It seems like a long time ago as a boy growing up in Wisconsin and now living in Alaska how fishing has evolved. Fishing gear has really changed or maybe it’s the cost of fishing equipment that has changed. As a kid, my fishing gear was mainly a cane pole with line wrapped around it, a hook and maybe a bobber or a cork from an old thermos bottle, and worms for bait. Everything was pretty much free, and if your dad smoked a pipe (like mine did) you could use his tobacco tin to put a little bit of dirt in along with the worms you dug up and that was all you needed to catch supper for the family. Walking to the creek or riding my bike to the river was the mode of transportation. Of course, you had to pick up a friend along the way so you could really make a day of the adventure.
Now the adventure has taken on a whole new meaning. Not many places here in Alaska can you walk or take a bike ride, (there are some places you can do that) but now the airplane is the transportation of choice to most of the remote spots in the state. If you live in the Anchorage area a road system will allow you to fish the Kenai River and it’s upper reaches where the Dolly Varden are thick in numbers and not at all shy about taking most any fly offered them, along with the sockeye and pink salmon. The main part of the Kenai boasts of the huge Kings that are world famous and also very large rainbows, all opportunists for a tasty fly or bug that a fly fisher may present.
Further west in the state is the Bristol Bay region where the largest run of sockeye (or red) salmon happens every July, but that fishery is for the money fishermen, the gill netters. That is not to say that ONLY gill netters catch fish in this region. The region is world famous in it’s own right with a lot of remote fishing lodges in the region. I flew into King Salmon, Alaska one year to fish the bay area and the airport there was really jumping. I knew it wasn’t because of me and found out later Clint Eastwood was due in to go fishing from a remote lodge. So, to make my point, the region is world class and well known.
Southeast Alaska, with all it’s islands and even portions of the main part of the state offers it’s own brand of world class fishing. Well known for it’s Steelhead fishing is the Yakutat area. On Prince of Wales island there are also Steelhead streams just waiting to be fished. Along with Steelhead southeast also has all the other species of salmon and trout that populate all of Alaska. Whatever you may want to fish for, among the game fish and I know I haven’t mentioned all the species that are here in Alaska, I know you can catch it here, and have a wonderful time doing it.
The next time you are thinking about an all around good time to go fishing, think Alaska first and remember, Anytime Is Fishing Time.