It’s Saturday September 3rd, 2005 and we are just about to land in the Bristol Bay town of King Salmon and head to my favorite Alaskan waters, the Naknek River. This river is not especially astounding for any salmon, grayling or char. It is home to something even more precious to me and many other alaskan fly fisherman, Gigantic wild Rainbow Trout. Along with the kvichiak many people believe this is the best river in Alaska or even the world to hook up with a 30 inch plus Rainbow Trout. In previous trips here, both me and my dad have gotten at least one 30 inch bow. Because of thise years different conditions, only my dad would get a 30 inch Rainbow on this trip. B,ut i still caught plenty of bows in 6 days that may take me years to catch in the lower 48.
Day 1: Not many bows but they were big!After getting to our cabin we headed out with our guide for a 5 hour guided trip, after this we would do the rest ourselves, which is great since we are experienced and it saves money. We went to a long 200 yard cut bank and we both peg some homemade bead eggs. For the first 30 minutes my dad and i both caught 2 bows around 2 pounds and lots of jack kings. I am standing right on the cut bank and cast towards a group of spawning King Salmon. As the fly drifts past them my strike indicator goes down and i set the hook. Immediately, ZZZZZZ, a fish peels off 50 yards of line and i see a chrome god like fiqure clear the water. The fish takes off downstream and i follow as fast as i can without falling! 15 minutes later I land the 28 inch 8 pound bow, take a pic and then i release it. After that fish we decide to drift from our guides boat and on the second drift i hear my dad scream, “Boo Yaa” and hear the reel screaming. We don’t see the fish for 10 minutes until my dad gets it to the boat and a gasp at the size of the fish. We land it and measure it at 34″ and estimate it at 13 to 14 pounds. We never land another bow but the trip seems made already.
So many bows so little time.The next 5 days went buy like a blur and i wish i had enough room to chronicle each day like the first but a las i can put the greatness into one sentence! We eaach caught about 40 bows per day a with the average fish being around 3 pounds. World class fishing may be an understatement. I also landed a 27 incher, another 28 incher and a 29 incher around 10 pounds while my dad never caught anything over 6 pounds. Like me he caught plenty of 3 to 6 pound Rainbow Trout. All the fish fought extremley hard, even the 3 pound trout took drag on our 9 weights! And while i never landed one over 30 inches, I remind myself what other fly fisherman would give to land 4 bows over 27 inches in 6 days! To put it simply it was one hell of a trip!