Alaska Highway Fishing: The Ultimate Road Trip

Studying Time: 14 minutes

For anybody planning a bucket checklist angling expertise, few issues can evaluate to a fishing highway journey alongside the Alaska Freeway. Particularly when you’ve by no means been to this a part of North America earlier than. Because the 1,400-mile freeway traverses plenty of unbelievable fishing spots, you’ll be greeted by a few of the most gorgeous surroundings your eyes will ever see. In the present day, we’ll present you all of those outstanding locales, and also you’ll see how an Alaska Freeway fishing highway journey is usually a life-changing journey.

Earlier than we begin our journey, let’s get just a few fundamental details out of the way in which. You possibly can later give these to your grandma for her subsequent trivia quiz. 

The Alaska Freeway, also called the Alcan Freeway, runs from the city of Dawson Creek in British Columbia, to Delta Junction in Alaska. It was constructed throughout World Conflict II to attach Alaska with the remainder of the States.

Constructed in 1942, not lengthy after the assault on Pearl Harbor, the freeway’s goal was to function a provide route for the troops on the Pacific entrance. An unbelievable 30,000 women and men labored tirelessly and accomplished the 1,400-mile freeway in simply 9 months!

When to Go

The Alaska Freeway is a really well-maintained highway. Nonetheless, contemplating that it strikes by a few of the harshest terrain and local weather on the continent, the trip isn’t precisely clean 12 months spherical. To get essentially the most out of your journey, we advocate setting out from late Might to early September. 

You’ll discover that life across the freeway conforms to this seasonality. An excellent portion of road-side companies are open throughout this era solely. Extra importantly, the fishing seasons are open throughout this time, too.

Earlier than You Go away

There are some things you need to contemplate earlier than setting out in your Alaska Freeway fishing journey. Some are associated to state and native laws, whereas others are simply sensible.

Crossing the Borders

If you happen to’re a US citizen touring into Canada, you’ll clearly have to have your passport. Identical goes for a Canadian citizen touring into the US. If you happen to’re coming in from the States, you’ll additionally want an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL), or a Trusted Traveler program card. You possibly can be taught extra about crossing the border by the US Customs and Border Safety web site and the Canada Border Companies Company.

Guidelines and Lodging

You’ll be spending a variety of your fishing time in wildlife reserves and government-run parks alongside the Alcan. Not all of those perform the identical method, so studying up on park laws can be clever.

Typically, you’ll wish to spend the night time in considered one of these reserves. British Columbia maintains six provincial park campgrounds alongside the Alcan, whereas Yukon has eight. Alaska runs 10 state and federal recreation websites on the freeway.

If you happen to want to spend the night time in one of many Canadian campgrounds, you’ll typically want to order your spot upfront. The Alaskan state-run campgrounds work on a first-come, first-served foundation.

The excellent news is that, even when you miss out on a spot, the freeway is dotted with non-public lodges and cabins, so that you received’t want to fret about spending the night time out within the open. We’ll cowl lots of the lodging choices as we go.

Final however not least, be sure that to take a look at the fishing laws for British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska.

An Alaska Freeway highway journey can take anyplace between 4 days to a few weeks, relying on how lengthy you keep in a single place. So, quite than providing you with a day rely, we divided our voyage into 4 distinct elements. Let’s go!

Half 1

Kicking off your fishing highway journey, you’ll set out from Dawson Creek, the birthplace of the Alcan. Often called “Mile 0,” this place is the place you’ll be capable to be taught so much in regards to the freeway’s historical past. Within the days earlier than the Alcan, Dawson Creek was a sleepy little settlement of round 600 individuals. Virtually instantly after the development started, the city’s inhabitants ballooned to 10,000 individuals. These days, the city has round 12,000 inhabitants.

Earlier than you allow, be sure that to snap a photograph of the Mile Marker, the city’s signature landmark, and the start line of the freeway. Locals say the ritual is an effective luck custom. Dawson Creek can also be your final likelihood to refill on provides earlier than hitting the highway, so ensure you have all the pieces you want. 

