Alaska Packing Guide
Fly fishing in Alaska is a getaway like no other. A truly unique experience that offers you breathtaking views of nature at its finest, exhilarating outdoor excursions and thrilling fishing opportunities. Alaska fly fishing isn’t a vacation—it’s an adventure. And like every great adventurer, your journey starts before you get here. The first step to planning your unforgettable experience is making sure you have everything you need to make the most of it. Take a moment to read through the basics to make sure you have all your bases covered and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Considering the diverse range of Alaska fish, it would be ideal if you could bring multiple weight rods. A 6 wt rod, for instance, is more than capable of tackling pink salmon, but chum salmon would destroy that rod. The larger, more aggressive fish may require up to an 8wt rod. However, it’s not always realistic to bring a range of different rods, so to be safe, assume that many of the fish are average weight. An all-around 6 or 7 wt rod is best, preferably with a fighting butt. Many guests also bring a 4 or 5 wt rod for dry fly fishing and an 8 wt rod for most salmon. While most people bring their own rods and reels, No See Um Lodge does loan equipment at no charge, however, there is a charge for loss or damage.
Lines and Reels
Most rainbow trout can be caught using a floating line, with dry flies, nymphs, egg patters, fry and streamers. A floating line is often used for salmon as well and a mid-weight sink tip works well for early season trout. Any reel will work but one with a good drag seems best for the strong native fish that you will be catching. If you don’t want to worry about which rod you should bring or which reel will work, we will happily loan you the proper equipment at no charge. In addition, we are dealers for Abel and Cheeky Fly Fishing and can also get special pricing on Sage and Redington products.
Don’t forget to bring a set of needle-nose pliers or hemostats, a pair of polarized sun glasses and a waterproof camera to capture the highlights of your experience.
Clothing and Waders
Chest high GORE-TEX waders are a must. Waders are crucial to keeping you safe, warm, and dry in the cold Alaska waters. If you find yourself knee-deep on the shallow banks of a river casting your fly, waders will also protect you from any bites, debris, or sharp rocks. GORE-TEX is generally agreed upon to be the most durable and effective brand of waders. We do have loaner waders and boots but recommend you bring your own.
You will also need wading boots that are thick and sturdy, with good traction, and without felt soles, which are prohibited in Alaska according to state law beginning in 2012. We recommend the Korker’s changeable sole boots with a studded rubber or the new Vibram bottoms. Order your Korkers here for special No See Um Lodge pricing. Cabela’s and Simms are also good brands. If you would rather use full-time studded boots we will have a slip on boot cover that you will need to use.
- Korkers boots – http://www.korkers.com/footwear/fishing.html
- Vibram bottoms – http://www.korkers.com/footwear/soles-accessories/vibram-idrogrip.html
- Studded rubber – http://www.korkers.com/footwear/soles-accessories/studded-kling-on-sticky-rubber-sole.html
If anything is more important than staying as waterproof as possible, it is staying as warm as possible. Certain Alaska waters can reach near-freezing temperatures, and if you’re going after a fish that occupies deep waters, let alone a fish that’s a tough fighter, then you need to prepare to get a little wet. Dress in layers. Polyester underwear and long underwear make a comfortable first layer that you can add to with sweaters, a fleece jacket, and a hooded sweatshirt. A good fishing rain jacket is highly recommended. You should also include Polaroid fishing glasses, and always bring a backpack to carry extra clothes. If you are extremely sensitive to insects, bring a head net or insect repellent. Fingerless gloves and a stocking cap are nice for cold mornings. Around the lodge, dress is always informal.
No See Um Lodge will furnish all of your flies, but you may also want to bring some favorites from home. Keep in mind the wide range of Alaska fish if you are bringing your own flies. In June and July leeches, poppers, wogs, streamers, minnows, dolly llamas, deceivers, shrimp, nymphs, and dry flies are some of the more popular and widely used. Into August and September we switch to egg patterns and flesh flies.
Wine, beer, liquor, sodas and bottled water are furnished at no charge. The fishing lodge has 24 hour 115 volt electricity. There is internet and phone service available for your use at the lodge, however, there is no cell service at the lodge or the areas we fish.
We are eager for your arrival and want to welcome you to the NO SEE UM LODGE, Alaska’s Finest!
President, Pilot & Guide