The Last Fishing Frontier

Chasing Salmon on the Alaskan Peninsula
By Gary Laden for Quest Global Angling Adventures

At 26,000 feet, the cabin window of the wide-bodied jet offered an elegant frame for the picturesque scenery below. Majestic snow-capped mountains and sparkling glaciers were visible as far as the eye could see and dozens of rivers etched their way across the treeless landscape below. We were flying over Alaska, on our way to the fishing village of King Salmon. With a population of 375 during the off-season, and about 1,000 during the summer salmon and tourist season, this isolated hamlet on the Alaskan Peninsula counts as something of a major metropolis in the Land of the Midnight Sun. It is 350 miles from Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, and many roadless miles in any direction from the tiny native villages that share the shores of Bristol Bay in southwestern Alaska.

After hearing glowing reports from friends who had fished the bountiful waters around King Salmon for years, I decided last summer to experience the region myself. King Salmon serves as the gateway to the Katmai National Park, a stunning destination that encompasses more than 3.7 million acres in southern Alaska, and has quick access to several world-class rivers for fishing silver salmon, king salmon, sockeye salmon and rainbow trout. I planned my visit to coincide with the silver run on the Naknek River in early August, and I was able to choose from a number of excellent lodges and camps in King Salmon which service the summer influx of fishermen and park visitors.

Special thanks to Quest! Global Angling Adventures for providing this information.

Gary Laden is an editor for America Online's Fishing Broadcast Network . He is a freelance angling writer and photographer. He is published in many of America's leading fishing publications. He is a contributing editor to the IGFA World Record Book . He was the former fishing editor of the Atlanta Journal - Constitution newspapers.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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