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Alaska fishing: Haines / Skagway area

Species

Haines and Skagway are located at the northern end of Lynn Canal, the largest fjord in the world. Although close to one another, both have their own distinctives: Haines is the southern terminus of the Haines Highway, and Skagway is the northernmost terminus of the southeast portion of the Alaska marine highway.

Although only 13 miles (21 km) apart from by water, 359 miles (577 km) separate them by highway. Anglers in Haines will find Dolly Varden, and pink, coho, sockeye and chum salmon along the road. Nearby lakes contain cutthroat trout and sockeye salmon. The local star is the dolly as it can be caught all year. Skagway has less opportunity on shore, but should not be overlooked. Local lakes are stocked with trout and area rivers, when clear of silt, are fished for dollies, and pink, chum and coho salmon. Both areas offer good charter opportunities in the fjord; and all 5 species of Pacific salmon along with halibut, rockfish, and lingcod are available. 

 

Area Sponsor

If you are a Haines or Skagway area provider of services or goods for sport fishermen, we invite you to advertise in this space.  We want to provide both additional information about area fishing and an opportunity for you to make people aware of what you do.  We can take up to 125 words.  We will work with you on the exact wording so that it provides useful information for those who read and helps you at the same time.  The text can include your website address and other contact information.  We would also like to display one of your best photos in this space (replacing the advertising now in place) -- we want to illustrate Haines/Skagway fishing and at the same time show what you are doing. If you would like to sponsor this page, please contact contact Pam at 1.907.895-4919;  9 - 5 Alaska time.   The cost is only $96 for one year. 

Geography

Haines is located on Portage Cove. It is 80 air miles (128 km) northwest of Juneau and 151 road miles (243 km) southeast of Haines Junction on the Alaska Highway in Yukon Territory. Its population is around 2,500 persons. Skagway is located on Taiya Inlet. It is 90 air miles (144 km) northwest of Juneau, and 108 road miles (174 km) south of Whitehorse, also in Yukon Territory, and also on the Alaska Highway. Its population is around 1,000. Both communities lay in areas surrounded by mountains, forests, and glaciers.

Wildlife is commonly seen. Anglers in Haines should practice bear awareness here, and especially along the Chilkoot River. Since roads and cruise ships reach both these destinations, visitor pressure can at times be heavy. Anglers should reserve ahead.

Road System and Amenities

The Chilkoot River sport fishery in Haines is one of the most intense in southeast Alaska. Anglers flock to it in pursuit of salmon and Dolly Varden. Cohos run strong in the fall and fishing pressure is continual. The Chilkat River also provides similar opportunity. The Taiya River in Skagway offers fine dolly and salmon fishing in the spring and fall when the water clears. Pullen Creek is a haven for pinks and dollies. Both areas offer car rentals, accommodations, and offer a variety of excursions.

Skagway is noted for its contribution to Alaska’s gold mining history and the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, and Haines is renowned for the nearby Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Air service is available to either from several cities. Communing anglers embarking from the state capitol can experience the finest in conveyance by flying to either location and then returning to Juneau by ferry. The ferry runs daily.

Best saltwater fishing times in the Haines/Skagway area (ADF&G data)

Species

Availability

Peak

king salmon

all year

May through July

coho salmon

June through September

August and September

sockeye salmon

June through August

June through August

chum salmon

June through September

July

pink salmon

June through August

July

Dolly Varden Char

April through August

June

cutthroat trout

May through September

June

halibut

all year

June through September

rockfish

all year

June through September

lingcod

all year

all year


Best
freshwater fishing times in the Haines / Skagway area (ADF&G data)

Species

Availability

Peak

king salmon

May through August

July

coho salmon

September through November

September and October

sockeye salmon

June through September

July

chum salmon

June through October

July

pink salmon

July through September

July

Dolly Varden Char

all year except October

July and August

rainbow trout

all year

all year

cutthroat trout

all year

May and June

brook trout

all year

August and September

 
 

Transportation

Both towns are reachable by scenic highway. There are scheduled connector fights from Juneau, Whitehorse, and Anchorage to each.  Check L.A.B. Flying Service and Skagway Air Service.

There are only two parts of Alaska with rail service, but they are not connected.  Skagway has rail service that connects to Whitehorse, Yukon. The Alaska Marine Highway offers ferry service year-round to both ports. Reserve ahead with any carrier.

Click for Haines, Alaska Forecast
 

Weather

Both areas have a maritime climate. Precipitation averages around 60 inches (152. cm.) . Summer temperatures range from the low 50’s F (10 C), to low 70’s F (21 C), with shoulder months being colder. As always, dress in layers and bring adequate rain gear.

 
Haines/Skagway Sponsors 

 
No sponsors at this time

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directory listings
 

Destination Information Resources

Information about Haines be found on the Chamber of Commerce website, and on the Haines Convention and Visitor's Bureau website.  Read about Skagway on the Skagway Chamber of Commerce website.

Current fishing report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (updated regularly during the summer months)

Haines fishing report from ADF&G

Alaska Fishing Forum (active forums with over 2,000 active members)

Useful books and videos about Haines/Skagway fishing

How to Catch Trophy Halibut
Sportfishing Alaska

Links

ADF&G information about Haines/Skagway fishing 

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Area Descriptions for Southeast Alaska

Haines/Skagway
Juneau
Ketchikan
Petersburg
Prince of Wales
Sitka
Wrangell
Yakutat

Area Descriptions for other regions of the state

Southcentral
Arctic, Yukon and Kuskokwim

 

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