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Plan your Alaska trip with this complete travel reference.  Whether you drive the Alaska Highway or ride the Alaska Marine Highway or fly up here, we think you will find this helpful.





Fishing Alaska!

You can plan a successful Alaska fishing trip with the resources you will find on this website

Introduction to Alaska fishing (this page) General information on what it is like to fish in various regions of the state

Fishing forums Read ideas from other anglers and post your questions. There are literally hundreds of thousands of messages here about Alaska outdoors activities.  The forums include general Alaska fishing, Alaska flyfishing and dipnetting among others.

Fishing books, video, maps and other resources that will improve your odds for fishing success.  Some of our most popular include Alaska Fishing, Flies for Alaska, Flyfishing Alaska, Alaska Atlas and Gazetteer, and more.  "No questions asked" money back guarantee.

Services directory An extensive and up-to-date listing of hundreds of businesses that provide services for anglers and hunters. The directory includes Alaska fishing guides, Alaska air taxis, Alaska fishing lodges, transporters, Alaska fishing charters, and more.

Fishing areas What it is like to fish in various areas of AK, including RealAudio (tm) interviews with Alaska sport fisheries biologists.

Magazine Articles and photos about fishing and other outdoors activities in Alaska.

Alaska Fishing:
An Introduction by David M. Johnson

Angling in Alaska can be incredible. Salmon runs are strong along our coasts, and there really are some giant halibut in Alaska waters. King salmon over 50 pounds are not at all uncommon. Grayling, rainbow trout and northern pike are easy to catch in many inland streams.

And you can fish amid some of the most incredible scenery on the continent.

To be sure, it’s not perfect. The productivity of most Alaska streams is not high in comparison with those in warmer climes. This means that some heavily fished streams do not quickly produce many large fish, particularly in the Interior. Large salmon runs compensate in many streams, however.

For this introduction, we have divided the state into three regions: southeast, southcentral, and Interior/Arctic/Western Alaska:

Southeast Alaska, sometimes called the "panhandle," is a land of deep fjords, rushing mountain streams and glaciers. Most of the land is in the Tongass National Forest. Summers are cool and moist; winters are cooler and snowy, but much less cold than portions of Alaska not so warmed by the ocean.

Salmon return in large numbers to thousands of streams. Halibut move into near shore waters in the summer. Several species of trout are available. A variety of bottom fish are available. Shrimp and crab can be found in some waters.

For more Southeast Alaska sport fishing information contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), Division of Sport Fish, PO Box 240020, Douglas, AK 99824-0020. Tel. (907) 465-4294

Southcentral Alaska is home to most of the state’s population and some of the state’s most famous fishing areas. It includes coastal waters and watersheds from just east of the Copper River to Bristol Bay. Southcentral is a varied land and seascape. Trees cover much of the terrain east and north of Cook Inlet but are more sporadic or largely absent to the west. Mountains or rolling hills dominate the view in much of the area. The continentís tallest mountain, McKinley (or Denali) is the tallest of many sentinel peaks along the divide between this region and the watersheds to the north and west.

Summers range from cool and moist along the coast to warm and dry further inland. Salmon runs flood coastal waters and the larger rivers.  The famous Kenai River is here.  Halibut can be caught in most coastal areas, along with other ocean fish. Trout, pike, grayling, Dolly Varden, burbot, whitefish and other species are year-round residents in many watersheds.

For more Southcentral AK information contact ADF&G, Division of Sport Fish, 333 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99518-1599, Tel. (907) 267-2220

The Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers drain most of Interior, Arctic and Western AK. Western and Arctic Alaska is sparsely tree covered. Except for alpine and sub-alpine areas, most of the Interior is covered by trees. Distinct mountain ranges, rolling hills and wide river valleys and flats are the dominant landscape features. Summers along the coast are cool, and warm in the Interior. Salmon make long distance migrations up the Kuskokwim, Yukon and Tanana river drainages. Grayling are perhaps most widespread, but trout, pike, burbot, char, and sheefish are widely distributed and fished year `round.

For more Interior, Arctic and Western AK information contact ADF&G, Division of Sport Fish, 1300 College Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99701-1599, Tel. (907) 459-7207

Sport Fishing regulations are available in five different booklets, each covering a different area of the state. These booklets are available widely in the state. You can obtain copies by mail from the regulations order page on the ADF&G web site.

Sow with cubs fishing

(Not all who fish Alaska walk on two legs. In some areas, it is common to see bears while fishing. Photo by David M. Johnson)

Bear Attacks: Their Causes and AvoidanceBeing in the field with bears makes the outdoors much more interesting.   A book that you may find helpful is Steve Herrero's Their Bear Attacks: Their Causes and AvoidanceHerrero is a biologist and one of the continent's best experts on this subject.  

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains a trophy fish program. For some recent records and photographs see the Department's trophy gallery.

We offer a many books, maps and DVDs that you should find helpful in planning your trip. Click to see our on-line catalog

We also maintain a list of  angling-related links for Alaska.

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Alaska angling books

Alaska Fishing, Alaska Atlas and Gazetteer, Flies for Alaska, Fly Patterns of Alaska, Fly-Fishing Alaska's Wild Rivers


Fishing lodges and guides, saltwater charters, air taxis, transporters, tackle, and more.  Hundreds of listings throughout AK.


What is it like to fish in various areas of AK?  These are area information pages.

Alaska Fishing Forums

Read what people are saying about angling in AK.  Post your own comments.

Alaska outdoors on-line magazine

Stories and information about angling in AK.  

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