As we left the heavy rains and dark overcast skies of the Florida Keys this June, it never occurred to us that we would be met in Bristol Bay by 84° and sunshine. The other surprise awaiting us was the ice on the lake. Once again it did not come off our lake until June 10th. So much for fishing the Rainbow trout opener on June 8th!
This summer we played host to the 5th annual Bristol Bay River Academy, a unique program that has been set up to teach local youths the ins and outs of becoming a fly fishing guide. It was truly a privilege to be able to host this year’s academy and having the chance to help pass along the gift of fishing.
Fishing was a bit ‘off’ to say the least. The Academy opened on the 13th of June – the ice left our lake, the bottom lake in a four lake chain, on June 10th. Despite very warm air temperatures, the water was only in the high thirties. Our first day on the water left the instructors scratching their heads as the giant Arctic Char swam in and around their offerings with little to no interest. The next ‘field-day’ a couple of days later was down on the Nushagak and did yield a handful of King Salmon to lift spirits. Fortunately, the warm weather helped bring up the water temps each day and the final ‘field-day’ to the Agulapak River turned out great. The students got to do some mock-guiding with local supporters and had great angling success across the board.