Fishing in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

Fishing in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

The Tongass National Forest is the largest National Forest in the United States and covers nearly all of the panhandle of Southeast Alaska. Much of it is remote, old growth temperate rainforest comprised of massive, salmon-fertilized Sitka Spruce & Western Hemlock. This prime fish habitat offers some of the best fly fishing in Alaska. 

Stalking Tongass Steelhead

Stalking Steelhead in one of the Tongass 77 Watersheds

The Tongass has a long tradition of timber harvesting and many communities throughout Southeast Alaska were spawned directly from this industry. While logging has declined over the past few decades, fishing (both commercial and sport) and the tourism industry have never been stronger in our region. In fact the combined tourism/fishing industries contribute nearly 30,000 jobs and roughly $1.5 billion to Southeast Alaska’s economy.

Tongass Fly Fishing Steelhead 77

Gorgeous Steelhead still in the intertidal of another watershed of Tongass 77

Scientists and stakeholders in the region have identified over 70 areas within the Tongass that provide critical habitat for salmon and trout populations. The rivers and streams that comprise these areas are currently open for development that could significantly impact our region’s wild salmon and trout. America’s Salmon Forest and Trout Unlimited are working to conserve these select areas and the economic gain they bring to our region.

Fly Fishing in the Tongass 77

Big, old-growth trees + no development = Prime fish habitat

One day remains to take action and to call on members of Congress in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to permanently make these areas off limits to harmful development activities while still allowing existing access and uses. 

Southeast Alaska Brown Bears

These bears are stoked on the Tongass 77 Plan!!

We hope these actions protect and ensure abundant returns of wild salmon for generations to come, while also safeguarding the lifeblood of our local economy.

Please consider taking action and submitting a letter online today! American Salmon Forest – Take Action

Sunset on the Tongass 77

Don’t let the sun set on the Tongass 77 without making your voice heard!

Written on February 22, 2016 by Greg Schlachter Greg lives and works in the beautiful coastal community of Haines, Alaska. When he's not handcrafting the perfect travel itinerary for clients of Expedition Broker he can be found on the rivers, fjords and mountains surrounding Haines researching the next great trip.


  • David Altekruse says:

    I am interested in a boat company cruise late July or early August 2017. Plan to meet up with friends around 8/20 to RV together east of anchorage. Need an RV for two, friends will have their own R pod. Also want to do Denali staying in the park. The cruise needs fishing to some degree but not exclusively. Could do Denali first then cruise or visa versa. Fly in from Chicago.

    What do you think? Travel Suggestions for the RV time? Our friends have been up several time and have done Denali and the area south of Anchorage.

    • Greg Schlachter says:

      Hi David, Thank you for the inquiry and we can definitely put together an inclusive itinerary for you! Look for an email and phone call shortly! Best from Alaska, GS

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