TROPHY NORTHERN PIKE FISHING IN ALASKA

Fly-Fishing & Spinning for Northern Pike & Sheefish –Midnight Sun Adventures

Pat Ford
"In our 4 1/2 days fishing, the six of us aboard the boat probably caught more than 1,500 pike, with everyone catching several fish over 40 inches"
- Pat Ford –Fly Rod & Reel Magazine
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Alaska is famed for its majestic mountains, vast wilderness and huge Salmon runs which rightly draw anglers from the furthest corners of the world. Overlooked in the pursuit of the ‘King of Fish’ is the incredible fishing for Northern Pike. Western Alaska has no equal when it comes to Trophy Northern Pike with fish ranging from twenty to thirty-five pounds, many of which are more than forty inches. The occasional monster lurks weighing as much as forty pounds with lengths exceeding fifty-four inches!

Fishing for Pike

Whether you are a fly-fishing aficionado or a spin-fishermen, the Northern Pike fishing on the Innoko River is simply off the charts. The numbers of fish that an angler might catch on a typical week really does not bare comparison. It is however the opportunities for truly huge Pike where the Innoko stands apart and is the allure that draws anglers back year after year. Many of the biggest fish are caught yards from the river-bank in as little as 1ft of water where the full explosive strike of a monster pike can be seen in all its glory. As any Pike fishermen will testify, to be able to catch a Pike on a surface lure is exhilarating; to catch a 30lb Pike is this manner is pure adrenaline.

"On our last trip my friend Larry Suiter and I caught 247 pike in 5 days, with four at 47 inches, a 48incher, 48.7 incher and 49 incher. That’s roughly 50 pike a day/boat." –Chris Battin-Western Outdoors Magazine.
To get a feel for what the fishing can be like view the Magazine Reports & Video Page

Monster Pike-Tamed Monster Pike-Untamed
Monster Pike-Tamed and Untamed!!

Fishing for Sheefish

Often referred to as the “Tarpon of the North” this hard-hitting, fast moving, chrome marauder is only found in a few rivers in Alaska but are plentiful in the Innoko drainage throughout June and July. Sheefish average from eight to twelve pounds but are capable of reaching weights in the forty pound range: they are a freshwater sportfish to rival their saltwater twins! All through the summer Sheefish migrate in schools up river and when located it is possible for anglers to hook 20 or 30 in one non-stop round of fast and furious sport. Very aggressive, Sheefish are not picky customers, and will hit almost any fly or lure presented in their path.

A very large Sheefish
The 'Tarpon of the North' – A very large Sheefish; formidable opponents on a fly rod or spinning gear

Location & Environment

The area fished is part of the Yukon drainage with the Midnight Sun House boat being based on the Innoko River. Anglers will explore not only along the length of the river but the vast interconnected array of oxbows, lakes and sloughs that form part of the drainage. Not only are the numbers of Pike astounding but the size is exceptional and in part can be explained due to the runs of Pacific Salmon which provide an abundant source of food for the entire ecosystem, quite unlike any other similar fishery, whether it be in Canada, Russia or Scandinavia.

During the season the Pike migrate from one area to another, moving from wintering holes to wherever the feeding prospects are optimal. These fish are by no means confined to a single location: tagging and tracking programmes recorded one fish travelling 243 miles over an eight month period! Wildlife in the area is abundant and it is common to see black bears hunting Pike in the shallows whilst moose graze nonchalantly as anglers approach.

Innoko River drainage The Midnight Sun houseboat
Vast tracks of unfished wilderness typify the Innoko River drainage – The Midnight Sun houseboat

Accommodation - Midnight Sun House boat

Anglers are accommodated in a beautiful and well-maintained 67 x 16 ft houseboat-The Midnight Sun. The boat has three staterooms, each sleeping two guests as well as a large lounge and dining area with ample room to stretch out after a days fishing. The upper deck is fully screened providing an insect free zone to relax and watch the midnight sun. Fully mobile the boat moves up and down the entire drainage throughout the season ensuring that groups of anglers are never over-fishing an area.

Guides & Boats

A guide accompanies each pair of anglers using a custom designed skiff with flat casting platforms to the front and rear allowing both anglers to easily cast a fly or lure. The skiffs are powered by 50HP outboards and whilst there it is not necessary to cover a lot of water guides will go any distance to find the best location, whether it be size or numbers of fish that you are looking to catch. Fishing is conducted both from skiffs and from the banks/wading as is appropriate to the area being fished.

