Wild country, big fish and opportunities for solitude make for the fishing experience of a lifetime.
With more than 3,000 rivers, 3 million lakes and 6,640 miles of coastline, Alaska takes the old saying "so much water, so little time" to a whole new level. Steelhead in the coastal streams of Alaska’s Southeast Panhandle, salmon and trophy rainbow trout in remote Bristol Bay waters, halibut in Prince William Sound, and sail-finned grayling in the Yukon and beyond — Alaska is big country with big fish.
Much of Alaska is also remote, with fishing accessible only by boat or float plane. One major launch point is Dillingham, a town of 2,500 on Bristol Bay — called the "Salmon Factory of the World" for its prolific runs of five species of salmon, including the largest wild sockeye runs in the world. Several remote rivers thread inland from Bristol Bay to large lakes and networks of smaller streams that teem with spawning salmon as well as rainbow trout, grayling and more. Outfitters based in Dillingham maintain cabins and temporary camps in the backcountry, serving up gourmet food and campfire camaraderie in addition to spectacular fishing.
The main season around Dillingham runs June through September, when daylight stretches toward midnight. June kicks off the runs of sockeye, chum and legendary king salmon. August brings the cohos and pinks. A variety of flies and spinning tackle are effective. Fishing for rainbows is summer-long, and offers good opportunities for fly-fishing with dries, nymphs and streamers. To the uninitiated, these big rainbows can be mistaken for salmon!
If you're after even bigger fish, head for the saltwater. Charter a boat out of Seward or one of the many other port towns, bait your hook and be prepared to hang on tight — a "big" halibut starts at 100 pounds. Anglers have been known to pull in 300-pound-plus halibut. Salmon can also be taken at sea.
Catch and release is always a good option. But eating fish is a part of everyday life in Alaska, and it's easy to pack a cooler of delicious salmon or halibut for the trip home.
- 22° 8° Dec-Feb
- 44° 29° Mar-May
- 65° 53° Jun-Aug
- 40° 28° Sep-Nov
Top fish species to target in Alaska
Chinook Salmon (King)
Alaska's Boardwalk Lodge
Alaska's Boardwalk Lodge is an oceanfront resort located on breathtaking Prince of Wales Island in temperate southeast Alaska. Construction of the main lodge began in 1990, where each log was felled and towed across the bay. In true Alaskan spirit, the raw lumber was milled, peeled and notched by hand. Expansion of the resort entailed the building of a second lodge, providing accommodations for up to 19 guests. The lodge takes its name from the 300-yard boardwalk, stretching from the boat docks and spanning the tidal inlet to the lodges. The resort is accessible via a 35-minute floatplane ride from Ketchikan, Alaska. However, floatplane rides usually end therethere's no need for a fly-out on the island to fish. Boardwalk guides escort fishermen to some of the most prolific waters in the Northwest23 lakes, rivers, and streams nearby, so anglers can hook up in mere minutes. Date Range The lodge early season opens in May for native steelhead and runs through September with our second silver salmon run. What is Provided to Customer Most Boardwalk Lodge packages are all-inclusive, providing you with comfortable lodging, full guide and staff services, gourmet food, soft drinks, house beers and wines, transportation from Ketchikan, wet-weather gear, plus fishing licenses, and complete fishing gear and tackle. Orvis waders, boots, rods, reels, and flies are all provided. Region/Terrain Where You Fish Guides will lead you in pursuit of numerous fish species at the hottest fishing holes at 23 lakes, rivers, and streams on breathtaking Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. Most of these waterways have convenient walk/wade access. Your fly-fishing excursions are typically accessed via vehicle. Although available, the added expense of a fly-out trip is completely unnecessary. Many of these waters are only fished when Boardwalk guests venture out, allowing you to cast and catch in solitude. Typical Weather by Season The climate here on Prince of Wales Island is that of a high latitude rainforest. Weather conditions change frequently, especially during spring and fall months. Temperatures in spring and fall range from 35 - 65 degrees, while summer temperatures range from 45 - 75 degrees. Weather is generally comparable to that of Seattle.