Nushagak Fishing with Nushagak River Adventures Lodge
Nushagak fishing—With a historic average of 100,000 king salmon returning each year, the Nushagak River is home to the world’s largest wild king salmon run! The Nushagak River in Alaska also boasts major runs of sockeye, coho, chum and humpy salmon along with northern pike, Arctic char, and grayling. Our guided boat fishermen have averaged over a dozen landed king salmon per person per day in the past on our remote river that sees minimal pressure! This is the best king salmon fishing in the world! There is literally no place better for king fishing, and they get pretty big. A 30-pound king is a thrill to catch and ensures an incredible story to tell.
The mighty silver salmon, also called coho, is one of the best pound-for-pound fighting salmon. These acrobatic fish range from 8 to 15 pounds on the Nushagak. It’s not uncommon to land 10 to 30 silvers per person per day. The later you come for silvers the better. Five species of Alaska salmon (Pacific salmon) spawn into the Nushagak River: king salmon (Chinook), silver salmon (coho), red salmon (sockeye), dog salmon (chum) and pink salmon (humpy) on even-numbered years.
Whether you are coming to fish primarily for kings or silvers on the Nushagak, we provide our guests with 8 hours of guided fishing daily unless an angler wants to head in early. Our guides are in their boats and ready to depart daily at 8 AM. Normally guests come back for lunch between noon and 1 PM and are back out on the water until 5 PM when you return to the lodge to clean up, and have hors d’oeuvres while you wait for your scrumptious supper. You are welcome to catch and release from our beach in the evenings, hang in the lodge, or sit by our cozy fire pit sharing stories.
Alaska King Salmon Fishing
Best months: June & July
Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, are the largest of the Pacific salmon and found in sheer abundance on the low-pressured Nushagak River. The Nushagak is world famous for consistently producing the largest Alaskan king salmon runs around. The Nushagak River sees a return of approximately 100,000 king salmon per year making it the world’s largest wild run.
In recent years the State of Alaska has provided that Nushagak River anglers may harvest one king per day, four annually. ADFG introduced a seasonal regulation change just for 2019, limiting kings in possession from July 12-31, first from four to two harvested, then to catch and release only, no bait. Unusually warm ambient and water temperatures and no rain for nearly three months may have been significant contributing factors. We will report on this outcome and amend this page accordingly. Fortunately the Nushagak is home to many species so we’ve turned our attention to sockeye, pike, chum salmon, and other fish as well as catching and releasing kings. When bait is allowed our methods for catching king salmon on the Nushagak River include bouncing eggs or trolling plugs. Our guides also employ a technique called downstream trolling. Nushagak River king salmon tip the scales at around 30 pounds. Our guests normally take home their annual limit along with memories of their heart-racing battle. We caught some really nice kings this summer and entered those anglers into our 40-Inch Club. We feel utterly privileged to be on The Nush with its various fish species and what is still the world’s largest run of wild Chinook.
Alaska Red Salmon Fishing
Best months: July
Sockeye salmon, also known as reds, are the most plentiful fish to spawn in the Nushagak River and throughout Bristol Bay. With over 500,000 red salmon entering the Nushagak each year, the action can be exciting and fast. In 2018, there were almost 1.3 million sockeye that ran past the sonar fish counters monitored by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
ADFG regulations on the Nush is 5 sockeye salmon per person per day. The method for catching reds is by fly or spinning rods. Alaskan red salmon average 6 to 12 lbs. When the return numbers are enormous, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will sometimes see fit to raise the limit.
Alaska Silver Salmon Fishing
Best months: July & August
Coho salmon, also known as silvers, are one of the favorites on the Nushagak River and we are typically the only lodge open during this time of year on The Nush. Silver salmon hit hard, rip line, and put on an acrobatic show. Silver salmon action on the Nushagak is absolutely incredible.
The AK Department of Fish and Game limit is 5 coho salmon per person per day on the Nushagak River and guests can easily take home a full fish box. Silver salmon fishing methods on the Nushagak River include drifting flies, casting spinners, bouncing eggs or trolling plugs. Alaska silver salmon average 8- to 14 pounds with the occasional silver pushing 20 pounds. 15 pounds is a BIG silver on the Nush. The best silver fishing has traditionally occurred later in the season.
Alaska Rainbow Trout Fishing
Best months: June through October
Alaskan rainbow trout are very prevalent in the upper Nushagak River where they are feasting on the salmon roe. Fly fishing for native & wild trout may not get any better and there is very little pressure on this fishery. Fall time is the best time to catch these beautiful fish after they fatten up on salmon flesh and eggs but they are available all summer.
Most commonly used flies are salmon flesh, eggs, sculpins & leeches. Trout average over 18 inches and some grow to over 30 inches in various rivers throughout Bristol Bay. We also partner with trophy rainbow lodges on other rivers.