Fall Fishing in Katmai ~ Bristol Bay, Alaska
We are often asked what makes late season Katmai trips something we prefer. The answer is fairly complex, but we'll try to explain.
Everything in the Alaska ecosystem revolves around two things, weather and access to food. Beginning in June with the out-migration of smolt from the lakes to the sea, our resident species of Rainbow Trout, Arctic Char, Grayling, etc. begin to devour massive amounts of food. Winter is rough on everything up here, and the arrival of warmer weather, ice free waters, and a sudden abundance of food triggers an orgy of caloric gluttony in our watersheds. As early Summer transitions into mid season, the returning runs of Pacific Salmon arrives, and the aquatic buffet line gets even richer, as the salmon deposit their eggs, they are gobbled up by ravenous fish, comparable to Pacman on a bender.
When the spawn cycle begins to wane, so does Summer. Long days of 18+ hours of daylight are over, replaced by a more recognizable day to night cycle. The salmon, having completed their genetically programmed duty, begin to die off. Air temperatures and subsequently water temperatures begin to cool. As September begins, Summer ends. The time of fresh food entering the systems transitions to gorging on what is now present, specifically salmon eggs, dead salmon, and smolt. We'd be remiss however to not note that while most salmon runs have tapered off by now, the acrobatic and knuckle busting Coho's are just rolling in, like that guy who shows up to the party late with a full keg and a handle of tequila, intent on keeping the ball rolling.
Starting around mid September the change in temperature is very notable, and it is not lost on the denizens of the region. Winter is fast approaching, and after months of shoveling food down, everything is fat and happy. But much like an all you can eat buffet, no matter how much you eat, how full you feel, there's always that “just one more bite” rationale.
THAT is the time to strike. A well fed, healthy Rainbow Trout is a Late Fall product that has morphed from a slim, underfed specimen only a few months prior based upon its near constant consumption of anything that is edible. With Winter fast approaching these fish know that lean times loom, and like a Brown Bear preparing to hibernate, fish realize that they need to enter the frozen months ahead as fat as they possibly can get. Big streamers, egg patterns, mouse flies, all come into play at this time. The buffet is about to close, and these patrons want to get their moneys worth.
Crisp Fall days, frosty mornings, vibrant colors of foliage, rolly-poly Brown Bears, riverside campfires, the chance of the first Northern Lights sighting of Fall, are all aspects of these Last Hurrah weeks of a long season. As behemoth Rainbows prepare for their curtain call of Summer and Fall while the Coho are still partying like it's July.
Even as the fisherman thinks “just one more cast”, the trout are thinking “just one more bite”, with the Coho charging anything that moves and hammering it.....Which is truly the best scenario any angler could hope for.
Mike Bianchi ~ Head Guide, Alaska Rainbow Adventures
Where: Moraine Creek and Alagnak Rivers Katmai Region, Bristol Bay Alaska / From King Salmon, Alaska - Includes float plane flights to Moraine Creek from King Salmon then to the Alagnak River and back to King Salmon, Alaska
When: September 21 to 30, 2023 ~ Ten Days and Nine Nights Total : 4 Days on Moraine Creek / 6 Days on the Alagnak River / Limited To Just 6 Guests and 3 Guides
Rate: $6,495.00 per person ~ double occupancy / Fisherman's Deluxe Style available