Arctic Grayling Fishing in Alaska

Fishing near Fairbanks is Pure, Pristine, Sacred

Arctic grayling are among the most handsome fish to see in person, especially on the end of your lightweight fly line in the pristine, pure waterways of central Alaska. Forrest Fisher Photo

There are some places where adventure into the outdoors is beyond the realm of imagination, Alaska is one of those places.

While many people head to Alaska to take an adventure cruise, catch giant Halibut in the saltwater, or simply see glaciers, Alaska also offers some of the most spectacular freshwater fly-fishing for a myriad of species.

When we visited there just a few years ago, finding the next best fishing spot in the world was as easy as stopping the truck alongside a meandering stream and taking out your fly rod. There were other options that can also offer more excitement, like renting an all-expense included trip via a charter service or float plane, where certified Alaskan guides will open the door for you to take your next cast to a honey hole that no one else may ever find.

There are so many lakes and streams in Alaska that there are probably quite a number of secret fishing holes and most of them are filled with quite a few different species of fish that most of us can easily catch. One of the big questions for most visitors is deciding what to fish for, there are so many species! The next big question is where to fish and where to stay for non-Alaskan visitors like we were.

There are very luxurious hotels with bonus accommodation amenities and there are many more rustic lodge type facilities. Either way, you and Mother Nature will make great friends. The type of rental housing is just another decision that once-in-while visitors to Alaska, like us, have to think about.

Wherever those accommodations might be, you are sure to find fresh air, exhilarating views and unspoiled wilderness. During our last 2-week visit, there were several times I simply took out a folding chair and sat there for an hour, realizing that I was experiencing a trip of a lifetime. It eventually registered that the view we had at the moment was probably a view that no one else might have ever seen, there is so much remoteness.

My better half and I enjoyed easy fishing fun by fly casting lightweight leaders on #4 floating fly lines for Arctic Grayling during a good part of the trip. We used a guide service to learn the ropes a bit at first, then stopped and tried it on our own. Best part was the feeling that we could be successful with little training. Fun? Yes, unforgettable fun!

One of the remote areas not far from Fairbanks, Alaska, we conducted a road trip to fish the Chena River after being trained by a local guide, Reinhard Neuhauser, Alaska Fishing & Raft Adventures (website:, e-mail: Forrest Fisher Photo

We flew into Fairbanks and rented a vehicle. Our plan was to learn more about the unspoiled spirit of the terrain and nature treasures to be found in this culture of the Alaskan wilds – as long as we were traveling where there was a road. That was our one prerequisite. Traveling by road vehicle from place to place, my wife and I felt a primordial connection to the dimension we came to realize about this special land. We felt as if we had come to learn a place of new reverence with unspoiled landscapes. There was a fresh developing sanctity for this place called Alaska.

Wherever we cast a line, we found unspoiled adventure. One thing for sure, you will discover that even with just one trip, the journey will linger as memories of sacred vision to reflect on.

Fish, hunt or just visit with a camera, we plan to spend more time in Alaska in the near future. For a quick look at a simple fishing experience to be found there, we found this link to help share what Alaska is all about:

Plan ahead, make a few calls, then do it. Life is too short!