With the 2018 Alaskan fishing season in the rearview mirror, it's a good time to read up on what was working during the past season so you can plan for your future Alaskan fishing trip. Many lodges offer their own summaries, like Alaska Trophy Adventures season summary, but we asked one of the guides we work with, Fishhound Expeditions, for a summary. They can offer a few options for guided fishing…day trips, overnights, etc. and we thought the summary they could offer (below) might help if you've been considering guide options.

Adam from Fishhound Expeditions is one of the experts that answer the “Ask the Pros” questions. Check out his season summary below.

Alagnak Lodge - Extraordinary Fishing on the Alagnak River

Favorite Alaska Fishing Videos from 2018

Posted by Jeff H on January 10, 2019 to Videos

This is the time of year where a lot of anglers are fine tuning plans for their upcoming trip or starting to research a future fishing trip to Alaska. There is a lot of good information available (we like to think the My Alaskan Fishing Trip website is one source!) but sometimes watching a video can help with planning. You might see a fishing location, technique, or something else that can direct your next trip (worst case scenario, the video gets you excited about what's to come for you!). So, we like to collect our favorite Alaska fishing videos in one spot and here are our favorite videos from 2018.

Fishing out of Seward is one of the best decisions you can make when traveling with your family. Sorry not sorry! It's just the hard truth: if you want to fish, and you're bringing the rest of the clan, Seward is the answer.

The reason isn't just because there's phenomenal fishing (there is) but more so that there are so many other phenomenal experiences - there truly is something for everyone to enjoy. I would go so far as to say that Seward has more variety in it's adventure tourism offerings than any other city on the Kenai Peninsula. I focus on the fishing, because I'm a fisherman, though there are so many opportunities here for people of all ages and experience levels.

Planning a 2019 Alaska fishing trip...Looking for a reasonable place to stay with access to fishing (walking/shuttle/taxi, etc.). We're hoping to stay for a week, and fish every day via charter boats, guides, any way. Neither of us require a fancy place to stay; we're pretty simple folks. Just clean and quiet, with access to water. It'd be good if there were restaurants and/or a grocery store sort of nearby, too.

We're no strangers to (clean) motels; we certainly don't need fancy lodging. We'd rather spend the money on a good guide or charter boat.

By the way, neither of us fly fish but, if it worked out, I'd be willing to spend a day learning and doing it!

Many thanks - Cari

Hi, I am booked on the Nushagak River with 2 friends mid June 2019. I'm am on the lower reaches in tidal water but wish to fly fish most of the time. I tie all my own flies and we are bringing our own gear.

Any tips please on specific patterns colours and size of fly would be much appreciated. Secondly tippet sttength and colour please. I normally use flurocarbon.


Martin - Ireland

I am going to be in Anchorage for the last week of September and I don't have enough time to take any multiple day long fishing trips during that time period. I was hoping to escape for a few half days of fly-fishing in the general Anchorage area (2 hour radius of the city). My main focus is on rainbows, dollys, and grayling. Any suggestions for destinations that might offer solid fishing during that timeframe?

Thanks for your help!


The Nushagak River in Southwest Alaska has one of the most prolific King Salmon runs in the state. The numbers of King Salmon that run up this river system to spawn are measured to be at over 100,000 fish almost annually, with some years capping out at a whopping 165,000 kings! This total makes the river system the strongest king salmon run in the world. The Nushagak River is one of the largest rivers that flow into Bristol Bay. From it's origins way up in the Alaska Range, it flows southwest for some 280 miles to Nushagak Bay, which then turns into Bristol Bay. Along its path, there are several tributaries and lakes that these salmon navigate to where they will spawn.

We are heading to Anchorage the first week in October and wanted to grab a day of fishing. We will be camping in Denali for two days and then down to Seward for the remainder of the week.

What are our options when it comes to fishing in the Denali area?


I will be in Anchorage on business the second week in Sept. I will only have a single day to myself and would like to rent a car for the day and fly fish for rainbows. I am looking for recommendations that might be within a couple hour drive of the city with reasonably easy access. Places to rip streamers or mouse patterns a plus!

Please help!


I'm blown away by the shear number of opportunities for great fly fishing in Alaska. I'm in desperate need of a reset, so I booked some plane tickets and a camper van for Aug 29th - Sep 12th out of Anchorage. After reading through the Highway Angler and the Roadside Angler's Guide, it seems my best bets for a semi-DIY trip on the road system are either the Kenai Peninsula or the Parks Highway. I'll fish every day for 2 weeks, and hire a local guide for 1-2 days each week. There's so much good fishing in both directions from Anchorage, I had to ask the pros. If, as professionals, you had 2 weeks to yourself to fish either area, would you head north or south? (And what rivers/ creek would you target?) Nobody wants to spread the word about their favorite honey hole, and I appreciate any/all advice!

I'm seeking solitude but I understand that Labor Day weekend will make it hard during the first few days. I'd love to catch some salmon, but rainbows, dollies, and grayling fit the bill just as well if it means being in a beautiful location with some solitude. Thank you for time and advice!


I am going to be in Alaska Sept. 16 - Sept. 21st. I know trout fishing is great at this point but I would love to catch some silvers on a fly rod. I'm flying into Anchorage for work and will only have one day to fish. Are there any rivers that usually have a really strong silver run at that point that are within 4 hrs of Anchorage? Preferably not the Kenai since I won't have a drift boat. I've searched all over online and am having a hard time finding detailed information.


Denali/Cantwell, AK area from June 5th to June 8th, then heading down to Clam Gulch after that Would like to do some river fishing with my son while up in the Denali area. I have been reading that the fishing is fairly limited to Grayling...no trout. Also, no fishing license is required in Denali Park is that true? What would be our best options in your opinion.....hiring a guide or just finding a creek in the Park and going for it?

- Sebastian

Me and my buddy are coming up from Minnesota the first week of June and have a week to spend on the Kenai Peninsula. We are spending two nights in Seward and two nights in Homer. We have booked a charter for halibut out of Homer for one day. We will be spending the rest of the time fishing along the road system and on any water we can find. We have very little experience fly fishing and will be bringing our spinning tackle. Do you have any advice on what types of rods/reels/line combos that will be effective? I understand it varies depending on the type of fish being targeted but would like some advice on what works up there.

