good places to camp on Alagnak
Four of us rafting from Nonvianuk to Estrada's in mid July. First time on Alagnak. Planning to spend first night on lake and second at forks. Anyone got any location suggestions (preferably with GPS coordinates so I can find on map) they are willing to share for good camping spots (level, dry, and sitting on good fishing holes) at other places along the way? Target timing is expected to be near end of reds, middle of kings, start of dogs... hopefully with a few rainbows around. Thanks.
I will pretty much come out by saying much of the golden years are long gone on this stretch of the river... unfortunately, in my opinion and many others due to daily lodge pressures throughout, organized outfitter spike camps is the ol' time favorite camp spots, as well as jet-boating accessibility. That said, fishing plus the bear viewing remains quite good (although a bit feature-less boring on the fishing I'd say). This is not to relate that you should be completely discouraged... only to inform you it's not quite the wilderness float of yesteryear on either branch. Often the Hype can become misleading to misrepresentation of today's river outlook. The river's high cards are easy access, good waters for beginner boaters, and consistently good logistics. Add sportfishing with bear viewing, and you have a very good entry level float fishing trip.
Originally Posted by just.for.kicks
I'd wager the forks will see parties from all of the above sourcing and would not be surprised in the least to see a major spike outpost of sorts there. Believe it or not, the Alagnak (both branches) further on downstream do not make for the best of camping arrangements. Guides and outfitters realize this all too well and simply know the camps sometimes few and often far in-between after the forks.
You'll find Estrada cabin not the nicest of take-outs or fishing prospects... to clue you in that further on down from Estrada's on river left there is/was an old tin hut in disrepair that is an exceptional Red salmon fishing cut bend of the lower river for some take home catch.
I hear you Brian. Honestly, my group is a lot closer to entry level than sourdough... so the Alagank should be a good fit. Don't mind a few boats running by each day or other rafters as long as we can find our own space along river. Definite we're spending first night on the lake... got to try to hook up on a laker. After that, it's about crusing along catching a few fish, talking smack, and finding a decent place to camp. Looking forward to getting some good bear pics... hopefully none of a bear nose poking through door of tent. Had a GREAT time on the Tal last year, even with slow king fishing and sharing gravel bars with others at key fishing spots. Ahhh, got to love a place where a great river with plenty of fish can be second-choice for many because you'll actually come across other fishermen! Woo-hoo! Let summer begin................
Good on ya just.for.kicks...
I think you've got it figured out. I just did not wish to provide info with all the hyperbole of today's fishing magazines and adverts.
The Bear viewing along the river peaks last week of July-3rd week of August. Bear have pretty good wild habits overall throughout the trip. Keep in mind tho', unattended less than tight-knit, manageable camps particularly along the lake-shore should be of most vigilance.
Fishing-wise - I do not feel you'll have any difficulties. Lake Trout fishing is best when the prevailing breezes (or chop on the water) drops off and gets glassy. Rainbows and Char will respond well to beading especially when the Red Salmon run is underway and well dispersed throughout. You will find that Reds will bite here as a response better than fisheries like the Russian/Kenai hook drag scene.
My words of river wisdom on this fork are to spend much of your trip on the upper reaches and take your time. When you spot a good camp (even on a seemingly really short day downstream) Take it! Hard to near impossible predicting what activities will be underway at the forks - I'd not push much toward having/securing this spot. Simply not a place like Friday Creek on Tal having reasonable sized possibilities for setting up multiple camps.
In terms of entry level and good logistics with your outlook... you guys have the makings of a good Katmai float trip.