|Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:|
|Crystal Creek Lodge|
Water flow: 3000 cfs
Visibility: 48 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 50 Degrees F
Water condition: Clear
Best time of day to fish: all day
Best stretch: Best section is in the rapids, with some rainbow trout being caught up top of the river. Kings are still good right in front of the lodge. Silvers are starting to show up along some of the banks.
Best access point: Come to Crystal Creek Lodge and jump in our boats to go up the river.
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
No predictable/productive hatches on the Naknek River. Naknek Rainbow Trout forage on either salmon-generated food sources (fry, smolt, eggs or decaying flesh) or other predatory food sources (sculpins, lampreys).
Fish species: Rainbow Trout
Fishing season: June to October
Nearest airport: King Salmon, Alaska (AKN)
Recommended fly fishing leader: 7 ½ Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 1X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 9' 8 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: Salmon/Steelhead WF Fly Line
Best sinking fly line: Streamer Stripper Sink Tip Fly Line
The Naknek River has world-renowned Rainbow Trout and salmon fishing. The River is 35 miles long between Naknek Lake and the Bering Sea. Most fishing takes place in upper 15 miles of the River beyond the reach of tide water. The Naknek River is a swift flowing, dropping from an elevation of 34 ft. at Naknek Lake to sea level in 35 miles, yet the greatest drop is within the top ten miles of the river as it cuts ...
through an ancient glacier moraine that creates a canyon and a long, boulder-strewn rapids. The water has a blue/green tinge due to glacial silt and volcanic ash deposited in Naknek Lake. Water clarity is generally very good, with 5-10 ft. visibility. Flows are 4000 cfs early May to 11,000 cfs October 1.
The Naknek River supports one of the largest King (Chinook) Salmon sport fisheries in southwestern
Alaska. Between 15,000 and 25,000 Kings return each year to the river. Kings begin to enter the river in early June and are available through the July 31 season.
There's a large run of Red (Sockeye) Salmon to the Naknek. Runs in recent years have numbered over two million fish. Red salmon enter the Naknek by late June, with the peak of the run near July 4.
Strong numbers of Silver (Coho) Salmon also enter the Naknek, and fishing can be very good at times. The Silver run starts in late July and continues into September, with the best fishing early to mid August.
Chum Salmon enter the River from late June through August, with the best fishing in early August.
Pink (Humpy) Salmon enter the system in good numbers on even-numbered years from late July through August.
Naknek Rainbow Trout
The Rainbow Trout of the Naknek River are well known for their abundance and ability to reach large sizes. Fish over 30 inches long and 10 pounds can be caught. The Trout of the Naknek grow large quickly due to the substantial amount of forage available from an abundant salmon smolt migration, an influx of lampreys that enter the river to spawn and the protein generated by the availability of salmon eggs and salmon carcasses during and after the salmon spawn. Most anglers targeting Rainbows fish the upper ten miles of river in one of three prime times.
In spring, after ice-out sometime between early March and April 9, anglers fish the upper river for trout that have not yet spawned. Techniques include fly fishing with large, dark attractor patterns. The late winter/spring season weather can change quickly, and snow storms and ice on the river are not uncommon. The upper river is closed to all fishing from April 10 until June 7 to protect spawning trout.
The next good time is after the June opener and into July during the migration of red salmon smolt and the lampreys using smolt patterns and large, dark leech patterns.
During the August through October salmon spawn, rainbows feed on salmon eggs and flesh, prompting anglers to use egg patterns and flesh flies. Rainbow trout (as well as Arctic grayling and Dolly Varden) are also present in Paul's and King Salmon creeks, tributaries along the road system.
Jump in a jet boat and take it up river. Throw on a bead and drift through the rapid and canyon sections over spawning kings.
The kings and pinks are staging in the rapids. It won't be long till the rainbow fishing really heats up in the rapids.