- Vincent

I would like to bring my 22 your old son up for a father-son fishing trip. I think that we would like to fish for Sockeye, King and Halibut so freshwater fishing and maybe one or two days of saltwater fishing. I was thinking a 5-7 day trip in May of 2019. How is the fishing & weather that time of year? What areas of Alaska should we look at and any other activities that we should keep in mind to do if we have time?

- Stephen

As you researched fishing trips to Alaska, you likely heard it referred to as the 'fishing trip of a lifetime' and 'bucket list trip' a lot. It's true - the Alaska experience will blow your mind and has the potential to offer amazing fishing. It can also be a bit stressful to prepare for if you let it be…especially if it's your first time planning a trip to Alaska. There are a few things to keep in mind that can limit potential issues and the following are a few tips from my experiences that may help as you prepare for what should be a memorable trip.

Fall fishing in Alaska has to be atop most trophy fly angler's bucket lists. This is the time of year when the big fish come out to play, especially on the Kenai Peninsula!

Whether targeting Silver Salmon (Coho) or Trophy Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden, the Fall fishing can be some of the most productive fishing of the year. During late August and into mid-September, most King Salmon, Sockeye Salmon and Pink Salmon spawn throughout the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. This spawning activity brings the biggest and most highly sought-after trout out of hiding, giving eager anglers a shot at a fish, or multiple fish of a lifetime. On any given cast, in the right spot, it is conceivable to hook a 30+" Rainbow Trout or a giant 25"+ Dolly Varden.

I have a week long float trip planned through on the Stuyahok, Koktuli, or the Moraine in August and am looking for a common food shelter to eat and cook in.

I am curious what kind of tent/shelter you used for your food space....I saw in your moraine video with the shelter that was netted for bugs, but was it waterproof as well? What is your recommendation for this piece of equipment?

Thanks, Connor

Going to Alaska in late May, do I want to river fish in Cooper landing or ocean fishing in homer?

My wife and I will be there a week, we will have 1-2 days of fishing. We are also doing a day of bear viewing and other sight seeing with some hiking. I've never fly-fished and at home we love to fish for bass and crappie!

We are just not for sure what would be best that time of the year? I'm sure the river fishing would be much more scenic?

- Tim

I've never fly fished. I'd like to incorporate learning how to and then fly fishing, kayaking, bear sighting, whale watching and seeing the northern lights. Is it possible to do all this in 7 days? I may b solo,on the trip. I'm a 58 yr old, active & healthy, female. Thanks for any info!

- Tammy

Fly Fishing for Arctic Grayling

Posted by David Lisi on February 20, 2018 to Fly Fishing

It's hard to imagine that a fish can live to be 32 years old. With a lifespan and natural beauty to boot, arctic grayling are enchanting fish to pursue on a fly rod. Landing and holding these remarkable fish with such a unique life history, makes targeting grayling in Alaska near the top of the bucket list for serious fly anglers.

Often referred to as the "lady of the stream," arctic grayling in Alaska have been recorded up to 24 inches long and weigh over 5 lbs. Arctic grayling can be found throughout most of the state, with the exception of the Southeast, Kodiak Island and the Aleutian Islands - Grayling occupy the largest home range of any sportfish in Alaska.

Arctic Grayling

Pulling a travel trailer to Alaska for 2 plus months in late May 2018.

Is it worth bringing my 5O inch wide Polaris Razor to explore/fish to get away from crowds?

- Mike P

I am planning to fish the road system on Kodiak Island in the fall of 2018.

What is the optimum timing for freshwater silver salmon?

- Bill

Alaska is home to arguably some of the best fly fishing in the world, hands down. Why is it so good? There are a number of prolific species of fish that are eager to take a fly. The streams, rivers and lakes are teeming with Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and the 5 Pacific Salmon species. Alaska is also home to some terrific grayling, char and cutthroat trout fishing.

On the Kenai Peninsula, the most popular fish to target on flies are definitely Rainbow Trout/Dolly Varden, Sockeye Salmon, Silver Salmon (Coho Salmon) and King Salmon. Each species has its "best time of year" and appropriate tactics/flies, so I'll make an attempt at breaking it all down for you here.

Alaska Fly Fishing Flies

If I had my choice for a super fun day on the water, fishing with kids would be right up there! Though we have fun on all of our trips, there's nothing like seeing kids light up when they "get it" and fall in love with the sport of fishing and especially fly fishing!

One of the biggest advantages we have in on the Kenai River in Alaska when it comes to fishing with kids, is the sheer number of fish, their size and their willingness to bite. This translates to great opportunities to get kids into the sport and have a realistic chance of catching something and when timed right, they'll have the chance at catching a lot!

Planning a bucket list fishing trip to Alaska this summer in either July or August. I know I won't be able to fly fish for every species of salmon due to run times. So if you had to pick what is your favorite type of salmon to fly fish for? And what are your other favorite species to target on the fly?

- Larry

If there's one thing to say about Alaska, it's that the fishing does not disappoint. This holds especially true for fishing on the Kenai Peninsula and particularly the famed Kenai River. Anglers from all over the globe travel here each year for one simple reason: any cast could (quite literally) produce the fish of a lifetime or even more stunning, a world record. Beginning at the outlet of Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing and flowing 82 miles through Sterling, Soldotna, and the city of Kenai, where it reaches Cook Inlet, the glaciated aquamarine water boasts 14 different species of game fish, including trophy-sized rainbow trout and all five species of Pacific salmon. With a close proximity to Anchorage, spectacular scenery, abundant fish runs, and relatively easy boat and walk-in access, it is no wonder that the Kenai River is Alaska's most popular fishery; in fact, the river alone accounts for 1/5 of Alaska's total annual sport fishing. Add in the extra hours of daylight during the summer months, and you can fish 'round-the-clock, should you so desire. It truly is every angler's dream.

And by every angler, I mean any! One of the great things about the Kenai is that it has something to offer for every skill level. Whether you are just starting out or consider yourself an expert, fly fishing or casting a spinner, you will find more spots to fish along those 82 miles than you can feasibly fit into one day. The fish are numerous and often voracious, offering plenty of leniency should you blow your first shot.

My wife and I would like to take our 5 and 7 year old salmon fishing in Alaska on a river or charter. A total of possibly 7 people may go on this trip. Is there a time of year that would be best for us? We're thinking June, July or August. Any specific species we should target or things to look out for?

