OUTPOST Camp Season Summary, 2015
Alaska Fishing Season Summary, 2015, Alaska Wilderness OUTPOST
Without question, 2015 was another incredibly strong season of fly fishing in Bristol Bay at our OUTPOST camp. It’s hard to believe, but it was perhaps even better than our 2014 season.
Like last year, most notable was the sheer number and large average size of the Dolly Varden we caught in OUTPOST creek (our home water). Literally nearly all fish were between 18 and 24 inches, with large numbers over 22 inches. They chased top-water mice patterns and crushed both streamers and egg imitations. The new camp record Dolly measured 30.25 inches. Photo on right.
In late June and early July, the trout fishing was excellent in our home creek, but it became overpowered by the incredible Dolly fishing in mid to late July (this was a GOOD problem to have). One of the small creeks we access with the jet boat had exceptional trout fishing, as usual. Here we predominantly sight cast to rainbow trout from 12″ to 24″ in a 10 foot wide shallow, gin-clear creek. Overall we had very good luck on top-water mice patterns, traditional trout streamers and eggs.
The king salmon run was strong again this year – we observed even greater numbers of kings in our home creek compared to 2014. The chum salmon run was early and OK, but slightly lighter than average. A few pink salmon moved into our river. Not as many as last year, but this is no surprise since odd years are generally the “off” year for pinks in Bristol Bay. A couple of sockeye salmon were landed.
The grayling fishing was on par with previous seasons – big numbers of fish caught on streamers, eggs and dry flies. The best grayling fishing was prior to mid July.
This year’s wildlife highlight, without question, was a fox den about 1/3 mile from camp. On multiple occasions we watched 2 to 5 fox kits playing, frolicking, and just being cute – many grown men were reduced to “oohs” and “aahs” watching the incredible display.
Bear, moose and caribou sightings were overall lighter than average (all were seen). Frequent wolf tracks were seen along the riverbeds, with two wolves spotted (thanks for the reminder, Rick) on separate occasions mid to late July – one a couple hundred yards from camp, one about a half mile downriver.
Mid June to early July was HOT, dry and sunny. Air and water temps finally cooled mid to late July with needed rain showers and cloudier days.
Water levels started off lower and warmer than normal due to a light snow pack and warm spring. Levels remained lower than average throughout the season, but stayed healthy thanks to the mid/late July rain showers. We did measure a record warm water temp of 63 degrees F in early July. Water temps usually stay below the mid 50’s.
Bugs were very light all season long – we didn’t even set up our screen shelter (about the 4th or 5th season in a row we did not need it, and that’s a serious treat).
Keep an eye on the 2015 Outpost camp photo gallery for some great images from a great season of fishing and adventure on the Alaska Peninsula!