If you happen to’re heading to Dawson Creek by automobile, we advocate staying the night time and getting some relaxation earlier than the journey begins.

You’ve in all probability heard tales in regards to the wild and untouched nature across the Alaska Freeway. The tales could also be true, however you wouldn’t understand it instantly. Setting out on the Alcan in the direction of your first fishing spot, you’ll go by light flat countryside. In your method, you’ll be passing the historic Kiskatinaw Bridge, a 76-year-old curved timber building, situated at mile marker 21.

Fort St. John – Mile 47

After about an hour’s drive, you’ll attain the primary cease of your journey – Charlie Lake. Situated close to the city of Fort St. John, the lake is a peaceable, family-friendly spot, the place you may catch good-sized Northern Pike and Walleye. Charlie Lake can also be among the many uncommon pure lakes in British Columbia the place you may maintain the Walleye you catch. 

If you happen to’d desire a little bit extra selection to start out issues off, you may cease simply earlier than Fort St. John and moist your line within the Peace River. This can be a great place for Arctic Grayling, Bull and Rainbow Trout, in addition to Burbot.

Alright, you’ve caught your first fish! You possibly can seize a fast chunk on the town, and hit the highway once more. There’s an extended drive forward of you, however one nicely well worth the effort. Your subsequent cease is considered one of British Columbia’s favourite weekend spots.

Andy Bailey Regional Park – Mile 263

A four-hour drive from Fort St. John, Andy Bailey Regional Park is a lovely boreal forest with a scenic lake at its coronary heart. Locals typically come to the secluded park to get pleasure from actions like fishing, canoeing, tenting, picnicking, and birdwatching.

You’ll discover 12 unserviced campsites right here, and eight tent websites close to the lake seashore. There’s additionally a picnic space and a ship launch for non-motorized boats. Previously generally known as Jackfish Lake, this place is house to its namesake in addition to Northern Pike.

Relying in your schedule, you may both select to spend the night time right here, or robust it out for one more hour till you attain your subsequent cease.

Fort Nelson – Mile 300

Simply up the highway from Andy Bailey, you’ll discover the charming neighborhood of Fort Nelson. A gateway to the Northern Rocky Mountains, this city is the proper place to spend the night time earlier than the following stage of your journey. When you’re right here, be sure that to go to the city’s prized attraction – the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum. 

That includes a classic automobile assortment, in addition to plenty of vintage hand instruments and mineral samples, the museum is devoted to preserving the wealthy historical past of the Alaska Freeway.

Half 2

The second a part of your fishing highway journey will take you right into a wilder, untamed a part of British Columbia. Coming into the Northern Rockies, you’ll be launched to a few of the best possible fishing places Canada has to supply.

Because the freeway snakes by the gorgeous Rocky Mountain foothills, you’re more likely to wrestle to maintain your eyes on the highway. The freeway is slim on this a part of the Rockies, nevertheless, so drive safely. 

Tetsa River Regional Park – Mile 375

Round an hour’s drive from Fort Nelson, you’ll discover the luxurious and charming Tetsa River Regional Park. Boasting scenic grassy shores, the 115-acre park presents a number of entry factors for fishing. This can be a good venue for fly fishing, that includes catches like Arctic Grayling, Dolly Varden, and Whitefish.

The park presents 25 unserviced campsites out there on a first-come, first-served foundation. If you happen to’re fearful about lacking out on an out there spot, hire a close-by lodge to spend the night time in. Persevering with your journey will take you thru Summit Go, a 4,281′ mountain go letting you into the center of the Rockies. 

Toad River – Mile 411

Following Toad River from mile 411 till mile 420, the Alaska Freeway offers you a surprising, uninterrupted view of the turquoise river and the encircling mountains. There’s wonderful Arctic Grayling and Dolly Varden fishing right here, with entry factors all alongside the nine-mile stretch.

