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ATA Lodge, Alaska Fishing Report 11th July 2024

The opening week of the 2024 season at ATA Lodge is now in the books and we had a fantastic start with our first week of guests! It was a special week, as 9 of our 12 guests that week were old time return clients, that have been here many times in the past, but haven’t been here in over 10 years since before we owned the business.  

It felt like old “Homecoming Week”, with family and friends that love it here and were so thankful to come back for a reunion!  We had a lot of laughs and caught a lot of great fish!  In particular, they loved the “hot trout action” that the early season is renowned for! They arrived on June 7th to be here for opening day on June the 8th.  It was a windy day, and the next 3 days the wind howled, almost non-stop, with sustained winds of 30-45 mph!!!  But that didn’t dampen spirits as we hit the water and proceeded to catch great fish everyday.  Conditions were tough, but the first few days still produced some quality specimens and once the wind died down, the fishing got even better!

Many trout were hooked and caught with the average size tipping over 20 inches! Many were landed in excess of 24” up to 28” (and others, possibly even bigger were hooked and lost).  A few real monsters, tested both angler and equipment, but as is often the case, those bigger and stronger fish exposed any weakness in gear or skill level, producing many stories of “the one that got away”!

For serious trout anglers, this time of year, is hand’s down, the best rainbow fishing that we have to offer all year long.  Trout have just finished spawning in our part of the river.  I believe they come down from the Lakes to spawn.  This time of year also corresponds with the smolt out-migration to the sea.  Smolt are young salmon born in the system, who after a couple of years in fresh water, migrate out to sea.  As long as the smolt are running, these trout stay in our part of the river to ambush them as a major food source this time of year. Therefore, there are more trout around at this time than normal, and nearer the lodge too, than any other time of the season.  These trout are hungry and haven’t seen a fly since we left here 8 months ago at the end of last season.  There are no salmon around to “crowd” them out of their favorite spots to look for food.  And the biggest trout, command the best lies, waiting for the “conveyor belt” to bring them their next morsel.

That means that a well presented fly, will draw the best fish in each spot, if you read the water right.  This is why I think that we catch on average, a much bigger trout this time of year.  After the river starts to rise with snow melting from the mountains that feed our system; and the sockeye salmon start to return to spawn in late June/early July; the trout begin to follow them back up to their spawning streams upstream of us.  

We really had a lot of fun with our first week of guests and the fishing, as you can see, was exceptional, as we always hope and expect June will be! Our guests didn’t go hungry either, with delicious meals every day to sustain them after a hard days fishing on the water!

Rainbow trout are not the only fish we target this time of year.  We catch a lot of feisty arctic grayling and lake trout as well.  You’ve heard me say it before, WE HAVE A WORLD CLASS GRAYLING FISHERY HERE AT ATA LODGE!  There are lots and lots of big grayling, that are eager to rise to “sip” a dry fly on the surface of the water.  These fish attain sizes of up to and over 20 inches here.  And…you can catch dozens of them a day, most days….all on light tackle which makes the whole experience a lot of fun!

More Lake Trout are also caught this time of year than any other period of our season.  This is also due to the smolt out-migration.  These lakers, follow the smolt out of the lakes and ambush them in the river at places they funnel through. Well, we hope that you have enjoyed our opening week report from ATA Lodge.  And we hope that we will see you up here sometime to experience this incredible fishery with us!


Fancy joining us on a trip to ATA Lodge in Alaska? Then take a closer look at the tour pages; you’ll find all the information you need to prepare for the trip of a lifetime!

If you have any questions, call our offices on 01603 407596 or contact us via email at, and one of our experts can assist you with any queries.

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