Sept, 2014: After a 25-minute floatplane ride over to the Agulapak River, I loaded up in the boat with my guide for a day of rainbow fishing. Chris, a young guy of just 21, is in his second year of guiding for Bristol Bay Lodge and is highly knowledgeable about the area.

The Agulapak is a short river connecting Lake Beverly to Lake Nerka in the Wood- Tikchik chain of lakes – maybe 1.5 miles, but very productive.

The day started with some decent rainbow and char action, but really caught fire at about 10 a.m. I caught numerous bows in the 20-inch range along with some respectable char. We hit a pocket of fish and had four consecutive hookups of 20-plus inches. The number of fish caught was impressive and I eventually stopped counting and just enjoyed the action. The day was some of the best rainbow fishing I’ve ever experienced in Alaska.

We took a mid-day break and enjoyed a shore lunch of fresh salmon. This river was a beautiful sight with sockeye and pinks all dropping eggs. Matching the exact color was crucial for attracting these beautiful rainbows and Chris found that a lighter pink shade fit the bill.

After lunch, I continued to catch more fish until about 3 p.m. and got into some chunky grayling on dry flies to round out the day.

It was early evening when I switched over to the Royal Coachman boat and continued via floatplane to the Royal Coachman Lodge where I will spend the night. The lodge sits right on the banks of the Nuyakuk River and offers spectacular views. I look forward to more excellent fishing tomorrow.

By: Tom Gilliland, Senior Program Manager


As son of the Frontiers founders, Mike Fitzgerald, Jr. was brought up in the outdoor travel business. He has handled a number of sporting programs for Frontiers through the years. Today as President, Mike works closely with the Senior Management Team and the department heads and is quite involved with the Southern Hemisphere freshwater programs. Mike loves to travel with his fly rods, shotguns and cameras. He is passionate about trout, salmon and conservation. He sits on the boards of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.