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September is one of my favorite times in Alaska. The summer season is winding down and the mornings again bring a crispness as the days quickly shorten. It marks some of the best rainbow trout fishing of the year. Sockeye salmon are spent, lost is their incredible energy. Tumbling downstream at the mercy of the currents in their natal waters they are soon consumed and absorbed into the cycle of life that they are such a large part of. The trout realize the shortening days bring the last opportunity to feast on a high protein diet and gain the necessary weight to last the long Alaska winter. They eagerly intercept tumbling flesh, sculpins, leeches and any other large morsel they can get their lips on. While many fish still can be caught dead-drifting eggs and/or flesh, anglers are no longer at the mercy of the indicator and can target the biggest, most aggressive energy filled rainbows of the year.


Whether you enjoy single hand, switch or spey tactics, below you will find some of our favorite destinations for swinging flies to big rainbows during the last weeks of summer.

Rapids Camp Lodge – An all inclusive lodge on the shores of the Naknek River. The home river is one of the best big rainbow venues in the state. Rapids Camp was at the forefront of bringing spey rods to Bristol Bay and continue to show anglers quality chances at 30″ plus rainbows each September.

Royal Wolf Lodge – This rainbow focused lodge has some of the best spey guides in all of AK. Royal Wolf has a long history of providing quality experiences for even the most hardened trophy rainbow hunters.

Igiugig Lodge – This small lodge takes only a handful of anglers each week giving everyone lots of attention. With the mighty Kvichak river right out the front door and its close proximity to other trophy trout waters, this lodge puts 30 inch rainbows on the bank more consistently than any other.

Big Ku Lodge – Located in the heart of Katmai Park, this facility reaches some fantastic trout waters via jet boat. Rivers such as the Big and Little Ku, Moraine, American, Funnel and Battle are all on the menu here.

Fishing Bear Lodge – Mix an incredibly productive late season rainbow river, the Agulapak, with many smaller systems choked with grayling and char, a truly remote and scenic location and its easy to see why this hidden gem has been a long time Fly Water favorite.

Please give David a call at 800.552.2729 or email at any time to discuss the potential of September trips in AK.

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