Myself and three others just got back from five days of fishing the Kvichak. Had an awesome trip; great fishing and stellar weather. We stayed with George Riddle at Blueberry Island Lodge; this man is an excellent host and one heck of a nice guy to hang out with for a week! Wish we had more time out there.... Guess we'll just have to go back next year!
Fishing for rainbows was more like trophy hunting... and you had to put your time in on the river; less numbers than Kenai fish but definately better quality. These fish fight with so much heart and spirit than any rainbows I've encountered before... and chrome like steel. It was both rewarding and humbling to even hook up out there... some landed, others lost, and just getting a good grab was more jolting than a hot cup o' coffee!
Despite the low numbers of returning sockeye this year to Bristol Bay waters, my friends and I still managed some quality fish by diligently covering ground and stalking likely "buckets" that looked fishy. We employed a variety of techniques from drifting beads and flesh (both fly rod and centerpin), to dredging and swinging with spey rods. Flies that produced for us were sculpins, leeches, and big nasty flesh flies. October caddis and smallish esl's even managed a few scrappy grayling.
Perhaps the best part about the whole trip was discovering new water and fishing at a time of year when there are relatively few others on the river. The weather wasnt bad, either. Anyone looking for a Do-It-Yourself style fishing trip on the Kvichak should check out Blueberry Island Lodge; comfortable accomodations with full kitchen, composting toilet, steambath, and reliable jon boats that will take you anywhere you want to go... though you dont need to go far from the lodge to get into good fishing. I'll try to post some more pics later...
Thanks again, George!
Tight lines, everyone.