2015 Season in Review

One word, Salmon! Wow! Did we ever see some salmon. The Bristol Bay sockeye run came in at 58 million fish, 70% larger than our average run and second largest in the last 20 years! According to counting results, which at times seem a guess at best, over 22 million were allowed up the rivers to spawn. The commercial harvest value was just shy of 95 million dollars which was 15% lower than the 20 year average. This was due to a low price paid and stocks left over from last summer. The average commercial fisherman caught double the fish but made less money. We saw very healthy returns up most rivers and excellent trout fishing.

As is the new normal, we saw very little snow last winter resulting in low, clear rivers for the spring trout fishing. The lack of precipitation continued well into August with just enough to keep most rivers salmon healthy and trout with enough food and oxygen to remain. Around mid-August, we started seeing some rain and finished up with rivers at typical levels.

2015 will go down in the books as the year of the vole. North American populations peaked and the fish loved it! We actually caught several trout that regurgitated very large voles and witnessed voles and burrows everywhere. If you haven’t caught a trout on a mouse pattern you are missing out, it is a blast, literally! Typically an explosive attack and if the first attempt is a miss they often come right back for another try. All this fun happens in June and July with most fish turning to the consistent protein of salmon and eggs after that.

2015 will also be recorded as a year of big fish and lots of them. We did not catch any real monster trout, just lots of really big ones. As we didn’t count them I could only throw out some approximate numbers, like 200 over 26”. But that would be too close to a fish story, so let’s just say “lots”.

2016 salmon runs are forecast to be very good, not record breaking, but above average. So far this winter has been very much like the last few in regards to snow and we expect June water levels to be excellent.

Over all, it was a great season and everyone left the lodge smiling. Many have signed on for 2016 but we have space available, just don’t wait too long to book, it’s filling fast!

John Holman
Owner/Pilot and Guide

2013 Season Review

2013 Season Review

2013 season is in the books and goes down as another great year. I personally guided more on “new” water than I did on our traditional rivers. Much of this “exploration” was only possible because we don’t practice the “drop and go” fishing experience. Anyone that has been dropped off at a location, watched the plane leave and then discovered that things are not as expected, can appreciate our program. Several rivers that typically fish very well and are generally predictable were not quite “normal” in 2013. I recall several days that weather was also an issue and heard people comment, as we departed, that they were very happy to have that option. Overall the weather was better than the past few years with some incredibly nice weather in June and July. Our salmon runs were, for the most part, good. The Nushigak King run was typical and fished about as expected while the Alagnak run was in line with the last few years, some great days with more days doing something else. The Alagnak Silver Salmon run was a definite bright spot with great numbers and an extended season. Again the “no dropping” practice paid off as we able to fish several holes and then move on to a different river for the afternoon. Trout fishing overall, was very good. Many longtime guests were thrilled with the opportunity to fish new water and found some new favorites. As is the norm, June and July produced our best weather and least numbers of competing anglers. August and September provided some big, fat trout but also tends to be the most popular time for Southwest Alaska, again having exclusive rights to a beaver allows for on the go changing of plans. Life around the lodge was smooth with our attentive, dedicated staff. I got many comments on how good they all were and expect most to be there in 2014. The new gazebo was a huge success, well worth the wait, and many enjoyable evenings were passed around the fire and horseshoe pits. I also witnessed more people in the river than normal, some water skiing and swimming but most just taking a quick cool down dip from the sauna. We had another successful year using Trans Northern for our Anchorage-King Salmon flights and anticipate the same for 2014. John Holman President, Pilot & Guide

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