Fishing in Alaska

Adding a Fishing Excursion as Part of Your Trip to Alaska.

What’s more Alaskan than tackling a world-class fish on a rod and reel? Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Alaska from all over the globe for a shot at the trophy fish this great state is famous for. Whether by sea, river or lake, making a fishing excursion part of your trip should be atop everyone’s list.


I say it a lot, but on any given cast, an angler could conceivably hook and land a fish of a lifetime in Alaska. Whether your goal is to catch fish to take home, cast a dry fly at rising trout or simply have the experience of fishing in Alaska, there are seemingly limitless options no matter where you travel here.


One of the easiest ways to get your fill of fishing in Alaska is to book a guided trip down one of the famous rivers of the Kenai Peninsula. Most trips are all-inclusive and only require you to purchase a fishing license, bring some warm clothes, a packed lunch and a sense of adventure.


The rivers of the Kenai Peninsula are surrounded by snow-capped mountains and everywhere you turn, you’ll swear you’re looking at a photograph, making a drift down the river on a guided trip an already-memorable experience.


If amazing scenery isn’t enough, the chance at spotting a wild brown or black bear, a bull moose, a lone wolf, coyote or one of the many otters or seals that roam our waters, will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Enough about amazing scenery and wildlife viewing already, let’s get to the fishing! As stated earlier, guided fishing trips make fishing in Alaska worry-free. All equipment is included: waders, boots, rods, reels, tackle, flies, bait and terminal tackle. The best part, you don’t need any fishing experience to be successful. Most techniques are very simple to learn and a professional guide will be right by your side helping you land your giant.


Most guides have both conventional fishing gear (i.e. spinning rods and baitcasting rods) and fly fishing gear for you to use. Both conventional gear and fly fishing gear can be used year-round for all species; however, fly fishing is often the preferred method for many species. Fear-not, you don’t have to cast like Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It to have success. The techniques employed are rather simple, and here again, a professional will be by your side to ensure your success.


If you do catch salmon and decide to keep them, outfitters and guides provide fish cleaning and filleting services at no charge. There are also many local shops that will vacuum seal, freeze and ship your catch for you.


A fishing excursion in Alaska will prove to be an excellent addition to your vacation. From majestic scenery to wildlife viewing and trophy fish hunting, it’s hard to go wrong! There are lots of highly trained, professional guide services to choose from that want to help create lifelong memories for you and your family. We hope you have an outstanding visit and that Alaska will leave you longing to come back for more.


David Lisi is the owner of Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC based in Cooper Landing, AK where he makes his year-round home with his business partner and girlfriend Jackie. He is a professional fishing guide and outfitter on both the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers on the Kenai Peninsula. David has a passion for teaching various fishing techniques.  He spends upwards of 250-300 days a year guiding and fishing on many of Alaska’s famed rivers. David and Jackie are passionate about exploring Alaska and they are excited to share their home with you.

Alaska By RV: Plan ahead when traveling with kids

Making the choice to see Alaska by RV means your family probably likes an independent style of travel. Miles of open road and scenic overnight destinations lead to myriad options for activities reflecting Alaska’s spirit of adventure. From flightseeing to fishing, hiking to wildlife cruising, the Last Frontier provides families traveling with children plenty of options for every budget. But where does one start?

The biggest mistake first-time Alaska visitors often make is to cram too many activities into one short period of time. The 49th state is too large and too remote to try and explore the entire sweeping range of land in one or two weeks, and visitors who try often leave exhausted and frustrated. A better choice is to pick interests that align with the entire family. Sit down together well before your trip and note the areas of importance: Fishing? Hiking? Bears and moose? Glaciers? Relaxation?

An advantage of RV travel is its obvious mobility, allowing for a (hopefully) fluid transition among activities, with the coach acting as “base camp” for all.

Interested in landing a big salmon while the rest of the family wants to see glaciers and whales? Drive south along the Seward Highway from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula towns of Seward ( or Homer ( Seward is reached in about three hours from Anchorage and offers salmon or halibut fishing from scenic Resurrection Bay and unparalleled glacier and wildlife-viewing via day cruise companies like Major Marine ( or Kenai Fjords Tours ( An additional bonus is the proximity of beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park (

Homer, on the other hand, is approximately six hours from Anchorage and follows the curve of the peninsula to the terminus of the Sterling Highway. Known as the “Halibut Capital of the World,” Homer is a funky fishing town that thrives on the seasonal catch of the large, white flatfish. While glaciers are harder to access from Homer, it is possible, even probable, that your family will see whales in Kachemak Bay, and sea otters regularly bob and weave among the kelp beds. Homer also offers great hiking along the beaches of Homer Spit, a five-mile finger of sand and rock stretching from the mainland. Many camping options are available on the spit, but beware that wind can and does affect summertime temperatures.

Looking for big bears and big mountains? Drive north from Anchorage along the Glenn and Parks Highways to Denali National Park ( so named “The High One” by the Athabascan Alaska Native groups who inhabited this region for centuries. Denali is one of Alaska’s most accessible and most-visited national parks, and truly caters to families with ranger-led experiences from campgrounds and the visitor centers, with opportunities for low-impact, high-adrenaline fun in and out of the park boundaries. Denali’s campgrounds are examples of wilderness simplicity without sacrificing comfort, and RV campers will enjoy the quiet retreat. We recommend at least three nights to properly explore the park, including a shuttle bus or tour within the six-million-acre park. ( Make reservations for any park activities, however; Denali’s popularity also means more crowds than you may see in other places around Alaska. It’s worth it, though, for the sense of awe when the mountain towers above the scenic tundra.


For more Alaska family travel options, visit


Erin Kirkland is Alaska’s only family travel journalist and author of Alaska On the Go guidebook series, dedicated to kid-friendly activities in the Last Frontier.