Alaska sits near the town of Sterling around a mile away from the world-famous Kenai River. It offers some of the most popular freshwater, saltwater, fly, and ice fishing in the world. Fishing in Alaska is easy. You can stop your vehicle at the side of the road and cast a line, or you can charter or boat to your fishing spot.
Alaska offers enthusiastic fishermen and anglers thousands of rivers, lakes, and oceans. You can reel in more than 627 species of fishes in such Alaskan waters such as salmon, halibut, trout, pike, arctic char, and many more. The main challenge about fishing in Alaska isn’t about catching a fish. But, it is about deciding which fishing destination to choose because you have a lot of options.
Alaska is a very beautiful and charming place to be. The place features some of the serene beauty of the environment with rich wild flora and fauna. It is cold and harsh with a peaceful fishing environment. So, if you are someone who loves peace and solitude, Alaska is the place to be.
You may not see many people and tourists here. Most of the fishing destinations in Alaska are almost untouched by the outside world. Alaska has a wide range of fishing opportunities for each and every one of you. No matter if you are an expert or a beginner angler, Alaska is definitely the best place to be for fishing.
Below are some of the 10 best places to fish in Alaska.
10 Best Places to Fish in Alaska
1. Kodiak Island
Kodiak Island is one of the decent tourist destinations in Alaska. The best thing about Kodiak Island is the road system. The island is 15-80 km wide and 160 km long. The other streams join the Karluk river which is the main source for fishing salmon and trout.
The island sits in a very remote region. You can use your own boat to navigate your way through Kodiak island. But, it would be best to hire a charter as some rivers might be hard to navigate. Kodiak Island is most popular for Coho Salmon. Although you may not find the bigger ones here, they are present in large numbers. You might also have a hard time catching these Coho Salmons as they fight twice their weight. I have heard many of the fishermen breaking their rods when catching these Salmons.
Visiting Kodiak Island is itself a trip. The island is beautiful and deserves your visit even if you are not very fond of fishing. So, if you are someone who is very fond of fishing, Kodiak Island is a must-visit place for you.
2. Brooks Range
Are you someone who wants to go for some lake fishing? If your answer is yes, it’s time to catch some true monster fish in the Brooks Range. The Brooks Range is one of the best places for lake trout fishing in the world. It is a mountain range and is not possible to reach through driving. So, you need to charter a flight to the Brooks Range. Book your flight right after the snow starts melting away from the shores. It is the right time to catch some true water predators in action.
The Brooks Range provides anglers with extremely huge lake trout. If you want to try catching some lake trout, Brooks Range would be the best place to be. The Brooks Range consists of several lakes which are fairly untouched. So, there are several numbers of fish present in the lake. June and July are the best time of the year to visit the Brooks Range for fishing.
3. Afognak Wilderness Lodge
The Afognak Wilderness Lodge is the best location in Alaska for saltwater fishing of all kinds. The place is only a short plane ride from Kodiak Island which is fairly accessible. If you are someone who is more into ocean fishing and deep-sea fishing, Afognak Wilderness Lodge would be the perfect destination for you.
The best time for the Afognak Wilderness Lodge would be during the summer thaw. These two or three months in June, July, and August would only be the right time for fishing in Alaska unless you want to freeze to death.
You can find different species of fishes here depending on the time of the year. This place offers you some of the large species of fishes. It is because the ocean provides these species with a favorable feasting ground. Silver and sockeye salmon, lingcod, rockfish, and halibut are some of the most popular fishes found in Afognak Wilderness Lodge. Along with the great fishing grounds, you will also find excellent accommodation here.
4. Bristol Bay
Bristol Bay is one of the best destinations for fishing salmon. People from all over the world come to Bristol Bay to catch some of the biggest salmon. The bay is 180 meters wide and 250 meters long. Several rivers meet at Bristol Bay making it a natural spot for fishing. Bristol Bay gets crowded during the main seasons of fishing. People who fish here mainly focus on catching the sockeye salmon. Along with the sockeye salmon, you can also find fish king, silver, and chum salmon too.
If you want to fish a massive rainbow trout, there is no better place in Alaska than Bristol Bay. ut, keep in mind that this area is very remote and hard to access. You can hire a plane or a boat to get here. Driving to Bristol Bay may not be possible at all. Many people are attracted to catching salmon here. But, for me, the real catch would be the rainbow trout.
The main reason to visit Bristol Bay is that you will get enough chances to catch the fish you prefer. So, are you ready to explore the beautiful Bristol Bay and catch some salmons and rainbow trouts? If yes, book for your trip as early as possible to one of the finest places to Fish in Alaska.
5. Northern Brooks Range
Do you love floating trips and catching colored fish? If yes, you need to go far north towards the Northern Brooks Range. It is one heck of an awesome place to fish in Alaska. This would be an ideal destination for you if you want to catch some killer arctic char with giant old teeth. The Northern Brooks Range sits in a remote area in Northern Alaska. The rivers here drain out into the Arctic Ocean. Only one of these rivers will have any kind of road access. So, either flying or boating to the site would be the best option.
