Southeast Alaska Fishing
Southeast Alaska Fishing is year-round with all five salmon species, wild rainbow trout, and saltwater fish like lingcod, halibut, and rockfish. Rivers are full of steelhead, salmon, trout, and dolly varden char. Full guide services, lodges, and fly-out services are common. Rain is also common, so water-wicking clothing layers, good rain gear, and good insect repellent are all musts. If you are planning to visit Alaska with non-fishing friends and/or relatives, this is a great choice of region, as this is the most temperate of the three regions, and it is full of tourism gems like national parks, wildlife tours and cruises, and artisan towns with cute shops and good restaurants. Be sure to check seasons and regulations with the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game.
Southeast Alaska fishing is anchored by this great remote area where the only inhabited city is in Yakutat. The abundance of fish has created over a dozen fishing river lodges in the region where you can get food, lodging, and guide services. The region has a good road system for roadside park-and-fish river locations. Alaska Airlines offers commercial flights from the lower 48 and rental cars are available making it easy for travelers to fish two good rivers.
Situk River Fishing
The famous Situk River (pronounced see-tuk) has a good steelhead run in the spring and another in the fall. The river is accessible and anglers usually float the river with a guide. The river flows gently, and is 3 feet deep with the holes 10 feet deep. Water levels are lower when the excellent Coho run begins in mid-August. The lower water makes it difficult for the boats but provide fairly easy wading when bright, silver salmon come in on the daily tides.
Lost River Fishing
When you are in Yakutat don’t miss the lost river. It is really more of a creek, winding though the wet lands. There are some steelhead, but those strong Coho, only out of the ocean for a few hours are the real attraction. Small boats or canoes are possible and wading through marshlands is for the robust. Bring your fly rod. Actually bring it for most all Southeast Alaska fishing.
Southeast Alaska Fishing
Haines is one of the drier locations, and a great starting point for a number of big game hunting expeditions. This northern panhandle region is accessible from Anchorage by plane or through the Alaska marine highway system. This area is known to be a high-level bear area, particularly grizzlies. There are several inlets and canals like Chilkoot and Chilkat that have prized saltwater fishing for species like halibut, and the rivers around both towns have great salmon. Both in-town and fly-in fishing lodges are available, and as Skagway is also a cruise ship port, there is much to do on the waterfront when you’re not fishing.
The capital city is a cruise ship port with a vibrant waterfront. It is also one of the largest cities in the Southeast. There is an airport here to transfer from Anchorage or the lower 48, to other smaller regions on a bush plane. The many Alaskan islands off the coast of Juneau have a large number of fly-in and boat-in fishing lodges and camps. It is the jumping of point for Southeast Alaska fishing.
This area is known for saltwater fishing, boasting over 250 registered charter boats. The town is a cruise ship favorite, and there are a large number of in-town locations to stay while going out on day-trips or multi-day charter boat excursions for saltwater fishing. There are also a lot of river lodges for those who prefer freshwater catch. Plenty of salmon and other species can be found in both locations. You can fly-in or drive-in, as there is a local airport and a connection to the Alaska Marine Highway.
This area is between Petersburg and Ketchikan and is known to be more remote. The saltwater charter lodges and trips are plentiful here, and there are lodges, camps, boat rentals and river guides available both in Wrangell and Petersburg.
Ketchikan is a tourist town with a cruise ship port, in-town lodging and a large network of forested streams. It is another cruise ship town, and has a large number of higher-end fishing lodges as well as several bare-bones camps.
Prince of Wales Island
This long barrier island is across the inside passage from Ketchikan and is full of great fishing lakes. Charter your own boat, hit a river, or get the full guided service at dozens of great locations.
There is hardly a wrong choice you can make when it comes to Southeast Alaska fishing. You have the option of either well-populated areas or remote camps, and no matter where you go, you are likely to see and possibly catch some of the largest fish you’ve ever seen.