We live in Washington State and my boys have river and lake fished but I want to hook them into something and see something of size.

- Brian

The Alaska trout are by far the real deal when it comes to size of the fish in comparison to it's fight. If you have ever seen Tie Domi fight back in his NHL days, you would understand the comparison. He was short, but strong enough to take on anyone in the league regardless of their size. A 16" Alaska rainbow trout can pull around a 20" trout from the lower 48 with ease. They are just stronger, and it comes from pure genetics and diet.

The Alaska trout have the opportunity to live off of an extremely rich protein diet for several months a year. They also have the a long cold winter where they shut down and are able to make it through with minimal food almost like the brown bears of the coast. They both rely on salmon as the major food source to get them through the winter by storing so much fat from the summer, and grow in size naturally more than trout in the lower 48 with this huge protein rich food source.

Leopard Rainbow Trout caught with Angler's Alibi
Beautiful Alaska Leopard Rainbow Trout caught on the Alagnak River with Angler's Alibi Lodge

Fly Fishing the Alagnak River

Posted by John Perry on September 09, 2017 to Fly Fishing

The Alagnak River is one of the major rivers in the Bristol Bay Watershed. It is actually a tributary to the massive Kvichak (Kwee-jack) river that flows from Lake Illiamna. The Alagnak River is way down the system and flows into Kvichak Bay right before it turns into Bristol Bay. What separates this river from the rest is it's equally massive runs of all salmon species. Most of the other rivers have huge runs of just Sockeye, or Chum, but the Alagnak River actually has a solid run of all 5 species of salmon. The other thing is that it is wadeable from the near the mouth all the way up to it's source, the Nonvianuk and Kukaklek lakes.

All 5 species run the river starting in late June with sockeye and kings, followed by chum, silver, and pink salmon. This happens from late June through early September. Rainbow Trout live throughout the entire system as well with the largest concentration located in the famous Alagnak River Braids. There are also Dolly Varden and Grayling in the system, and most numerous in the braided sections as well where the salmon spawn and provide nutrients for a rich aquatic life. It is the salmon though that are the basis for all this incredible life that the Alagnak has.

Fly Fishing the Alagnak River
Fly Fishing the Alagnak River

I was in Alaska in July this year. Stayed in Stewart right on the Kenia River. Sure had a tuff time catching Sockeye's...When would be the best time of the year to come back to Alaska to fish for Silver Salmon?

- Bruce

We will be in Alaska August 2-6th with a house on the Kenai River by Cooper Landing. August 3rd we have an 8 hour salmon guide, and then on the 4th and 5th we were looking to do a combination of hiking and fishing.

We found a few trails such as Quartz Creek, Ptarmigan Creek and Resurrection pass. We were wondering if you have heard of those trails or know of any hiking where we can get away from the crowds but still fish for great Dollys and Trout?

On the 6th we are driving back to Anchorage and are looking to hit some spots on the way. Our flight isn't until 1130pm so we have some time. Any suggestions on places or hikes in between Copper Landing and Anchorage?

- Colin

Widely known as the birthplace of the "Russian River Fly" or "Coho Fly," The Russian River in Cooper Landing, boasts some of the most unique fly fishing opportunities on the Kenai Peninsula.

Most visitors to the Russian River are primarily targeting the two runs of Sockeye Salmon that make their annual migration run to the Russian Lakes in early and late summer. Beginning around the 11th of June when the Kenai and Russian Rivers open, tens of thousands of "Reds" as they are commonly known, stuff this small tributary to the Kenai River.

Putting the boat in on the Russian River
Putting the boat in on the Russian River

My teenage son and I are headed near Lake Clark in the middle of June and were planning on fly fishing for some salmon, rainbows & grayling. This will be my first visit and I've heard that during certain times of the summer there's a midnight sun and it's light almost all day long.

We're from Montana and here we plan out when to go based on sunrise & sunset...so we were curious how that effects the fishing if there is really barely any sunrise/sunset. Are there still peak times? Do people actually fish at midnight if it's light out?


- Billy

Alaska offers many types of fishing adventures ranging from freshwater to the saltwater. I am going to explain how a day on saltwater charter would go while on board my charter boat the "2 Day". The "2 Day" is a 46 foot charter boat that is inspected and approved for up to 25 passengers. However, we only take up to 14 passengers on daily fishing trips or ocean adventures.

So, what do you want to do? Fish? Sightsee and whale watch? Do you want a private group or join in with other groups? Your preference for how to spend your time on the "2 Day" will dictate the optimum reservation for you. A private group setting will provide you the opportunity to customize your day between fishing and sightseeing, if you so choose. If you would like to book a seat or two, then the day is going to be all about fishing, and you can sightsee while we are traveling to and from the fishing grounds.

The '2 Day' Charter Boat
Captain Hill Norvell's Charter Boat - The "2 Day"

The Bristol Bay Area encompasses such a large area that it is actually hard to comprehend. It is approximately 40,000 square miles. This is about the size of the entire state of Ohio! This region also has hundreds of streams, lakes, and rivers that all empty into Bristol Bay. It runs from the Togiak River system to the West all the way around to the Ugashik River System to the South. This area has the largest wild salmon population in the world! The sockeye salmon are the most numerous of the salmon species and number in the millions. Some years they have returns in the 50 plus million range!

Anglers from all over the world descend onto this amazing area to target all 5 species of Pacific salmon as well as rainbows, grayling, char, and dolly varden. The salmon run during specific times depending on their species. Starting in mid June with kings and sockeyes and finishing up in September with the silver salmon. The mighty chum ( also known as calico or chum salmon ) and pink salmon run mid summer with the pink salmon only running on the even years.

Rebekka Redd fighting a Silver Salmon caught in the Bristol Bay Watershed with Angler's Alibi Lodge - Alagnak River, Alaska
Rebekka Redd fighting a Silver Salmon caught in the Bristol Bay Watershed with Angler's Alibi Lodge - Alagnak River, Alaska

Recipe: Beer Battered Salmon

Posted by Joe M on May 13, 2017 to Recipes

Fresh fish, especially fresh salmon, are at their peak culinary value when either prepared or packaged from the water as quick as possible. At Angler's Alibi Lodge, guests catch fresh salmon with an added advantage...they are caught from the river daily. Their location in the tidewater means that anglers are targeting salmon only a few hours after they have left the saltwater and are now in the fresh river system. This influx of salmon and an annually full roster of guests have given owner/operator John Perry plenty of opportunity to dial in some great recipes. He recently shared a couple of with the My Alaskan Fishing Trip crew, the first of which is shown here and it did not disappoint!

