Bristol Bay fishing is so consistently awesome that a season preview is generally predictable: fishing is gonna be great!
The last few summers have been characterized by warm temperatures and relatively warm, low water. That can make fishing challenging at times. Salmon don’t like warm water and when the water is unusually warm, they don’t bite well. Silver salmon in particular entered the rivers when they were at their warmest, and some rivers experienced slow fishing for them. But when it comes to Bristol Bay fishing for salmon and trout, even when it’s “off” it is better than other areas in the country by far.
Rob Fuentes of Bearclaw Lodge thinks this summer’s fishing is going to be above average for two reasons.
First, Alaska experienced a normal winter—lots of snow and cold, which will lead to cooler water temperatures and consistent water levels all summer. Second, due to the pandemic, the resident fish didn’t get a lot of pressure last year. That will probably translate to more abundance and healthier fish. Combined, these two factors are likely to result in even better Bristol Bay fishing than the area is known for, if you can imagine that.
Many lodge operations in Bristol Bay are really looking forward to the season. With the state easing travel restrictions, they should experience strong numbers of guests this year. Some of the lodges we’ve spoken to are fully booked; others are nearly fully booked. If you want to fish at a lodge in Alaska this year, book your trip soon or you’ll be waiting until 2022.
With expected good water conditions and fish that received little pressure last year, this could truly be a banner year for Bristol Bay fishing. If you have been on the fence for the last couple years, this is the year to go!
To learn more about Alaska’s Bearclaw Lodge and their sister lodge Alaska Kingfishers, visit their exhibitor booths.