First Trip to Alaska

ID Bronco

Registered User
Idaho Falls, ID
I was lucky enough to be invited to join a couple of friends of mine and their brothers on a trip to Prince of Wales, Alaska. This was a fly fishing trip almost exclusively.

One of these guys had a hookup for us with a place to stay and he had spent quite a bit of time learning the salmon runs and river systems on the Island. Some of you may know him if you are familiar with SFW in Utah. This is a huge Island. There are streams everywhere you look, but they are way different than what I am used to out west here. The rivers are very affected by the tide. Fishing Salmon rather than trout is a different deal too. Fish are fish and they have similar habits but learning the specifics of salmon would have been tough without Troy's help.

One of the members of our group got Covid the day he was supposed to leave so we missed having him with us. It was a huge bummer for him and for us.

As we were flying into Ketchikan I realize I was in a place I would love. Look at this remote area, that makes me happy.


It is a grind to get there. Fly to Seattle, then to Ketchikan, then a ferry ride for 3 hours to the island. Then we had an hour and a half drive to the northern part of the Island where we stayed.

When we speak about Alaska most folks think of cold, snowy tundra. POW however is much different. It is at sea level so it was between 50 and 60 degrees the entire time we were there. That was a nice change from the heat we have had here. This is more rain forest than frozen tundra. It also has a very large population of black bears. It is thick so access is tough on the river system. There is a good road system because of logging, so we were able to get to some great spots.


Here is the first Salmon I've ever caught, It is a Pink.
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We chose to go when there were more species in the river system at one time. Most people go when the silvers or kings are on because they taste the best. We are there for the sport of it, not the fillets. So we went when the Chums, Pinks and possible Silvers here and there. Most of the fish are about the same size because they live in the ocean for a few years and then come into the rivers to spawn. That is very different than it is with trout.

Here are a few cool shots of fish we caught and things we saw:




These are Chum or what we affectionately call a Dogs. One bit me, the teeth are crazy sharp. Usually 8-15 lbs. They fight like crazy, acrobatic and STRONG.



We only caught one silver on the rivers. They just hadn't started to run yet. I got lucky. He was delicious too!


We saw 13 bears, about 12 humpback whales and caught Chums, Pinks, Silvers, Halibut, Pacific Cod, Black Cod, Flounder, Sculpins, Rainbow Trout, Cutthrout Trout and Dolly Vardens!

ID Bronco

Registered User
Idaho Falls, ID
Here are a few more pics that were cool. It was a great bonding time for us, and we laughed like crazy. It was pretty rainy but the sun came out when we hit the ocean and that made it really nice. It is a beautiful place I will visit many more times. I am very thankful that I got the invitation to go. It was amazing.

Most of the bear encounters were close. There is plenty of food for them, both berries and salmon so they weren't very aggressive. We were 10 yards away a few times. It is magical to watch one catch a salmon and eat it right on the river bank.






Registered User
I haven't been inland on Prince of Whales, but done a couple fishing trips off the NW corner- all self guided ocean.

But anywhere in Alaska is well worth the time.


But stuck more often.
My Alaska fishing trips (ocean guided boats) has ruined all Utah fishing for me. Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Growing up in Alaska completely killed my desire to fish when I moved here. My boss has a nice picture of an 18" rainbow he caught here in Utah, hanging on his wall. I like to brag about the 32" 'bow I caught on the Kenai River whenever I see his picture.