Feeds 4-6. Can be enjoyed as an appetizer or paired with your favorite sides for a delicious dinner.

  • We are looking for a family fishing trip that can accommodate children from 3-12 years old.

    We have four children ages 3-12 years. We would ultimately like to fish for two days, and have time to experience the outdoors through different ways that can accommodate our three year old and five year old. Without our children feeling held back by them. We would like to stay for five days. Our budget is dependent upon the options offered. With that said we do not need 5 star luxury. We opt more for extremely clean, and safe. I hope that is of some help. Thank you.

    - Tony

Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Anchorage on the Sterling Highway, you will look to your left and be stunned to find the most amazingly brilliant blue-green lake you've ever seen in your life. This is how you know you have arrived in Cooper Landing, a small mountain town of about 300 permanent residents on the Kenai Peninsula.

An extremely popular vacation, fishing and recreation destination, the Kenai Peninsula offers something for everyone. Visitors can enjoy ocean fishing, sightseeing expeditions, glacier tours and whale-watching within the Peninsula's many historic towns such as Hope, Seward, Kenai, Kasilof, Homer, Sterling, Soldotna, Anchor Point, Whittier and Girdwood. Cooper Landing is central to all of these, which makes it the perfect "home base" for your Alaskan adventure.

There are so many lodges and do it yourself areas in Alaska that boast about catching "Trophy Alaska Rainbows".

So...What constitutes a "Trophy Alaska Rainbow"

Truth is, just like the lower 48, they are not a dime a dozen. The next question is, what is a true trophy for Alaska standards? Most guides, lodge owners, and die hard locals would agree that a 30" or larger rainbow trout is the trophy size for Alaska and for that matter, the globe. Sure, there are a lot of places that hold these fish in the lower 48, but most are on private tracts of land or have just been released from a hatchery because they will no longer produce eggs. These large "brood stock" rainbows and browns can be caught in tail-waters where there is enough food to sustain such a large fish. A true 30" fish in the lower 48 that is wild and not associated with a tailwater will live in a river or lake that has a ton of biomass to produce such a beast of a trout. There are not many places where this happens naturally. In Alaska, there are few river systems that can hold and routinely yield fish of this size. Yes, even in Alaska, the amount of true 30" plus trout water is not a common place.

Luxury fishing lodges in Alaska are not common. The remote location of many lodges makes it difficult to import luxury materials for building and luxury materials for meals, entertaining, and daily life. Those efforts make luxury fishing lodges special. But it is not just the creature comforts that make up a luxury fishing lodge. In this "fishing the good life" blog, we look at why anglers choose luxury when Alaska is full of fishing lodges.

Why Consider a Luxury Lodge?

We count three primary reasons to consider a luxury lodge experience in Alaska - great fishing, accommodations, and service. Anglers choose luxury fishing lodges to enjoy and experience a side of the world that even the richest person might not know or have seen. These are places that blow your mind while allowing you to enjoy fishing in luxury and with people who care that your experience goes beyond the cost and becomes a trip you will always look back on and want to return. That is why anglers choose luxury fishing lodges in Alaska.

"An Alaska fishing trip is costly and often a once in a lifetime experience," notes Allen Walburn of Kodiak Island Resort in Larson Bay, AK. Allen notes that, because of this, luxury lodge guests "want to do everything possible to avoid any unpleasant surprises, so they seek out the best locations and lodges in hopes of assuring a satisfying experience that will supply a lifetime of memories".

Fresh caught sockeye salmon sushi
Expect excellent meals such as freshly caught sockeye salmon sushi at a Luxury Lodge

My wife and I are celebrating 50 years of marriage this year. We started our courtship by going on fishing trips in the Florida keys. Fishing has been a big part of our life! We have never been on a fishing trip in Alaska, and was wondering if anyone could help in recommending a comfortable, laid back fishing lodge with high quality accomations that would work well for seniors. We don't think we want to handle the big halibut or king salmon adventures. We are accomplished spin casting fishermen, and love to eat what we catch. Any help would be appreciated.

- Ray

Best Videos of 2016

Posted by Jeff H on February 15, 2017 to Videos
One of the many Silver Salmon we caught in 2016

Whether you landed the big one, reached your daily limit, or just had a good day catching up with your fishing friends, we hope you all had the chance to make some good memories last year. If you were really fortunate, then you were able to catch those memories on video too…but, if you didn't, then you can relive the excitement of fishing and beauty of the outdoors with our favorite Alaska fishing videos from 2016. Maybe we'll see your video on the list next year? Send us any you get!

One of the newest contributors to My Alaskan Fishing Trip is Cecilia "Pudge" Kleinkauf and we recently asked her a few questions to help you get to know her better. We look forward to sharing Pudge's fly fishing experience with you as she is Alaska's leading woman fly fishing instructor, fly tyer, and guide. Her extensive resume includes being the owner of Women's Flyfishing®, a Trout Unlimited Endorsed business, which provides fly fishing schools and small group guided trips focused on female anglers. Additionally, Pudge is the author of five books on fly fishing in Alaska - portions of which will be featured on this site along with her answers to your questions from our "Ask the Pro's" series.

Cecelia 'Pudge' Kleinkauf
Alaska Author & Guide - Cecelia 'Pudge' Kleinkauf

We are in the process of planning a trip to Alaska for late July or August 2017. We are 2 couples and the ladies will not be fishing. It seems a waste to pay "Lodge" prices per person when the girls will not be fishing. So, we need a nice place for the girls to stay and have things to do while we go fish. Daily flyouts are fine if necessary. We would like at least 1 or 2 day(s) of Halibut fishing and a few days of Salmon and backcountry trout fishing, trout being higher priority than salmon. We want the closet you can get us to the "Alaska" experience. We are also fine staying in a remote location for a night or two with the ladies back in town.

Any help would be appreciated.

- Robert

They come kicking and screaming to this "fly fishing thing." (well, sort of)...

