Outdoorsmen and women unite; head to the Last Frontier for some fly fishing in Alaska. You’ll find the fly fishing in Alaska is unlike fishing anywhere in the lower 48. The quality of the cold water streams and rivers, and in turn the fish, is world class. Besides the quality, you’ll find the concentration of fish second to none. Catch-and-release is one of the favorite mantras of Alaskan fishermen and fisherwomen. This is especially true when fishing for trout.
The Bristol Bay area is by far the most popular spot for fly fishing for rainbow trout. Those fish tales of 10 to 15 pound rainbow trout were started in this area, where fish that size have been landed. The Bristol Bay area isn’t the only place to find top notch rainbows, though.
Take a trip to the northern Cook Inlet and pack your pole to any of these rivers: the Kenai, Moose, Ninilchick or Russian. The Anchor River, found on the Kenai Peninsula, also offers great rainbow trout opportunities.
Steelhead trout are also found in the Anchor and Ninilchick Rivers in addition to Deep Creek and Stariski Creek on the Kenai Peninsula. For a more adventurous Steelhead fly fishing trip, visit the Kodiak region of Alaska. Record Steelhead, 40 pounds and more, have been landed in the remote waters of southwest Alaska.
As a general rule, you can participate in trout fly fishing in Alaska until ice forms over the rivers and creeks. Depending on the region and elevation, this could mean 3 months or 11 months of fine trout angling each year. Fly fishing in Alaska can’t be discussed without salmon entering the conversation. King, Sockeye (red salmon), Coho (silver salmon) and Humpies (pink salmon) are a staple of an Alaskan anglers diet.
The best place to fish and the heaviest concentration of King salmon is the Kenai River. Early August is the best time to salmon fish and in addition to Kings, you’ll likely hook a number of Sockeye and Coho during this time.
If landing a school of Sockeyes is what you’re looking for, head to Bristol Bay where millions of these tasty fish return each year for spawning. The most popular spot for Sockeye fly fishing is the Russian River. Besides a large, empty cooler to pack away all you catch, you’ll need a few other items to make your fly fishing adventure successful and trouble free.
* A fishing license. Get caught without this and you could end up paying hefty fines in addition to throwing back all that you’ve worked for.
* Rain gear. Weather in Alaska is unpredictable and they receive rain, on average, twice per week. While you might find yourself in water up to your thighs, you don’t want to get soaking wet from the waist up.
* Waders are a must-have. Hip waders are recommended. Neoprene is great during cold weather but if you’ll be spending much time fly fishing in Alaska during the summer months, these could keep you a little too warm.
* Zipper-seal bags, a lot of ‘em. You’ll need to keep some things, like your first aid kit and camera, dry from the elements. You will also need a place to store your filleted fish if you don’t keep them whole.
* A great sense of adventure. Alaska really is the Last Frontier and you’ll find no more breathtaking place to visit on the map. Fly fishing in Alaska is, quite literally, the tip of the iceberg.