Following birds and chasing bait isn’t just for the saltwater. Every June on the Naknek, we have legitimate boils in our home river as trout and seagulls harass fleeing salmon smolt. This is when we show our guests a different type of “sight fishing”. We owe it all to one of the greatest animal migrations on the planet. Each spring, (which in Bristol Bay is the month of June), millions of salmon fry that were born throughout the Naknek Lake system, head to the ocean. Awaiting these juvenile salmon are aggressive and hungry resident Rainbow Trout. These fish need nutrients after a long winter and will actively hunt down schools of salmon fry. The action is fast and furious. For those who have been lucky enough to do it, it is very similar to Tuna or Bluefish boils in the saltwater. You follow the birds, when they find the bait, they will start to dive into the water. The fish will find the bait as well and will be jumping out of the water as they voraciously eat anything that moves in their path. Your only job is to remain calm and cast a fly into the middle of this mayhem before striping it in as fast as you can. The eats will be so hard that the rod can get ripped out of your hand if you aren’t hanging on tight enough. Again, these are trout we are talking about. We weren’t lying when we described this as one of the most unique “sight fishing” opportunities on the planet, targeting trout that don’t act like trout. And we couldn’t be more excited to have all this right out our back door.
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