the far right surveying the damage

    View attachment 35083

    Bears on Little Ku

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    Finally some fish porn:

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    From the Kulek River:

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