Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Alaskan Fishing Gear... IT IS ON!

Oh the allure of summer right around the corner. Fishing, hiking, biking, and just plain frolicking in our beautiful backyard we call Alaska!

If no one has ever fished up here before, I suggest you try once. It will be a lifetime experience you will never forget. The feel of the tug as you pull up the rod in surprise and get the hook in the mouth so the fight can start as you stand their breathless, shaking and reeling and shaking some more thinking that you may lose it or the line will snap. And when you get your salmon in, the queasy and shaking feeling, as you are actually out of breath and tired as hell sets in. You DID IT! You caught your first salmon. To bad it was only a silver or a Coho salmon that weighs 9 lbs. Now imagine that and times it by 100 and that is what it is like bringing in a King Salmon!

Now what would you need for the fishing trip of a lifetime? A good friend to coach you and some good advice:

1. Get a good rod that is made of carbon filament and made to flex. If you get a fiberglass rod, more then likely it will snap on you and they sound like a gun going off when they break down. I bought my rod(s) for less then 40 bucks a piece.
A decent reel is always a good idea. Depending on the salmon you want to get a couple for different species. I have a 20, 30 and a 40 for Kings to Reds. 40 is for my King rod. 30 is for Silver rod. And 20 is for Red rod. But it also depends on your line.
3. The line is important! You must make sure it will not fray, splinter or snap if stretched out. I use filament line from 10 lbs up to 35 lbs. Other people I know use braided line (which is a polycarbonate and waxed string that doesn’t break), and others use fly rod line…. Which I won’t even go there.
4. Your
tackle is VERY important. Without the right tackle you aren’t going to get anything. Russian Flies are a necessity up here. Spoons and Spinners are also very good for low tidal areas. Beads and hooks are wonderful in high tidal areas. I use mooching hooks as it is easy to slide a few beads on and throw out there.
5. You might want to think of some
type of waders to use. I like my regular waders, but I do have chest waders. It depends on preference.
6. Shot weights are good so you have drag on your line and it bounces down a stream. You want it to bounce.. But not get caught on a tree limb or a rock..
Must have polarized sunglasses.. They are a life saver!
8. Bug Dope, is a fact of life.
9. Needle nose pliers, if you forget these, smack yourself in the head!
10. A nice filet knife with a sheath.
11. Plastic bags, black one. You will love me for telling you this!
12. A piece of rope to keep your fish on, so they do not drift down stream and keep cold in the water.
13. Water, trust me on this!
14. Munchies in a ziplock bag. You will get hungry out there and keeping it in a ziplock will keep the food dry and the bears out.
15. And a backpack to put all this crap in!

Always remember to bring bear mace if you are in an area that has a lot of people. But if you travel out somewhere, where bear would be more common then human contact, I would recommend a 30.06. Just my favorite rifle is the reason I state it.

Remember, you are here to have FUN. If you catch a “Big One” count yourself lucky. I still know a lot of Alaskans who haven’t caught a King yet.
No, I am not one of them! I have caught plenty.... but can I get you to catch them is the question!


  1. upinak

    Hey this is a great post. Thanks. I've wanted to come up there for years. If I can save enough, I'm hoping to get up there this year.

    When is the latest one can come if they are coming for the fishing?

    Do you only fish for salmon or are there other fish that would be fun to catch?

    Thanks again

  2. Behive.. the last runs are around August, September time frame. But they don't look good nor taste to good. Alaskans call them, smoking salmon for a reason, since we only smoke them.

    The best time in my opinion, just to go fishing is end of June to the end of July. You can go about anywhere and go fishing.... Kings though, come earlier in the year.

    You don't need a hand for the summer...I might be the only way I could see Alaska...