Weather and the Alaskan Fishermen

Alaskan weather calls for rain

Don’t come to Alaska dressed like this. You will be sorry!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could schedule “book” the weather for our trip right along with booking our guide service? Unfortunately, this is not on the options list for any of the guides that I have used.


The second best option then is to be prepared for whatever old Mother Nature decides to hand out for the days that you will be in Alaska.


Alaskan weather can ruin a good fishing trip rather quickly if one is not prepared for all of the possibilities. Rain and wind and ocean spray can quickly turn you into a miserable, unhappy, soggy, wreck of a fisherman.


Alaskan summers can vary from quite warm to quite chilly. The evenings and early mornings may require a jacket even during the hottest part of the year. When the wind blows and one is wet from the ocean spray, the cold gets even worse. I have learned that the best approach is to take clothing that I can layer. As the temperature changes through the day, I can add or remove layers to keep myself comfortable, as needed.


It is imperative to have a good set of full body rain gear. Don’t be cheap when it comes to getting the good stuff. I have seen people spend $3000 to $4000 on their trip but then scrimp and bring a $10 dollar rain suit that falls apart on the first day (I was one of them). :(


I don’t like the vinyl stuff. It just doesn’t last. My current rain suit is similar to the one below. Click the picture for more info(will open in a new tab). So far, it is holding up well.

Another necessary item is a good set of waterproof boots or shoes. The water splashes into the boat and you walk around in it all day. Soon your feet, shoes and all, are water-soaked. Again, don’t be stingy when you get your boots. Bring something that will be comfortable and yet will keep your feet dry. Some fishing lodges will provide these items while others may rent them to you at an extra charge. Others will not have them available. Be sure to ask them before you go.


Even in Alaska, one will want to have sunscreen and lip balm. The sun and the saltwater environment will cause dry, sore lips. A good hat with a sun visor is another must on my list. I also like to take along a light pair of gloves, both for warmth and to use when handling the fish.


The weather can’t be controlled or held back. When you arrive for your trip, the clock starts ticking. Sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate. Being prepared will make the difference in whether you make the best of a bad weather day and fish anyway, or whether you sit at the lodge and twiddle your thumbs while waiting it out. My advice is to be prepared. Some of the worst weather days have been great days for catching fish. While they aren’t days we would choose to fish on, being properly prepared can save the day.

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