Boardwalk’s spring season is all about wild steelhead, which ascend local rivers in March, April, and May. These fish range between 6 and 12 pounds on average, but fish pushing the 40-inch mark are possible. Boardwalk’s seasoned, Orvis-endorsed guides lead guests to numerous steelhead-bearing streams where they direct anglers to the most productive pools. Fly anglers can bring their switch and Spey rods if they’d like but most Southeast Alaska’s streams are easily fished with a single-hander, whether swinging flies or nymphing egg imitations and other patterns. These steelhead are truly wild (no hatchery fish here) and will test any angler’s fish-fighting skills.
During the spring season, guests also target the often overlooked sea-run cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden. The cutthroat are a blast to catch on 5- or 6-weight rods and they pull harder than you might expect. The native fish range between 10 and 22 inches and can be caught in most streams, lakes, and estuaries. Dolly Varden are equally aggressive and range in similar sizes. Want to get your kids into fish fast? Take some time to chase sea-runs and Dollies and you’re sure to hear enthusiastic anglers at the dinner table.
Salmon fishing at Boardwalk is equally productive, whether trolling for kings, pinks, chums, and silvers in the saltwater or casting flies to these fish in the shallow estuaries or Prince of Wales’ numerous rivers. Pink and chum salmon are abundant during summer, but the silver salmon (also called coho) is the standout fish. These aggressive and hard-fighting salmon are known for their long runs and acrobatic jumps when hooked. These fish can be found in the saltwater from mid summer on into fall. They become great fly rod targets in August when they move toward the mouths of rivers and streams. They continue pushing into freshwater through September and into October. Anglers who “get into the silvers” will be worn out by the end of a day—these fish range between 8 and 15 pounds on average and can top 20 on occasion.
When you’re ready for a break, Boardwalk guests can board one of the lodge’s heated cabin cruisers and look for whales and sea lions or drop a line over the side and jig for halibut, lingcod, and rockfish.
Boats and Equipment
Boardwalk provides the latest Orvis equipment—fly rods, reels, waders, boots, etc. Guests can bring their own gear if they prefer. The lodge runs two cabin cruisers for saltwater trips and uses 4×4 Suburbans to access streams holding steelhead, salmon, sea-run cutthroat, and Dolly Varden.