At Alaska West our fishery is not only incredibly productive – it’s got so much variety you couldn’t hope to sample it all in one trip.
Here’s a handy guide to the species we catch at Alaska West, in very rough order of when you might catch them, except for the oddballs thrown in at the end.
Royalty for sure. Big and bright, we chase them with single and double-handed rods from mid June through mid July. Here’s our main page on king salmon and all our blog posts on king salmon. a.k.a. Chinook salmon.
The prettiest fish anywhere. They live all over the river, and range from smallish to gigantic. We catch them all season long on foot and from the boat, on single and double handed rods, on wet flies and on dry flies, sight fishing and not. We’ve got a big roundup page on rainbow trout.
They break more rods than any other fish because they’re super strong and they’re really plentiful. They come in with the kings and keep coming later in the season. They’re an awesome game fish. Here are our blog posts on chums – worth reading about, and definitely worth fishing for. a.k.a. dog salmon.
Arctic char and dolly varden are basically indistinguishable in our river unless you’re a biologist. Their lifecycles are all over the map – both resident and anadromous. Some of them are stunningly beautiful. Their numbers are mind boggling and they’re lots of fun on lightweight gear.
They head upriver like they’re on a conveyor belt. Fly fishing for them is a little unconventional. They’re really tasty. a.k.a. red salmon.
Pigmy silvers! Seriously, they’re like silvers only smaller. They’re around every year but really, really abundant every other year. You can catch them on poppers! a.k.a. humpy salmon.
Elegant is a really good word to describe grayling. We catch them all year round – and in fact our grayling fishing has been improving dramatically over the past 6 or 7 years. They love traditional dry flies and are a perfect excuse to bring your three or four weight to Alaska.
Mayhem arrives at Alaska West every August in the form of silver salmon. Hot, bright, aggressive towards all flies including poppers, great jumpers and strong fighters. This is numbers-oriented Alaskan fishing at its finest. a.k.a. coho salmon.
Seriously, every once in a while somebody catches one in the lower river.
Very rare at Alaska West, actually, but your editor caught one 9 years ago.
And there you have it! Think you could come up with something to fish for up there?