Fishing in Alaska – Best Places for Fishing

In this article we will talk about fishing in Alaska, a state (it belongs to the USA) with one main climate, polar, and three secondary climates:

In the west and south, this is oceanic. It has a long, thin strip of Pacific coastline. Rainfall is abundant throughout the year, especially in autumn, and the ocean softens temperatures somewhat. The rest of the southern zone is characterized by being less rainy and drier but, at the same time, colder.

In the interior, we have a continental subpolar climate. In the interior, the average minimum temperatures are -22°F (-30º), given in very cold and snowy winters. Curiously, in summer it can reach 68°F (20º). Here rainfall is scarce, always in comparison to the rest of the country, with an average of 10” (250 mm) per year and precipitation, especially in summer.

denali national park

In the north, we find an arctic climate. As you can guess, winters here are extremely cold, as well as long and very dark, with areas where the sun does not even rise for two months. The maximum temperature in winter is about -7.6°F (-22º) while in the warmer months the maximum is usually about 46.4°F (8º), occurring in June. The summer is short. In the north, rainfall is scarce and occurs from July to September.

Thus, it is a region that, within what one would expect, has contrasting areas, although it is a cold country, of course, something that makes not all of us can do fishing tourism in Alaska. The winter is snowy and very cold, lasting many months and turning dark. The summers are short and somewhat mild although, of course, very cold compared to ours.

Islands like the Aleutians deserve a special mention, full of rain except in summer (which also rains) and with a constant fog that cools the area, although temperatures here are somewhat milder. As for the water, the maximum temperature is 57.2°F (14º) in August. The minimum is 41°F (5º) and occurs in the coldest months, January and February.

Thus, it is clear that, without a doubt, the fishing season in Alaska is tough, even when we travel in the seasons with the highest temperatures. Even so, going to the country to practice is a unique experience, enhanced by the transparency and purity of its waters and, of course, by the very different environment in which we will find ourselves.

alaska landscape

What are the Best Places and Dates to Go Fishing in Alaska?

Fishing in Alaska takes place in any water, as we are talking about a country teeming with marine species, especially in freshwater. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Kodiak Island or Emerald Isle

It is a place of wild beauty, part of a southeastern archipelago concerning the peninsula, where grizzly bears abound. As you can deduce, the climate is somewhat milder than in the rest of the country. It is the most famous place in terms of tourism for doubling (and more) its population thanks to it; most of them are fishermen.

In its fresh waters, you can find all the species of salmon in the country, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden char. Also, on the coasts, you will find yelloweye rockfish. The interior is divided into two parts, the well-known road system area, where most people go if they only have the opportunity to go to one of the two, and the remote area, with more plentiful rivers.

dolly varden alaska

Lake Iliamna

It is located in the peninsula of Alaska, just in its northern area. It is by far the largest in the country, with 642474 ac (2600 km2). Be careful with its depth, up to 988 ft (301 m). It joins with the Knichak River to go to die in Bristol Bay.

It is a key place for sport fishing and especially for ice fishing, looking for salmon, grayling, and trout and being the months of August and September the most splendorous. Red and king salmon can be eaten but the rest of the species must be returned to the water.

Tsiu River

This is a shallow body of water that allows you to wade in almost every stretch as well as to see the catches and casts. Spoon and fly fishing with big tackle, from August through October, you’re going to get your fill.

The Tsiu River is by far the best for coho salmon fishing. However, the reward comes after a tough drive as it is 100 miles from the nearest town. The spectacular thing about it is that the most common way to get there is to go by plane, spotting an untamed landscape. When the salmon has little time left to go, the rainbow trout, a very fierce species in these waters, appear on the way up.

chugach national forest

Naknek River

This river stands out for its great versatility, ideal for those anglers who have no preference when it comes to casting, spinning, or fly casting, which are done by jet boat. You will catch trophy rainbow trout, char and chum, and pink salmon.

Kenai River

Its basin sees countless salmon of all kinds passing through, being a passage point. This is why it has already been called “the river to catch the salmon of your life”. From May to October, you will see the different species passing by, and you will also have the opportunity to catch rainbow trout and char. It has pools, pools and an enviable flow.

Unalakleet River

This is an ideal body of water for those seeking peace and tranquility, since, due to its remote location in the west of the country and under the well-known Bering Strait, it is not usually a destination for foreigners. There are chum, chinook, coho, grayling, and char.

char fishing alaska

What Types of Species are Fished in the Alaskan Area?

There are not many species that can be caught when sport fishing in Alaska. This is understandable considering the climatic conditions. However, the few we find are of great purity and unsurpassed quality, impossible to find anywhere else in the world.

Crab and Spider Crab



Salvelino Dolly Varden

Black cod or Gindara

Arctic grayling

Yelloweye rockfish

Halibut or halibut

fisherman alaska river