Fishing in Alaska

Last updated on July 3rd, 2021 at 10:59 am. Originally published on July 1st, 2021

Vacationing in Alaska is on many people’s bucket lists. If you are an angler, make plans to take it off yours by going on a fishing expedition to “The Last Frontier.” Planning is necessary as many of the excellent fishing spots in Alaska are only accessible by floatplane or boat. Before going fishing in Alaska, ensure that you know the regulations and have the proper fishing license. You will also want to see wildlife, like bears, moose, and elk, while on your trip to Alaska. 

A group of men wading in a river and fly-fishing.

Fishing Spots in Alaska

Innoko River

Go fishing for Northern Pike in the Innoko River near King Salmon. The Innoko River is a tributary of the Yukon River. It has yielded 33-pound northern pike. Try fly fishing with large colorful flies that will easily move with the water’s action. The largest northern pikes are usually caught near the water’s surface in the spring. They move deeper as the days warm up, so attach streamers to your lure. 

Kobuk River

Thirty-pound sheefish are regularly caught in the Kobuk River, where you can also catch northern pike and arctic grayling. This river begins in the Gates of the Arctic National Park and runs for 174 miles to Hotham Inlet. The sheefish season starts in June, peaks in July and August, and ends in September. You will need a 20-30-pound test line to catch the aggressive sheefish. Most anglers find that red bobbers work best. 

Kenai River

The Kenai River runs 82 miles westward from Kenai Lake to Cook Inlet, where it meets the Pacific Ocean between Soldotna and Kenai. Record-breaking king salmon weighing over 97 pounds have been caught in the lower part of this river. The middle part has good fishing spots for sockeye salmon in July and silver salmon in August and September. The upper part of the river, where it meets the Russian River, often offers excellent salmon fishing in June. 

Lake Iliamna

Lake Iliamna is about 100 miles west of Seldovia. King salmon arrive at this lake around June 1, and this is a great place to catch silver salmon from August to September. You can also catch Dolly Varden fish at this location from July to September. Many anglers come to Lake Iliamna to fly fish with aquatic insects for rainbow trout throughout the summer months, with rainbow trout up to 28-inches long often caught in August and September. 

Kanektok River

The Kanektok River, also called the Chosen River, runs westward from Kagati and Pegati lakes in the Ahklun Mountains to Quinhagak, where it flows into the Kuskokwim Bay. This river is a fantastic place to fish for all five species of Pacific salmon. It is also a great fishing spot for rainbow trout, Arctic grayling, Arctic char, and Dolly Varden. This is also a great place to catch the rare leopard rainbow trout. Much of this river flows through the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness Area, and you need a special permit to fish there. 

American Creek

American Creek lies entirely within the boundaries of Katmai National Park. This is a great spot to go rainbow trout fishing because the river contains many granite boulders for the fish to hide behind. While some jet boats can operate on the upper part of this river, you will need to hike and float on the lower part to reach some of the best fishing in Alaska. This creek is also a fantastic place to go char fishing. Expect to see numerous brown bears if you decide to fish at this location near King Salmon. 

Aniak River

The 96-mile long Aniak River near Dillingham is an excellent fishing spot in the spring for lake trout, sheefish, and northern pike. Then, later in the year, the lower part of this river is a great place to catch salmon, Arctic char, rainbow trout, and Arctic grayling. You may want an experienced guide with you when you fish this fast-flowing river, as log jams are common. Most anglers choose to fish this river from a raft. 

Where to Fish in Alaska

River fishing with flies is the most common type of fishing in Alaska. Many choose to go fishing in southwest Alaska because these locations are often more easily accessible than other Alaska fishing locations. If salmon is your species of choice, consider locations around Homer and Bristol Bay. Southwest Alaska is often a great place to go rainbow trout fishing. 

Camping and Fishing in Alaska

Most fishing spots in Alaska are in remote locations. Therefore, anglers often choose to camp and fish so that they will be close to the action. While some fishing lodges provide tents, others will allow you to bring an RV, which is a much more comfortable accommodation. 

Expect to get wet, especially if you are going fly fishing or fishing from a raft in Alaska. Even though most fishing occurs during the warmer summer months, it is still vital that you wear clothes that are warm and will dry quickly. After all, you do not want to be sitting around in wet clothes. Additionally, the warmer months in Alaska are still cooler than many people are used to; expect high temps in the low 70s with overnight lows dipping into the 40s and 50s.

Fishing in Alaska is an outstanding experience. The size of the fish in Alaska, like 28-inch rainbow trout, cannot be found in many locations in the lower 48. Therefore, this is a trip that you will remember for a long time. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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