  • "I've never tried fly fishing."
  • "I'm no good at it"
  • "I'm a beginner, will I spend all day struggling?"
Fishing the World Famous Kenai River
Fishing the World Famous Kenai River

Fishing Guide - Part Guide, Part Therapist & Part Educator

Generally, this is what we try to work people through as guides on the Kenai River. We're part fishing guide, part therapist, part knot-detangler but mostly, we are educators.

I'm trying to plan a fly fishing trip to Alaska to catch some trophy King Salmon on flies this summer. Also interested in Silvers and Rainbows but we would definitely would love to hook into some huge Kings on a fly. Do you have any suggestions for areas/rivers to focus on?

We were thinking of July but can move it to June or August if necessary to catch the peak King Salmon run.


- Gary, Oregon

One of the many Silver Salmon we caught in 2016
One of the many Silver Salmon we caught in 2016

The Silver Salmon run of 2016 was pretty interesting due to the high water. The silver salmon pretty much stack up in the same spots or areas every season on the Alagnak River, almost like clockwork. They will use the same holding water and travel corridors year in and year out, but we always manage to find some new ones with the river in a constant change from erosion or movement of sandbars and drop offs.

Seward, Alaska with Mt. Marathon in the background
Seward, Alaska with Mt. Marathon in the background

Seward, Alaska is where travelers come to stay, explore, and fish. There are endless sights to see: you may spot a bald eagle soaring over a majestic glacier or an adorable sea otter eating lunch on his back while cruising the boat harbor. Many people travel to Seward for numerous reasons from sight seeing to sport fishing and everything in between. The year round population of the greater Seward area is approximately 2,750 residents.

Moraine Creek Float Trip
Moraine Creek Float Trip - © Urs Wehrli

We talked with Urs Wehrli of www.floaters.ch to get his advice and thoughts on float trip fishing. Urs has been organizing his own Alaska float trips for the past 8 years. Despite living in Switzerland he has managed to do 9 Alaska Float Fishing Trips over the past 8 years and he shares his experiences and advice on his website. He also makes some fantastic videos of his Alaska Float Trips and even had his 2011 Karluk River Float Trip Video shown at the Kodiak Film Festival. We asked him about some of his best tips & experiences below.

When should I hire a guide, what should I expect to pay, and how much should I tip them?

Many people are hesitant to spend the money to hire a guide because

  • They don't know what to expect
  • They're not sure what they should be paying
  • They believe they should be able to take care of themselves on the water

For these and other reasons they can miss out on some great opportunities.

Inspected Vessel Charter Boat

My name is Hill Norvell and I own and operate Hill Norvell Alaskan Fishing, also (or better) known as Fish With Hill. Welcome to the vast amount of options available while seeking out the perfect saltwater fishing trip in Alaska. Many folks come to Alaska every year to fish and, for some, it may be a once in a lifetime trip. The common factors for all those planning an Alaska fishing charter are: figuring out the best place to fish, the best charter company to fish with, and who is the best captain to fish with.

I first came to Alaska as a captain for hire and was employed as a charter captain for 5 years. In that time I operated 6-pack boats in Deep Creek, Homer, and Seward before eventually starting my own business. My family and I have operated our business in Seward since 2005. There, I run a larger charter boat, the "2 Day", which is commonly referred to as a "head boat." It is not a 6-pack.

Below, I will explain the differences between these charter boats, the many choices you may have when choosing a charter, and how to make the right choice for your trip.

Father's Day is coming up quick (June 19th) but it's not too late to avoid getting your dad another tie, wallet, or screwdriver. We've put together a few fishing related gift ideas that work for any dad that likes to fish.

Books: there are a lot of fishing advice related options that can help whether your old man is a seasoned veteran or just getting started. If he's just starting to fly fish, then we suggest the L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing. It collects tips from multiple experts and breaks fly fishing into four primary sections: general fly fishing, fly fishing for bass, fly casting, and fly tying.

  • Looking for recommendations on the best locations to target Grayling and Rainbows on dry flies in Alaska this summer (June or July). Would fly into Anchorage, rent a car and find some places to stay near the streams/rivers I want to try.

    Would this be realistic to do with a car?

    Are there places to park & hike into streams & rivers with good fishing?

    Any species other than Rainbows & Grayling you would suggest for dry flies that time of year?

    I'm willing to drive up to 8 hours from Anchorage if needed to find great fly fishing without the crowds. Prefer fishing dry flies but of course I will fish whatever flies work best if needed.

    - Trevor, Vermont

Summer Storm Rolling In

Summer storms and fishing are very critical to our fishing program in Alaska. Just like Steelhead, the new rain seems to boost the Salmons' desire to come into the river on the tide. There are some theories out there that say it could be the added scent that enters the rivers helping the salmon hone in on their breeding grounds, or maybe just that with rising water levels, salmon and steelhead know that they will have a much easier job navigating a river that is more deep than shallow, and therefore take advantage of the new storm waters to make a push for the river.

We asked John Perry of Anglers Alibi for an overview of the 2015 Silver Salmon fishing season on the Alagnak River. Below, he offers a quick overview of why the season started a little later than usual and what flies were working. Contact us if you would like to submit a review of your fishing experience, or your lodges season.

2015 Was A Good Year for Silver Salmon on the Alagnak River
2015 Was A Good Year for Silver Salmon on the Alagnak River
  • Planning two trips to Alaska (one early for dry fly 'bows and the other late season for the silver runs). Was told by the guide service I'm using that Bristol Bay Flies has a good selection of the flies I'll need. Anyone know if their quality is what I'll need? They are listed in New York, so I kind of wondered.

    - Mark B

  • Retired 63 year old from upstate NY. Spent 2 weeks last two summers fishing on the Kenai peninsula and will be driving to Alaska in a few weeks to fish the summer.

    Float planes, lodges, jet boats etc. are not exactly in the pension budget. Looking...correction....begging for locations to wade / stream fish etc. I'm not much of a threat to subsistence fisherman or dip netters, as I don't eat Salmon and very seldom keep / kill fish intentionally. Any help / suggestions would b greatly appreciated.

    Not afraid of bears...like to hike / explore....not interested in the combat fishing.

    - Harold D, Upstate New York

Best Alaska Fishing Videos of 2015

Posted by Jeff H on March 05, 2016 to Videos
Angry Eagle Lodge - Little Guy, Big Fish!
Angry Eagle Lodge - Little Guy, Big Fish!

