Big River Lake Alaska Fly Out Fishing

Big River Lake is located on the West Side of Cook Inlet, nestled against rugged coastal mountains and the entrance to Lake Clark Pass. A glacially turbid body of water, Big River Lake is relatively small and primarily fed by surrounding glaciers, snow melt and tannin up-welling. It feeds Big River, which makes a relatively wide but shallow and silty 13-mile run to nearby Cook Inlet. Wolverine Creek is a small, clear-flowing tributary stemming from Wolverine Lake and cascades less than 2 miles through a boulder-strewn valley where it dumps into Redoubt Bay and Big River Lake. Wolverine Creek and the East Fork of Big River receive the primary runs of Big River Sockeye. Where Wolverine Creek flows into the lake, it pushes the cloudy, glacial water back and creates a sizable pocket of clear water. This reveals thousands of fresh Alaska sockeye schooling in the shallows. Fly-out fishing in Big River Lake and Wolverine Creek is typically very productive, and anglers regularly retain their three fish limit and release many others.

This clear pool at the outlet of Wolverine Creek is known as Redoubt Bay and is frequented daily by numerous brown and black bears. They attempt (with varied success) to catch fish from the lake but are most successful when the fish are running the rocky, shallow creek making them easier to catch. The bears are very tolerant of nearby boats and anglers, content to pursue the fish, feed and move on. Since we do not fish when the bears are in close proximity, bear viewing, and photography is always a regular component of this trip. In late July and August, fly-out fishing in Big River Lake Alaska largely transitions from sockeye salmon to newly arriving silver salmon. Fly Out Fishing for silvers occurs in many other sections of Big River Lake and away from Redoubt Bay and Wolverine Creek. There are several shallow bays and flats surrounding the lake that attract large schools of fresh coho. Big River silvers become extremely aggressive in these larger groups and regularly take salmon eggs suspended from a bobber or placed on the bottom, spinners and a variety of flies. Multiple fish days are common. The limit is three silver salmon per person and you are not allowed to fish after retaining your limit.

The Wolverine Creek /Big River Lake fly out fishing trip has remained our most popular fly out trip for decades and for good reason.  It offers very consistent fishing for both sockeye and silvers, excellent bear viewing, spectacular scenery and as if that was not enough?  Our planes always fly you over a nearby glacier on the return trip (weather permitting) and seeing this splendor of Alaska from the wing of float plane is the definitely the cherry on the top of a perfect day.  Trust us this fly out trip will not disappoint and will be one of the highlights of your trip.

  • Location: West Side Cook Inlet
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Trip Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Target Species: Sockeye Salmon, Silver Salmon
  • Run Timing:
    • Sockeye: June 1 – July 25
    • Silvers: July 25 – Sept. 15
  • Cost: $675 per person
  • Includes scenic glacier flight on return / weather permitting.

Alaska Fly Out Fishing Photos: Big River Lake/Wolverine Creek

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