Muncho Lake Provincial Park – Mile 456

The following cease in your Alaska Freeway fishing highway journey is one that you simply’ll keep in mind for a very long time. Arguably one of the vital gorgeous locations you’ll go to in your voyage, Muncho Lake presents way more than nice fishing. 

The lake is legendary for its vibrant jade-green water, a product of the copper oxide leached from the bedrock beneath. Equally as spectacular is the wildlife round Muncho Lake. Anticipate finding caribou, moose, stone sheep, and mountain goats in these elements. Don’t wander too far off the overwhelmed path although, otherwise you’ll have grizzly and black bears, wolves, and lynxes to cope with.

There’s plenty of actions to check out on the lake, from mountain climbing to kayaking and birdwatching.

And naturally, there’s the fishing. Throughout the summer time months, you may anticipate a unbelievable Lake Trout chunk. These critters prime out at an unbelievable 50 kilos, so that you’d higher gear up. To sweeten the deal even additional, there are nice numbers of Arctic Grayling, Dolly Varden, and Walleye, too.

To correctly discover this glorious park, we advocate taking just a few days and renting one of many cozy native lodges. Belief us, you’ll not wish to depart this place. As a lot as you’d like to remain, you’ll ultimately proceed your highway journey. Fortunately, it received’t be lengthy earlier than the Alcan presents you with one other deal with.

Liard River Sizzling Springs Provincial Park – Mile 496

Your subsequent cease is a serene locale, good for stress-free after an extended drive. As you strategy the park, you’ll cross a formidable suspension bridge, permitting a surprising view of the Liard River. Just some miles up the highway, you’ll have an much more astonishing sight to behold.

Seemingly misplaced, Liard River Sizzling Springs lie smack in the course of a boreal forest. A wood boardwalk offers entrance to a fantastically constructed pool filled with steaming sizzling water. With water temperatures starting from 108–126°F, you may get pleasure from a soothing heat dip even with snow in your hair! 

The decrease Liard River has plenty of nice fishing spots, too. The river’s tributaries are nice for catching Arctic Grayling, Dolly Varden, Northern Pike, and Whitefish. Our recommendation? Go one other 20 miles up the freeway till you attain Fork Halkett, the place Smith River meets Liard River. A few mile up Smith River, you’ll attain a spectacular two-tier waterfall. This place is a perfect selection when you’re seeking to catch Arctic Grayling on the fly.

Watson Lake – Mile 635

In 1942, a homesick American soldier named Personal Carl Ok. Lindley was engaged on the Alcan Freeway. Whereas stationed in Watson Lake, the nostalgic army-man posted his hometown signal from Danville, Illinois beside the highway. Little did he know that this is able to begin one of many Alaska Freeway traditions. Quick-forward to right this moment, and The Watson Lake Signal Publish Forest has an astounding 72,000 indicators.

You possibly can depart your mark by making an indication put up of your city within the native customer’s heart.

Removed from a one-trick pony, Watson Lake has loads of outside actions to supply as nicely. From quiet mountain climbing trails, to horseback using and canoeing, this city actually punches above its weight. The Lake is accessible for fishing proper from the freeway, round 2 miles north from the city itself. There’s additionally a ship launch on the south facet of the lake, simply off the freeway.

If you happen to strike out on the climate, the city’s huge leisure heart presents enclosed health areas, a youth heart, a bowling alley, and even a hockey area. 

Half 3

Persevering with your Alcan journey will take you previous the immense Teslin Lake. The highway follows the lakeshore for greater than 30 miles so that you’ll don’t have any scarcity of fishing alternatives as you go. Remember the fact that you may have an extended drive forward – it takes 5 hours from Watson Lake to your subsequent vacation spot. If you happen to’d desire to take issues slowly, you may e-book a motel room in Teslin (two-and-a-half hours from Watson Lake), and discover the close by Nisutlin River Delta Wildlife Space.

