Both fly and spin equipment are appropriate for the rivers we float, either method can be very successful. We welcome non-fly fishing anglers on our trips and offer basic fly fishing instruction and equipment to those interested in learning more.
Fly Fishing Rods ~ For King Salmon, a 9 to 12 wt rod can be used, however the rod you choose should have plenty of backbone to aid in the landing of these 20 to 60 pound fish. The preferred rod among our guests is a 9 to 9 ½ foot 10 wt rod that is capable of casting heavy wind resistant flies. We have several fly rod and reel combos available for guests use should you not have the heavier tackle necessary for these heavyweight fighters. Sink tip lines such as a Tenny T-400, SA wet tip V or fast sinking shooting heads are excellent for getting your flies down fast to the bottom of the rivers where most king catching is done. You should also include an appropriate floating line as well for shallow water situations. A well constructed, dependable reel with a smooth drag system is a must. The reel should hold at least 200 yards of 30 pound backing. For Chums, Coho, sockeye salmon and big rainbows a 7 to 9 wt rod 9 ½ ft long with the most popular choice being an 9 foot 8 weight rod. Reels should hold at least 150 yards of 20 pound backing with floating and sinking tip lines to match the rod you choose. For Pink salmon, arctic char, grayling and other rainbow the popular choice is a five weight rod 8 to 9 foot with 100 yards of backing but a four or 6 weight will work well also
Fly Reels ~ There are two schools of thought when it comes to fly reels for use in Alaska, with or without a drag. Which system you choose depends on how you perceive the fishing experience. The type of reel you choose however is a personal one, we however strongly suggest that the reel you bring be of sturdy construction as it is going to get a workout. A spare spool is also advisable. If you have to bring just one reel it should at least be able to hold 150 yards of 20 pound backing and have an exposed rim so you can palm the spool as that fish of a lifetime leads you down river
Flies ~ You can make your selection of flies for your Alaska trip as simple or complex as you like. There are hundreds of so called “Alaska” fly patterns to choose from some of which actually resemble something a trout might actually eat. Many however are gaudy creations that fish in Alaska will take at some time or another. This in no way means that your favorite box of flies will not work in Alaska. Bring it along, you may discover that experimental fly from last winter’s session at the tying bench is just the ticket for an incredible day’s fishing. A list of suggested flies is available on our Alaska fly pattern page.
Spin or Casting Rods and Reels ~ If spin or bait casting outfits are your forte’ a medium weight outfit such as that used for steelhead is appropriate. An example of what could be an all around outfit is a medium action rod that can handle 10 to 15 pound line and lure weights from 3/8 to 3/4 ounce with Blue Fox pixies, Mepps spinners and T Spoons being favorites and available from Cabela’s or similar shops. For kings however you will need to up size a bit using a heavy action rod that can handle at least 20 pound line. Some anglers prefer 30 pound line for these tackle busters. An ultra light combo that can handle small spinners is also a great idea to have along for grayling, dollies and smaller char. We do strongly discourage the use of treble hooks, and suggest that you replace these with barbless single hooks one or two sizes larger. This is not only for the well being of the fish, but is required on some of the waters we float. This practice also assures more solid hookups and more fish safely landed. We recommend that you bring at least two rods and reels along with extra spools and line, if something should happen you will have spares.