previous year's salmon smolt. During this time, white-colored streamers resembling little smolt are deadly, as are more traditional black Egg-Sucking Leeches (many streams see spawning migrations of lamprey eels, which some believe contributes to the effectiveness of large black leech patterns). As well, resident fish are hungry after a long, cold winter, and in some streams will react aggressively to a surface-skated mouse pattern. Jerry is able to access some beautiful smaller streams in June that have wonderful rainbow trout action, often sight-fishing with streamer patterns. As well, the lodge also has some excellent king salmon fishing in late June, albeit primarily with conventional gear. Bristol Bay Sportfishing closes down to anglers for the month of July, opening again in August and September.
In early July the Iliamna streams flood with a massive infusion of sockeye salmon, an escapement literally numbering in the millions. While at first these fish are more of a hindrance than a help to the trout fishing, by the time August rolls around they become a trout bonanza, providing an egg and flesh smorgasbord seemingly without limit. The key is knowing where to be, and when. The lodge fishes many well-known regional trophy trout streams – Talarik, Moraine, Battle, Iliamna, Gibraltar - as well as having some "secret" small stream options available only vis wheelplane. This is definitely the "time of plenty" with every available trout crowded in behind spawning salmon, often visible in the shallows as they gorge. Single egg patterns and beads are the most productive patterns, though smallish flesh patterns can also be very effective. Late August is also prime-time to target the nearby coastal rivers for chrome-bright silver and chum salmon, landing on coastal beaches adjacent to the streams on wheel planes, and walking upstream to find pods of fish. These fisheries are normally only fished by the lodge, making for a wonderfully solitary angling experience combining the best of fresh and salt water environments. There's nothing quite like battling salmon in a river, with the sounds and smells of the nearby ocean surf filling your senses!
As August turn to September, the sockeyes fade dramatically, spawned out and dying, and the days get cool and short. This is the time for the serious trophy trout hunter. While the resident trout are at their fattest – many in the 2-5 pound category - there is a final upward push of lake fish into many of the streams. While there normally won't be as many hookups as in August, an angler's chance at hooking those elusive 6-10 pound fish becomes significantly better in September. Bristol Bay Sportfishing's experienced guides have a high rate of success during this time of year, based both on the experience of years on the streams, and an intuitive sense of where these monsters are likely to be. Normally this time of year the angler will begin to fish less beads, and more large flesh streamers. As well, articulated leech and sculpin patterns can be deadly - it is the "big fly, big fish" time of year!