It was an early Thursday morning when I boarded the hour and a half PenAir flight from Anchorage to Dillingham. Upon landing, I was met by lodge employee, Bob White, and transferred 30 minutes by car to the dock for an easy 20-minute boat ride over to the property.
I toured the lodge with owner, Steve Laurent, and met my guide, Levi. The lodge is in a stunning location perched on Lake Aleknagik and framed by mountains in the background. After a nice lunch and unpacking of gear, Levi and I were off in a jet boat to the mouth of the Agulowok River for some rainbow and char action. The thrilling 8-minute ride really set the tone for what I was in for that afternoon.
The river was teeming with red and pink salmon, and they were dropping eggs at a good rate. I could literally see the pinks pulsating in the current, releasing eggs. We started fishing a trio rig of flesh fly, egg and a nymph dropper attached. I immediately hooked-up on a good char and in the next few hours caught numerous rainbows of various sizes up to 23″ and char of the same size. The action was fast and fairly steady. We drift fished and anchored in likely spots where trout were hungry and ready to feed.
It was an epic afternoon and this broad river is truly a world-class fishery. The water was moving at a swift rate and a motionless dead drift was the key to success. The time flew by and before we knew it we had to head back to the lodge for dinner.
The lodge is beautiful inside and out, with a very comfortable feel throughout. The staff was young, energetic and very attentive. During my visit, I also had the opportunity to meet with some Frontiers clients who I had booked into the same week. A wonderful afternoon was capped off with Cornish game hen, a nice red wine and some good fishing conversation with the group.
Tomorrow, we fish the Agulapak and I head onto Royal Coachman Lodge. I can hardly wait.
By: Tom Gilliland, Senior Program Manager