Naknek River Camp - Alaska's Affordable Alternative

What to Bring ~ Early Season

Early Season ~ June to July  |  Late Season ~ August to September

Smolting Rainbows on the Naknek:

The best rainbow fishing is close to camp. The rainbows concentrate on salmon smolt and leeches migrating downstream to the ocean. The best offerings include large rabbit strip and marabou leeches in black, olive and dark brown. NOT egg sucking leeches. Minnow imitations are also deadly in small to medium sizes. Jigs (black, white, cream, brown, olive, silver) are also deadly, as are minnow shaped plugs, silver spoons and silver spinners. Sometimes, we fished both jigs and flies under bobbers (indicators). This fishing usually runs from early June - July

Recommended Tackle:

  1. a light spinning rod in the 7 - 9 range, loaded with 4 - 8 pounds mono.
  2. a 9 to 11 fly rod in the 6 to 8 wt range. I would want to have a 200 or 300 grain sink tip, a WF floating line and a Climax Zip line (or equivalent shooting line). 2x - 4 x fluorocarbon tippets.
  3. a centerpin rig can be deadly for this fishing, using either a jig or a streamer with split shot to get down.

Rainbows at Brooks:

Brooks is flies only. In June, July and early August, rainbows will eagerly take mice, dead drifted small dries, sculpins and leeches.

Recommended Tackle:
an 8 to 10 foot fly rod for a 5-6 weight line. The WF floater is the most popular choice, although sink-tips (130 grain to 200 grain) will work as well. 3x to 5x tippets.

Grayling at Idavain:

This fishing starts out with a 1 mile hike to the better fishing grounds. Grayling are best fished with light tackle. I would use a 4 or 5 weight fly rod with a floating line. #12 and #14 adams, caddis and stoneflies (dry), small beadhead nymphs, leeches, woolybuggers and deer hair mice will all work here.


These begin showing up mid-June, building throughout the month. Most of the fishing is down in the lower Naknek, where tide is important and the water is deep. Treble hooks are legal. By late July, they will begin moving into the rapids to prepare for spawning. Single Hook Only.

Recommended Tackle:
We have a lot of heavy rods and reels - spinning, revolving spool and fly - that guests can use.

If you want to bring some, I would recommend a 7 foot spinning rod with 30 pound braid for casting, a 9 foot spinning or casting rod with 30 pound braid for back-trolling and a 9 for a 10 or 11 weight for flyfishing. The fly reel should employ a 400 - 600 grain sink tip line.

Large streamers in bright colors with lots of action work very well (salmon snakes, rabbit leeches, popsicles, etc.) Plugs are very popular locally, with large Kwikfish being #1, followed closely by Wiggle Warts and Hot-N-Tots in Chart, Fire Tiger, Hot Pink, silver/green and Orange. Large spinners are especially deadly, with blades in sizes 5 - 8 in silver, pink, chart and orange.


Chrome sockeye begin their trip from the ocean around June 20th. This migration continues until late July (timing varies, of course, depending on weather). Until the spawn in mid- August, sockeye will hold in slow pools and side channels. They are usually turning red by early August.

Recommended Tackle:
A 6-8 weight fly rod in 9 to 11 lengths with a Climax Zip Line is by far the best choice. A floating line with either a strike indicator or a few split shot will also work well.

Other equipment needed or recommended:

Split shot in sizes b, bb and 3/0. Cone sinkers in 1/64th, 1/32nd, 1/16th, tapered leaders in 0x and 3x, fluorocarbon tippet in 2x - 5x, strike indicators in both 1 inch foam and yarn style, #12 black barrel swivels, forceps, nippers, floatant, brown or amber polarized sunglasses with strap, hat with brim, rain jacket, chest waders, wading belt, some like a wading staff, fleece pants, fleece sweater(s), wool socks, windproof fleece fingerless gloves, headnet, insect repellant, sun screen.

REMINDER- felt soles are illegal in all of Alaska!
Please make sure you have rubber soled wading boots.

Early Season ~ June to July  |  Late Season ~ August to September

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