Our first trip of the season kicked off in style with a return guest that I have had the honor of fishing with for the last 11 seasons. Linda has always been a welcome addition and this year I had the pleasure of hosting a group of her friends and peers! This is a date that is very special to the guides as it gives us a chance to see the river "before the spawn." Before the massive push of Dollies in particular, but also before the sockeyes and chums start to really lay their beds and there are still chrome bright Kings in the system! Since the biomass is still kind of taking shape we get to focus on these salmon species which we typically don't do - and it makes for some great chances for exploration as it is our first descent!
As usual we floated day one - only spending an hour or so at the lake/put-in to gather our gear and rig up some rods. The river appeared to be very low and we definitely did some dragging coming out of the gate. Two of our guests were return clients, with 4 others who had never experienced "The Chosen" before!
After our first nights camp it became clear that the weather was going to be phenomenal. The warm days and pretty much nonexistent night time temperature swings resulted in a consistently warming trend for the water temperatures. Anyone who has fished in SW Alaska knows that if the water temps start to rise just enough the resident Rainbow Trout start to get pretty happy!
The best part about these rainbows becoming so happy is that they really dont have much to feed on yet, since the biomass is still arriving! This means the residents are looking for other baitfish/sculpins and MICE! Some of our best mouse fishing for rainbows is this time of year and the action can be non stop. With 7 different species of rodents in the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, this can be a legit "hatch"
With the water being so low, the path down to the ocean was not a mystery. In low water years the notorious braids and channels kind of become a novelty - because the main river is where all the life and fishing is. This early season fishing is primarily based on the rainbow habitat. Instead of fishing wide open beds and gravel drop offs - we're focusing on the wood and brush piles...
The weather continued to bless us with extraordinary mornings and evenings with great dining and fantastic camaraderie.
As we got in to the lower river we found more and more salmon - and even bumped in to a few worthy Kings!
This trip really was a trip of a lifetime for both the guests and the guides. It was a treat to share with such great people - and to reconnect with some longtime guests! They rebooked for next year so if anyone is interested in this date - it is available in 2021.
We have availability on August 17-23 with two spots open. And our August 25-31 trip also has availability with 6 spots open as of 11/15. Our August dates are typically not available and will be taken by the years end. Don't delay - book today - as these are our only spots left.
Swing by our Fly and Bottle Shop in downtown Boone NC to discuss some future possibilities or to book a trip on our awesome resources here in the High Country! We have trips going out daily to our Tailwater fisheries in Tennessee on the Watauga and South Holston - along with lots of local wade opportunities while the weather is still placid.