Working with visitors teaches you that there are some universal facts among tourists, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or gender: when in tourist mode, a person’s brain shuts down! The old saying about rocks and glasshouses holds true in this case.
It’s critical to learn from experienced fishermen to get the most out of any fly-in Alaska fishing trip, whether you’ve been around Alaska multiple times or are planning a bucket list fishing trip.
People are faced with information overload as a result of traveling in an unfamiliar area, as well as a strong desire to relax and avoid making reasonable decisions (it IS tiring after all). This essay should potentially provide solutions, decreasing your cognitive dissonance.
Alaska is a big state…really big… It dangles from North America like a beast’s head. For visitors from the contiguous United States, the geniuses behind Alaska.org have placed the state’s vastness into perspective. Alaska is not only big, but it is also culturally and environmentally diverse. First-time visitors to Alaska frequently categorize the state into conventional categories ranging from Eskimos to sourdough bread and glaciers.
The following list is not exhaustive, but it will get you started on your way to a fantastic fishing trip.
Table of Contents
Fishing Advice #1
Plan your trip to take place in a location where you can catch your desired fish. This may sound self-evident, but I am always astonished when people fly all the way to Alaska and then request to fish a species that does not occur in the location to which they have traveled. The dissatisfaction is evident. Do your homework! The Regions area of the website is a good source of information on the many sorts of fishing available in each location.
Close your eyes and imagine Imagine spending money on a once-in-a-lifetime trip and not catching any fish….wow… that’s a bummer, huh? At its worst, dissonance. Of course, your suffering isn’t yet done. Facing the music once you have to tell your friends you didn’t catch any fish in Alaska is a unique gift that keeps on giving long after your trip is ended!
Fishing Advice #2
Carefully plan your trip’s arrival and departure times. Alaska is known for its pulse fishery, where fish appear one day and vanish the next. This is especially true in salmon-bearing freshwater systems. Check out the peak salmon runs in the area you’ll be fishing, and chat to local fly shops (see Fishing Tip #8). The link above contains information to assist you in determining run timing. You can also contact an Alaska Department of Fish and Game sports fishing biologist for more information and even scientific reports.
Fishing Advice #3
Make a weather window for yourself. During the winter, spring, summer, and fall, massive storms that would make national news in the lower 48 often roll off the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Bad weather might put an end to a fishing trip by blowing out a stream or canceling a flight or boat trip.
There are probably locations along the roadside where you can catch fish. In reality, there are some very spectacular roadside attractions, such as the Kenai River; nevertheless, as an Alaskan who has traveled extensively around the state, I can attest firsthand that the greatest spots are only accessible by plane. These are unique locations that will provide you with a taste of the wild and exceptional fishing.
Fishing Advice #4
Get on a little plane and get off the grid. The small plane experience and fishing in the bush are a big part of the adventure of fishing in Alaska. Plane tickets are expensive, but I’m sure you already spent a lot of money to go to Alaska, so a few additional bucks for a plane ticket might well be the most memorable aspect of your trip. Splitting the charter with friends or signing up for a guided trip are two methods to cut costs.
Fishing Advice #5
If you truly can’t afford to fly to a Alaska remote fishing lodge, organize your trip to pass through a smaller Alaskan town that isn’t connected to the main southcentral Alaska highway system. Many of these settlements are accessible by Alaska Air, and their road systems provide excellent fishing opportunities. Yakutat, Cordova, Nome, and Juneau are just a few instances.
Fishing Advice #6
Get a fishing guide again for the Kenai River or one of the rivers on the Kenai Peninsula if you’re living on the southcentral Alaska road system. A guide will not only provide you with a boat but he or she will also provide you with local knowledge and provide you with access to some of the best fishing in the world. Also, most people don’t hike, and you’d be astonished at how much isolation can be found with just a few hundred yards of walking.
My personal favorite type of Alaskan fishing lodge trip is a remote DIY float trip. Alaska provides some incredibly isolated float trips where you can catch a once-in-a-lifetime fish and witness a variety of wildlife. When compared to the cost of staying at a fly-out fishing lodge, these journeys can be relatively affordable.
Fishing Advice #7
When arranging a DIY vacation, a local outfitter is your best friend. A professional outfitter can help you purchase the correct gear, keep you informed about river conditions, and arrange safe transportation to and from your destination.
Fishing Advice #8
Consult local fly shops in the area you’ll be traveling. I’m not talking about a fly shop in the Lower 48 or a huge box store. The best fish gossip comes from Alaska’s “ma-and-pop” stores, which are likely to be your most significant source of information for a successful trip. Furthermore, these tiny businesses are often fun places to visit and have a stake in your success.
To sum up, I hope these few pointers alleviate any dissonance you may be experiencing or at the very least present you with a few things to consider when arranging a vacation. Alaska is an angler’s dream, provided you go to the right area, arrive at the best time to go fishing in Alaska, and employ the proper fishing skills. The art of vacation planning is putting these pieces together! It also doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of luck.