Float Fishing Alaska
If you have fished Alaska before, there’s an excellent chance that you stayed at a fishing lodge during your trip. You may have flown out daily to fish remote waters. Bush plane trips are exciting and landing on remote lakes and rivers is the ultimate Alaska fishing experience. The fishing is usually good to excellent and the accommodations are awesome. The lodge experience, many would argue is at the very heart of the Alaska fishing experience. It’s certainly the most popular trips that travel agents and Alaska outfitters sell. However, it’s not the only experience available to you, as a lower 48 angler; nor is it necessarily the best experience for all adventure seekers for sure. For a great adventure consider a float trip down an Alaska river.
Let’s say you’re an absolute fishing fanatic and everything else on your Alaska trip is secondary to you. If a truly intimate encounter with the Alaska wilderness is your idea of the ultimate Alaska fishing experience, then think float trip.
On a float trip you can fish all day from isolated sandbars and from a boat floating quietly through the pristine Alaskan wilderness. Imagine fishing while your outfitter sets up camp and prepares dinner. You can cast right up until the food is put on your plate. If you feel so inclined you can even start again after you eat dinner. Fish long enough to experience catching rainbow trout, grayling, dolly varden with a dry fly under the midnight twilight.
Floating Alaska Rivers Slows You Down To Enjoy The Experience
Another advantage of a float trip is the detailed look at a particular river. You can witness a progression of fish species along the way ranging from grayling and trout at the start to any number of salmon species as you approach the deeper pools of the lower river. Above all, you’ll have a true Alaska experience and all for significantly less than you’ll pay for a week’s stay at a fishing lodge.
Make no mistake though a river float in Alaska is not for everyone. Sleeping in a tent is not everyone’s idea of what to do on vacation. Furthermore, you’ll discover on a float trip that things go much smoother if you’re willing to pitch in and lend your outfitter a hand. Lugging things to and from the raft and setting up camp tents, getting firewood then preparing dinner can be exhausting.
Then there are weather problems. I’ve been on floats with such good weather that I returned with a tan that made it look like I had been on a Bahama’s flat, not in Alaska floating a river. I’ve also been on 15-day trips that had only two days of sunshine. On a float trip, there is no lodge to hold up in, there’s nothing you can do about the weather except to dress for it.
So, conduct an honest assessment of yourself. Are you ready to jump right out of your office and spend a week in a tent? Will you be able to take the bugs and the bears? If your answer is yes, then book your next trip to Alaska and enjoy a float trip. In my opinion, it’s the most exciting way to fish in Alaska.
There are, of course, many float trip operators in the state. Here are a few to consider for your next float fishing trip in Alaska.
Raft, Kayak And Guides
Alaska Raft & Kayak – You’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Completing one of Alaska’s rivers can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. For us, it’s the last working man’s escape from the world. Alaska is, simply put, humbling. With these few tips, I hope you can experience all Alaska’s rivers have to offer.
The first thing to consider is the purpose of your float trip. What do you (or your group) want out of this trip? Sightseeing? Fishing or Hunting? What kind of animals do you want to see? Making us aware of all this information can better help us in assisting you.
Next, decide on the number in your party. By adding just one person, you could change all of the logistical planning. Outfitting companies, guides, and airplane services rely on what you tell them to quote accurate prices. We then assign a raft, plane, or guide for your party. We understand changes can occur, just keep us informed.
Frontier River Guides – has established, over many years, a reputation of providing a truly satisfying and enjoyable Alaska fly fishing float trips available. Our niche as a guide service is to offer world-class fly fishing on waters off the beaten path and little known fisheries. A true wilderness experience within some of the best fishing Alaska has to offer without the noise of jet boats or aircraft flying overhead. The Alaska float trips offer you the ultimate in solitude for you and your group. We bring Alaskan spirit to the wilderness. With our Alaska raft fishing trips we spare no expense in bringing resources and expend great efforts to share the beauty and abundance of the northland with our guests. Whether you love fly fishing or prefer to use spinning gear these float trips will provide adventure and great fishing.
Dave Duncan & Sons, Ltd. features base camps that are deluxe tent camps complete with spacious kitchen and dining facilities and a large social gathering tent. The sleeping tents are spacious double occupancy that is dry in any weather. The meals served are excellent complete with homemade bread, fresh garden salads, and quality meats. The base camps even have a hot shower to enjoy at the end of a long day of fishing.
Duncan’s rafts are first rate along with his camping and cooking gear. His guides use no motors to control the rafts, only oars. With no outboards, the serenity of the river is beautiful and the silence allows you to see a variety of wildlife along the way, including Caribou and grizzlies at times. Each day you float from six to 15 miles. You cast to likely holds as you drift along. You also get out to stretch your legs and wade fish all the good spots.
The fishing action is outstanding, starting with dolly varden, arctic char and grayling in the upper stretches supplemented soon by pink and sockeye salmon. By the third day, you enter rainbow trout territory, where the fish average two to five pounds on average but can weigh as much as 14 pounds. Depending on the time of year you go, chinook, chum or silver (coho) salmon dominate the river and the fishing. This happens during the final days of the float nearer to the ocean. The Silvers were an overwhelming favorite among the group. Bright from the sea they put up strong fights with acrobatic displays.
The many different types of water and species available made the Alaska fishing float trip with Dave Duncan & Sons especially awesome. Casting and working big deer hair mouse flies for big rainbows hanging in the sweepers along the shoreline was my favorite part of the trip. Others preferred the silver salmon fishing in the lower reaches and for me, they were a close second for sure.
Meals served on the float were of gourmet quality. Typical entrees were halibut cheeks poached in wine, shrimp and scallops in cream sauce over rice, and prime rib. All meals were accompanied by salads, bread baked along the river and beer and wine. The tents never leaked, despite lots of rainy weather.
Fly Fishing On Your Alaska Float Trip Video