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.
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.
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.
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 a boat will transfer you to the house-boat. The length of the boat journey will vary but typically 1-1hr 45 mins.
- Int Flight to Anchorage
- Overnight Anchorage (not included)
- Fly Anchorage -Holy Cross
- Transfer to docks
- Shuttle boat to the houseboat
- Assistance will be provided booking domestic flight to Aniak
- Floatplane will transfer guests to local village
- Shuttle boat to Midnight Sun houseboat
- 5 full days Fishing
- Transfer to Holy Cross
- Fly Holy Cross-Anchorage
- Overnight Anchorage (not included)
- It is advised not to book flights from Anchorage prior to 9 pm. Alternatively overnight in Anchorage prior to international flight
Always confirm the schedule before booking international flights
The season runs from June -September
- Midnights Sun House Boat-$4,200 (6 anglers/week)
- Remote Tented Camp-$3,500 (4 anglers/week)
- Return Charter Flight Anchorage -Holy Cross-$450 (TBC)
- Six (x6) nights.
- Five (x5) full days fly-fishing
- Price includes accommodation on arrival at Holy Cross
- All meals.
- A reasonable supply of loan tackle is available.
Price does not include domestic or 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:
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