Alaska Fishing for Families with Kids
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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!
Fishing Alaska for Kids
Many families make the journey to the Kenai Peninsula and Cooper Landing, AK annually and probably one of the most common questions we get is: can we bring our kids along? My answer is yes, yes, and more yes! Depending on their age, kids do quite well on fishing trips. Generally half day and full day options are available, so it's best to match your kid's attention span with how long you think they could be out on the water. For younger kids, a half day works well; although, I've had kids literally beg to stay out longer!
Over the past couple of years, I've noticed that kids always start out the trip super enthusiastic, but can quickly get frustrated or disinterested if the action doesn't happen right away. The key is keeping kids engaged and get them involved with some sort of responsibility on the boat. I generally focus most of my attention on kids on family trips to keep an eye on their level of engagement. All parents know that when the kids aren't happy, no one's happy! Having a guide or guide service that is enthusiastic about kids is a must!
For nearly guaranteed non-stop action, the middle of August through the middle of September can be lights out for catch and release Rainbow Trout/Dolly Varden fishing. Though a lot of kids are back in school by this point, if there is ever a sure time of year to get kids "hooked," this would be it! It is also a great time for Silver Salmon as well if you're looking for fish to take home. Great fishing can also be had during late July and early August when the Sockeye Salmon run is at its peak.
Fishing Gear & Techniques for Kids
When fishing with kids, we use a variety of techniques, most of which centers on the species and time of year. We do have special kid-specific fly rods that we love to break out when the time is right! Getting kids into fly fishing is rather easy in Alaska as the casting techniques required are very basic. We also use trolling rods and spinning gear to chase other species and when the fishing isn't as hot for species like trout.
Most fishing you'll find on the Kenai River will be done by boat. Not only is it difficult to wade the Kenai during the summer, it is also difficult to safely wade with children. Though we do get out of the boat on many of our trips with kids, we take extra precautions as the water is very swift and cold (lifejackets are an absolute must, even when wading).
Another advantage we have on the Kenai Peninsula is the proximity to many towns and cities with lots of kid-friendly activities. Everything from fishing to hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, kayaking, aquariums, etc... We are also an easy commute from Anchorage with lots to see and do on your way here!
If you are having any reservations about taking kids fishing in Alaska, I would say there's no better place than Alaska to go for it!