Ask the Pro's: Northern Alaska Remote Fly Fishing
Me and my two friends are looking to travel to northern Alaska for fly fishing rainbow trout, grayling, and whatever salmon we could find during the fall season.
We are looking to be on our own in a semi remote area where we will not be sharing the river with others. What area would classify as a semi remote area, near accessible wading rivers, with trout running in the river when we will be there around the September-October time period? Any suggestions?
Congrats on choosing Alaska! It is one of the best places to fish in the world! Here is some advice for your trip.
Don't travel too far north, once one gets to a certain Northerly latitude Rainbows are not present in the rivers. They live in Western and South-central AK. To find rivers with out people you will need air travel to get there, whether it be by helicopter or bush planes. September is amazing, some of the best fishing of the year. Rainbow Trout and Grayling are super fat from a summer of eating well and Silver Salmon are present, one of the more aggressive salmon species. October can be a bit of a gamble with winter rapidly approaching. A remote float trip is the best way to cover water and fish comfortably.
Please feel free to reach out to my company directly for any more info.
Enjoy - AdamAdam 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.
To fish off the road system out of Anchorage will be tough to find total solitude.
Your best option would be to get in touch with Rust's Flying Service and see what drops offs they have. Another option would be to get dropped off on Clear Creek out of Talkeetna, you could float it out and walk it out to the Talkeetna River. You will have to be bear aware and careful but can be a great fishery. Another option might be floating the Gulkana River, but it will not have complete solitude.
Thanks - MikeMike Brown - Owner of Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska
Thank you so much for your question. As I'm sure you're aware, Alaska is a gigantic state and finding the specific experience you're looking for requires a bit more information. Namely, what would you consider to be "Northern Alaska"? During the fall time of year, the weather can be quite volatile the further north you travel in Alaska, making road travel and hike-in and even fly-in opportunities more and more limited. If your plan is to fly into Anchorage and fish more north of the city towards the Susitna drainage, then there are some good options there, but you will encounter other anglers, especially on the weekends. Further, any time you factor in Salmon fishing, specifically rivers where you can legally target salmon, you will most likely find that you will encounter other anglers. Some rivers and tributaries do not allow salmon fishing, some allow you to fish one small section and the rest of the tributary will be shut down. Due to the vulnerability of salmon in these places, you will have to carefully comb through regulations, even if you plan on catch and release. As far as trout fishing, it can be quite amazing this time of year; however, the more north above the Susitna you go, the less opportunities you'll find, but the more you'll find species like Arctic Grayling, Northern Pike and eventually Arctic Char. One can certainly find some more remote fishing on the road system, but be aware, that you are on the road system and you'll have the same kind of access that everyone else has.
I hope this answers your question and I hope you find the remote experience you're looking for. If you are looking for something off the road system, be sure to check the average weather during Sept/October and whether or not you can fly into those places.
All the best!
DaveDave 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.
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