Naknek river, lake & tribs
I have wanted to fish for those big resident rainbows in the King Salmon area.
I'm looking for low crowds, not alot of salmon and facilities for the DYI'er.
I'm interested in October but somewhat unsure of the weather, any thoughts out there? Thanks Asteelie
I have fished the Naknek 3 times, with the best fishing in the fall (mid-September). I have used a guide, (Nancy Morris) because you really need a boat to get around the river. There is road access at King Salmon, where the river is tidal, and again at the top end near the lake. But of course the best fishing is between those points. It is a big river, not very wader freindly. Spring fishing is very weather dependent. On the early August trip we caught more jack kings than anything else. There was no competition on the spring trip (cold and snow might have had something to do with that!), little on the fall trip, and not bad competition on the summer trip.
As a suggestion, consider taking a float plane to Brooks River. I don' know how late in the year the campground is open, and you will certainly be fishing with bears, but the river is much easier to wade and fish. You'll catch more fish, but mostly 18 - 20 inch, versus 24 - 30+ inch on the Naknek.
Hope this helps.
October is a good time as long as the weather holds. It will be cold though, think neoprene waders for warmth. The naknek is tough for DIY, cause all of the fishing is only accessible with a boat. The only place I know of to rent a boat, you also have to rent a cabin from them as well and it isn't cheap. I don't know a whole lot about camping in the area (have a friend in town and have been lucky enough to stay with them). There are a few other places to rent boats from but I think they are closed by the end of August/early Sept and never was really impressed with the boat they gave you for how much they charge. The fishing can be amazing there and in a big river they are some hard fighting fish. If you do make it out there and rent a boat, use caution, its a deceptively strong river and has a few spots that if you don't pay attention while wading, can get you into a lot of trouble. Can't wait to go back next fall.
In the King Salmon area there are some B&Bs and some may have boats to rent. The Naknek River is usually high in the end of Sept-Oct but this only helps with the DIY to run the river. High water lessens wading areas and makes some more dangerous.
Contact the King Salmon Visitors Center 907-246-4250 and ask for a visitorís packet and guide. This will be most helpful and have all the numbers of lodges, b&b's and boat rentals. I believe that the DIY lodge that was being referred to in earlier posts shuts down by the end of Sept. it's name is Rainbow Bend Cabins and should be in the guide. Hope this helps and that you have a great visit to my area.