Fast custom built Skiffs Guides discussing tactics
Fast custom built Skiffs to cover the area - Guides discussing tactics

Tent Camps

The sheer size of the Yukon drainage means that it is possible to locate camps in areas where the fish have rarely or never seen another fly or lure. To take advantage of the huge expanse of water for the more adventurous there is the option of a staying at a guided tent camp. The camp is moved every two weeks to ensure that no area is ever over-fished (if such a term can be used in this context). Large cabin tents with cots are provided for each pair of anglers. The cots ensure that no mud will get in your way of a perfect nights sleep by the river. Meals of equal quality to the houseboat including steaks are cooked and served in a screened-in tent with dining table and a hot shower is on hand to clean off before sitting down to a nice warm fire. Sleep peacefully at night to the sounds of nature or take full advantage of the 24 hr daylight!

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Best Time To Go

The table below is indicative of what species you might expect to catch during the various seasons of the year.

Season What To Expect
June - Early July
  • Highest numbers of fish caught during this season.
  • The pike are coming out of their post spawn sulk and are feeding heavily.
  • Warm temps and high insect activity are normal over this period.
  • High water can be a variable during this time of year.
Mid July-Mid August
  • Stable water levels, variable weather conditions.
  • Solid girth measurements, the pike have great strength.
  • Fish activity directly correlates to weather conditions.
  • Most consistent fishing season
End August-September
  • Largest fish of the season are typically caught this time of year.
  • Fewer numbers of fish are caught but usually large.
  • Cold-water temps can make the fish less active in the morning.
  • Dropping water levels can move fish to deeper wintering holes.
  • Duck hunting can be amazing.
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How to Get to Midnight Sun

Anglers fly into Anchorage where an overnight stop is recommended prior to catching the daily flight from Anchorage to Aniak on the banks of the Kuskokwim River. You will then be collected by lodge staff and shuttled to a floatplane a couple of blocks from the terminal building. The floatplane trip takes from 30 minutes to one hour depending upon the location of the houseboat on the river system.

Typical Itinerary

Date Activity Remarks
Friday Int Flight to Anchorage -Overnight Anchorage as per your schedule
Saturday -Anchorage -Aniak
-Floatplane – Local area
-Shuttle boat to Lodge
-Assistance will be provided booking domestic flight to Aniak
-Floatplane will transfer guests to local village
-Shuttle boat to Midnight Sun houseboat
Sun-Thur 5 full days Fishing All timings/schedules as arranged with lodge staff
Friday -Floatplane - Aniak
-Aniak-Anchorage
-Depart Alaska
-It is advised not to book flights from Anchorage prior to 9pm. Alternatively overnight in Anchorage prior to return trip

Availability and Pricing for the 2018 Season

Please Noite this location is almost fully booked for 2018.   Guests should considering reserving places for 2019 if they are interested.

Season: The season runs from June -September
Rate:
  • Midnights Sun House Boat-$4,200 (6 anglers/week)
  • Remote Tented Camp-$3,500 (4 anglers/week)
  • Return Charter Flight Anchorage -Aniak-$450
Package Includes:
  • Six (x6) nights.
  • Five (x5) full days fly-fishing
  • Price includes accommodation on arrival at Aniak
  • Includes transportation from Terrace Airport.
  • All meals.
  • A reasonable supply of loan tackle is available.
Note: Price does not include gratuities, alcoholic drinks or accommodation expenses in Anchorage

If you would like to know more about this trip, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Justin Maxwell-Stuart with a Sea Trout from the Rio Gallegos River Justin Maxwell-Stuart

Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
Fax: +44 (0)20 7352 0942
E-mail: justin@wherewisemenfish.com
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If you would prefer to speak to us directly regarding a trip to Alaska, please contact us at the following:

United Kingdom Office:
Justin Maxwell-Stuart
Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
Fax: +44 (0)20 7352 0942
justin@wherewisemenfish.com

United States Office:

US Country Code: +1
Telephone: 646 797 2945
info@wherewisemenfish.com

 

Or alternatively email us via our Booking Enquiries Form to request more information.

 
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