Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak, Katmai National Park, Brooks Camp
This sample five-day excursion to Kodiak Island and Katmai National Park & Preserve in Southwest Alaska offers unparalleled fishing in lush, remote surroundings away from the crowds.
Day 1 — Anchorage to Kodiak Island
Take a commercial jet from Anchorage to Homer, a 40-minute flight. Once in Homer, board the Alaska Ferry for the 10-hour ride to lush and green Kodiak Island. Remember, the journey is part of the fun. You can ride an all-day ferry and view seabird rookeries, otters and porpoises splashing alongside the boat, and majestic volcano views, or rent a cabin space on board the vessel for the once-a-week overnight service, or fly commercially daily to Kodiak from Anchorage.
Either way you’ll arrive in Kodiak town where you can base your fishing excursion.
Day 2 — Kodiak Island
Spend the day fishing the island’s best holes. Hiring a guide is the easiest way to experience fishing here, as local operators will not only have all the gear you need but also know all the best fishing spots in the area. They’ll help you stay “bear aware,” because where there are salmon, there are sure to be bears – and Kodiak’s massive brown bears are the largest in the world. Salt water fishing charters are also a popular option.
Kodiak is the second largest island in the U.S., only behind Hawaii. If you’re fishing without a guide, you’ll want to rent a car to reach the rich estuaries and beaches where salmon are abundant in late June and early July.
Day 3 — Katmai National Park
Travel across the mountains and sea by chartered floatplane between Kodiak Island and Katmai National Park. The hub of activity in Katmai is Brooks Camp; rent a cabin or set up a tent inside the bear-safe electric fence. Both the cabins and campsites book up early in the year, so be sure to plan ahead.
Brooks Falls, a short walk away from Brooks Camp, is home to the iconic waterfall where grizzly bears snap salmon as they jump upstream. You can cast your fly within sight of the falls, though bears have the right of way here.
Many travelers opt for an all-inclusive package, which will include the gear you need. There’s a small store that sells fishing essentials, but you may wish to consider bringing your own or renting gear in Anchorage.
Day 4 — Katmai National Park
Spend another day enjoying the adrenaline rush of sharing a river with grizzly bears, or push deeper into Katmai for a more remote experience. Besides salmon, you can fly fish for the abundant rainbow trout in the park’s many large lakes.
Enjoy your final evening swapping fish tales with other travelers as you warm yourself next to the large stone fireplace at Brooks Lodge.
Day 5 — Katmai – Anchorage
You can catch a chartered flight directly from Brooks Camp to Anchorage, or you can charter a small plane into King Salmon, from where you can catch a commercial flight on to Anchorage.
Note: A fishing license is required for visitors 16 years of age or older, and for residents between the age of 16 and 59. Licenses can be purchased online or at most sporting goods or groceries stores in Alaska. Prices vary according to length of stay and species fished.