One other spot you may discover on this a part of your journey is Marsh Lake. The lake boasts good Lake Trout and Northern Pike angling, and there are just a few lakeside cabins to select from as nicely.

Whitehorse – Mile 918

Developing on Mile 918, you’ll attain your journey’s largest metropolis – Whitehorse. Courting again to the Klondike Gold Rush, Whitehorse has grown past its prospecting origins to turn into the cultural hub of northern Canada. In the present day, the city is house to greater than half of Yukon’s inhabitants.

Whitehorse is a well-liked vacationer attraction, and a giant motive for that is the unbelievable fishing it presents. Yukon River and the encircling lakes provide a wide range of species, particularly throughout summer time. Lengthy Lake, Chadden Lake, and Hidden Lakes are teeming with Rainbow Trout and Kokanee Salmon. The most effective half is, all of those lakes are inside just a few miles from downtown Whitehorse.

If you happen to’re critical about your fishing, or just wish to get the very best views, hop on a floatplane and expertise Yukon in its full glory.

When you catch your fill, it’s time to have some enjoyable off the water. Take a scenic hike alongside the Miles Canyon suspension bridge, or make a few stops to be taught in regards to the city’s fascinating historical past.  The 80-year-old sternwheeler S.S. Klondike, a favourite selection amongst households, is a testomony to the city’s proud prospecting historical past.

And if you wish to go additional again in time, be sure that to go to The Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre. This place is a treasure trove of fascinating details about the area’s prehistoric previous. Be taught in regards to the Beringia, the huge land bridge that used to attach Yukon to Siberia. Higher but, uncover the individuals who migrated all the way in which from distant Asia to make Yukon their house.

Whitehorse is the largest city you’ll go to in your highway journey, so be sure that to replenish your provides if it’s good to. Final however not least, spend the night time at an idyllic lodge to finish your Whitehorse go to in type.

Half 4

Kluane Nationwide Park and Reserve – Mile 984

Reenergized and able to go, you’ll have so much to stay up for as you proceed your journey. Because the highway elevates forward, the imposing sight of Kluane Nationwide Park mountain vary attracts nearer with each mile. The Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, boasting 17 of Canada’s 20 highest peaks. 

You’ll discover a vary of actions all through the park. You may simply spend days exploring the park’s mountain climbing trails, rafting its foaming rivers, and fishing its bountiful lakes.

It’ll take you round two hours to achieve the park from Whitehorse. Simply earlier than you do, the highway will convey you to the village of Haines Junction. That is the place you may select to make a small detour off the Alcan, and onto Haines Freeway. It received’t take you lengthy to achieve your subsequent cease. It’ll in all probability take you even much less time to comprehend how sound a call you’ve made. 

Kathleen Lake

With serene mountain climbing trails and crystal clear waters, Kathleen Lake is unquestionably one of many prime nature lovers’ locations in Canada. The lake presents loads of picnic services and entry factors for fishing. In these pristine waters, you may catch Lake Trout, Arctic Grayling, and Kokanee Salmon.

There’s a well-marked mountain climbing path that leads you straight as much as Kings Throne Peak. Conquering the height will reward you with one of the vital commanding views of the realm, one which’s certain to stay the spotlight of your journey.

If you happen to want to spend the night time within the native campgrounds, be sure that to order a spot upfront. Alternatively, you may take a brief drive down Haines Freeway to a different cozy fishing lodge.

Again on the Alcan, the highway presents hanging vistas of the towering mountain ranges forward. Round 40 miles from Haines Junction, the freeway will break away from the encircling forests, opening up a surprising vista of the sea-like Kluane Lake.

Kluane Lake

A sport fisherman’s paradise, Kluane Lake is considered one of Canada’s “Trophy Lakes.” Lake Trout over 40 kilos have earned it its monicker, however that’s not the one fish you may catch in these waters. Kluane Lake boasts massive numbers of Arctic Grayling, Northern Pike, and Burbot, too. The lake’s shores are dotted with cabins and lodges, providing every kind of park-bound adventures. 

