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!
Whether you are a fly-fishing aficionado or a spin-fishermen, the Northern Pike fishing on the Innoko River can be 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."
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.
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.
Past clients will remember the iconic Midnight Sun Houseboat. Sadly this was lost to fire with no injuries at the very start of the 2019 season. After considerable investigative work a suitable replacement has been acquired, a custom built aluminium hulled boat designed specifically to navigate the Alaskan waterways. 40 x 14ft and powered by twin 300HP engines, this 'ballistic catamaran' is aptly called 'The Patriot'.
The boat has been designed and kitted out to ensure that a max of 4 anglers each week will have a fantastic and comfortable base from which to enjoy the amazing fishing in the vast area available. The boat has three staterooms, two for the anglers and an additional berth for the boat staff/guides. Each room has twin single beds, reading lamps and storage for clothing and personal items. There is one bathroom providing shower, sink and commode facilities which are shared by all guests. Meals are hot, hardy and homemade. After a long day of fishing, you are met by appetizers and refreshments. Pork loin, roasted chicken, pasta, salmon (when available) and steaks are cooked to your liking. Breakfast is made to order and consists of traditional American offerings. Lunches are large deli style sandwiches that are sure to hit the spot.
The 'Patriot', unlike its predcessor, is admittedly smaller but certainly more stream-lind,significantly faster and more mobile. This will allow unparalleld access to all areas, both the main lower section and the upper drainage which will avoid any lengthy journeys in the skiffs. The Patriot will move around on a regular if not daily basis with the skiffs in tow.
A guide accompanies each pair of anglers using the custom designed skiff's, with a flat casting platform to the front and rear, allowing both anglers to easily cast a fly or lure. The skiffs are powered by 70HP outboards and whilst there it is not necessary to cover a lot of water guides will certainly 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.
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!
Anglers fly into Anchorage where an overnight stop is recommended prior to catching a flight from Anchorage to Holy Cross. On arrival, you will then be collected by lodge staff and shuttled to the docks where the Patriot will be waiting. Once you are onboard and preparations are complete for the week, you will depart directly to the choosen area for the start of your trip.
- Int Flight to Anchorage
- Overnight Anchorage (not included)
- Fly Anchorage -Holy Cross
- Transfer to mooring
- Depart for the weeks fishing on the Patriot
- 6 full days Fishing
- Return to Holy Cross
- Charter flight - Holy Cross-Anchorage
- It is advised not to book flights from Anchorage prior to 9 pm. Alternatively overnight in Anchorage prior to international flight
- Overnight in Anchorage (not included)
Always confirm the schedule before booking international flights
The season runs from June -September
-$6,000/angler (4 anglers/week)
-Charter flight from Anchorage ($500/person TBC)
- Seven (x7) nights.
- Six (x6) days fishing
- All transfers on arrival at the local airport
- All meals.
- A reasonable supply of loan tackle is available.
Price does not include international flights, gratuities, alcoholic drinks or accommodation expenses in Anchorage
Please Note this location is very heavily booked and interested anglers should consider reserving places a full year in advance.
Season: June to Early July
What to expect:
Season:Mid-July to Mid August
What to expect:
Season: End August to September
What to expect:
11Midnight Sun Videos
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