The Crimson Wave by Bill Horn


Sockeye Salmon, Rainbow Trout, and Alaska’s Bristol Bay

In stock

Optional Original Pencil Drawing

We offer this book with a signed original pencil drawing on the title page by Bob. Please request your choice of fly or game bird feather in the box below.


Interior Illustration by Bob White
Hardcover, 192 pages
9.36 in x 7.75 in inches
Stackpole Books (August 1, 2023)

Sockeye Salmon, Rainbow Trout, and Alaska’s Bristol Bay

The word “Alaska” conjures visions of jagged icy peaks, smoking volcanoes, vast crimson tundra, sweeping blue rivers and lakes, shaggy brown bears, bush airplanes and pilots, remote Native villages, flashing rainbow trout, and rivers teeming with crimson salmon. These visions are realized, on a stupendous scale, in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region. Each year 60 million or more wild salmon pour into the Bay to fight their way upstream past nets, anglers, bears, swirling rapids, and cascading waterfalls in lake and river systems with magical names—Iliamna, Kvichak, Naknek, Alagnak, Becharof, Egegik, Nushagak, Togiak, and Ugashik.

Sport anglers travel to the region to pursue all five species of Pacific salmon, dolly varden and arctic char, grayling and giant rainbow trout that provide unmatched thrills on the end of a line with their explosive runs and twisting leaps. This unparalleled fishing—driven by the salmon—makes Bristol Bay the place of fly fisher’s dreams.

In this book, author Bill Horn provides a detailed and compelling account of the natural history and life cycle of these fish as well as a glimpse into the culture, management, and politics that are part of the sockeye salmon story. It also offers essential information for anglers planning a trip to the region, including best times of the year for fishing, strategies and fly choices, and planning your trip.

About the Author

Bill Horn has had a fifty-year connection—professional and personal—with Alaska. He was part of a 1972 Trout Unlimited team making recommendations to the U.S. Department of the Interior for salmon and trout conservation in the Bristol Bay region. He then worked for the Alaska Congressional delegation on the major Alaska Lands Bill enacted in 1980. From 1981–84 he was Deputy Under Secretary of the Interior overseeing implementation of the 1980 Act and continued that role as “Mr. Alaska” within the agency when he was nominated and confirmed in 1985 as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Following government service, Horn joined an Alaska law firm and represented an array of clients in the state including sport fishing lodges, bush pilots, Native corporations, hunting guides, the State of Alaska, and Trout Unlimited-Alaska.

Throughout these decades, he always found time to pursue char, grayling, salmon, and trout in the Bristol Bay region. His on-the-ground angling experience includes all of the major river and lake systems of Bristol Bay and all of the angling seasons there. He has written two previous books, Seasons on the Flats (Headwater Books/Stackpole, 2012) and On the Bow (Stackpole, 2021). Horn lives in the Florida Keys (Marathon) and Teton Valley, Idaho.

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