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Gear List for Alaska Float Fishing Trips

Our gear list for our guided Alaska float fishing trips is ever-changing, so stay in contact!

This list is made with our 6-night, 7-day fly fishing trips in mind.

The weather in Western Alaska can be best defined as dynamic, Summers can be very sunny and warm and is Alaska’s least rainy period – but one must be prepared for inclement weather that could last the entire trip. 

Average summer temps range from 50-75 degrees.  It is best to have top-quality raingear and options for when said gear gets soaked.

Float Trip Personal Equipment List

Below is a checklist for personal equipment you will need on your float trip to Alaska. Recommendations are in parenthesis!

Alaska Fishing Trip Equipment Necessities

Waders (At least 3 layers of protection like Gore-Tex)
Boots (Felt is banned in Alaska – do not come out with old falling apart boots)  NO CLEATS
Sleeping Bag (15 degrees and up – NO DOWN BAGS)
Wool Socks (6 pairs)
Rain Gear (GORE-TEX is recommended – newer and high quality is a must)
Pants (2 pairs)
Stocking Cap (windproof is a good option)
Sun Protection Hoody (very good for bug protection – 2 are recommended)
BUFF style neckerchief (great for wind and bugs)
Thick Synthetic Layer (sweater, hoody, etc.)
Gloves (warmth for camp)
Work Gloves (camping)
Bandana (great for wiping off glasses in the rain and personal hygiene)
Shorts (1 pair)
Thermal Underwear (polypropylene or any synthetic)
Sunglasses (Polarized)
Hat (Ballcap)
Toiletries (specific to you)
Spirits (Nalgene bound) We provide 4 cases of beer and 4 boxes of wine

Alaska Fishing Trip Equipment Accessories

Portable Charger for phones, cameras, etc.
Bug Repellent (separate Ziploc bag)
Personal Fishing Gear (10,12,15 lb Maxima, Hills Fly Box, split shot, needle nose pliers)
Sunscreen (separate Ziploc bag)
Camp Knife or multitool
Book and or logbook, pen
Headlamp if in August
Rod Case for rods

What not to bring on Alaska Fishing Trips

Below is a list of things that people typically bring that will be of no use:

Any fly rod below a 5 wt. or under 9ft.
Wading boots with studs, as mentioned above we will not allow them in the boats. Period.
Any tippet that has an X next to it.
Lots of t-shirts. They will live in your bag soaking up moisture and making everything heavy.
Jeans, once again the whole living-in-the-bag thing.
Hemostats. You need pliers – little trout fishing hemostats will not debarb heavy hooks or pull them out of 5+ pound fish. We have pliers handy on every boat.
No need to bring cups or bowls, we provide personal-use coffee cups, etc.
Firearms are not allowed. The guides are all armed and the camp is safer that way.
Any computer gear.
Any office work.


Provided by your Fly Fishing Guides

We will provide you with a dry bag prior to your expedition.  This is yours to keep after the trip as well!

ALL PERSONAL GEAR NEEDS TO FIT IN THIS BAG.  It is more than adequate to hold what folks need, we will provide another bag that is accessible in the boat for other gear.  PRE-PACK YOUR SOCKS, UNDERWEAR, LAYERS, ETC. IN FREEZER-WEIGHT ZIPLOC BAGS.

We also provide a cot and Thermarest for your sleeping comfort.

Dressing for the Weather in Western Alaska

Southwest Alaska is a very dynamic place for weather and elements. It can change daily and typically involves a well-thought-out comfort management plan. This begins with no cotton. 

Dress in layers, this way you can make adjustments for changing temperatures throughout the day necessary to keep you comfortable.  A typical day has at least a 20-degree swing.

No cotton in the dry bags no cotton on the body. It is such a damp environment that it will soak whatever cotton garments guests bring. I highly suggest synthetic materials for all clothing, all the way to underwear.

Yes thermal underwear, but I’m even talking about boxers and briefs, if they are synthetic they will not stay damp. Synthetic t-shirts, sun hoodies, long sleeves, pants, all of it. Capilene, polypropylene, fleece, etc. should all be a part of the gear list.

Synthetic clothing recommendations

I usually wear a light pair of polypropylene thermals just as a base layer and then fleece layers for warmth and then some sort of hard shell for wind. Anything that can block the wind from penetrating is recommended, along with insulated hats balaclavas, and gloves/mittens.

The average temperatures fluctuate quite a bit, usually somewhere between 50-65 degrees, and mix that low temp with rain and wind – you can get the picture. I can’t emphasize enough you need synthetic clothing such as:

  • Waders – if your waders are old and leaky you will be hating it. In the field in SW Alaska is the last place we want to be repairing waders that have needed repairs for some time. I recommend any brand that has 3 or more layers in the knees, seat. If your on the fence about buying a new pair, buy a new pair. You will be satisfied. Felt is outlawed in AK so you would need rubber bottom wading boots. NO CLEATS! Cleats will damage the rubber rafts beyond repair.
  • Jackets – once again no old leaky jackets. You want as supreme of rainproof/waterproof as you can get. I highly recommend Gore-Tex but nowadays a lot of the competition is using the same technology. I carry 2 Gore-Tex equivalent coats and one rubber raincoat. I recommend bringing two coats, maybe one that is lighter than the other. With that said if you have a light rain jacket it is waterproof just make sure to bring the layers for warmth.
  • Wool – it works really well but if it gets wet it will stay wet. Wool socks are pretty much a necessity.
  • Sleeping bags – probably want to default to warmth for this. I carry a 20-degree bag, I wouldn’t go any higher than 35. A very stuffable bag is preferred and once again have a nice quality bag. Not a 25-dollar Costco.

Recommended Fishing Gear

Fly Rods & Reels

We recommend bringing a primary trout and/or dolly rod and a primary salmon rod.  A backup is nice to bring as well, but as mentioned we do have camp fishing gear that is more than adequate, especially for a backup rod.

All setups require at least 100 yards of backing and short stout leaders.  We stay away from ANY Xs.  Maxima or equivalent is recommended, and we fish leaders straight from fly line to fly.  7.5 feet leaders are the longest we would ever fish.

For Trout:  5, 6, 7 – We personally recommend 7 weights.  We have high-quality camp rods if guests need them.  All floating lines for trout and dolly varden.
For Salmon: 7,8,9 – once again a 7-weight kind of bridges the gap.  All floating lines, with an aggressive Type III sink tip, are recommended.  We have high-quality camp rod setups if guests need them.


A small assortment of attractor dry flies can be fun for Dollies and Grayling, although the trout typically are not looking for bugs.  Humpies, Wulffs, and Chubbies all in big sizes (6-10) are great.

EGGOS (at least a dozen) Size 6
Egg Sucking Leech (Black and Purples – a dozen between the two colors) – Size 4
Flesh Flies (lots of color options including white, cream, flesh, etc.) Various Sizes (2-even 12’s) articulated are best
DALI LLAMAS – Olive/White, Black/White, Pink/White, Flesh/Pink size 2’s and 4’s (at least 2 dozen) Solitude Fly Co. has a great assortment.
Mr. and Mrs. Hanky – a mouse fly that is easy to throw and very effective (half a dozen each)
BEADS – we fish a variety of beads – different colors and different sizes. has an Alaska assortment that covers the bases. 

**We have collaborated with Hills Discount Flies in Colorado to put together a box of flies for the trip.  If you would like it contains the flies mentioned above, along with a few more salmon-specific flies as well.  Their website is – it is highly recommended and quite affordable.**

Book an Alaskan Fishing Trip

Interested in learning more about our Alaskan Fly Fishing Trips? Fill out this form, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!


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