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What to Pack For a Fishing Trip In Alaska (Ultimate Fishing Essentials List)

float plane carrying people fishing in alaska

In this article I provide the ultimate fishing trip packing list for those of you who are planning on going on an Alaskan fishing adventure. 

The Ultimate Fishing Trip Packing List: What To Pack For Your Alaska Fishing Trip


I think you’ll agree that packing for any kind of trip can be daunting.  What should I take. What shouldn’t I take? Am I taking too much? Is my suitcase going to be overweight?  I’m pretty sure all of us ask ourselves these same questions every time we pack.


And when it comes to getting ready for our fishing trip to Alaska, it’s probably even worse!


Fact is, the weather in Alaska can be very unpredictable. What could be rain in the morning, could easily turn to sunshine in the afternoon.  Temperature swings during fishing season in some parts of Alaska can swing from freezing up to 70 degrees, especially during the early and late fishing seasons.


That’s why bringing the proper clothing and accessories for all different kinds of weather is extremely important.


What To Pack For Alaska Fishing Trip


Here is a list of 15 essential clothing and gear items you should plan on packing for your Alaska fishing trip.


1. Rain Gear


Rain gear is a requirement when fishing in Alaska. Consider investing in a quality two-piece rainsuit. Make sure the top of the rainsuit has a hood as well. A good set of rain gear does not have to be really expensive. But if you think you may use them again, then spending a little more now will save you in the long run. Plastic ponchos or vinyl rain suits are not suitable rain gear for fishing in Alaska.


2. Waders


Your lodge may provide waders for you. Please verify this before you leave. If not, you will need to bring your own.  A good set of waders are breathable or neoprene. A good place to look for waders if you’ve never owned a pair is or Cabela’s.


3. Shoes and/or Boots


Bringing a good pair of shoes as well as a good pair of fishing boots is also very important. You’ll need good boots to wear both tromping around the wilderness as well as to wear while in the boat. At the end of the day, you’ll want a comfortable pair of shoes to slip into while hanging around the lodge resting. Your footwear should be comfortable, lightweight and water repellent. Again, spending a little bit of money on the right pair of boots will save you money and foot-ache in the long run.


4. Pants


Bring along a couple pairs of comfortable and durable jeans or other durable pants. Throw in a pair of fleece pants as well to wear under your waders.  The river water in Alaska is cold! Don’t forget to throw in a pair of shorts for the hot tub.


5. Shirts


Think  layers when fishing in Alaska. Polypro, capilene and wool all work really well at keeping you warm, even if you were to get wet. These materials make good first and second layers. Good shirt options include T-shirts, flannel shirts and lightweight long sleeve shirts. Think layers and what could easily be removed if the day begins to warm up.


6. Jackets, sweaters and vests


A fleece jacket or pile jacket, vest and/or wool sweater are great options for layered warmth.


7. Long Underwear


Leave the cotton long underwear at home. Other options that are made out of polypropylene, capilene or wool are much better choices.


8. Socks


If your feet are cold, you’ll be cold. So bring warm socks. Wool or synthetic socks are the best warm socks for fishing. Bring enough wool or synthetic socks for your entire lodge stay. Though cotton socks are fine for around the lodge, you’ll want to avoid wearing anything cotton while fishing.


9. Fishing Gloves


There are some really good fishing gloves available now days that are both functional and warm. Make sure the gloves you bring are warm and functional. Lightweight wool or fleece gloves are good choices.


10. Hats


Bring a warm wool knit cap. You’ll be amazed how much a warm hat will keep your entire body warm. Also bring a brimmed hat for those sunny and rainy days.


11. Polarized Sunglasses


Polarized sunglasses are going to help remove glare from off the water and help you actually see the salmon moving up the river.


12. Day Pack or Backpack


Bring along a backpack or day pack that you’ll be able to throw your extra gear and snacks in.


13. Bug Repellent


The bugs and insects in Alaska during the summer months can get pretty thick.  Bring a good quality insect repellent to help prevent the misery of getting “eaten alive”.


14. Water Bottle


You may be out on the water all day long, but you won’t be able to drink any of it. So bring a water bottle or hydration pack to pack in your own water.


15. Additional Items To Bring On Your Alaska Fishing Trip


Binoculars, camera with extra memory cards and batteries, sandals for relaxing around the lodge, alarm clock, sunscreen, personal fishing tackle, flashlight, and cell phone charger.


Final Thoughts


Packing for your Alaska fishing trip doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Think in layers.  Go prepared for the worst weather, and maybe you’ll get lucky.


Keep this packing guide with you and simply go down the list.  Make sure you check off each item. Chances are, once you get to your fishing lodge, you’ll be in a remote area, so making a quick trip to the store probably won’t be an option.


TIP:  Many people will take a cooler or two to bring back the fish they catch.  If worried about having an overweight suitcase, transfer some of the items in your suitcase over to your cooler. Might as well take advantage of the space inside the cooler since you’ll be checking it on the plane anyway.

what to wear in alaska

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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