Guide to Alaska Fly Fishing

Guide to Alaska Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is one of the most popular methods of fishing in Alaska. The state's abundance of fish, combined with its untamed, pristine wilderness, draws many anglers every year. Fly fishing is popular among Alaskan anglers for catching salmon and trout, though it can also be used for catching the state's various bass species. Discover the basic things you need to know to start fly fishing in Alaska and land your first fish.

Types of Fish

Most fly fishing anglers use the method to catch Pacific salmon and trout. Of the former, the famed king salmon species is the most popular, though all types of Pacific salmon can be found in the state's estuaries. If fishing for trout, anglers typically encounter rainbow and steelhead trout. Some anglers also use fly fishing to catch bass, including the popular smallmouth and largemouth types.


Fishing License

Before fly fishing, anglers must obtain a fishing license distributed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Purchase a license at most Alaskan sporting goods stores, online (see Resources) or by calling the department at (907) 465-4180. As of September 2009, an annual fishing license for individuals holding an Alaskan driving license is $24, while non-residents pay $145.


If fishing for bass or salmon, standard Spey casting is typically used with a fly rod. When fishing for Alaska's many trout, dry flies are often used. However, you may also be successful using flies that were created to sink to the waterway's bottom. This option is best in Alaska's warmer summer months when trout typically swim closer to the bottom of the river or lake in which they are found.


Salmon, bass and trout can be found in most of the state's thousands of waterways, including hundreds of reservoirs, ponds and streams. Don't waste time randomly picking a fishing spot. Instead, consult the Alaskan state government's fishing reports online (see Resources). These weekly reports tell you where fish are biting, and what type of fish are being caught by local anglers. For example, southcentral regions typically have higher levels of salmon.


Article Written By Josh Duvauchelle

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.

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