Called Smolt Busts for a Reason
Each spring one of the greatest fish migrations found on planet earth happens right in front of the lodge. The outgoing smolt migrations from the millions of salmon who have spawned throughout the Naknek Lake system bring fertile nutrition to the waiting hoards of Rainbow Trout, just when they need it most. Roving up and down the river are schools of large aggressive and hungry trophy Rainbows crashing violently into fleeing shoals of bite size salmon. The action can be fast, furious and heart stopping.
Fish in spring waters are impatient for the millions of salmon fry heading to the ocean. Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Dolly Varden, Artic Char and Grayling are very aggressive and smash almost any fly in their path. Massive insect hatches make June a dry-fly dream come true, and Sockeye and King Salmon flood the area in the middle of this special month. Also, Halibut, Rockfish, and many other saltwater species are always biting.
Dry Fly Fishing in Alaska
In June as the waters of Southwest Alaska warm, the bug activity increases. Rainbows, Grayling and Char utilize every opportunity to make for the surface even if there are no actively hatching bugs. Many days the bugs come out and the fishing can be magical. Imagine wading upstream casting a large dry fly, every shadow a potential monster Alaska Rainbow waiting to slurp on a well placed fly.
Streamer/Mouse Fishing in Alaska
In recent years there has been a resurgence in the interest of streamer fishing; no other lodge has been more influential than Rapids Camp. We were the guys who brought spey rods to Bristol Bay. To this day we pride ourselves on having top of the line spey instructor guides and equipment. With all the rivers we utilize including the Naknek, it is our treat to see guests smiling with each aggressive grabbing take.
The Rainbows of Alaska love to eat rodents. Rapids Camp Lodge guides can and will teach you proper mousing techniques. At times mousing is the most productive method and can yield the largest fish of the trip. Fishing a mouse pattern is an active and wonderful way to search water and allow for another angler to follow with a leach for cleanup detail. Explosive takes are the name of the game.
The Kings of June
June in Alaska signals excitement buzzing through the guide staff when the first Kings show. These fish can and do win their share of battles. June King Fishing in Alaska is remarkable. We fish all methods from Spey and single-hand fly rods on small rivers, to conventional gear on the grand daddy of King rivers – the Nushagak.
July is the season when the engine of Bristol Bay is running at high speed. All the rivers surrounding the lodge are flowing with incoming salmon runs. Sockeye Salmon swim by in the millions yearning for the small gravel of places like Brooks Falls or American Creek. About this time we start flying down the Alaska Peninsula on a more regular basis fishing smaller clear running rivers. With our boats on the intimate Smokey River, clear shallow and perfect for fishing with fly or medium action spinning equipment this is our choice for chrome bright King Salmon.
Underutilized Rainbow Fishing
Experience means a lot and we are putting ours to wise use. Most lodges and anglers ignore some of the best small stream Rainbow Trout fishing in Bristol Bay simply because the salmon runs are in full swing during this month. This oversight means we are able to fly to numerous great Rainbow Trout rivers without much competition. The entire month of July is often the best mouse fishing of the summer.
Our wheeled Beaver gives us abilities like no other lodge in Bristol Bay. We are in the process of exploring, cataloging and developing a myriad of underutilized opportunities. Many anglers have fished Contact Creek, but only a handful of anglers have explored the other great fisheries that sit in its close proximity. We do, and are adding more each year. These creeks hold beautiful colored fearless Rainbows ready to pounce on your mouse or streamer.
Like no other month, August signals the culmination of the journey for most of the returning salmon. Throughout the month we fish rivers choked with Rainbows, Char and Grayling stuffing themselves with protein. During August many of the most famous rivers of Katmai are fishing their best. Our expert guides will take you to any number of rivers inside our sphere of influence.
Rainbows Getting Fat for Winter
During August the Rainbows of Bristol Bay increase their mass by 20+%. Eggs and flesh make up the majority of this weight increase. Rapids Camp Lodge specializes in hunting down and catching the biggest Rainbows in Alaska.
Fishing for Silvers in Alaska
Of all the salmon that enter rivers, none behave quite as aggressively as chrome-bright tidewater Silver Salmon. Many consider Silvers the most aggressive Pacific Salmon of size. If you are looking for a combination Silver/ Rainbow Trout trip, Rapids Camp Lodge can better fulfill your fishing dreams than all others. By accessing beautiful smaller coastal rivers we fish small rivers choked with these Chrome Battlers. At Geographic Harbor nothing is more exciting than having a school of Silvers racing around under the boat- hold on tight! This adds a dimension to fishing for Halibut and Ling Cod, fill your fish box and go throw flies and light jigs for Silvers.
Trophy Rainbow Time
The cool nights of September whisper a change in the seasons. We keep a close eye on the Naknek River as it will be sometime early in the month when the SWING is on. In September huge Rainbows drop out of Naknek Lake into the main stem Naknek River. Each year we celebrate our guests capturing that elusive 30-inch Rainbow. More 30+inch mega Rainbows are caught each fall in the Naknek than any river in Alaska. That said, we fish all of the great trout streams of Katmai Park during this trophy time. Trout fishing in Katmai Park is excellent.
Fish Alaska Magazine chose the Naknek River as the #1 Trophy Rainbow river in Alaska. The Rapids, which are right in front of Rapids Camp Lodge, is the premiere spot to fish the river, and with our close proximity, we will NEVER be second on the water. Rather you want to wade out to the best spot, or for those who prefer boat fishing, the Trophy Rainbows are plentiful. The Rapids is not the only area the Naknek has to offer. Guests can enjoy a scenic boat ride upstream to Lake Camp, where beautiful Trophy Rainbow fresh from the lake can be caught. The Naknek has everything to offer from beautiful scenery, wildlife, and of course Trophy Rainbows.
Silvers are still abundant down the Alaska Peninsula and we continue to access the small Silver choked coastal rivers. This is another huge advantage of having four planes at our service.