Alaska West operates from early June through the first week in September. Fishing in general is excellent any time in the season but the conditions and species available vary from month to month and may impact when you decide to visit.
RAINBOW TROUT SEASONALITY
EARLY SEASON (MID-JUNE THROUGH MID-JULY)
During this period, the Kanektok isn’t yet clogged with salmon. Rainbows are hungry after a long cold winter, and they’re really opportunistic feeders. Covering lots of water with big flies is generally the ticket. Sculpins, leeches, big flesh flies, and some opportunistic mouse fishing can make the early season a home run!
MID SEASON (MID-JULY THROUGH MID-AUGUST)
This is generally the peak time for trout numbers. A wide variety of techniques applied in lots of different water all produce fish. Side channels, spawning beds, mid-river snags, shelves and the couch water get fished and the fish tend to do their part. Beads, flesh in a range of sizes, and the standard leech and sculpin patterns remain favorites. Mousing is awesome.
BONUS: salmon grand slam, dollies, grayling!
LATE SEASON (MID AUGUST – EARLY SEPTEMBER)
Time to look for Big Jerry. Kanektok rainbows get fatter and fatter as the season goes on, so late is good if you’re hoping for the fish of a lifetime. The trout tend to be a little more concentrated later in the season, so it’s important to spend your time in the right water.
Side channels are less of a factor as the river drops. Upriver spawning beds and lower river snags are favorite spots. The couch water on inside bends still produces. A variety of flies get fished, but beads and smaller flesh patterns are the stars in the late season.
BONUS: silvers, silvers and more silvers!
SALMON & CHAR RUNS
The month of June is marked by the arrival of the mighty Chinook, or king salmon. This is the time to try a hand at swinging flies for these giants. Although king salmon will hang around for the month of July, the last two weeks in June and first two weeks in July are considered prime time. Chums and zillions of pinks also begin arriving in great numbers toward the end of the month.
July is a month noted for its huge variety of options including the peak of the sockeye and chum runs as well as the addition of the pink salmon — and the beginning of the silver run. Throw in the longest days of the season, mild weather, the dollies, char and grayling — and you have one of the best all around months fishing the Kanektok and Arolik.
AUGUST – MID SEPTEMBER
Hard fighting chums are still around through mid August, however this is predominantly the month of the Coho, or silver salmon, which is the most acrobatic and eager of the five pacific salmon species. The silvers continue to pour into the river system until the lodge closed in early September.
The weather is about the only thing you CANNOT count on with your trip to Alaska. Guests must plan on every type of weather to occur at anytime. Daytime temperatures range from cool to hot and rain showers can occur at any moment. On any given day you could see hot weather turn to cold, calm turn to windy, and sunny to rainy almost before your eyes. If you decide to visit Alaska, high quality rain gear is an absolute must. Typically, June and July are a little warmer and drier than August and September.