A must is considering a fishing trip to Alaska for your bucket list vacation meanwhile for some people that once-in-a-lifetime experience becomes a yearly trip. That is excellent! Choose from a wide range of options with over 350 Alaska fishing lodges scattered all over the state, and you could make endless possibilities unless you took multiple trips every year as if it was your job. Finding the optimal time and location for fishing in Alaska is of great significance; subsequently selecting a fishing lodge or guide is advised. By taking this direction into consideration you can discover your dream fishing trip in Alaska!
When it comes to the top 10 places any angler dreams of fishing someday Alaska is almost always on that list and fishing enthusiasts can explore a diverse range of opportunities in Alaska and find fantastic options.
10 Best Alaska Fishing Trips
Catching a fish by throwing a fly or spoon into any body of water can make it difficult to enjoy other methods; nevertheless this approach may not be successful in all cases.
My choice for an Alaska fishing bucket list would be this.
Northern Pike: Invoke River
A nice pike caught on the Invoke River.
To have the ultimate pike fishing experience in Alaska’s heart of pike country head to lower Yukon River despite that fact there exist several localities in Alaska where individuals can experience good pike fishing too. The DIY guy should opt for chartering due to logistical and cost challenges.
Some of the finest pike fishing experiences in Alaska are offered by Alaska Pike Safaris through their outfitted charters on the Invoke River and throwing plugs longer than a foot sets a whole new level of seriousness when catching pike that often weigh over 30 pounds (ca. 14 kg).
Saltwater Fishing: Afghan Wilderness Lodge
The author’s wife has caught a long cod off Afghan Island.
If bringing home the best ocean cuisine from Alaska is your goal, then there are numerous excellent options for saltwater fishing and for those seeking the complete package experience Afghan Wilderness Lodge is tough to top. Being in the midst of the best ocean fishing locations in the state means that it is just a quick flight from Kodiak.
Considering that you hit your limits relatively quickly it’s suggested to also take time for sightseeing. Halibut and long cod are what people usually catch plus depending on the time of year you may also come across numerous types of rock fish or even sockeye or silver salmon.
Sheepish: Kabul River
In Alaska perhaps the big sheepish is the most underrated game fish.
In Alaska sheepish is considered as one of the most underrated game fish and in the right spot you can find intense action and heavy fish despite their lack of fighting like a pike. If you served halibut and the succulent white meat of these largest species of whitefish found in Alaska to someone at the same time they might not be able to tell them apart and catching 30-pounders is not uncommon when fishing for the biggest fish in legendary sheepish territory of Kabul River. With many fly out and float options available for this trip it is an ideal choice for a DIY adventure.
Arctic Graying: Denali Highway
A nice arctic graying caught by the author.
In case it existed the graying would be the ultimate fish for fly-fishing and most water systems throughout Alaska have large numbers of them. The perfect choice for an adventure is to drive and camp on the southern edge of the Alaska Range by taking the Denali Highway route.
The country is beautiful with many streams that are waiting to be fished and lose count of your catch as you take in the breathtaking scenery with a 3-weight fly rod and a selection of bead-head nymphs and black gnats in your pouch. Don’t forget the bug spray.
Rainbow Trout: Bristol Bay
A giant rainbow caught in Bristol Bay.
Although Bristol Bay is famous for its amazing salmon fishing opportunities in my opinion catching plump rainbows that have been eating freshly laid salmon eggs sounds more enticing. No other place is as good to do it and many places in Alaska require booking a guide or charter service to access remote fisheries like these. It’s your best bet.
Numerous lodging options are at your disposal so get ready to experience the ultimate fly-fishing adventure by purchasing plenty of egg patterns.
Steel head: Southeast AK
A beautiful panhandle steel head.
For a certain group of anglers steels head possibly could be the exclusive fish species found on the entire planet and diehard fishing enthusiasts are in luck as several regions offer excellent steel head fishing. Southeast Alaska’s panhandle houses the best location and these saltwater-raised rainbows will challenge your skills and tackle.
In Alaska’s early spring months when many other waters are still frozen fishing is often at its peak and an assortment of options is at your disposal including DIY and fully guided tours. You can rest assured that regardless of the option you pick you will enjoy yourself.
King Salmon: Kenji River
The Kenji River offers a classic Alaskan adventure of fighting king salmon.
Alaska’s renowned fish is the Chinook or ‘King’ salmon and many people who dream about fishing in Alaska envision this particular fish. When I think of this the Kenji River is the first spot that comes to mind and needless to say, although salmon fisheries have faced recent struggles there are still big ones to be caught.
To spend more time fishing and less time fighting for space on the river look for smaller and less well known areas that are still rich in fish by doing your research.
Coho Salmon: Kodiak Island
Kodiak Island is a coho salmon fishing Mecca.
The Coho or “Silvers” deserve the award for the most spirited salmon despite receiving less recognition than kings and in spite of their relatively small size as compared to their adversaries during fights they display equivalent tenacity and vigor like that of a fish twice their extent which can lead to breaking of few fishing rods. Kodiak Island draws many visitors interested in silver fishing and hitting your run accurately will reward you with a day of fishing followed by a visit to the hotel’s ice machine The beauty of the island makes it all worth it.
