The word “Alaska” conjures visions of jagged icy peaks, smoking volcanoes, vast crimson tundra, sweeping blue rivers and lakes, shaggy brown bears, bush airplanes and pilots, remote Native villages, flashing rainbow trout, and rivers teeming with crimson salmon. These visions are realized, on a stupendous scale, in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. Each year 50 million or more wild salmon pour into the Bay to fight their way upstream past nets, anglers, bears, swirling rapids, and cascading waterfalls in lake and river systems with magical names—Iliamna, Kvichak, Naknek, Alagnak, Becharof, Egegik, Nushagak, Togiak, and Ugashik.
Sport anglers travel to the region to pursue all five species of Pacific salmon, dolly varden and arctic char, grayling and giant rainbow trout that provide unmatched thrills on the end of a line with their explosive runs and twisting leaps. This unparalleled fishing—driven by the salmon—makes Bristol Bay the place of fly fisher’s dreams.
In this book, author Bill Horn provides a detailed and compelling account of the natural history and life cycle of these fish as well as a glimpse into the culture, management, and politics that are part of the sockeye salmon story. It also offers essential information for anglers planning a trip to the region, including best times of the year for fishing, strategies and fly choices, and planning your trip.