Kanektok River fishing is World Class in every sense of the world. This great river in Western Alaska is an absolute fish factory.
With runs of all five species of Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and grayling, this is an amazing river. The Kanektok River is a top choice for any fly angler.
Kanektok River Fishing Camp
Our fishing camp is located on the Kanektok River just 5.5 miles from its mouth. This puts clients in a unique position to sample the variety the river has to offer.
Downriver from camp is the larger water, including the long gravel bars where the kings hold, the deep snaggy channels where the big rainbows lie, the backwaters that load with silvers and the tidewaters full of salmon fresh from the salt.
Upriver from camp, the river makes a transition to smaller water, side channels and tributaries. These sections allow hiking up channels for rainbows, targeting salmon in smaller water, making day-long drifts fishing for just about everything and working dolly flats.
Timing the Salmon Runs
The fishing season on the Kanektok runs from the second week of June through the end of August each summer.
- Early Summer – King Salmon are the main target mid June through mid July.
- Mid Summer – Rainbow Trout picks up in July along with the second half of July bringing in the other four species of salmon. This creates prime time for those anglers looking for “The Salmon Grand Slam” (all five species, all on flies, in one day).
- Late Summer – In August through the beginning of September this place gets INSANE with Silver action and the trout… Well they just keep getting fatter.
Silver Salmon fishing, as in most places, is incredibly fast paced and for those anglers both novice and expert can be a BLAST. This close to the salt these fish are bright, aggressive and unbelievably acrobatic.
Floating lines are used in combination with brightly-colored flies and streamers as well as surface patterns like poppers and pollywogs.
King Salmon are generally targeted with swung flies and two handed rods. The fish flat our crush a swung fly.
This is far different from upriver nymphing techniques used to target kings in many other parts of Alaska.
Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden
Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden fishing is unbelievable around here with flesh, egg, sculpin and leech patterns all producing at various times.
The Kanektok is an excellent place to fish giant dry flies that imitate mice and voles… This is about as awesome as it gets!
Salmon Grand Slam
In late July, many clients pursue the Salmon Grand Slam – All five species of Pacific salmon, all on flies, all on the same day.
A variety of fly fishing techniques are used in this pursuit and that’s half the fun. Lots of techniques on lots of water to catch lots of fish.