Everybody knows that YouTube has endless hours of content and we all use it for a variety of reasons...most of us have probably spent more time than we'd like to admit watching the latest 'fail' videos. Fortunately, in addition to 'fail' videos, there is a lot of content about great topics - including Alaskan fly fishing!

The team at My Alaskan Fishing Trip tries to catch all the latest videos that highlight Alaskan lodges, nature, fishing tips, and great fishing! So, we've collected some of our favorites from the last year here and hope you like our picks.

Fly Fishing the Kenai River
Fly Fishing the Kenai River

The absolute magical thing about Cooper Landing, Alaska is that it is so perfectly located. As a town of about 300 locals, Cooper Landing offers fishermen an amazing set of fishing opportunities. In fact, the fishing opportunities are so good that during Salmon season, the population of fishermen crests the 1000 person mark. Fishermen aside, this is the upper stretch of the Kenai River and the Russian River is right here too. The Kenai River is world famous and likely the spot where the term "Combat Fishing" became an action verb. That little tidbit is not surprising considering the amount of Salmon that use the Kenai and Russian Rivers as spawning grounds. Also, with only 300 residents there are only so many guides here as compared to larger cities. They book incredibly fast. In this Kenai Peninsula fishing article, we explore why Cooper Landing helps you maximize your Alaskan fishing adventure.

I do a lot of deep sea fishing from Southern California and Mexico. I'm excited about going to a great fishing resort in Alaska. i want to bring home fish because I love fish. I would like to do a combo of Salmon and Halibut. I really haven't caught either. I would also like to know when would be the best times and should I follow a tide chart in planning? Thanks for the help. I would be going with 3 other people. Medium price range preferred.

- William T, California

A buddy and I are planning a trip. We live in Colorado and fish often locally. We would like to start planning a trip to Alaska for 2016. Where would you suggest flying into (what cities) and what rivers would you suggest. We are open for targeting steelhead, salmon, or big rainbows.

- Mark H, Colorado

The Most Popular Articles of 2015

Posted by Jeff H on January 05, 2016 to Alaska Fishing
Sweetwaters Mongolia Taimen Fishing Camp
Fly-Fishing for 40-inch Taimen with Sweetwaters Mongolia Taimen Fishing Camp

The team at My Alaskan Fishing Trip worked hard this past year to continue and provide you, the visitors to the site, with information that can help plan your next Alaskan fishing trip. So, looking back on the year, we wanted to highlight the three most popular blog articles...

Anvik River Lodge
Anvik River Lodge

The Anvik River Lodge sits in the heart of the middle Yukon, about 450 miles northwest of Anchorage. The nearest town is the village of Anvik which is about a two-hour and fifteen minute, 75 mile boat ride up the Anvik River to the lodge. Relax & enjoy the scenery. The boats are enclosed so you don't have to worry if it's chilly or a little rainy. This initial ride up river really gives you a sense of how truly remote you are. There are few other signs of human inhabitants outside of a couple of rarely used trapper cabins and a fish & game run sonar tent camp (that I'm told runs for only about a month during the summer).

The ride is nice. However, it's the fishing here that draws people. There are five species of Pacific Salmon as well as Arctic Char, Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling, Cisco White fish, and Northern Pike. This is the land of the midnight sun and with that you can fish as long as you want. The lodge offers a 1:2 guide to guest ratio and some of the finest food you will find anywhere.

You are likely at My Alaskan Fishing Trip because you have questions as you plan your Alaska fishing experience. The goal of the site is to connect anglers like you with information to make your trip successful, so we have created "Ask the Pro" as a way help answer any questions you have - direct from experienced professionals. Answers will come from a diverse group of guides, lodge owners, and other knowledge resources with the primary pro's highlighted below.

So, submit your questions and we will get some answers from our pro's...feel free to ask about anything related to Alaska fishing or general travel. Fishing techniques and tips, or advice on places to go, things to do, non-fishing activities, Alaska with kids, best time to go and more are all welcomed.

  • Fly-fishing is something that brings to mind a beautiful stream with plenty of trees and amazing fishing. These destinations should top every fly-fisherman's bucket list. It is hard to name a favorite because each is like another world. Go. Fish; and fall in love with these outstanding fly- fishing destinations.

  • Argentina - Patagonia River Ranch

    The Patagonia River Ranch Ranch is located near San Martin de Los Andes in Argentina and sits right along the world-famous Chimehuin River, but also within easy access of many of the Patagonia areas best rivers. Guests lodge in the luxury offered by the Patagonia River Ranch, which is five-star to say the least. Vaulted ceilings and rustic wood finishes make the lodging a place you'll long to get back to after a day on the water. The most valuable experience here for fishermen are the guides, which are native Argentinians but who also speak fluent English and are top fly-fishing instructors too. This is a fly fishing vacation that is suitable for beginners and veteran fishermen alike. The fishing here is for German Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. The rivers are crystal clear with a beautiful blue "glow". They meander slowly through oxbows and offer a lot of opportunities to target trophy Trout.

Katmai Lodge on the banks of the Alagnak River
Katmai Lodge on the banks of the Alagnak River

The Katmai Lodge is one of the most outstanding fishing lodges that Alaska has to offer. That is a bold statement because Alaska has a lot to offer fishermen. A great lodge is comprised of its location, the fishing selection and season, comfort, opportunity, and value. The Katmai Lodge does an outstanding job of providing all of those features and more to its guest.

The Chum Salmon, also known as Tiger or Calico Salmon
The Chum Salmon, also known as Tiger or Calico Salmon

The Chum salmon might just as well go down in history as, by far, the most underrated salmon species on the planet. The Chum salmon, or Calico salmon, has had a tough battle with both name recognition and table-fare respect from Alaskans since before the first non-native settlers came into the picture up north. The native Alaskans even considered the salmon species as only worthy for feeding their sled dogs. Just the word "chum" alone draws up pictures of crushed fish parts to many that, having fished the saltwater, used solely to draw the attention of prime eating fish to catch. So yes, an uphill battle for sure with both the name and history of this salmon

The Bristol Bay watershed is the last stronghold of wild Pacific salmon in the world. It has by far the largest runs of salmon that return every year to it's streams than any other region on the planet. The many rivers that flow into Bristol Bay, most notably the Nushagak, Kvichak, Alagnak, and Naknek rivers, are supported by this huge biomass of life giving nutrients every summer. These huge runs of salmon are the basis of the food chain that supports every living thing in the region. These salmon travel far into the mountainous regions to spawn, even further impacting the total area that the salmon nourish. The life cycle of spawn and die of the Pacific salmon is such a critical aspect to how the rivers in such a raw area flourish with life both above and below the water, supporting all kinds of living things.