The Northern Brooks Range offers amazing fishing for both the spinning as well as fly rod fishermen. You will find some of the largest Arctic Char with the admirable natural beauty of the Northern Brooks range. You can also rent a float plane if you want to explore other beautiful fishing spots near the Northern Brooks Range.
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6. Kenai River
Kenai river offers fishermen a perfect site for fishing some King Salmon. During the spawning season, the river sees a large number of King salmon. Do not get surprised if you catch around 15- 20 King Salmon in a single day. All these salmons weigh up to 50 pounds.
Many people prefer fishing in the Kenai River as it is easily accessible. It is not really necessary to hire a charter flight to get there. You can reach the Kenai River via solid boat making it one of the feasible places to fish in Alaska. On reaching the Kenai River, you can start your fishing early in the morning. Fish yourself a good spot where you do not see a lot of fishermen.
If you ask people about the most popular fish in Alaska and Kenai River particularly, their answer would be Chinook or King salmon. Fishing is the first adventurous sport that comes to the mind of people when you think about the Kenai River. Before you go out fishing, dig in some research related to some unpopular hide -holes to catch King salmons. Many people claim that the small pool holes across the river hold large King salmons.
7. The Denali Highway
The Denali Highway lies all the way to the Southern range of Alaska. The easily accessible route to Denali Highway makes it a favorite destination for fishing. Since it’s a highway, you can easily drive via automobile. You will come across several small streams, rivers, and lakes along the way to Denali highway. So, you can just stop and set up your camp for fishing wherever you feel comfortable.
The rivers in the Denali Highway are very shallow and slow-moving. Most of these rivers consist of Arctic Grayling. So, carry proper fishing gear with you if you want to catch dozens of Arctic Graylings in a single day. You can carry a 3- 3-weight fly rod, bag full of bead-head nymphs, and black gnats to catch as much as fish you want.
The Denali Highway offers many opportunities for camping. The stunning scenery along the highway is worth a visit. Don’t get surprises if you see numerous streams here. Fly fishing is very popular here and you can see many people enjoying fishing in this particular place.
8. Innoko River
Another one of the best places to fish in Alaska is the Innoko River.
Are you the type of person who prefers fishing northern pike? If yes, you will discover a lot of northern pike in the Innoko River. Don’t get amazed if you see several populations of fish here.
One of the most important concerns about this place is its route. It can be very tricky to reach the Innoko River. So, I would recommend you to hire a charter to get to Innoko River. You will get to witness trophy-sized fish in this river. Most of the pike weigh as heavy as 30 pounds.
The Innoko River is a part of the Southern Yukon River. It can be a great destination if you want to catch a large fish. You must know that pike is a big fighting fish. So, you will need to bring appropriate fishing gear if you do not want to miss your big catch. If you are thinking of catching a Northern Pike, Yukon river is the heart of Pike country.
9. Kobuk River
Sheefish are one of the most uncommon fishes when it comes to fishing. It is because Alaska is the only place where you can actually find Sheefish. You cannot find these fish outside of Alaska at all. Kobuk River is home to thousands of Sheefish. They weigh around 30- 40 pounds in size. So, Kobuk River is a great spot if you want to catch some big fish.
One of the most amazing things about the Sheefishes is that these species do not fight hard as others. These species may not be as energetic as the pike. But, they are heavy enough to consider it as a trophy.
Getting to Kobuk River is quite easy. You can reach this place by air, water, or roads too making it one of the accessible places to fish in Alaska. The choice is yours! So, if you want to catch the delicious Sheefish and treat yourself, Kobk River would be the best option for fishing.
10. Southeast Alaska
Lastly, we have mentioned Southeast Alaska as one of the many fine places to fish in Alaska. Southeast Alaska is mostly famous for Steelhead fishing. It consists of a big diehard steelhead fishing community. Steelhead fishing is definitely not a beginner’s thing. It is quite a challenge to catch a steelhead.
The panhandle of Southeast Alaska is an ideal destination if you are thinking of steelhead fishing. Here, you can find up to 30 pounds of steelhead fish. Catching these species might be a very challenging task. They are tough and love to fight back. So, you need to carry some strong gears when steelhead fishing.
The most interesting thing about this place is that you can get here on your own. You can even drive to this place. Hiring a charter plane can also be a better option to reach here.
If you are someone who wants to catch some steelhead, Southeast Alaska should definitely be on your list. Along with Steelheads, rainbow trout are also abundant here. The best time for fishing in Southeast Alaska would be in early spring.
Conclusion – Feasible Places to Fish in Alaska
Although Alaska is tough and remote, it surely makes an excellent destination for fishing. With its serene beauty, Alaska is the perfect spot for fishing. If you are ready to catch some big fish, make sure to carry some appropriate fishing gear with you.
I hope the above-reviewed places in Alaska will help you to find the best fishing spot. If you are an enthusiastic fisherman, these places in Alaska should definitely be on your bucket list.