Alaska Salmon fishing; five Species of Pacific Salmon run the local rivers by the millions and they are thus available in prolific numbers. One or two species of salmon are available in peak configuration during most weeks of the season (see Yantarni Salmon Camp for September salmon fishing). Some weeks in July offer four or all five species of salmon to be caught. A reasonable expectation for salmon availability can be made as follows:
- Mid-to-late June: King and Chum Salmon. Catch, keep, take fish home possible.
- Late June to mid-July: King, Chum and Sockeye Salmon. Catch, keep, take fish home possible.
- Mid-to-late July: King, Chum and Pink Salmon. Catch, keep, take fish home possible
- August: Silver and Pink Salmon. Catch, keep, take fish home possible.
- September: Silver Salmon available weather dependent due to need to fly east through the Alaska Peninsula Mountains to access streams in peak of salmon run. Catch and release only (During the month of September we have excellent Silver Salmon fishing at our Yantarni Salmon Camp and select streams that are dependent upon good weather for access. It is difficult to transport fresh caught salmon from the streams to our dock due to the need to access Yantarni by a wheeled airplane with limited cargo area or the need to hike into bear populated streams accessible by float planes.)
These five salmon are available on fishing trips throughout the season
Chum, Sockeye, Pink and Silver Salmon are caught by spin or fly fishing on the Naknek River or while wading one of several rivers within 75 miles flying radius of the lodge. Some of Alaska’s finest wild salmon rivers are within easy reach of the lodge and we have developed an exceptional guided salmon fishing program to help you catch them.
Sockeye Salmon average 6-8 pounds with larger fish to 11-plus pounds. Sockeye are the most numerous of the salmon, with numbers in some rivers running in the millions. Sockeye Salmon are best caught on a fly and pound-for-found are the hardest fighting of the salmon and their firm, red meat is the finest for eating. We fish for Sockeye late June through late July and they are available at several different rivers. Some of the best fishing is had on the Naknek River. Best season for Sockeye Salmon fishing: late June through mid-July.
Chum Salmon average 7-9 pounds, with larger fish to 15-plus pounds. Chums are taken on spinning or casting tackle. These hard-fighting fish migrate and hold in large groups. Chum salmon are easily caught while wading shallow water, and can make for very fast action on medium-weight fishing tackle. Chums are an extremely under rated sport fish. They fight pound for pound like a Silver. Please see the Yantarni Salmon Camp page to learn about our affiliated salmon camp on the Alaska Peninsula and some of the best small stream coastal Chum Salmon fishing in the world. Best season for Chum Salmon fishing: Late June through late August.
King Salmon are the largest of the Pacific Salmon, averaging 15-30 pounds, with larger fish up to 50-plus pounds. Kings are fished most effectively with spinning or casting tackle, fishing either the Nushagak or Naknek Rivers. The Nushagak is only 35 miles west of the lodge, and the Nushagak run of Kings is the largest wild King run in the world, with an annual average of 100,000 fish in that river alone. Best seasons for King Salmon fishing: Mid June to Late July.
Pink Salmon average 3-5 pounds with larger fish to 6-plus pounds. Due to a two-year life cycle, their most prolific runs occur on even-numbered years. Pink salmon are aggressive strikers that can be caught on light spinning or fly fishing tackle in large numbers. It’s not unusual to catch 50-100 five-pound fish for a day’s effort. Best season for Pink Salmon fishing: late July through late August.
Silver Salmon average 7-9 pounds with larger fish to 15-plus pounds. They run in shallow water, hold in large groups and readily take the proper fly or lure. Silver salmon run strong and leap high in the air when hooked. Please see the Yantarni Salmon Camp page to learn about our private salmon camp on the Alaska Peninsula and some of the best Silver Salmon fishing in the world. Best season for Silver Salmon fishing: late July through late September. Silver Salmon fishing in September is catch and release only.
Keeping salmon and taking them home
The keeping of salmon is encouraged for those fishing June, July and August who desire to do so subject to State of Alaska daily and total possession limits. Silver Salmon fishing in September is catch and release only.
While not mandatory we do encourage catch and release of female salmon for conservation reasons and the fact that the male salmon have better quality meat and a higher yield of meat per pound. Your guide will assist with identification and the harvest of the best quality salmon.
Guest salmon will be carefully cleaned, vacuum packaged and frozen for shipment home. An airline-approved seafood shipping container is provided for travel of fish as checked baggage.
Due to the high probability of spoilage we do not ship salmon on the behalf of guests. If a guests desire their salmon to be smoked we will refer, arrange then ship their salmon to a reputable processing facility in Anchorage. Please inquire for further details.
Commercially caught and professionally processed Sockeye Salmon fillets are available to any guest at any time of the season in virtually any quantity desired at local wholesale prices if ordered in advance. Please inquire for details.
Just had a wonderful salmon dinner. It's amazing how this packaging keeps it perfect for up to a year... or even more.