Have you ever imagined fishing at a point far from home? Maybe yes! But what about fishing in Alaska, where so many people consider the "last frontier" of Earth?
Even though it is not a prime destination for most people because of its weather and wildlife, Alaska hides wonders that go beyond our imagination. To summarize, all the adjectives used to describe the Alaskan wilderness do not do justice to its reality. Serving as a backdrop to a rich ecosystem, almost 80 percent of its territory is untouched and untamed nature. The state is full of magical places such as The Denali National Park, which is the third largest US National Park and one of the best places to enjoy all of this greatness through rafting, canoeing, a scenic walk, bike rides and of course, fishing!
Alaska is synonymous of majestic mountains, home to 17 of the 20 largest in North America - including Mount Denali, the highest point of that part of the continent. This translates into different adventures, such as mountain climbing, light hiking or simply enjoying the view through the window of a helicopter, a cable car or on the deck of the Seven Seas Mariner.
Alaska houses 17 national parks, this means that two-thirds of the state's territory is in the national park system. From mountain ranges and volcanoes to wild rivers and the vast tundra, Alaska offers a great range of opportunities for tourism and fun.
Preservation of natural resources
The state of Alaska seems to be quite aware of how to maintain its harmony as few places in the world. The concern with sustainability is known to the inhabitants of that piece of land (and water) for many years now. In 1867, Alaska was purchased from the Russian Empire by the US for $ 7.2 million, but it was only in 1959 that it was no longer just an American territory, but it also became the 49th state of the federation at that point. The admission has brought into force the Constitution of the state of Alaska, whose section 4 of Article VIII says that "Fish, forests, wildlife, prairies and all other resources belonging to the state must be used, developed and maintained under the principle of sustainability".
This founding guideline was able to ensure that Alaska developed fishery activity with ecological and economic responsibility and achieved a high level of quality and importance not only in the angling world market but also in the seafood industry.
When fishing in Alaska, you can easily spot local biologists, researchers, and technicians who are in the field 12 months per year, monitoring and managing a wide range of fish species, from Alaska’s Southeast Panhandle to the high Arctic.
In Alaska, the efforts to preserve the local wildlife goes way beyond just the water species. As a matter of fact, one of the most famous places in the state is The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. A center which studies the wildlife as well as combines efforts to preserve Alaska's wildlife. The center is a non-profit organization that rescues injured animals or in imminent danger to try their rehabilitation. The purpose of the institution is the rehabilitation for later reintegration of animals, in nature. The center's main program is focused on the preservation and reintroduction of the Bison, but also has bears, elk, reindeer, eagles, lynxes, caribou, wolves, etc.
Fishing in Alaska
Any experienced angler goes out to sea before the sun rises. But not in the summer of Alaska. If at 6 o'clock in the morning you are in galoshes and fishing pants, but the sun seems to have arrived much sooner, do not be surprised. At the 61 ° latitude of the Northern Hemisphere, the darkest sky you will see is a blue-gray between midnight and 3 o'clock in the morning.
In Alaska, stringent legislation defines sustainable practices for the fishing industry. The control is such that fishing is only allowed after a minimal number of adult fishes have floated upstream to spawn. The control is done by the fishery management agencies by means of counts made by sonars, in dams and observation towers scattered by rivers of the whole state.
Fishing License in Alaska
When it comes to fishing in Alaska, all residents with 18 years old or older, or non-residents from 16 years old must own a sports fishing license to practice angling in the region. Furthermore, a king salmon stamp is needed to fish for this species. It is important to keep in mind that these rules apply for both fresh and salt waters.
Fishing license for non-residents can be purchased pretty much anywhere: in the grocery store or even aboard the boat you have hired. Of course, you can even buy your fishing permit online.
The king Salmon
Salmon is not king by chance: better known as king salmon, it is the largest of the six species in the Pacific and the largest in the world. No one knows for sure when it decides to return from the sea to fresh water, to the place where it was born. According to the American wildlife service, 80.000 king salmons rise the Kenai River by season, and up to three million of their cousins, the red salmon.
As a matter of fact, fishing in Alaska is so abundant that even bears have been spotted catching read salmons in the Brooks waterfalls, in the Katmai National Park.
The best food is right there
The fishing industry represents the second largest local income and makes the region the largest producer of fish among the US states. This also means that when visting Alaska you will have the opportunity to taste some amazing sea food.
Here, cooks have on their hand a rich 'gastro-ecosystem' to serve themselves. A few steps beyond the kitchen door and you can pick blueberries, rhubarb, different types of 'berries' and countless mushrooms, depending on the seasonality of these ingredients. Many of them also maintain a greenhouse in which they grow several types of buds - which serve as a side dishes to several dishes that come out of the kitchen - and let seawater evaporate in basins to get salt on a small scale.
Plenty of fish and seafood is inviting to be tasted even for breakfast. You can find places that serve dishes such as salmon bacon for the first meal of the day.
Choosing the fishing location in Alaska
The challenge here is the fact that Alaska is enormous; fishing it all would require one to cast across a million acres of streams, lakes and water-lapped shorelines every day for a full year. Think of it as the old anglers’ quandary – so many fish, so little time. We know chossing the right fishing location can be a challenge, so we will help you find the perfect fishing spot.
The Alagnak River
When it comes to fishing for Salmon in Alaska, we have to mention The Alagnak River. Known as the fisherman’s paradise, it is needless to say that the Alagnak River is a must visit place for anglers. It has its soccer in the Katmai National Park, and it flows around nature almost untouched by man. Even though the river has fishing as its centerpiece activity, it is also suitable for rafts and inflatable kayaks.
Most importantly, the guides from here know the region as their own backyard, so do not miss the chance of learning as much as possible from them.
When it comes to choosing the perfect lodge in Alaska, we suggest you book it with a lodge that will take care of everything, from the transfer, and fishing session to meals, such as the King Salmon Lodge.
This way, all you will worry about is to catch different types of salmon, and other species like pike, and grayling trout.
We are sure that your encounter with this amazing species will be quick but memorable: after all, better than catching is releasing the fish.