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Alaska fishing: Yakutat area

The Yakutat area


Superior fishing awaits any angler who takes the time to research and then travel to this justly famed destination. Yakutat is a small community well off the beaten path. It is about as remote as it gets for any who wish to take advantage of destination comforts while in an area of isolation. No roads lead to it, no cities are near it, yet the rivers in and around Yakutat are home to some of the best steelhead and salmon fishing the world has to offer.

Located just inside Yakutat Bay, miles of adjacent seas offer charter opportunities for all five species of Pacific salmon, halibut, Dolly Varden char, cutthroat trout, rockfish, and lingcod. Ocean fishing is good here; still, it is freshwater fishing here that is the source of fame. Salmon surge into local streams along with rainbow, cutthroat, brook trout, and Dolly Varden char. Even northern pike inhabit the lakes. But it is Situk River steelhead that rule Yakutat. Close to one half of the steelhead caught in Alaska comes from this location. Catch rates are unusually good. 

Yakutat is easily one of the better fishing spots on the planet.


Area Sponsor

If you are a Yakutat provider of services or goods for sport fishermen, we invite you to advertise in this space.  We want to provide both additional information about 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 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 the space at right -- we want to illustrate area 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.


The area known by Tlingits as “the place where the canoes rest” stretches along Alaska’s gulf coast for approximately 275 miles (440 km). Yakutat itself is 225 miles northwest of Juneau and 220 miles southeast of Cordova. The community rests near the mouth of Yakutat Bay. Yakutat Bay is surrounded by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and the Tongass National Forest. Anglers here will fish near the second largest mountain and the most immense tidewater glacier in all of North America. 

Nowhere here is far from mountains.  Yakutat area forests and mountains are populated with moose, black and brown bear, and mountain goat. Eagles and marine birds are plentiful and migratory birds pass through here in seasonal abundance. Marine mammals inhabit the surrounding waters.  In terms of wild and isolated Alaskan beauty alone, this location is impressive.

Road System

There is a small network of roads in Yakutat. Forest Highway 10 stretches 29 miles from Yakutat and crosses the Situk River. Other tiny roads wind along the coast and then connect to arteries that lead to numerous streams, lakes, and lagoons. A number of lodges and outfitters provide the transportation needed to access these areas, but for the independent traveler a car rental agency is available. There are a number of lodging opportunities in Yakutat, as well as restaurants and smaller stores. Note the most famous steelhead destination in the world attracts many -- including an adequate supply of mosquitoes and other insect pests. Quality bug dope and insect resistant attire is worth considering. Travelers are advised to plan and reserve almost a year ahead of time.

Best saltwater fishing times in the Yakutat area (ADF&G data)

Species Availability Peak
king salmon all year May through July
coho salmon June through September August and Sept.
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 Yakutat 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
steelhead trout all year except July April and May and October
rainbow trout all year all year
cutthroat trout  all year May and June
brook trout all year August and September
northern pike all year July and August
Halibut fishing is excellent in Yakutat with typical catches larger than these.


There are scheduled jet flights, air taxis, and float plane services to Yakutat. Alaska Airlines offers two flights daily. The Alaska Marine Highway offers only summer ferry service, and then only if you have a vehicle onboard as part of your passage. Make certain that you reserve with any carrier well ahead of time.




Click for Yakutat, Alaska Forecast


Yakutat has a maritime climate characterized by relatively mild and frequent rainy weather. Some of the heavier precipitation in the state falls here with a year round average of 132 inches, although summer is the least rainy of the seasons. Summer temperatures are typically in the 50’s, with occasional warmer days.  The shoulder months can be cold. As always in coastal Alaska, dress in layers and be sure to take adequate rain gear of good quality.

Yakutat Sponsors 

Port Lions Lodge
See more
directory listings

Destination Information Resources

Internet sites to this community are well done. Comprehensive information can be found at, and Between the two, most of what you will need to know is available. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game also has considerable information on Yakutat fishing.

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

Yakutat Fishing Report

Alaska Fishing Forum

Useful books and videos helpful to Yakutat anglers

How to Catch Trophy Halibut
Sportfishing Alaska
Fishing Alaska on Dollars a Day


Steelheading on the Situk River

Search the Alaska Outdoors Supersite for fishing information

Area Descriptions for Southeast Alaska

Prince of Wales

Area Descriptions for other regions of the state

Arctic, Yukon and Kuskokwim


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