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Steve Fraley, BBT
Co-owner & Guide

August 13, 2018

Wow! I guess I’m really getting the feel of this whole unplugged thing… If I’m being honest I have to say that one of the best parts of being up here is having to work hard for cell service or internet and I really like the fact that it’s not readily available, but on the other hand, it took a while to edit/crop/jpeg the few photos I did take since last report and I probably won’t try to lapse that far behind again.

Dinner at Huggy’s.

Three weeks ago I spent most of my time on the main river here chasing Sockeye still with a couple of fly outs to break it up. Fly girls on day one, a family most of the time and some random folks for the Little Ku…

I had a blast with the fly girls from Michigan.

Kids like Sockeye too.

First flight to the Little Ku.

Big Rainbows were not in yet at the little Ku and no fish were spawning, but there were plenty of residents, some staging Sockeye and a few early running char & bows.

A few of many fish.

Two weeks ago started off with some evening fun with folks from camp and a couple of clients that were here to fish with Mike. It was a light week and I had told Jim if he wanted me to go off the clock I’d go do some remote camping on my own, but he had a better plan, some remote camping on the Alagnak combined with a mission to drop a boat there for fly outs!

Evening shinanigans.

Long story short, some of you will remember a number of years back when Eric, James, Tom and myself made the voyage down the Naknek, into Bristol Bay, into and up to the top of the Alagnak and back for dinner. We did that only a bit shorter this time in distance by starting in Naknek near the mouth, only going as far up on the Alagnak as the braids and making the full return voyage back here to camp on the Naknek a few days later.

Mission to drop a boat in the Alagnak.

A barge arrived in Naknek as we departed.

Running up Bristol Bay.

We spent several days getting camping gear and food in order and planned to camp, fish and goof off on the Alagnak for three nights, but a series of unfortunate events (including a small craft warning and 10+ foot waves) prevented us from leaving on Tuesday as planned. Anyway, we made a flawless voyage leaving at 5am on Wednesday to time the tides getting into the Alagnak. (Big mud flats, but a 21.9 foot tide helps!) It rained almost the entire time, but we made the best of it and had a blast being away from camp for a while…

Breakfast cooking and a fish on at “John and Mary’s” on the Alagnak.

A stop at the old Branch compound.


Silvers, Chums and Pinks were present.

Homeward bound.

Got back Friday morning after another early morning departure for tides, sorted and dried gear then enjoyed another fun Friday night here at camp before my BBT crew arrived on Saturday.

Friday night fire.

We had a light crew this year with only 6 of our own clients so John stayed back home and I played a dual role of guide and host rather than just host this go around. It worked out well “guiding” one of my best friends all week (11 years in a row now for this trip.) and one of my better clients from home on several days for fly outs and a day here on “the nak”.

BBT Week and Scooter with a fish on.

Scooter and I determined at the beginning of the week that we were strictly going to chase big rainbows in smolt boils while here on the main river rather than spend any time on Salmon and we had a blast. It is one of the most exciting methods of chasing big fish there is, but there can be a lot of down time and it also requires a level of skill and patients that most folks simply don’t have when they know that they can bend a rod easily elsewhere…

We brought lots of fish in the 20” – 25” class to hand, but lost the only 2 we hit that would have made 30” + club for sure…

A special “shore lunch” of M-37 Meat Shack ribeye’s I made for Scott and I.

The boys had some fun with pike that are very near the camp in the evening.

A short visit to the Alagnak checking on the boat we left there.

Back on the Naknek.

We made contact with multiple species using multiple methods at Contact Creek as usual.

Heading home.

Mid-week fire? Why not! ;^)

2nd visit to the Little Ku.

Too busy fishing to get many shots, but lots more rainbows this go around and spawning Sockeyes.

Tundra nap while waiting on the plane.

Scott and I decided to invite Katie (The visiting girlfriend of Austin here at camp.) and Deb, a camp helper, out with us on Friday, but only if they were up for making a spectacle of themselves on a giant unicorn in the rapids for boils…

The unicorn rides again!

Funny thing is, I had them using a single hook lure on a spinning rod in the Unicorn (Less chance of popping it! ;^) while Scooter and I used fly rods in the lead boat/anchor and they not only had more fun than us drinking beer and girl chatting, but they also caught all the fish of the day! Scott and I had a few grabs and a few chases by some big fish eating smolt, but the girls were catching all sorts of stuff back there behind us tossing those lures. It was a riot and even more fun just to watch the heads turn and cameras come out of the other boats that would go by…

Dan “dock boarding” a new piece down from the public ramp.

Finished off the week and Saturday night with more epic camp fires here at camp that I’ll go into more in my next report (by request) and now we’re into this week where we woke up to 50 mile an hour winds and 4’ standing waves in the river! The people I’m probably going to guide don’t get into camp until Tuesday anyway, but all of our boats are currently in a slew across the river for protection and the guys that went out today (Sunday, not sure when I’ll actually get this posted with internet.) had to walk into a creek for Silvers.

Not the 4’s we have now, but a shot from earlier and you get the idea!

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got for you for now. Just figured it was past time to check in regardless of how much I’m enjoying the unplugged lifestyle and I will “try” to report again sometime in the next few weeks before heading home on the 3rd of September. Not positive about my calendar at home right now, but I do believe I have a few Salmon and fall Steelhead dates available still at the moment. Call the shop to check on those if interested and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Tight lines!

Other reports by Steve
September 22, 2018 09/22/2018
September 21, 2018 Sorry!
September 11, 2018 09/11/2018
September 5, 2018 A few sad words