Fly Fishing in Alaska
One of the most fascinating forms of recreation you can do is fly fishing. This is not your typical run-of-the-mill fishing outdoors, but it is a type of fishing that can produce amazing results. Fly fishing is a form of fishing that uses artificial bait including dry flies, nymphs, emergers, streamers, and animal pieces. The trick that you want to accomplish with fly fishing is to fool any fish on the line using the artificial bait. This fishing experience is a challenge for most fishermen because it takes place typically in areas where there is rapidly moving water, which makes it harder to do. However, if you are up for the challenge, then fly fishing may be for you.
One of the best destinations in the country for fly fishing happens to be in Alaska. Think of the vast glaciers and beautiful landscapes that surround the area. You can visit these beautiful places in Alaska during any season and enjoy your time there.
Let’s look at some of the best destinations for fly fishing, what you should pack, and the types of fish you can catch in these areas.
Destination 1: Russian River: Cooper Landing, Alaska
This place is a well-traveled area that has trails that wind endlessly through nature. Here you can feel as if you are immersed in natural surroundings even surrounded by other visitors, and you will feel the serenity of nature here. The best time to visit Cooper Landing is during August and September. The types of fish that you can catch include trout and rainbow, dolly, or wild Alaska salmon (Stanley and Dowd, n.d.).
Destination 2: American Creek
American Creek has one of the most significant amounts of Arctic char and trout fisheries in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and it is a place that is frequented during the summer (Yellowdog, 2017). The American Creek is a typical Alaskan creek and has an abundance of wildlife that you can see every day. During the summer, the water levels are low, which can be helpful to fishers, as they wade in the water but can also be treacherous in other parts. Nevertheless, American Creek is a beautiful destination for catching rainbows and colorful char.
Destination 3: Yukon River
The Yukon River is located in a remote area, which a must-see for anyone who is invested in fly fishing. It has shallow water and enables you to catch shellfish, which are known as the "tarpon of the north (Yellow Dog, 2017). They fight violently on the rod but offer a satisfying experience to the experienced fisherman. An ideal time to visit this area is during the summer from June to August.
Destination 4: Kulik River
Kulik River is a short river, but it has a powerful current. The ideal time to visit this area is from early June through October, because of the stability of the flow of water and the consistent fishing in different water levels. It is a perfect place to find rainbow trout during different seasons. You should, however, bear in mind that there are bears in this region. But don't let this deter you from coming. There is beautiful, clear water, snow-capped, icy mountains, and large fish, which make this a beautiful place to explore for fly fishing (Yellow Dog, 2017).
Destination 5: Kvichak River
The Kvichak River is home to large rainbow trout the size of 28" to 30". This area of the country is known as the "Trophy Rainbow Area (Yellow Dog, 2017). In addition, this place is an ideal place to fish for salmon. The clear water is pristine and allows you to enjoy an incredible place to catch fish throughout the year with the best time to fish in early June.
Destination 6: Naknek River
This river flows into the Bristol Bay. It is a fantastic place to fly fish. The river contains some of the largest rainbow trout you can find. These salmon become gigantic due to the fact they eat salmon eggs and insects, which are found everywhere in this place.
Additionally, this area contains a variety of Pacific salmon. The best season to visit is from the end of June to the end of July. You can experience the most mesmerizing events of the year when a myriad of salmon abound in the river, as they swim back home. The experience of fly fishing in this place will be one of the most unforgettable times, for which you will love to return each year (Yellow Dog, 2017).
Destination 7: Around Anchorage: Jewel Lake
There are a lot of remote lakes just outside of Anchorage, where you can do some fly fishing. One of them is Jewel Lake, where you can discover Coho salmon and rainbow trout. This spot has superb views of the Chugach Mountains. Moreover, there are different features to the area, including picnic facilities, a beach, and a playground for kids. Additionally, this area is a beautiful place to spend your summer vacation.
Destination 8: Copper River
The Copper River offers some of the best trout in Alaska. It is one of the most exclusive places to find fly fishing. The best time to visit is in June and July. There is also a lot of Sockeye salmon you can find in July. If you want to come here, you can stay in the Copper River Lodge, which is the only one that is on the Copper River.
What You Should Pack on Your Trip
On your trip, you want to make sure that you bring a lot of necessary items to prepare for the adventure that you will go on. There are lots of things that you will need to bring with you. Here are things that you need.
