Photographs by Jim Klug
Dillingham is situated in Nushagak Bay where the Nushagak River mouths to the Bering Sea. Once known as the Pacific salmon capital of the world, Dillingham still offers large salmon runs and is a prime fishing destination, especially for king salmon.
Naknek and Kvichak Rivers
Many a fishing trip in Alaskan waters will be shared with brown bears. Fishing the Naknek is no exception. As much as we enjoy fishing, the bears enjoy salmon meat and get so focused on the easy meal that they lose interest in the human fishermen moving in the vicinity. The salmon form a critical part of the brown bear’s life cycle. They need all the food they can find to stock up the necessary winter fat that will last through hibernation. Although entertaining to watch, keep a safe distance from feeding bears!
The Naknek is a world class rainbow trout fishery and along with the Kvichak River, regularly boasts with double figure fish in the 12 lb range. Like the bears, these fish gorge themselves on salmon, sipping eggs and pieces of salmon flesh that wash down the annual salmon spawning period. Their unquenchable appetite makes them vulnerable to egg patterns and large pink flesh flies.