Fishing in Southern Alaska

fishing lodges in ketchikan alaska

Southcentral Alaska

The Southcentral region is perhaps Alaska ‘s best known region. Most of the state’s inhabitants have settled here, primarily around Anchorage. Southcentral Alaska is a diverse region which boasts a rugged coastline replete with tranquil bays, icy fields, natural gas and oil fields, glaciers, streams, lakes and more. 

Southcentral Alaska’s climate is considered mild, compared to the rest of the state. Temperatures are moderated by the warm water coming off of the Gulf of Alaska, and the freezing north winds are largely dissipated by the Alaska mountain ranges. Precipitation in Southcentral Alaska isn’t as plentiful as in Southeast Alaska, but snow is more abundant in the winter months, (the city of Valdez averages around twenty five feet of snow per year!) and the days are generally clearer. 

Visitors to Southcentral Alaska should make every effort to tour the Kenai Fjords National Park. The Kenai Fjords National Park lies west and south of Seward. The Kenai Fjords National Park encompasses 587,000 acres, or 917 square miles, of the mountainous Kenai Peninsula. It was a trailhead for miners and suppliers heading up the Iditarod Trail to the Interior gold fields. The awe-inspiring glaciers are only a fraction of the things to experience in the Kenai Fjords National Park. Kenai Fjords National Park is heaven for those who enjoy kayaking. Kayakers can slip into coves where glaciers calve (split), cruise alongside humpback whales and killer whales, or watch the sea otters play. There are plenty of places to camp, many of them maintained by the U.S. forest service. Just be sure you bring lots of film! 

Anchorage is the largest city in the Southcentral region, and the largest in the state. From its humble beginnings as a railroad construction camp in 1914, Anchorage has grown to be the largest city in Alaska, and the gateway to many of Alaska’s most popular locations. Anchorage is nestled between Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains. The population of Anchorage’s municipality is roughly 270,000. With the advent of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, Anchorage boomed, becoming the most prominent city in the state. Annexations in the 1970’s brought in the communities of Chugiak, Birchwood, Eagle River, Eklutna and Girdwood. The state’s best shopping can be found here, alongside cultural museums and exhibits. Other events of note include the Ship Creek King Salmon Derby, Great Alaska Shootout, and the world-famous Iditarod Dog Sled Race. 

Alaska’s Interior 
fly fishing in alaskaThe interior of Alaska can be considered as the hub of the state. From here, one finds one’s self in the heart of the rugged Alaskan wilderness, with all the amenities modern comfort can provide. Read on for more information about Alaska’s Interior. 

The Interior’s climate is constantly undergoing rapid swings in temperature. Immense thunderstorms and rain are not uncommon. Here in the Interior, it is quite possible to have snow in the summertime, due to the occasional freak weather storm. During winter the temperature can drop to sixty below zero, and summer temperatures can exceed ninety degrees. Gold mining, which was the driving force behind the settlement of Alaska during the nineteenth century, is still an exciting and popular activity. This is especially true of Fairbanks, which is a site of continued interest in gold mining. The Yukon River makes its way through the heart of the Interior from Canada, westward to the Bering Sea. Every year, millions of waterfowl make their homes in the run off and drainage of the Yukon and its tributaries. 

One of the interiors biggest attractions is Denali National Park. Created in 1917, the park was originally named McKinley National Park. Denali National Park covers a good portion of the Alaska Range. The park entrance lies about 240 miles north of Anchorage, and about 140 south of Fairbanks. Denali National Park is home to the famous Mount McKinley, which towers 23,230 feet above sea level. Mount McKinley is the tallest peak to be found in America. Denali National Park covers around six millions acres, and usually entertains 300,000 to 400,000 visitors. There is an incredible amount of wildlife to see in Denali National Park, including bears, mouse, caribou, wolves, golden eagles, jaegers and other animals that have made their home in the Alaskan tundra. Visitors to Denali National Park can enjoy such activities as hiking, fishing, camping, rafting, biking, mountain climbing, and sled dog demonstrations. 

About 110 miles south of the Arctic Circle lay Fairbanks, the Interior’s largest city. Founded in 1902, Fairbanks was a major trading post and jumping-off point for miners who were developing the Interior fields. The trans-Alaska oil pipeline runs just east of Fairbanks; one of north America’s engineering marvels. Expect to see the best of the modern and gold-rush era on display in Fairbanks- from the museums to the old riverboats, Fairbanks offers the best of both worlds. Have fun fishing, hiking, panning for gold, riding riverboats, attending fairs, playing midnight baseball, and touring the area by train. Other activities of interest include the Open North American Championship Sled Dog Race, World Ice Art Championships, Iron Dog snowmobile race and more.