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Fishing in Southeast Alaska

Being that Alaska’s Rainforest Islands are in fact islands surrounded by some of earth’s most fertile waters, fishing is a big deal here.

Exceptional saltwater fishing is available throughout Alaska’s Rainforest Islands. All five species of salmon; King, Sockeye, Coho, Chum, and Pink, are seasonally abundant. In addition, other bottom species like halibut (some the size of barn doors) and lingcod (as big as your poodle) flourish.

Choose a daylong charter boat trip or book a week of fishing and luxury at a wilderness lodge. Either way, your chances of an adrenaline rush and yelling “fish on!” are excellent! Be sure and check our event calendar for local King salmon or halibut fishing derbies held throughout Alaska’s Rainforest Islands in the spring and summer months.

For freshwater enthusiasts, thousands of island streams and lakes, many of them located on the Tongass National Forest, offer the chance to land steelhead and cutthroat trout or a spawning salmon on your favorite fly or spin rod. The Tongass National Forest is one of the few remaining places where wild salmon and trout continue to thrive. Within Alaska’s Rainforest Islands, you can choose to try your luck solo or find the sweet spot with a local guide. Sky’s the limit.

Fishing in Southeast Alaska

Thorne River Fishing – Prince of Wales Island

The Thorne River system on Prince of Wales Island is considered to be one of the premier fishing systems in Alaska’s Rainforest Islands. Fishermen start arriving for returns of steelhead and world-class, sea-run cutthroat trout starting in early spring. As summer progresses, each month features massive runs of spawning Chum, Sockeye, Pink and Silver salmon, respectively. Because of its reputation as an excellent fishing ecosystem, you’ll find all kinds of guided fishing outfitters as well as fishing lodges. If renting a vehicle and finding your own spot is more appealing, the Thorne River can be quite accessible. Find details on licenses and other regulations.

Southeast Alaska Salmon Derby

Salmon Derby!

Enter one of the local southeast Alaska salmon derbies and vie for cash and prizes. The annual Wrangell King Salmon Derby is held mid-May through mid-June with more than $30,000 in cash and prizes. The Petersburg King Salmon Derby lasts only 4 days and offers upwards of $30,000 in prize money. On Prince of Wales Island, the communities of Klawock and Craig combine to offer two King Salmon Derbies in the summer. Each offers cash prizes and a grand prize drawing of $10,000. Check the calendar for more information on each of these derbies.

Blind River Rapids Fishing

Located approximately 14 miles south of downtown Petersburg, Blind River Rapids is a popular spot of in-stream fishing for king salmon, coho salmon and pink salmon. The stream is easily accessible via a quarter-mile boardwalk trail built and maintained by the US Forest Service. Be sure to check with the local Alaska Fish & Game office for information on seasonal closures and other fishing restrictions.  Find details on licenses and other regulations.