Many guests who visit Alaska West like to spend some time on the Arolik River during their stay with us. The Arolik is a costal river that runs roughly parallel to the Kanektok and has about half the flow of the Kanektok. Like the Kanektok, the Arolik is home to all five species of Pacific salmon, as well as rainbows, dollies and grayling. So what makes the Arolik worth visiting?
We’re allowed to operate a sportfishing operation on the Arolik with a joint venture with our friends at Qanirtuuq Inc, the native corporation in Quinhagak. This arrangement gives us exclusive rights to guide on the river, and we currently fish two or three boats per day on the Arolik. One river with six anglers per day leads to a pretty intimate experience over there. In addition, with the exception of the ruins of an old platinum mine more than 2 hours upriver, there is zero development on the Arolik– no trails, no fish camps, and certainly no airstrip or homes. More than one guest has come back from the Arolik and said “I feel like I’m the first person that ever fished over there”. You don’t get that in many places.
We love the rainbow fishing on the Arolik. With such low fishing pressure, Arolik rainbows get old– ADF&G has done studies in the Arolik that have identified surprising numbers of rainbows in the river over 10 years old. These fish are beautiful. Exhibit A: