100 Best: Alagnak

<div><strong>Location</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Southwest</div><div><strong>Type of stream</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Freestone</div><div><strong>Angling methods</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Fly, spin</div><div><strong>Species</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Chinook (king), Sockeye (red), Coho (silver), Humpback (pink), Chum, Rainbow, Grayling, Dolly Varden&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Access</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Remote&mdash;required float plane</div><div><strong>Season</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>June - April<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span></div><div><strong>Supporting Services</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>King salmon is king</div><div><strong>Short take</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>The braids belie the Alagnak&rsquo;s girth</div><div><strong>Handicapped Access</strong>:<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>No</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Flowing west from Kukaklek Lake in Katmai National Park and Preserve, the Alagnak river runs for 79 miles until it reaches Bristol Bay. In the fourth week of June, nearly 100,000 four to six pound sockeye salmon will enter the river, and by the end of July almost 900,000 will be swimming upstream to spawn. Chinook from 20 to 60 pounds begin their run in early July, and chum of 8 to 17 pounds follow a week later. Next up are humpbacks that average five pounds that are really fun on a five weight. The salmon season finishes with cohos ranging around 10 pounds which are known for their aerial escapades. Their runs overlap with the best rainbow fishing. Add Arctic char, Dolly Varden, and grayling and you&rsquo;ve got yourself a river.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For the first seven miles, the outflow of the lake winds through boggy tundra. Then the Alagnak runs for another seven miles through a shallow canyon. Class I to III rapids are frequent, and few anglers fish this section because the river holds so many great fish further down. Further down, the Alagnak picks up the water from the Nonvianuk River. Here the river slows and enters the section known as &ldquo;The Braids.&rdquo; A maze of islands, side channels, gravel bars, and riffles extend for the rest of the way down to where the river becomes tidal at its mouth. Bears abound and pepper spray is a must for every angler. So too is raingear and whatever mosquito repellant that works best for you.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>If rafting and fishing is your passion outfitters will fly you into the headwaters. The National Park Service maintains no campgrounds on the Alagnak River. Camping is allowed, but only by permit. Keep in mind, though, that all food and other odoriferous items must be packed in bear-proof containers which may be borrowed for free from the park service&rsquo;s visitor center in King Salmon.</div><p><a href="http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0762780312?ref_=sr_1_1&amp;qid=139344... src="http://www.tu.org/sites/default/files/100_best_button.png" title="Want more? Buy the book and support TU."></a></p>


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