Apr 9th, 2020
In rare instances, geology and ecology come together to create ecosystems so extraordinary that all who visit are left in awe. The interior of southwestern Alaska’s Bristol Bay region is one such place and the epicenter for what may well be the greatest rainbow trout fishery in the world.
As one moves inland from the coastal towns of Dillingham, Naknek and King Salmon, massive natural lakes with names like Iliamna, Kukaklek, Nerka and Aleknagik dominate the landscape. These lakes and the multitude of clean, pea-gravel tributaries that flow into them are the cornerstone of the greatest and healthiest return of wild sockeye salmon in the world. Also worth noting is that Bristol Bay is likely the best managed commercial fishery in the world and after decades of heavy yet thoughtful fishing, sockeye returns typically range from 20 to 40 million fish annually. What does that mean to the rainbow trout of the Bristol Bay interior? In short, it means everything.