Fishing in Alaska is a bucket list experience. At The Lodge at 58* North we operate a small camp on the Nushagak river, were we have two boats waiting and ready to fish at a moment’s notice. Fishing guides are stationed at camp, and guests fly to the Nushagak daily on a 25-minute flight. Our Dehavilland Beaver will fly you down the Naknek River and across Kvichak Bay, where Beluga whales are often seen feeding on sockeye salmon and smelt in the muddy waters of the bay. Once at our out-camp, guests are met by guides who have boats ready to fish.
Fishing in Alaska on the Nushagak River typically sees its largest numbers of king salmon returns during the last week of June. Fishing on the Nushagak for king salmon is done by downstream trolling spinners, casting spinning rods with bobber dogging gear, and at times, back-trolling with plugs or bait divers.
The last week of June also offers excellent fishing for sea-run Dolly Varden on tributaries of Becharof Lake. Most of the small streams we fish have Dolly Varden from 18-24” in clear water. Sight fishing with dry flies and streamers are the norm.
The area is stunningly beautiful, as the horizon is marked with jagged mountains and active volcanoes. One of our favorite streams is Featherly Creek, which has its headwaters actually beginning on Mount Peulik. Featherly is a fly fisherman’s dream. Its sandy shorelines make for easy wading and clear water make sight fishing the ideal way to fish. In late June, the grayling on Featherly Creek are huge and hungry, with many fish landed in 2022 measuring over 20”. Featherly also has sea run Dolly Varden that can be caught on streamers, small dry flies and even mouse patterns. The hike into Featherly Creek is about 20-30 minutes, so anglers need to be in moderate physical shape to enjoy their day on the water. Not every stream on Becharof Lake requires a long walk, some are fishable just up from the creek mouth.
Mid July is all about tundra hikes and creek mouths, streamers and dry flies plus Naknek based mixed-bag. Anglers interested in getting off the beaten path love mid July. The fishing does require effort by anglers, with hike times ranging from twenty minutes to over an hour, one way. What anglers are greeted with in mid July on these small streams are hungry rainbow trout and Dolly Varden who willingly take streamers, dry flies and mouse patterns. These fish are in the 16” to 24” range, perfect for 6wt fly rods.
Back on the Naknek we will be in the middle of peak sockeye migrations, so if you are interested in catching some fish to bring home, we are only a short boat ride to the sockeye grounds.
If conditions and tides are favorable, we will also fish the Naknek for king salmon. Pike fishing on Naknek Lake can also be very fun during this time. We try and fish for pike on sunny days when sight fishing is at its best. Check out this pike from 2022.