There are countless reasons of why I love fly fishing. It allows you to meet amazing people, and go to amazing places to see Mother Nature do her finest work. It’s a hobby that opens so many doors for those who are truly passionate about it. Just through posting fishing pictures on social media, I have made new connections to people who share my love of the sport. Some of these people I can meet with in person, and some live on the other side of the country. Some are now my closest friends who fish with me and share stories from their state.
Luckily for me, I get to exercise my passion for fly fishing in the great state of Alaska, which is home to thousands and thousands of rivers, creeks, lakes, mountain ranges, animal species, and fish species. You name it: Alaska has it.
Being a young, female angler is something I take pride in. At 19 years old, I still have so much to learn about the sport. And, in my opinion, you can never learn enough about fly fishing, whether you’re 19 or 90. I have been fishing for as long as I can remember, (even caught my first silver salmon when I was three years old) however, I just started fly fishing when I was about 16 years old.
I am fortunate to have a father and a boyfriend who are both amazing at helping me learn the ropes. I really wouldn’t be where I am today, with this hobby, if it wasn’t for them. Honestly, only having three years of experience with fly fishing really doesn’t seem like that much, but once you get the hang of the basics, everything else comes naturally. Plus, it is very motivating and rewarding to land a huge, wild Alaskan rainbow trout!
I’ve heard people say that they have only fished Alaska in their dreams, and that it’s the trip of a lifetime to fish Alaska’s famous creeks and rivers. It’s true … Alaska’s waters really are that amazing. If you know what you’re doing and you have the time, it is easy to catch and release over 400 fish in a week during the peak season. Hard to believe, right?
Sure, Alaska can be cold and rough through the winters, and you have to be dedicated to wade in below-zero-degree weather. Fishing in Alaska is open year round, so if you’re up for it, those 28-inch rainbows are waiting for you underneath a frozen layer of the river!
In my experience, my favorite time to fish in Alaska is during the spawning seasons. Fishing at this time of year is very fast paced … so be ready!
The trout and char love to feed on salmon eggs. So when the salmon are spawning in the late summer/early fall, the trout will sit right behind them and eat the eggs that float down from the salmon. This is perfect for the fly fisherman, because the trout and char get those eggs confused with a painted bead on a hook, since both look oh-so-tasty.
It can be tricky though, the fish will notice the slightest change in color of the bead in comparison to the actual eggs. The bead colors can vary from day to day … possibly even hour to hour. Once you find that perfect shade, catching 10 fish in 10 casts is a breeze.
Fishing in Alaska really is all that people make it out to be. Standing in the water and being surrounded by hundreds of spawning red salmon and catching a fish on every cast is such a thrill that I hope every angler gets to experience it someday. Just watch out for the bears!