With that being said, I suppose it is possible to find a less than spectacular lodge, but hopefully the following guidelines will help streamline the process of planning your first trip to Alaska. Unless you are interested in ice fishing, the lodges have all shut down for winter, but that is okay because this isn’t the kind of trip you’ll want to book last minute and one that requires careful planning and consideration.
However, if this is your style you’ll be happy to know there are numerous outfitters that will provide an Alaskan wilderness experience like no other. I, on the other hand, enjoy returning to a hot shower and warm meal every night, so I am a big fan of well-appointed fishing lodges.
One of my favorites is Rainbow King Lodge in Liliana, which is an hour flight from the state’s largest city, Anchorage. Rainbow King is unique in that it has private leases on several streams that gives visitors the privacy and action many other lodges cannot provide.
The season typically runs from June through September when five salmon species occupy area waters. Sockeye salmon show up next, around the 1st of July, and are great fun and good eating when they are fresh from the ocean.
Sockeye stay in the rivers and spawn through September, turning candy-apple red with green heads. While the salmon opportunities are unrivaled, the real prize in Alaska is the abundance of wild rainbow trout.
My favorite time is September when the biggest rainbows come into the streams from the lakes to fatten up on eggs and salmon scraps before winter approaches. My favorite pattern for salmon is a purple and black creation that’s very similar to what we use for tarpon in Everglades National Park’s tannin-tinted waters.
The last aspect to consider, and quite possibly the most important to ensure an enjoyable trip, is your clothing. You’ll also want a backpack to carry extra clothes, equipment and most definitely don’t forget your camera.
Found some good reviews through trip advisor, but am skeptical and seeking any first-hand knowledge. Artificial lure means a lure that is man made, free of bait as defined below, and is used to attract fish for the purpose of taking them, and includes artificial flies.
Bag limit (daily limit) means the maximum legal take per person per day, in the area in which the person is fishing, even though part or all of the fish are immediately preserved; a fish when landed and killed becomes a part of the bag limit of the person originally hooking it. Drainage means all the waters comprising a watershed including tributary rivers, streams, sloughs, ponds, and lakes which contribute to the water supply of the watershed.
Fish means any species of aquatic finish, invertebrate, or amphibian, in any stage of its life cycle, found in or introduced into the state, and includes any part of such aquatic finish, invertebrate, or amphibian. Mark or marking means all forms of skin alteration, fin clipping, or other mutilation, or insertion of foreign materials in live fish that permit later identification.
Molesting means the harassing, disturbing, or interfering with fish by any means, including the use of any missile or object not established as legal gear; molesting includes dragging, kicking, throwing, striking, or otherwise abusing a fish which is intended to be released. Open season means the time during which fish may lawfully be taken; each period of time prescribed as an open season shall be construed to begin at 12:01 a.m. on the first day and end at midnight of the last day thereof.
Peace officer of the state means (a) an employee of ADAYG authorized by the Commissioner; (b) a police officer in the state; or (c) any other person authorized by the Commissioner. Reel seat means an attachment mechanism that holds the fishing reel to the rod using locking, threading rings, sliding bands, or other attachment devices and is designed to allow the reel to be readily detached from the fishing rod.
(B) a partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation that has its main office or headquarters in the state; a natural person who does not otherwise qualify as a resident under this paragraph may not qualify as a resident by virtue of an interest in a partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation. (C) a member of the military service, or United States Coast Guard, who has been stationed in the state for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made; (D) a person who is the dependent of a resident member of the military service, or the United States Coast Guard, and who has lived in the state for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made; (E) an alien who for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made has maintained the person's domicile in the state and who is neither claiming residency in another state, territory, or country nor obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country.
Snag means to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth (see “Prohibited Acts”). Spear means a hand-operated shaft with a sharp point or fork-like implement attached to one end, used to thrust through the water to impale or retrieve fish; includes a Hawaiian sling or pole spear which is a shaft propelled by a single loop of elastic material that is not equipped with a mechanical release or trigger.
Speargun means a device designed to propel a spear through the water by means of elastic bands, compressed gas, or other mechanical propulsion to take fish that is equipped with a mechanical release or trigger. Sport fishing means the taking of or attempting to take for personal use, and not for sale or barter, any freshwater, marine, or analogous fish by hook and line held in the hand, or by hook and line with the line attached to a pole or rod which is held in the hand or closely attended or by other means defined by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.
Stream mouth means the downstream point defined as a straight line running from the most downstream extremity on one stream bank to the most downstream extremity on the other stream bank, or a point defined and marked by ADAYG. Toxicant means any material or chemical that upon introduction into the waters of Alaska by direct or indirect means will kill, stun, or drive fish from their natural repose.
Take means taking, pursuing, hunting, fishing, trapping, or in any manner disturbing, capturing, or killing or attempting to take, pursue, hunt, fish, trap, or in any manner capture or kill fish or game. Vessel means a floating craft powered, towed, rowed, or otherwise propelled, which is used for delivering, landing, or taking fish within the jurisdiction of the state, but does not include aircraft.
If you want to wrestle a trophy fish to the boards of your boat, Alaska ’s open water is where to do it. Bristol Bay is part of the Bering Sea, which is bordered in the west by Russia and the Kamchatka Peninsula; in the south by the Aleutian Islands, and in the east by Alaska.
The low water level and frequent sandbars make the bay unsafe for many large, commercial fishing vessels, which means these waters don’t get overfished. If you take a float plane or charter boat you can access streams and bays in many of the smaller islands.
Remote fishing means you’ll be able to access some of the choicest salmon and halibut runs with less competition in a more serene environment. You can stay overnight at one of the several remote lodges, camp out, or try to secure a state park cabin.
Ketchikan Alaska is nicknamed the “Salmon Capitol of the World.” The whole city lives and breathes the sea and its bounty. And 30% of the permanent Ketchikan population is employed in the fishing industry today.
The rainbow trout here are true trophy material, a benchmark that’s set at 30 inches in Alaska. Fly fisherman will have a field day on the Avichai, particularly between August and October when the trout are hungriest.