Fishing in Alaska

Here are five questions (and answers) I get asked all the time about fishing in Alaska. I’ve been in Alaska for 50 years and running my own fishing lodge for over 40, so chances are my answers are better than Google’s.

What’s the weather like in Alaska?

Is it global warming or global cooling or just change?  Now, I promise I won’t get too political, but let’s take a brief moment for a story:

In my early days, I was drilling on the North Slope for an oil exploration crew and not 50 feet deep we found cedar wood. There wasn’t a tree within 100 miles, let alone cedar. The closest cedar to the North Slope is at least 1000 miles away. Global cooling took a big hike south thousands of years ago, and in a big hurry. At least that’s my theory, for what it’s worth!

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled program…

Weather: Expect anything. July and August in Alaska can see extremes. This past summer it was common to see temperatures in the 80’s. But the summer prior we saw lots of rain and cooler temperatures. Just come prepared for both, and don’t forget about those dreaded bugs. There’s a reason people don’t flock to the northern climates– but bugs, cold, and remoteness preserve our wilderness and keep our fishing great. So just bring a mosquito head net if that works for you, or at the least mosquito spray.

What kind of gear should I bring?

Don’t be a tight wad. Bring good quality gear. I used to say bring good American products, but nothing much in clothing is made here anymore, so the price and the US company backing their products usually means quality. Take a shower in your new rain gear before you head to Alaska and make sure you stay dry. On a rainy day in Alaska you want to be sure you are enjoying the fishing and not on the verge of hypothermia. Polarized sunglasses are also a must for spotting fish and keeping that stray fly out of your eyeballs. Most guides don’t double as eye surgeons.

What should I pack my gear in?

All Alaskan fly out lodges are off the road systems which means you have to fly in a small aircraft from an Alaskan city to the lodge. This means DON’T pack anything extra, or bring anything you don’t need while you’re fishing because space and weight is limited. Pack in a soft duffle rather than a hard case, something that’s malleable and can be stuffed into the back of a small aircraft.

Bring a day pack for all your layers. August is Alaska’s fall and clear August nights can mean freezing temperatures in the early mornings, but long sunlight days bring the temperatures up to a pleasant 60F. If it’s raining, temperatures can be in the low 50’s or high 40’s. What I’m trying to say is its best to dress in layers and bring a day pack to stuff those layers into. And please, for heaven sake, don’t bring a winter parka…please…

What are the accommodations like?

Guest Cabin Exterior - Talaheim Fishing Lodge

Most great Alaskan Lodges are first class. What you don’t bring, they’ll have. If you go to Russia, the fishing might be great but bring your own toilet tissue unless you like wiping your hind end with sand paper. I see travel agents advertising Russia as what Alaska used to be 50 years ago.  Well, 50 years ago you could have enjoyed outhouses, food that barely keeps you alive, and guides with only half their teeth. (Sorry, I digress.)

In the past 40 years Talaheim lodge has evolved into to a full-service luxury Alaskan fishing lodge that caters to fly fishermen from all over the world. Talaheim Lodge and adjoining buildings may all be constructed from local logs and timbers from our on-site sawmill, but each guest cabin has full modern conveniences. Which means NO OUTHOUSES OR SANDPAPER TOILET TISSUE!!

Should I bring my wife?

Talahiem Lodge Fishing Lunch

Wives that enjoy fishing should accompany their husbands to Alaska. However, choose the right fishing lodge. Wives usually prefer comfort, great foods, modern conveniences and a homey atmosphere. (Hell, husbands enjoy these things too!) I suggest you don’t bring your lady to a lodge that takes 24 guests at a time, as you’ll probably be sharing the establishment with bar drinking, joke telling, cigar smoking men.

Often I get the question: I’d like to bring my non-fishing wife. Here’s the problem with that– most of the best fishing lodges are in a remote area and don’t have much to do besides fish. Hanging around the lodge for six full days reading a book can get tiring, and taking long walks through the wilderness might put your wife on the wrong end of the food chain.

We often get wives that accompany their husbands on the river each day and instead of fishing, take great photos. And just in case you’re wondering (cause yes I get this question too!) whether your wife fishes or doesn’t, the cost of the trip is usually the same.

Also – don’t bring young children unless they enjoy fishing and all the adventure of being in the wilds. And if you do bring them, choose a smaller more family run business.

 Should I visit Alaska’s Talaheim Lodge?


Talaheim Arial

Well, the answer to that question is always yes! Our Alaskan Talaheim fishing lodge is owned and operated by me, a 50-year Alaskan with more stories than I know what to do with.

We are a family run business offering great family style meals served with lots of history and Alaskan adventure tales, along with stellar fishing knowledge which we’ve earned from our 40 years+ in the business.

We’ve got more fishing info than you’ll find on Google, so if you have any other questions about your Alaskan fishing trip, just give us a holler.