Skagway, Alaska, is the northen-most community in southeast Alaska, also known as the panhandle. Skagway sits at the end of the Taiya Inlet, which is the end of the Inside Passage. Between Skagway and the abandoned ghost town of Dyea, there are opportunities for salmon and halibut fishing in the ocean, and fly fishing or lake fishing for arctic grayling and trout.
Salmon and Halibut Fishing---Saltwater
Charters can be hired out of Skagway Harbor. Those seeking halibut fishing will be taken to several different locations in the Taiya Inlet to drop the long, deep lines to the bottom of the fjord, one of North America's deepest. Locations include the shores off of Sturgill's Landing and the waters near Paradise Falls, both several miles south of Skagway. There are two king salmon runs in Skagway each season, and charters will take guests to locations near the mouth of the Taiya River or Paradise Falls for prime fishing. Most charter trips have fish fillet stations at the docks in Skagway Harbor, and for an additional fee, guests can have the fillets flash-frozen and sent to their home.
Salmon and Dolly Varden---Rivers and Creeks
Pullen Creek in downtown Skagway has a pink salmon run each summer. There is a fish weir at Pullen Pond, which feeds the creek. Visitors fishing the creek should be vigilant of the Yukon Route and White Pass Railroad that makes frequent trips on the tracks. The tracks are next to Pullen Creek and can present a safety hazard for anglers. Dolly Varden are frequently caught in Pullen Creek. A trail to Lower Lake Dewey can be found near the Westmark Hotel by Pullen Creek. Fishermen can hike the half-mile trail up to the lake and fish for Dolly Varden and arctic grayling.
Taiya River---King Salmon
The Taiya River can be accessed from the Dyea Road, nine miles from Skagway. Part of the Taiya River flows through Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. During the king salmon run (there are two each season, one in early- to mid-July, the other typically in the middle to end of August), visitors can fish from the shoreline trying to catch kings. Brown bear are frequently spotted contending for the same fish during the salmon run. Visitors should carry bear spray and be educated on its proper use. There are two convenient beach access locations to work the shorelines six miles from where the Dyea Road turns into dirt. Visitors can fish the West Creek, at the end of the Dyea Road, for Dolly Varden and arctic grayling.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.