What To Expect for the 2017 Season
Posted By Chris Branham on April 1, 2017 @ 8:03 pm
We had the warmest temperatures ever recorded last year in Bristol Bay.  It was also the driest winter and spring with the least amount of snow on record.  In April and May temperatures reached into the 60 and 70-degree levels for a long period of time.  The lake ice at the lodge didn’t melt until early April and the land was totally void of snow.  These warm temperatures over the winter and during the spring and early summer were a huge benefit for increasing the Rainbow population.  The Rainbow population was supported with greater survival from the past two years, with record numbers of salmon, which provided the major source of food throughout the year from the millions of fry, smolt, eggs and the food created by the millions of decomposing salmon.  The flesh also supports other aquatic creatures and organisms on which Rainbow rely during dark and cold winter months.

These factors, warmer weather, and huge salmon runs during the past few years, has contributed greatly to a healthy and increased Rainbow population.  We have also noticed an increase in the number of larger Rainbow, not seen since the 1970’s.

This winter has seen more snow and colder temperatures.  We expect the snow will create a more reliable and steadier water flow in the rivers, creeks, and streams.  The fry and smolt numbers created from the huge recent salmon runs will provide some fantastic early fishing opportunities, especially the millions of outgoing migrating smolt in June and early July.  The outlet of our home river and our lodge at Big Ku will most likely have some nonstop action.  If you are one who prefers dry or streamer fishing, there will be no place in Bristol Bay to match what will occur with Rainbow fishing at Royal Wolf Lodge and Big Ku Lodge this June and early July.

We anticipate excellent water conditions for all our fishing destinations during the remainder of July, August and September.  Higher and steadier flow allows Rainbows to feel more secure as they search out spawning salmon to feed on their eggs.

I will be flying down to the lodge on skis early this month to assess the spring conditions.  I will report on how many large Rainbow are preparing to spawn at Royal Wolf Lodge and Big Ku Lodge.  The water is normally flowing and shallow at the outlet and these fish can easily be seen.  Check our next blog to see what you might miss this year if you have not already made plans.