Our Alaska FAQ List-Planning Your Alaska Fishing Trip
- What Documents Should I Bring?
- What should I bring—my packing list?
- Are there baggage restrictions on float planes or regional airlines?
- Do I need travel insurance?
Arrival In Alaska
At Your Lodge
- Is there Wi Fi?
- Are there appliances and televisions in the rooms (hair dryers, phones, safes, irons)?
- Will my cell phone work?
- What kinds of fish will I catch?
- When is the best time to catch fish?
- How do gratuities work?
- How many people fish on a boat?
- What are the fish limits?
- How many boats fish in the lodge area?
- What wildlife will I see?
- Do I need to confirm flights before departure from the Lodge?
- Will We Fish on the Last Day Before our Flight?
- How Do I bring fish home?
Planning Your Trip to Alaska
What Documents Should I Bring?
You do not need a passport to travel to Alaska unless you are connecting through an international city (e.g. Vancouver B.C.). We always carry our passports just in case we have to prove citizenship.
- Driver’s license
- Insurance cards
- Credit cards you intend to use
- Airline tickets, any receipts for prepaid tours or excursions and any confirmations
- Copy of travel insurance documents
- Phone numbers for contacts during the trip
NOTE: Make several copies of all of these documents before you leave. Leave a full set of documents with someone at home who will be available. Also carry a full set of copies with you on the trip.
What should I bring—my packing list?
Keep in mind the parts of the country you may visit. If you visit the interior, you may want to bring some warmer outer clothing. We recommend the following if you are fishing:
- Long sleeve shirts, long pants, and long underwear to wear while fishing. Summer days are long and can be rainy or sunny. Plan to dress in layers. Mornings are cool and temperatures can get into the 60’s in some places. We also bring fingerless fishing gloves to protect hands and grip wet rods. Most lodges provide rain gear including boots.
- Hats, caps, visors that you are comfortable wearing.
- Bring sneakers or walking shoes and thick socks to wear inside rain gear boots.
- Regular items such as underwear, socks, sleepwear.
You want to pack as light as you can as you are going to be bringing back processed fish as luggage. Regular weight limits and number of articles you can take are the same as domestic, US carrier flights. There is no limit but excess weight and baggage is costly. Bring soft side luggage if possible as it weighs less and is easier for local flights. Bring a day pack for personal items when you are fishing. Bring water proof bags for laundry and to keep electronics and other items dry on the boat.
Take medicines including over the counter items which may not be available in all areas of Alaska. Bring prescription medications in the original bottles. You will need insect repellent (a brand containing DEET is recommended) and waterproof sunscreen with a high UV protection. Bring any other personal care items.
Electronics and Other Items:
- Cameras and their chargers and memory cards
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Extra pairs of prescription sun glasses or regular glasses you need in case of loss of a pair
- Hand sanitizer
- Personal items from your experience: pens, pencils, books, lighter or matches
I have dozens of cork screws because I forget one and have to buy them nearly everywhere I go.
What Not To Bring:
I know I over pack and always feel like I am missing something. There are usually laundry facilities or services and you can wash clothing during the trip. There are some items you should just leave at home:
- All your keys except the ones you really need (car and house)
- Expensive or irreplaceable jewelry and other personal items
- Any credit cards or other cards in your wallet you will not use
- Business, Government or personal ID cards
Think about losing your wallet or purse today in your home town and the problems that creates. Take only those items you really need to travel to and from Alaska.
Are there baggage restrictions on float planes or regional airlines?
Usually baggage weight limits are the same as larger airlines. You and your luggage will be weighed prior to boarding local airplanes. There are no carry on spaces in the smaller planes. Limits are 50 lbs per luggage piece and again we would recommend soft side luggage and packing light. If people and luggage weights are too high, luggage may come on the next plane.
Do I need travel insurance?
We have comprehensive travel insurance for every trip and we have had to use it on many occasions. Airline provided travel insurance is limited. Comprehensive travel insurance covers cancellations of the trip, flights, medical emergencies, weather delays, etc. We strongly recommend travel insurance.
Arrival in Alaska
Do I need to reconfirm my flight reservations?
You should reconfirm your flights both to and from Alaska no later than 48 hours from the departure times.
Do I have to stay the night in Seattle or Anchorage?
An overnight stay is dependent upon your arrival and departure times to and from these cities and to your final lodge destination. Our article Flying in Alaska is a Way of Life describes the best ways to plan your flights. We will explore these options and possibilities if you desire.
At Your Lodge
There are many frequently asked questions that are lodge specific. We provide general information below, however, you should check with us for your specific lodge. These questions include:
Is there Wi Fi?
All lodges have some type of Wi-Fi or computer access. Most of the time it is through satellite and may be at a main computer or in a lounge area versus in your room.
Are there appliances and televisions in the rooms (hair dryers, phones, safes, irons)?
Most lodges have hair dryers but not usually phones or safes. Irons are not typically provided in the rooms. Most lodges also have televisions.
Will my cell phone work?
This varies greatly by lodge. We never plan on our phones working but there is always a landline. Calling to and from a lodge is just like in the lower 48 states. People can call you at the lodge phone.
What kinds of fish will I catch?
See our article about Alaska Fish Species for the fish in Alaska waters.
When is the best time to catch fish?
Our article Alaska Fish Species contains charts when fish species are generally available. Each lodge has different species and run times.
How do gratuities work?
Lodges provide suggested tip worksheets. Generally speaking guides receive tips of $25 to $50 for each fisherman per day and $50 to $75 total for chef, kitchen staff, housekeeping, fish processors, per day.
How many people fish on a boat?
Two to four people depending upon the boat size.
What are the fish limits?
Limits vary by geographic area and time of the year. We can tell you the current limits for areas of Alaska you are considering.
How many boats fish in the lodge area?
Our lodges are in remote areas accessible only by small planes and fishing pressure from other boats is very low.
What wildlife will I see?
Depending upon the area and time of the year, you may see black and brown bears, seals, sea lions, humpback whales, orcas, mountain goats, deer, eagles and other birds.
Do I need to confirm flights before departure from the Lodge?
You should check in on line 24 hours before your departure on your major carrier connections if possible. Your lodge hosts will tell you when you need to be ready to leave for the local carrier flight back to the regional airport (Kodiak City, Juneau, Ketchikan).
Will We Fish on the Last Day Before our Flight?
At some lodges, you pack up the morning of your last day, then fish until mid-afternoon and leave back to the regional airport and your connections home. At other lodges, you may stay the last night of your trip and fly out on an early plane to the regional airport.
How Do I bring fish home?
Your fish will be processed, vacuum packaged and packed in heavy cardboard boxes to be checked as luggage for your flight home.