Each summer and fall, anglers travel to The Great Land for a lifetime fishing adventure filled with hulking rainbow trout and tenacious pacific salmon. Many of these anglers arrive at the lodge to find they are significantly under prepared. Lack of preparation can kill the fun on your fishing adventure of a lifetime faster than a brown bear can destroy a garbage can. If you pack by the list below, you will arrive prepared, stay warm, dry, happy and be in the fish all week!
It doesn’t matter that you brought thousands of dollars worth of the finest rods, reels and flies. If you are cold, wet and tired, you can’t fish. Quality clothing is not cheap but, would you shop for a bargain doctor to do brain surgery? Quality fishing clothing will last several years and keep you comfortable in the harshest elements.
Fishing Gear and Equipment-
The species of fish you want to pursue will dictate what fishing gear you need. Separating gear by individual species is the easiest way to calm the madness.
Rainbow Trout/Dolly Varden/Arctic Char-
Arctic Grayling are a terrifically fun fish that eagerly and aggressively take dry flies. The Alagnak River has some of the largest grayling in the state averaging in the high teens with a 20″ grayling not being uncommon. A great grayling rod/reel set up would be any of your favorite dry fly rod/reel set up you would use on your home river. My currently favorite rig for Arctic Grayling is a Stout Bamboo Rodworks 8’4″ 5 weight paired with an Abel Classic reel. 9′ 3X mono leaders and 3X tippet work great.
Salmon will test the limits of your equipment and patience as an angler. It is important not to be under gunned here. Never bring a knife to a gun fight.
Personal Fishing Accessories-
In addition to the list above, you are also going to want some of your standard fishing accessories. Many of the same things you bring with you when you fish on your home river will apply in Alaska too. Nippers, cutters, pliers, etc. One thing I strongly suggest is a chamois cleaning cloth for your glasses and a dry bag of sorts for your extra gear to be stowed safely in the boat.
Common sense prevails in regards to the above list. If you think you may need it and have room for it, pack it. If you question the need, contact me and I will be glad to answer any questions you may have.