- Waterproof clothing, including a raincoat
- Rain pants (for fishing)
- Short-sleeve microfiber shirt
- Long-sleeved shirt with sun protection
- Moisture-resistant underwear
- Long underwear
- Fleece pants (for the colder weather)
- Fleece jacket
- Warm hat
- Fingerless gloves
- Nylon shorts
- Sun gloves
- Swimming gear
- Sandals or flip flops
- Above all, comfortable clothing for the whole venture
- Fishing pack
- Fly fishing reels
- Fly fishing rods
- Line cleaner
- Dry Shake
- Extra leaders/leader material
- Fly boxes
- Nail knot tool
- Pliers or forceps/hemostats
- Fishing tape measure
- Wading staff
- Wading belt
- Wading boots or shoes
- Wading sandals or flip flops
- Gravel guards
- Sunglasses with a high SPF
- Sunscreen (SPF over 30)
- Sunscreen for the lips and nose
- Lip balm
- Bug spray
- Charger for phone and camera
- Dry bag to put the camera and extra clothing
- Day pack
- Flashlight and batteries
- Two water bottles
- Required fishing licenses and permits
- Reading materials
- writing materials
- Maps of the area or region
Overnight and Camping
- Sleeping bag and mat
- Hiking boots
- Camp Shoes
- Camping Stove
- Cooking equipment
- Waterproof matches
- First Aid Kit
Preparation for Your Trip
We want you to have fun on your trip, but you need to be more than prepared to face the elements out in the natural surroundings. Ideally, you want to bring all the essential gear that you need and not any non-essential items. Be sure to bring your travel documents and bring two copies of everything. Research the location where you will be traveling and make sure you know where you will be staying the night. Make necessary lodge reservations or preparations to do camping.
Know your destination and the provisions that will be given to you upon arrival. You don’t want to be stuck unprepared to face a situation without the proper gear.
Bring a new reel and rod. You don't want to break a reel on the first day of a long trip; it would be miserable. Make sure that you would be able to go to a fly shop if you did break any gear or needed to buy more.
Careful Planning, the Key to Your Success
Know where you will go and how you will arrive. Think about communication with others and how you can call someone at a lodge or your final destination. Bring contact information of friends and family in case you need to contact them in the event of an emergency.
Be mindful of your health and safety. Bring prescription medications with you and a basic medical kit with all the basics you need, including headache medicine, first aid supplies, etc.
Be aware of pickpockets and thieves. Keep your bags with you at all times and be careful not to wear flashy clothing that could be attractive to others.
Keep copies of your vital documents with you at all times in case of an emergency.
Use common sense to figure out all the things that you must do and don't ignore your gut instincts, which can help you in stressful situations.
Now, Go on Your Adventure
Now that you're ready to go with your gear, planning, and destination, you can go on your adventure to the serene and pristine creeks and lakes of Alaska. It is a fantastic experience you're unlikely ever to forget. We know that you will benefit from the experience, grow in profound ways, and have the time of your life out in nature with the breathtaking landscapes of Alaska. Have the time of your life, doing something extraordinary, fly fishing in Alaska: the adventure of a lifetime.
Allan Gardner (n.d.) The Difference Between Fly Fishing and Spin Fishing [blog] The Catch and the Hatch. Retrieved from https://thecatchandthehatch.com/the-difference-between-fly-fishing-and-spin-fishing/
Eric Stanley and Courtney Dowd (n.d.) 5 Epic Road-Accessible Fly Fishing Spots on the Kenai. [blog] A Cabin by the Pond. Retrieved from https://acabinbythepond.com/5-epic-road-accessible-fly-fishing-spots-on-the-kenai/
Yellowdog (2017). 5 Alaska Fly Fishing Rivers You Must Experience Before You Die. Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures. Retrieved from https://backstagepass.yellowdogflyfishing.com/alaska-fly-fishing-rivers-you-must-experience
Best Fishing Spots in Anchorage (n.d.) Visit Anchorage Alaska. Retrieved from https://www.anchorage.net/blog/best-fishing-spots-near-anchorage/
Copper River Lodge: Fly Fishing for Trout in Alaska (n.d.). Copper River Lodge. Retrieved from https://www.copperriverlodge.com/
Sample Fly Fishing Packing List. Orlando Outfitters. Retrieved from https://orlandooutfitters.com/pages/packing-list
 Allan Gardner (n.d.) The Difference Between Fly Fishing and Spin Fishing [blog] The Catch and the Hatch. Retrieved from https://thecatchandthehatch.com/the-difference-between-fly-fishing-and-spin-fishing/
 Eric Stanley and Courtney Dowd (n.d.) 5 Epic Road-Accessible Fly Fishing Spots on the Kenai. [blog] A Cabin by the Pond. Retrieved from https://acabinbythepond.com/5-epic-road-accessible-fly-fishing-spots-on-the-kenai/
 Yellowdog (2017). 5 Alaska Fly Fishing Rivers You Must Experience Before You Die. Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures. Retrieved from https://backstagepass.yellowdogflyfishing.com/alaska-fly-fishing-rivers-you-must-experience
 Best Fishing Spots in Anchorage (n.d.) Visit Anchorage Alaska. Retrieved from https://www.anchorage.net/blog/best-fishing-spots-near-anchorage/
 Copper River Lodge: Fly Fishing for Trout in Alaska (n.d.). Copper River Lodge. Retrieved from https://www.copperriverlodge.com/
 Sample Fly Fishing Packing List. Orlando Outfitters. Retrieved from https://orlandooutfitters.com/pages/packing-list
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