To spoil yourself consider taking a charter to a more secluded river where competition is limited to the biggest land predator on earth alternatively there are also many rivers accessible by road with excellent fishing opportunities.
Lake Trout: Brooks Range
A wilderness later.
The lakes here may not be the best destination for lake trout fishing globally, but there are still enormous fish in their depths that are rarely caught, and it would be challenging to resist selecting the Brooks Mountain Range despite Alaska having vast areas of water containing Lakers
Charter a flight to remote lakes after the ice melts from shores in late June or early July to witness true water predators in action and see lake trout begin to swim in the shallow water near the shore and feed aggressively.
Arctic Char: North Slope and Northern Brooks Range
Head north for brilliantly colored char.
Head north if you enjoy float trips and colorful fish and the period of late summer and early fall is when numerous rivers that flow north out of the Brooks Range and into the Arctic Ocean are teaming with ocean run char.
As there is road access to only one of these rivers, going on a fly-out float excursion is your top choice.
Both the spinning and fly rod enthusiasts can experience amazing fishing with breathtaking scenery as a bonus.
Multi Day Fishing Trip or a Day Trip?
You will probably encounter the cost of day charters while conducting research and regard it as the best choice to make it worthwhile and do yourself a favor book a multi-day fishing trip. A multi-day trip enables you to catch more fish and experience more as you see more of Alaska.
Anglers can get the complete fishing experience in Alaska with multi-day trips regardless of their skill level and catching new and unseen fish will be the highlight of your multi-day trip. This trip includes up to 30 hours of ocean time and a diverse range of aquatic animals and birds as well as a rough landscape and mountains capped with snow will be witnessed by you.
In addition to an annual limit and a daily bag limit applying to many of the fish in Alaska, visitors fishing in Southeast Alaska had a daily limit of 1 (’17-’19) and an annual limit of 3 (May & June ’17-’19) for catching King salmon. To optimize your chances of tagging all of your King Salmon for the year you should consider booking a 3 to 5-day trip which would benefit you.
In general spending 4 to 6 hours fishing in Alaska isn’t worth your time and taking a boat ride to the nearest fishing spot in town was necessary for many of our short trips lasting 4 to 6 hours in the past Catching fish is improbable for you but refuse to expend resources on a brief half-day outing.
The lodge offers various packages for saltwater fishing adventures.
2 Days Fishing | 3 Nights Lodging
3 Days Fishing | 4 Nights Lodging (most popular)
4 Days Fishing | 5 Nights Lodging
5 Days Fishing | 6 Nights Lodging
All fishing packages include:
- Transportation—Airport pick-up & drop-off, & boat transfers
- The ocean allows for up to 10 hours of fishing each day (from dock to dock).
- A 30 ft (ca. 9 m)
- High-quality rain-gear, rods, reels, bait & tackle
- By icing the retained fish and vacuum-sealing it before freezing and boxing it accordingly will ensure appropriate care.
- Processing fish expenses—up to 50 pounds (ca. 23 kg) and fish allotted per individual.
Two people can stay in each oceanfront room at the Cascade Creek Lodge.
Accessible now are the lobby of the Cascade Creek Lodge along with its bar and dining area after a recent renovation.
Our in-house chef will prepare all meals for you including snacks and appetizers during the fishing days.
Not included in the fishing package:
- Alaska fishing license and King Salmon Stamp
- Meals on non-fishing days
- A liquor/grocery store that operates 24 hours and offers alcohol is just a walk away from us.
- Over 50 pound (ca. 23 kg) fish are processed here and the cost increases to $3 per pound per person after exceeding 50 lbs.
- All local taxes
Would it be preferable to select a guided fishing trip in Alaska or pick a self-guided one?
Self-guided fishing trips offer benefits as on such trips (non-charter), individuals may now retain two halibut per day per person with no size restrictions due to the updated regulations. The remaining fish regulations are unchanged and less expensive options are available if you plan your trip carefully.
In our opinion a guided trip provides more advantages than these two benefits and the reason to plan a guided fishing trip in Alaska is:
Charter Boats are Bigger, Faster and Better
As boat technology advances quickly charter boats strive to keep pace and charter fishing boats in Site are typically 30 to 32 feet (ca. 10 m) long and include a walk-around cabin with a spacious heated cabin and a powerful engine. By providing enough space to catch many fish just like your closest friends or business partners who do the same—bigger boats can be advantageous and using faster boats on every fishing day can help you fish a variety of spots or find a more productive fishing spot.
Making a living requires Alaska fishing guides to spend every day of the summer on the water and their knowledge about the location of active fish and expertise enables them to optimize their clients’ catch successfully while being knowledgeable about finding the most favorable fishing spots.
Alaska’s fishing trips become extraordinary with the presence of a knowledgeable and experienced guide coupled with an amiable deckhand and the personal connection people form with guides and deckhands is one reason they return year after year.
Inquire if guides or lodges have a deckhand before booking a trip.
Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website CaptainHunter.com. When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.