the normally cool mornings, switching to dry flies after lunch when warming temperatures spark prolific hatches. Small streamers, imitating the masses of outgoing sockeye salmon smolt, are also very effective, and sometimes account for the largest fish of each day. Bob loves this time of year, and offers both jet boat fishing in the lower stretches of the stream, and upper river floats which we feel are a "must do" for adventurous anglers. A fly out to the Gibralter River normally entails a full day float, with streamers normally producing excellent daylong action. As well, for those who love to fish dries all day long in beautiful surroundings, Bob has some "sleeper" streams that are loaded with 12-16 inch rainbows, are fished by no-one else, and provide non-stop action on attractor dries.
In early July immense squadrons of sockeye salmon invade the Copper and Gibralter rivers, and change the fisheries dramatically. Suddenly, every run, riffle and pool are flooded with these chrome sea-runs, which quickly morph into their Discovery Channel wardrobes of brilliant reds and vivid greens. Before long they are pairing up, digging spawning redds, and laying eggs in numbers that stagger the imagination. Suddenly, trout that had weeks before been perfectly satisfied chomping nymphs and sipping dries, now have eyes only for this massive infusion of protein that literally surrounds them. Dead-drifting single egg patterns becomes highly productive, and trout that had previously been healthy by any standards, now quickly lapse into figures defined by gluttony. The Copper River tends to harbor excellent numbers of 18-23 inch trout during the months of July and August, while the Gibralter is just stupid with numbers of rainbows, of all sizes. Also, from mid-August through early September, Bob routinely flies anglers to a small coastal river that fills with dime-bright silver salmon and sea run dollies, making for a fun diversion from the daily rainbows. Late July sees a good push of chum salmon here, as well, which are a great fly rod fish.
By early September, the sockeyes are fading into memory, but their decomposing carcasses provide one last major feeding binge for all of the region's streams. This is the single best month for serious trophy trout hunters, as good numbers of oversized rainbows ascend (and descend) from area lakes into integral rivers. If you are going to have a chance at the elusive 30-inch trout, this is when it will most likely occur. Anglers still do well on egg patterns, but streamers emulating chunks of rotting salmon flesh are very productive now, and often account for the largest rainbows. The overnight upper Copper River floats can be amazing, this time of year, weather permitting – the changing colors are spectacular, and the upper river is normally full of big trout.