Alaska

With nearly 34,000 miles of shoreline, 3 million lakes, over 12,000 rivers, and nearly infinite small  creeks and streams, there is no shortage of places to fish in Alaska. Covering an area that is one-fifth the size of the continental United States, an angler can spend a lifetime exploring this vast region and still not experience all it has to offer. Alaska can be divided into three main regions for the fly angler: the southeast, southwest, and the interior.

If you’ve ever dreamed of battling hard-fighting steelhead on a fly set amidst a dense lush rainforest, then Southeast Alaska is for you. This temperate zone (by Alaskan standards) boasts tremendous fall salmon fishing in small rivers and streams, with coho dominating the runs. Southeast Alaska is also a great place to catch cutthroat and rainbow trout.

Southwest Alaska truly captures the charm of what remote fly fishing in this state is all about. Throughout this region there are hundreds of secluded waters that can only be reached by a small plane. If you want to experience a fly-out day trip catching Arctic char, trophy rainbow trout, or silver salmon on a crystal-clear stream, embark upon a multi-day float trip down a secluded river, or spend time at a remote lodge, then southwest Alaska is the place for you.

Alaska’s interior is one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions on the planet. However, great fishing is awarded to those who are up for an adventure. From tundra to taiga, big rivers to small streams, lakes, ponds, marshes and everything in between, there’s no shortage of variety when it comes to fishing in Interior Alaska. While salmon, steelhead, and rainbow trout are found in most of the rivers, the interior is also home to less common species such as sheefish, arctic grayling, arctic char, and monster northern pike!

Whether you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime dream trip or your 50th adventure to the Last Frontier, once you discover all that Alaska has to offer the only question remaining will not be if you’re going to fish Alaska, but how often!

Please contact Gil for more information, and help planning your next fly fishing adventure today!

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Alaska

Quick Facts

SPECIES

GEAR

SEASON

Salmon8-10wt FloatingJune - October
Rainbow Trout8wt FloatingJune - October
Dolly Varden6-8wt FloatingJune - October
Pike9-10wt Floating, IntermediateJune - October
Sheefish9/10wt Floating, IntermediateJune - October
Lake Trout10wt SinkingJune - October
Arctic Grayling3-5wt FloatingJune - October
Arctic Char6-9wt Floating, Sink TipJune - October

South West Alaska

When you envision floatplanes, remote streams, spending all day in solitude, and catching lots of fish while sharing a hole with no one, then Southwest Alaska is the place. Round-out the experience by coming in contact with a collection of popular target species including Arctic grayling, Arctic char, sheefish, and all five species of salmon. With so many opportunities the ultimate Alaskan fishing experience grows even more alluring.

With hundreds of remote fisheries spread throughout Southwest Alaska, towns like King Salmon, Dillingham, Anchorage and Kodiak are hubs that provide access throughout the region. Lodges are scattered throughout Southwest Alaska, and many offer world-class fishing right out of their door. Some lodges have their own bush planes, which allow for quick access to even more remote fishing. Furthermore, if viewing and being surrounded by wildlife appeals to you, this part of Alaska offers unparalleled experiences.

A wide range of fishing techniques can be applied in the waters of Southwest Alaska. Skating and chugging surface poppers for coho can be nothing short of spectacular. Follow that with subsurface presentations, then stripped leach patterns and drifted egg patterns, and you can stay on aggressive silver salmon all day long. Here coho stage at the mouth of many lakes making for a unique fly-fishing experience, which at times can be much more productive than fishing for them in streams.

If you’re looking to spend the day on a remote small stream, the standard procedure is to get dropped off in the morning by a truck or floatplane, fish all day, and then get picked up later in the afternoon.  If targeting multiple species on such trips, gear-up accordingly. Many of these streams will find you battling coho in excess of 12-pounds, chum salmon over 20-pounds, as well as grayling and char over 20-inches long. Then again, latching into a 10-pound plus Arctic char is very doable in early September when fishing beads and flesh flies are go-to methods.

The fishing throughout much of Southwest Alaska can be phenomenal with so many salmon spawning in these remote waters. Time your arrival with the species you want to target and get ready to have the time of your life!

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South East Alaska

With more than 1,000 islands, numerous fjords, endless miles of shoreline, and innumerable rivers, creeks, and lakes, Southeast Alaska is the state’s most unexplored region. This is because, other than by boat, there is little access to Southeast Alaska’s isolated nature.

The fly-fisherman can pursue a variety of fish in bays, estuaries, streams and lakes. Fly-fishing in saltwater is the norm throughout Southeast Alaska. Steelhead, coho salmon, and Dolly Varden are the main attractions. All five salmon species can be caught in Southeast Alaska, but it is important to note that king salmon fishing is prohibited in most streams. Nevertheless, in late summer, pink, red, chum and coho salmon are bountiful.

Though Arctic grayling are not indigenous to Southeast Alaska, they have been planted in a number of lakes and offer good fishing opportunities, especially for dry fly enthusiasts. At the same time, rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout can be found throughout much of the region, rounding out a range of freshwater fishing possibilities. Combine these fish with the halibut, lingcod and other bottom fish, should you choose to spend a day gear fishing in deep water, and the list of fish quickly grows.

No matter where in Southeast Alaska you choose to travel, there’s likely good fishing to be had within minutes of wherever you are standing. The streams are short and the best fishing is usually at the mouth bodies of water. By being prepared to fish in bays, rivers, small streams and lakes, you’ll be able to appreciate the true diversity of fishing South East Alaska.

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Interior Alaska

Alaska’s interior offers world-class fly fishing adventures that are truly unique to this region. While some fisheries can be accessed from the road system, it is the remote flyouts, float trips, and extended stays in remote locations that set Interior Alaska apart from other regions in the state. Whether you’re looking to fish from the comforts of an elegant lodge or camp on the edge of a secluded stream for nights on end, Alaska’s interior region has a lot to offer.

From tundra to taiga, big rivers to small streams, lakes, ponds, marshes and everything in between, there’s no shortage of variety in the massive expanse of Alaska. Add to the list a cast of glamorous fish species and wildlife viewing opportunities, the journey becomes even more alluring.

Ever dream of catching prized sheefish (aka inconnu or Alaskan tarpon), giant sea-run Arctic char, and gorgeous Arctic grayling above the Arctic Circle on the fly? Here, in Alaska’s interior region, that dream can become a reality, along with many others. Additionally, some of Alaska’s best coho salmon and Northern pike fishing lies within the boundaries of the interior. 

When it comes to fly-fishing in Alaska access is the most challenging obstacle to overcome. Once you arrive in the interior, bush planes take you to a land many anglers only dream about, one that will be calling you back before the journey even ends. There are few feelings in life that match being dropped off on a secluded gravel bar along a crystal clear stream with the waning cry of a bush plane’s engine fading in the distance, knowing you have the better part of a week to fish from a raft, pitching camp when and where you please. 

In Alaska’s interior, fly-fishing comes in many forms. Here, day flyout fishing can be enjoyed from a number of quality lodges, where you can return each afternoon to the comfort of a warm setting while enjoying fine cuisine, a nightcap, and the opportunity to do it all over again the next day. What this experience offers is access to a different fishery every day with the ability to target multiple species, which makes it a true Alaskan fly-fishing experience you’ll never forget.

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