Ask the Pro's: Fishing Trip With Kids Ages 6 & 10

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  • I am wanting to plan a fishing trip with my two boys (ages 10 and 6 at the time we are planning to go), and my dad. Both my dad and I are decently experienced with fishing, but the boys are still up and coming little fishermen of varying skill level. We have fished the Snake River in Island Park, Idaho along with the Quality Waters of the San Juan in New Mexico, along with other rivers in the Western US, so they are no stranger to getting wet when fishing.

    What are some good tours or places that could do freshwater fishing, and could potentially combine with saltwater fishing for halibut and other ocean fish. The 10 year old in particular is very keen to do salmon and halibut, but I wonder about the feasibility for a 6 year old.

    I'm not sure if I would base out of Anchorage, I'm still trying to figure out where, but there is a good likelihood that I would. We are looking at early to mid July 2021.

    Amy suggestions on where to base the trip out of would be helpful as well! Thank you for your input and advice!

    - Courtney

  • I think basing your fishing trip out of Anchorage is a good option. Anchorage has all the amenities you would ever need and you are only 2 hours from good fishing in Anchorage, both North and South of town. If you wanted to drive up to Denali to see McKinley, it's a 4 hour drive.

    Your timing will be fine for halibut and trout fishing, but you will be between Sockeye Salmon runs on the Kenai, so and upper river float won't provide great salmon fishing. You could go North of Anchorage to the Mat-Su Valley, there will be pink and Chums that direction. Most of that fishing will be bank fishing do to the size of rivers. You could do a guided trip to the Deshka, but this would not be a fly fishing trip.

    If you are basing out of Anchorage, a float fishing trip down the Kenai River would be a great option for all of you. Your 6 year old, while being young, can still have a great time fishing from a drift boat with a spinning rod setup. The Kenai will provide great trout fishing and depending on your timing good salmon fishing…and there are many quality Kenai River Fishing Guides to choose from. Then from the Cooper Landing area, you are a short hop over to Seward for halibut fishing. In Seward you can book a halibut trip and again based on your timing, a Combo Halibut/Salmon fishing trip.

    You could also do something similar if you were looking at going down to Homer, but your options are more limited on the fresh water fishing. The Kasilof would provide a drift boat float, but it would be primarily salmon and little trout. Bank fishing could be a challenge for the youngster, but it is an option.

    Another option is to base your fishing trip out of Soldotna and fish the lower Kenai for Sockeye, but you will have a 3 to 4 hour drive to Deep Creek or Homer for a halibut charter.

    Anything we can do to help or any questions you would like more answers to, please don't hesitate to reach out.

    Thanks - Mike

    Mike Brown - Owner of Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Hey Courtney! I'd be glad to help you plan your fishing trip with your boys :)

    The first thing to consider is that most Saltwater and Freshwater guide services operate independently, but don't let that discourage you. With fishing Alaska with younger kids, the most appropriate trips for them might be a half day of ocean fishing and a half day of river fishing.

    Depending on what time of year you are visiting, the ocean fishing could include Halibut, but it is not always guaranteed; however, fishing for rock fish and salmon can be a lot of fun.

    River fishing varies, but there is generally a lot of fun to be had here as well. Everything from salmon fishing to catch and release for Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden. Kids tend to have a lot of fun in the river environment. Since you generally float for 6+ miles, there is a lot to see along the way (which keeps them interested).

    Hopefully this helps and I hope you have a great time in Alaska with your boys!

    Dave Lisi - Owner/Guide for Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC located in the small mountain town of Cooper Landing, Alaska where he is a year-round resident, guide, carpenter and trout bum. On any given day, you will most likely find Dave on the banks of the Kenai swinging for trout with his best friend and future wife, Jackie. Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC was built in early 2017 with the goal of sharing the love and passion Dave and Jackie have for the Kenai Peninsula and the fish that live there.
  • Courtney,

    Congrats on your upcoming trip to Alaska with you family! You and your family will have an absolute blast with all our great state has to offer. With your boys experience at such a young age they should do pretty good with the fishing up here. Even for halibut! Trust me even fit strong adults take help from anyone when battling a big halibut so it would be no different for your boys. Some charter outfits do have age restrictions so make sure you let the outfits know the ages of your boys. Another good option for fishing is fresh water options, there are countless small streams that hold a variety of fish. I would try to schedule your trip for mid-summer, mid July through mid August. This is when the most fish are present in freshwater systems and who doesn't like a lot of fish! It's also a good time for saltwater species as well. Again congrats on your trip and if you have anymore questions please reach out to us through "My Alaskan Fishing Trip" or my company at FishHound Expeditions.

    Cheers, - Adam

    Adam Cuthriell - Part owner of FishHound Expeditions. His wife Kathryn Cuthriell and business partner Dave "Reps" Repta make up the rest of the company as well as their dogs Hatch, Rado, and Pike. They fish, live, and guide in Alaska year-round. When not guiding on the rivers they guide ice fishing on Alaska's numerous lakes. Originally from Colorado, he began guiding at the age of 19 while receiving a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. Adam is also a current state of Alaska EMT.
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