Fly Fishing the Situk River ~ Alaska
The Situk River near Yakutat is without doubt the most famous steelhead river in the entire state of Alaska. Although this waterway is tucked deep into the Alaskan bush, the ease of getting there is remarkable. The first time I fished here I didn’t know whether to be more impressed with this fact, or with the giant fish I was catching. After spending the night in Seattle and catching an 8:00 A.M. flight, I found myself releasing an incredibly beautiful 37 inch, 18 pound steelhead before lunch.
Sure we have steelhead much closer to home. They run upstream from the Great Lakes into the small rivers of New York, Pennsylvania and several other states in the mid-west. But Alaskan steelhead are admittedly hard to compete with when you consider the gauntlet of salmon sharks, seals, and bears they have to survive just to be able to get to the spawning grounds. Their cousins in the lower 48 might be considered “cream puffs” in this regard. Since “only the strong survive” in Alaska this might be the why these fish in the Situk River seem like an atom bomb going off in your hands when one is on the end of your line.
The last official fish census taken by the State of Alaska had the Situk River holding almost one thousand steelhead per mile. Nowhere else is it possible to see large schools of 20 pound plus fish holding in soft riffles. Hooking a 30 pound steelhead is not a rare occurrence here, but landing one is. These mammoths are incredibly hot and put on quite a show when they cartwheel across the river while sending you deep into your backing. I can think of nothing more addicting for a fisherman.
If you think you are up to the challenge of fighting this kind of fish check out our Destination Alaska page, call toll free 877-450-3474, email us, or visit any one of our 3 fly shops and we would be happy to discuss this trip of a lifetime.