Judging by the number of people we’re hearing from right now who are planning their fishing trips to Alaska for next summer, a lot of you are planning your fishing trips to Alaska for next summer. Yep, it’s happening right now, and we’re proud of you for planning ahead!
We’re always looking to provide you with valuable angling resources, so we thought that today we’d present you with a handy guide called…
When You Should Go Fishing in Alaska
Just reference the quote that best describes your angling needs, and read on for our solution! All of these time frames, of course, pertain to our really unique fishery at Alaska West – your mileage in other parts of the state my vary.
“I want to catch as many fish as possible.”
You should go fishing in August. The silver/coho salmon run in Western Alaska peaks throughout the month of August and consistently provides numbers of fish that aren’t really believable by folks who haven’t experienced it. One memorable quote from this past August came from someone in the fly fishing industry who fished with us for the first time – “I could literally catch as many fish as I wanted.” Bonus: our rainbow trout are at their fattest in August.
“I want to swing flies for big chrome anadromous fish.”
You should go fishing between mid June and mid July. Our king salmon fishery peaks at this time, and provides a very unique situation involving king/chinook salmon a few miles from the salt, in water that sets up perfectly for the swung fly. It’s like steelhead fishing, only they’re bigger and there are more of them. Bonus: if you’re interesting in spey casting, we have guest spey instructors on hand to help you learn.
“I want to catch trout on mouse flies.”
You should go fishing in late July. Our trout fishing is fairly consistent through the months of July and August (and sometimes even in late June), but fishing giant dry flies that imitate rodents seems to be most effective in late July – when the weather, water levels and relative lack of salmon flesh in the river combine to make our trout crazy for Mickey. Bonus: all five salmon species are in the river too!
“I want to catch salmon using topwater flies.”
You should go fishing in August. Our silver fishery is good for more than just numbers – poppers and pollywogs can work great too! It is awfully exciting to see chrome salmon in soft water chase and then eat a chugging topwater pattern – if this kind of fishing doesn’t get you going, you don’t have a pulse. Bonus: rainbows, dollies, grayling.
“I love variety. I want to catch lots of different species on lots of different water using lots of different techniques.”
You should go fishing in late July. In late July, we target king salmon, chum salmon, sockeye salmon, pink salmon, silver salmon, rainbow trout, dolly varden and grayling, and we sometime catch whitefish and starry flounder too (seriously). We swing flies and strip flies and dead drift flies. We fish on foot and from the boat. We fish the main river and the side channels and around upriver spawning beds. Some guests like to chase the salmon grand slam – all five salmon species, all on flies, all on the same day. Others just like taking it all in and having fun fishing in a lot of different ways! Bonus: great weather and few bugs, usually.