Beautiful new lodge built in 2014 situated on the shores of Lake Iliamna
Beautiful new lodge built in 2014 situated on the shores of Lake Iliamna

Intricate Bay Lodge sits along the shores of Lake Iliamna in the Bristol Bay Water Shed. There are many fishing lodges scattered throughout Alaska. Few, if any, sit in such a pivotal location. Though the lodge sits on the shores of the lake, it is located in Copper Bay. The location is at the heart of Alaska's most prominent rainbow trout fishery and offers guests a nearly endless opportunity to fish for trophy rainbows.

Early on an Alaskan morning, the cirrus clouds catch the first rays of sunlight as it bleeds across the sky in a kaleidoscope of pinks and oranges. On a slow morning breeze there is a hint of coffee, muffins, and breakfast. The murmur of the river and the activity around camp single the start of the day. The Alagnak area is prime fishing country, and today we fish. The tidal waters of the Alagnak River are a gateway. It is here that the Chinook, or King Salmon enter the river in search of their spawning ground. It is here that both their journey, and yours begins.

Breakfast is no small affair at the Angler's Alibi. Chef Ben knows how to feed a crew of hungry guides and fishermen. Roll out the Eggs Benedict or the Breakfast Burrito's loaded with smoked Salmon, eggs and cream cheese. Chef Ben has your back. This is lip smacking, rib-sticking food that will power your morning. Six out of Five star food is what you get from Chef Ben, and he performs on this level all day every day. Your only jobs of the morning are to eat and fish.

Scott Haugen, Dan Busch, and Will Rice's book: Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska: Includes Light Tackle is an outstanding resource for all fly fishermen, especially the DIY local fisherman or those who are visiting Alaska for a short period. The books strongest feature is the description of the rivers. I am not sure another set of river descriptions of this magnitude exists. Alaska is a huge territory, and there are so many rivers that you could visit each one and never experience all that Alaska has to offer fly fishermen. Explore water bodies with names like Lost Lake, Salmon Creek, Hidden Lake, Engineer Lake and Moose River. The authors make it easy to fall in love with fishing in Alaska. 

The book is rich in details and while written for the DIY fisherman every fisherman who visits Alaska should have a copy of this book. The book is available in paperback for Under $35 via Amazon, and it is also available for $9.99 for your Kindle. The 455 pages are filled with helpful advice and adventure that make this an ideal book for all levels of fishermen. The helpful sections that novice fishermen will enjoy are those about flies and line setup. The authors are patient and explain their methods well. The book includes maps, fish guides, and information about rivers, highways, where to stay and everything else you would ever need to know to make a successful fishing trip in Alaska. 

Fly Fishing the Copper River
Fly Fishing the Copper River - © Scott Cindrich

The smaller Copper River is home to monster Rainbow Trout. The river is designated as a catch and release river which adds to the monster fish population within the fishery. The river structure is ideal for fly fishermen of all skill levels. Beginners and veterans will find the thrill and action of trophy rainbows along these crystal clear waters. The best time to fish for trophy rainbows is June through September with the exception of July when the Sockeye Salmon invade the river by the millions. The Benefits of the smaller Copper River include:

  • 18 plus pound trophy rainbow trout
  • Fly fishing haven for all levels of fishermen.
  • River geology that increases active fly time.
  • Huge population of massive, monster rainbows.
  • Large selection of food choices so the trophy fish will strike many types of lures and flies.
  • Easy fishing for veterans and beginners. 
  • Rated a best river to fish by Trout International.
  • Catch and Release for active monster fish management. 
Alaska Fishing for Sheefish

In the Northern reaches of Alaska is the Kobuk River. There in the Land of the Midnight Sun, the Kobuk River Drainage System begins it journey within the majestical Gates of the Arctic National Park.  The river stretches for 174 miles over different fishing habitats that range from the Upper & Lower Kobuk Canyon, and West along the Brook Range and out to the Hotham Inlet. It is here that the Sheefish lurks in the clear water flows, ponds, lakes and streams. These aquatic habitats are where your Alaska Fishing adventure begins. and the Kobuk River is the hottest fishing grounds in Alaska for the Sheefish. The Sheefish is a fighter. A cousin of the salmon, it reaches a yard in length. It is an aggressive fish to hunt. It strikes with force and speed. If you are not on your game, it may rip the pole right out of your hand. Your Opportunity for Sheefish Alaska fishing trip begins in June with the start of the Sheefish season and runs through September when the season ends. Peak months are July and August. Alaska fishing guides offer the best knowledge of how and where to catch these exhilarating fish.  

Why fish Sheefish?

If you have fished for salmon then expect the Sheefish to strike like a salmon, unlike salmon the Sheefish is outstandingly aggressive. It is not uncommon for one to simply yank the pole from your grip when they strike. You can expect the fight to play out over 15 minutes to half an hour. The ideal pole setup in a stiff rod with the drag set on a lighter setting. The record Sheefish catch weighed 53 pounds. Imagine something that hits you like a moving vehicle and is capable of yanking your pole right out of your hands. The picture that comes to mind is the same as fishing for Tarpon. These are great food fish and make some of the best fish n chips. 

Homer, Alaska Halibut Fishing Capital

To adequately describe the feeling of trying to land a 200 or 300 or 400 pound fish is nearly impossible. There is, of course, an intense adrenaline rush that is almost immediately followed by the feeling of what do I do now. Once you have landed a good sized Halibut you realize that it is you that is hooked. That is why the Pacific Halibut is such an excellent sport fish. The waters around most of Alaska is rich with Halibut. As you read through this blog, you will find various links to Alaska Fishing Lodges. Those links are there to help you find the best lodge that is right for you. 