The following 200 miles, from Kluane Lake to the Alaska border, provide an gratifying drive on well-maintained highway and beneficiant broad bends. In your method, you’ll be crisscrossing rivers and passing lakes and ponds of all sizes. The mountains within the backdrop solely add to the scenic great thing about the realm.

Half an hour earlier than you attain the border, you’ll go by Beaver Creek. This can be a handy spot to make a brief break and examine that every one your paperwork are to ensure that border management. 

Tetlin Nationwide Wildlife Refuge – Mile 1174

Your first cease in Alaska would be the Tetlin Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. The refuge boasts intensive forests and wetlands with 1000’s of our bodies of water. This place is an everyday cease for plenty of migrating birds, together with geese, geese, swans, cranes, and varied songbirds. So far as mammals are involved, there are 40 species of them right here, together with bears, caribou, lynxes, and moose.

So far as fishing goes, you’ll don’t have any scarcity of waters to selected from. These maintain good numbers of Whiting, Arctic Grayling, Northern Pike, and Lake Trout.

Tok – Mile 1313

Your official welcome to Alaska will occur within the city of Tok, simply an hour or so from Tetlin. The city’s customer heart is the place you’ll be capable to find out about native historical past, wildlife, in addition to close by locales you would possibly wish to go to. The place is tough to overlook, seeing because it’s a 7,000-square-foot log cabin.

Tok additionally has a wide range of locations you may spend the night time in. From cabins and RV parks to bed-and-breakfast joints, you’ll don’t have any scarcity of choices for lodging right here. 

Delta Junction – Mile 1422

You’ve made it to Delta Junction, the final cease in your Alcan journey – congratulations! Effectively, virtually to the tip, there’s nonetheless so much to see and do on this place.

First issues first – cease by the Delta Junction Customer Info Heart to get a certificates for finishing your lengthy journey. Effectively accomplished! After you are taking your image on the “finish of the freeway” monument, it’s time to see what this city and its environment have to supply.

Let’s begin with the fishing. Delta Junction is surrounded by waters of all styles and sizes. The fertile Tanana River is the apparent selection, and an excellent spot for Burbot fishing. If you happen to’re after keeper Rainbow Trout, the close by Quartz Lake is the best choice. If you happen to’re seeking to spend all the day in a soothing locale, nevertheless, head straight to the Clearwater State Recreation Web site.

For a style of the native attraction and hospitality, go to the Farmer’s Market, which runs every Wednesday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to five:00 p.m. Right here, you’ll discover all kinds of handmade crafts and natural produce, in addition to historic books in regards to the space. The native meals stands serve freshly made pastries and sizzling canine.

If you happen to’re after extra critical meals, try Delta Meat & Sausage. This place presents prime homegrown beef, pork, buffalo, elk, and yak meats. If you happen to plan on going for a hunt, these guys will package deal your recreation for you. And when you haven’t already – seize a memento or two to remind you of all of your Alcan highway journey adventures.

A Journey to Keep in mind

The Alaska Freeway presents so many alternatives for fishing and journey, that placing it on paper simply doesn’t do it justice. What does is getting out on the highway and experiencing this glorious journey firsthand. We confirmed you a variety of issues you are able to do alongside the Alcan, however we haven’t even scratched the floor. That’s in all probability the very best factor about this magnificent freeway.

You possibly can take so long as you want, discover numerous trails, and fish in a plethora of waters, precisely the way in which you want. Heck, you are able to do all of it once more and make a very totally different journey out of it. An Alaska Freeway fishing highway journey is yours to create. Bon voyage!

And now, we flip it over to you. What are your favourite spots alongside the Alaska Freeway? Have you ever ever made the lengthy journey earlier than? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

Leave a Comment