Our first week of the season at Mission Lodge coasted in on the soft belly of clear skies and a warm breeze. We welcomed back the Benson family, who brought some of their close friends to partake in the Mission Lodge experience. We set out on the first day with resident fish at the forefront of our consciousness, but if we stopped for a moment, lingering there was a glimmer of King Salmon. The Agulakpak produced an abundance of Arctic Char for all of those who fished there and if you had had your fill of them could chase Northern Pike in a variety of bays around the area. It was on one of these ventures that Dave Benson wielding the long rod landed a healthy Pike that weighed in at almost four pounds. While casting hardware along the brushy edges Derek Hopkins hooked into a Pike that pushed the scales at 9.6 pounds.
TThe tributaries along Lake Beverly also produced some great action for Rainbow Trout. Jack Forell set an early high mark on the fly when he landed a gorgeous trout that weighed 4.2 pounds. Another popular trip was out Lake Hop that can take you to multiple stunning, fish producing destinations in one day. For those that were interested in catching Lake Trout this was the trip. The two Steve’s both set benchmarks in gear and fly weighing 4.3 and 3.6 pounds respectively. Our Secret Creek played host to both of the largest char caught this week as well as plentiful Arctic Grayling all too willing to take dries. Paul Lemestre landed a char that was pushing seven pounds on the fly, while Jeff Hopkins landed an 8.4 pound char using spoons. If people we looking for a strictly rainbow trout fishery the Kvichak offers some of the hardest fighting fish in Alaska. Looking very similar to Steelhead, they do not hesitate taking to the air in erratic contortions, then peeling line from reels in hard-headed charges. Derek Hopkins again set a board record when he tied into what would be a seven pound trout that he had a little trouble with bringing to the net.
Toward the latter half of the week we started sending trips to the Nushagak where at first the action was a little slow, but by the final day of the week things had picked up. Aaron Hopkins took home top honors with a King Salmon that weighed in a 32 pounds shattering Debbie Benson’s previous mark of 26 pounds. For our guests in the coming weeks, the King Salmon fishing is only going to improve so look forward to constant action. To our guests this past week, thank you for making the first week of Mission Lodge’s 25th season a great success. We look forward to fishing with all of you next season.