The Pacific Halibut is a laterally flattened fish with a very distinct look. The bottom side is white; the top is speckled with light and dark green, brown, and even yellow spots set against a dark brown or gray background. Both eyes are found on the dominate, colored side of this of these massive fish. These fish are linked closely with the geological structures of Alaska. They are flat fish, and they make their home along the flat coastal shelf along the edge of Alaska. Mostly they are found in waters that range in depth between 20' and 1000' along the flat continental shelf. Water temperature plays a part in where you find them. Their temperature zone is 37 degrees F. to a high of 46 degrees F. Depending on their location they can occur to depths that are greater than 3500 feet. Outside of Alaska they have a wide habitat range. But they are always found in flat terrain. 

NOTE: Fishing for Halibut takes some consideration. Alaska offers some of the best Halibut fishing in the world. The locals make a distinction between the massive adults, called Barn Doors and the smaller Halibut called Chickens. Make no mistake about Chickens, they can weigh up to 100 pounds. Barn Doors can weigh more than 500 pounds. The world record for a sport caught Pacific Halibut is 459 pounds. Both Chickens and Barn Doors make excellent eating. 

My Alaska Fishing shares the secrets of the Dolly Varden char. Dolly Varden are in the same taxonomic family as salmon and trout; however, Dolly Varden are char, not trout. What does that mean to sport fishermen? Not that much. Many people refer to these fish as Dolly Varden trout because the look like trout. If you want to know how to differentiate between a Dolly Varden and  trout you simply have to look at the spots. The two fish are completely opposite in coloration. Trout species have a light colored body with dark spots. Dolly Varden have a dark colored body with very colorful spots. The spots on Dollly Varden are often bright red and/or yellow. The bright red and yellow coloring can also be found in patches on their head and fins. They make a very striking fish. Oddly, it is rumored that they got their name due to fashion. In the late 1800's there was a style of dress that was called the Dolly Varden, and it was a sheer top over brightly colored print. When you see a Dolly Varden char, the story makes sense.

Dolly Varden caught at Angler's Alibi Lodge - Alagnak River, Alaska
Dolly Varden caught by Rebekka Redd at Angler's Alibi Lodge - Alagnak River, Alaska
Alaska King Salmon

A guide to understanding the habits of Alaska King Salmon. This guide will help to improve your Alaska Fishing Trips. Find information on where to stay, how to fish, and some of the behaviors of these awesome fish.

King Salmon are also known as Chinook salmon. They are  giants, and are the largest species of Salmon within the Pacific Ocean. Their size is one of the primary reasons that sports fisherman find so much pleasure in fishing for King salmon. Salmon, by nature, are excellent fighters and that ups the sports level for fisherman. Unlike Marlin, King salmon keep their fight contained below the water. Don't expect jumping and breaching from King salmon. They are crafty, stealthy fighters that you must tire out to defeat. King salmon easily average 30 pounds or more. Imagine being the fisherman who landed the record 126 pound nearly 6 foot long fish. That is why sports fisherman flock to Alaska every year. These fish offer a tremendous challenge and thrill. Alaska Fishing Lodges are here to make your adventure memorable. Throughout this article, you will find links to various lodges and Alaska Fishing Guides. Those links will help you plan a successful fishing trip to Alaska.

Kenai Alaska Map

A trip to the Kenai Peninsula is a perfect example of a total Alaska vacation package. It is an all-in-one experience that keeps travelers coming back again, and again, with so many exciting possibilities.

While visiting, many travelers plan a visit to one of Alaska's fishing lodges on the Kenai Peninsula for exemplary accommodations and a chance to fish a variety of species such as King Salmon, Halibut and Rainbow Trout. Add an Alaska fishing guide to your itinerary for a thorough experience of line, shore, and boat fishing among the best rivers and streams in the peninsula.

When you want to take some time off from fishing to explore and discover additional activities and locations within the Kenai Peninsula, consider the suggestions on the top 10 list. From Kenai, Soldotna, and Seward to Homer, Seldovia, and Kachemak you'll never be short on things to do.

Alaska Rainbow Trout

Alaska is known for some amazing fish from King Salmon to Halibut, but Alaska Rainbow trout are perhaps one of the most sought after fish that Alaska has to offer. There are a huge number of people who visit Alaska each year simply for the challenge and sport that Alaska Rainbow Trout offer.

The basic territory of the Alaska Rainbow Trout is the South Eastern portion of Alaska, but they spill into South Central Alaska and Southwestern Alaska. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game the Rainbow Trout range as far East as the Kuskokwim River and as far west as the Kuskokwim Bay. The Kenai river is an excellent location for Rainbow Trout fishing. The best locations to find Alaska Rainbow Trout are in the lakes, and tributaries of major rivers. In Spring, they spawn in the shallow waters and gravel riffles. Spawning can extend into early summer in years when the winter has been hard. Understanding the river is a key to successful fishing.

The following is an overview of the Alaska Rainbow Trout, their habitat and the food that they eat.

Alaska Fly Fishing

For outdoor enthusiasts, Alaska is one of the remaining vast frontiers offering endless hours of exploration and discovery. From mountain climbing and hiking national parks to whale watching or driving a dog sled over snowy terrain, Alaska is a prime destination for the adventurer.

Alaska is also one of the best locations in the world for fishing for a variety of species. Salmon fishing is abundant with five Pacific species inhabiting the waters from May to September. For cooler options, learn the best techniques for ice fishing on frozen lakes.

You'll also have flyfishing opportunities for exceptional rainbow trout from the Kenai River weighing in from 5-10 pounds and surfcasting from the ocean shoreline for halibut. Add rockfish, Arctic char, lingcod, sockeye, grayling, northern pike, and more, to your list for a complete fishing experience throughout the year.

Alaska Kenai River

The Kenai River stretches from Kenai Lake to the Pacific Ocean where it dumps into Cook Inlet. The river is laid out in switchback bends across the flood plains of the Kenai peninsula. The river offers 82 miles of freshwater habitat for many species of Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden Trout, and Steelhead. The Kenai River is one of the most popular places to fish in Alaska. Alaska is wild, and by that we mean bears. Bears love fishing just as much as you do. Never go fishing alone. In fact, for fisherman who have never fished the Kenai River, we suggest choosing an Alaska Fishing Lodge, or using an Alaska Fishing Guide. The benefits are that the pros know where the best spots to fish are, they often have the best equipment, they always know the best techniques to catch fish regardless of the time of year, and they will help to keep you safe.