Naknek River Fishing

Naknek River

The Naknek River is our home river and we believe it is the best in Alaska. With five species of Pacific salmon, sea-run Dolly Varden, grayling, Northern pike, and some of the largest rainbow trout in the world, there are always fish to chase. 

Early Summer Fishing on the Naknek

The season starts on June 8th, with excellent fishing for trophy rainbow trout.  These fish have spent the winter under the ice and aggressively feed on anything that comes by. In some areas of the river, rainbow trout hunt out-migrating salmon smolts. Packs of hungry rainbows smash small salmon on the surface, a scene typically reserved for saltwater.

Naknek River fishing

Mid Summer Fishing on the Naknek

By late June, the first king and sockeye salmon will have arrived.  The king salmon run at this time is modest, though we do catch them consistently.  The sockeye salmon, on the other hand, come by the thousands as Bristol Bay sees record numbers. In fact, by the first week of July, tens of thousands of sockeye will swim the river daily. The peak of the king salmon run occurs from early to late July. We target the fish in the tidally influenced section of the Naknek.  Anglers who fish the Naknek during this time often split their days fishing for sockeye and kings.

Then in the last week of July, while fishing for king salmon, we see our first silvers of the season.  For the first few weeks of the run, we can expect to catch them, though not in high numbers. Then by the middle of August, there are thousands of fish moving through the river system.  Tactics for silver salmon include: fly fishing, casting spinners, and twitching jigs.  The clear water of the Naknek River makes for very interesting sight fishing opportunities, and we make every effort we can to sight fish for aggressive silvers on a daily basis.

Naknek River

Fall Fishing on the Naknek

From late June through the end of August, there are rainbow trout in the river, but the big push of rainbows moves out of Naknek Lake in September.  These are very large, and very old fish who will test even the most experienced angler.  Our favorite method for fall rainbows is to swing flies, though at times we fish for them with egg patterns under indicators.  Rainbow trout will be available until the river freezes again, and we fish until late October.

Naknek River fishing

Naknek River Species We Target:

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!