Agulapak River: Excellent Rainbow Fishing


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.

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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