A rainbow trout is lifted just above the surface of a pristine Alaskan waterway.Early-summer is possibly the best time to fish in Alaska. While Island Point Lodge is undoubtedly a premier destination for summer salmon and halibut fishing, we’d like to shed some light on one of our other favorite targets: Alaska rainbow trout. Compared to the rest of the state, Petersburg, Alaska, has a rather large concentration of rainbow trout streams and inlets. As such, a few larger systems with lakes can support both spring and fall fish runs. Much like their Pacific salmon cousins, some rainbow trout are anadromous—meaning they spend their lives in the ocean before returning to the freshwater to spawn. Anadromous rainbow trout are known as steelheads. After spending time in the sea, they become more prominent and change color, making them very distinct to their smaller, inland stream inhabiting brethren.

Fishing for Rainbow Trout in Petersburg, Alaska

Pound for pound, Alaska rainbow trout are said to be some of the most vigorous fighters you can catch. Every year, thousands of anglers descend on the lakes and rivers around Petersburg, Alaska, searching for these agile and fierce salmonids. Alaska rainbow trout are known for their acrobatic displays, and can seemingly fly out of the water as hooks are set, creating a quintessential “fishing magazine” shot. While keeping a trophy trout wall-mount or a meal is okay once in a while, most of Alaska’s avid anglers engage in catch-and-release to preserve the fishery and harvesting out of many of the Alaskan waterways are strictly prohibited. Thanks to mindful conservation practices and relatively undisturbed habitat, the trout population remains a vibrant addition to the region’s biodiversity.

Identifying Alaska Rainbow Trout

While reasonably easy to identify, there are so many species and variations of salmonid; it is crucial to familiarize yourself with some of the defining features of Alaska rainbow trout and steelheads. Minor physical details can change depending on the maturity, sex, and where the fish has spent most of its life. For instance, stream and river rainbows have substantially heavier patterns than do their lake-dwelling cohorts. Spawning can also play a role in the rainbow’s appearance, but not as much as in salmon. The average Alaska rainbow trout weighs in at about two to three pounds; however, those living in more extensive waterways can get above 10 pounds.

Self-Guided Alaskan Rainbow Trout Fishing

Over the years, Island Point became recognized as one of the best Alaska fishing lodges. Part of the reason is that experienced anglers don’t have to dole out the extra fees associated with paying a guide. If you can operate a small craft with an outboard motor, you’re good to go! With three square meals a day, excellent lodging, and knowledgeable staff, it’s no wonder that we’ve become such renowned angling allies. Call us at 1-888-893-2070 or visit our rates page to learn more about how we can help coordinate your Alaska fishing vacation!