Born and raised in Michigan – known as the “Great Lake State” – I grew up spending lots of weekends fishing on a boat, or offshore. Caught lots of perch, bass, and when the season was around – smelt and salmon.
As a teenager, we were not allowed to smelt fish with the adults, as there were huge, heavy nets that had to be lifted in and out of the water. Thousands of smelt were dumped into (new) metal trashcans, and it was so exciting! Thousands of these little fish, and I couldn’t wait to get home and eat them! A little seasoned breadcrumb mix, drop them in hot oil, and so yummy right out of the fryer!
I since have moved to Florida, about 20 years ago, and I quickly learned saltwater fishing. My father bought me a saltwater fishing pole for Christmas!
One of my favorite places now to go fishing is down to The Keys… especially at night! Dozens of fish jump out of the water, they are so abundant!
I have so many wonderful fishing stories to tell, but OK… on to my salmon fishing experience in Alaska…
First meeting one of my expert salmon fishing tour guides
My other fishing guide, as seen returning from getting bait. See that little brown shed in the back? That’s the bait shop!
Planning my fishing trip
When I was planning my trip to Alaska, top on my list was to go salmon fishing. Luckily, I was there in July, which is pink salmon season. Keep in mind that fish are seasonal so your catch will depend on the timing of your visit. You can expect to catch Dolly Varden char and cutthroat trout all season long, with prized steelhead trout available in May and early June.
I went fishing in Game Creek, which is a salmon stream and pink salmon run from late June through September (with silver salmon running from late August through September).
The streams and rivers surrounding Icy Strait Point on Chichagof Island are prime destinations for freshwater stream fishing. After passing through the town of Hoonah (population: 753), a van load of 8 aspiring fishermen (and me, fisher-woman) ventured out of town along scenic dirt roads to our stream fishing experience.
We were provided with expert instruction, hip boots, and all the gear needed to spin cast or fly fish (for those with experience) along the banks of Game Creek.
In order to conserve the resource, this was exclusively catch-and-release fishing.
Look what I caught!!!
A State of Alaska fishing license was required and was purchased $20.
Highlights of my salmon fishing experience:
• Game Creek: Experienced spectacular angling in a scenically beautiful, fish-rich setting.
• Professional Guides: Enjoyed top-notch instruction and full outfitting.
• Abundant Fish: Got the rare chance to catch lots of salmon (I caught 5), and my boyfriend caught 15 salmon!
What You Should Bring:
• Camera/Video Camera
• Bug Spray!!!
• Sun protection
What You Should Wear:
• Hat (I wore a knit hat, and my boyfriend wore a baseball cap) and sunglasses
• Comfortable shoes (sneakers are great)
• Warm clothes (We had great weather, and my long-sleeved sweater was perfect)