As winter takes hold of interior Alaska our fly rods are reluctantly put away and our ice augers are dusted off. Come November, the long warm weather days are behind us, and the weather forecast often predicts sub-zero temperatures. While averaging 6 hours of usable daylight this time of year, our fishing trips often involve getting up well before sunrise and getting home well after sunset. 

Interior Alaska provides many opportunities to target a multitude of species including Northern Pike, Burbot, Arctic Grayling, Arctic Char, Rainbow Trout, and Lake Trout. We generally begin on smaller, shallower lakes, containing Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, and Burbot. These smaller lakes offer safe ice a week or two before the larger, deeper lakes.

Our small sleds, which we drag by hand, contain only a few necessities like an auger, small tackle box, and a few rods. Choosing not to bring an ice shanty or a heater means that wearing the correct clothing is even more important. Base layers, warming layers, and well-made outerwear are all meticulously chosen to ensure we maximize what little daylight we have to fish.

Although we usually spend most of the day hole hopping, both to find fish and stay warm, the fishing is usually some of the best it will be all winter. The fish have gone a few weeks without seeing another fisherman’s lure and are often willing to eat almost anything that is presented to them. Early season ice fishing is some of the most fun you can have on the ice and a great way to introduce a new ice angler to the fun of ice fishing.

Oliver Anacan - @olleyeh holding a lake trout while fishing

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2 Replies to “First Ice”

  1. Many, many years ago, we bought our first Stormy Kromer, red!
    Our grandson was a toddler then, (A Marine in Okinawa, now) whatever “Poppy” had, Buddy had to have, too! Including a red wool Stormy Kromer ornament for his tree and ours! We have been a Stormy Kromer family for 20+ years, we wouldn’t change
    And everywhere we go, people comment about our Stormy Kromer’s!!! A marvelous product! Thank you!!


    1. Stormy Kromer: Kromer Country

      This is why Kromer Country exists, for stories like these. Thank you for sharing!


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