What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Alaska? Maybe you picture stunning mountain ranges bordered by thick forests of pine and birch on one side and fields of snow-covered terra firma on the other? Perhaps you visualize ice sheets that stretch up beyond the Bearing Straight out into the Arctic Ocean where Eskimos once harpooned whales from canoes and open drift boats? Or maybe when you think about Alaska you see open spaces free from confining indoor walls and the environmental spoils of suburban sprawl? No matter what your imagination conjures up, the reality of Alaska’s wilderness is still larger.
Alaska Is Big
Boasting more coastline than all other U.S. States put together, it’s a place where men and women still go to “Get lost.” Fact is, Alaska remains so attractive to the rugged individualist that its capital city, Juneau, can only be accessed by sea or by air. It is the very untamed nature of this great beast that makes it so alluring and so mysterious. Despite the ever growing popularity of its increasingly cosmopolitan cities and towns like Anchorage, Nome, Bethel and the gorgeous Hooper Bay, it’s a land that shall remain forever wild. Outside of these small pockets of civilization lie more than twenty million acres that make up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These territories are filled with a cornucopia of wild animals like brown bear, moose, caribou, bald eagles and more, its countless freshwater rivers, lakes and estuaries are stocked chock full with fish-- enormous freshwater game fish including sockeye salmon, king salmon, Arctic char and the largest, most colorful rainbow trout on earth.
Catching These Big Fish On A Fly Rod
In a land as vast as Alaska, where’s the best place to fly fish? Take your pick. You can go north to the Brooks Range where bush pilots will fly or chopper you to some of the most remote unspoiled lake country in the world. Or you can head west towards the remote Alaskan Bush--an area that also encompasses more than 380 native villages. One of the more accessible areas to fish Alaska is the Kanai Refuge, or what’s better known to the natives as “Alaska in Miniature” because of its natural beauty and abundance of wildlife. Located in the lower part of the state to the immediate north of the Gulf of Alaska, the mighty Kanai River sports some of the most exciting salmon and trout fishing on the globe. What’s more, it’s accessible by car from Anchorage.
Alaska is all about fishing big, fast flowing rivers which means contracting the services of an expert guide. Why? The answer is twofold. Not only will licensed fly fishing guides lead you to the most productive fishing waters in your selected territory, they also know what it means to fish Alaska safely. This rugged land may be beautiful in its natural splendor, but it can also be deadly for the more uninitiated outdoorsman.