May is my favorite time of year in Ketchikan and one of the reasons for this is the steelhead fishing. After a long winter the land and sea come alive, bursting with activity and one of the best ways to enjoy it is taking a little boat ride to a remote, pristine river near our lodge. You hike a trail and find a fishy looking stretch of water so you cast some steelhead candy up stream and watch your drift.
It’s not a perfect cast and you’re presentation isn’t ideal but you stay with it to see how it will play out. Then you feel the slightest hesitation…the littlest nibble… you lift your tip and WAM, Steelhead on! You chase the fish up and down the river, over a log, under a tree limb, around a rock. Finally the fish lays at your feet in shallow rippling water, gasping for breath and so are you. You reach down, remove the hook and hold her upright in the water until she swims off to continue on her journey. And then you repeat as necessary. After several hook ups and a few landings you can’t believe your luck and neither will any body else because no one is there except maybe a few beaver and a deer. You say to yourself, “this is the best day of my life, why is nobody here”? Welcome to steelhead fishing on a remote river in Southeast Alaska.
We have a pristine river near our lodge for hardcore steelhead fishermen in the spring. A few things that make this river special are it’s remoteness, a catch and release designation and no guides are allowed. This river can only be accessed by boat and our self-guided boats are perfect for making the 20 minute scenic trip through Islands and passages to get to the river.