Travel Suggestions

Best Accessible Fishing Spots in Alaska

wheelchair accessible fishing spots in alaska

Fishing is one of the most satisfactory and relaxing outdoor activities there is, whether you are looking to drop a line off the end of a dock or planning an exciting deep-sea adventure. Alaska is one of the wildest and most beautiful places to enjoy the sport. Whether you want to be there for the famous King Salmon run, do some trout fishing with homemade flies, or bottom fish for big Halibut, Alaska is the place to be. Alaska is about one-fifth the size of the continental United States and is home to over 3,000 rivers, millions of lakes, and tens of thousands of miles of coastline.  

Sometimes the great outdoors can seem daunting but we are here to tell you that anglers and adventurers of all abilities need not fear being left on shore. There are numerous opportunities for folks with disabilities to get out on the water. In fact, many charter companies and fishing guides specialize in assisting customers of all abilities.

Alaska’s Boardwalk Lodge

Alaska’s Boardwalk Lodge, located in Thorne Bay, AK, provides wheelchair-accessible lodging and watercraft for all levels of skill. They maintain several 28-foot saltwater fishing boats with heated cabins and accessible bathrooms. There are a number of streams within walking distance from this all-inclusive resort and they are happy to assist less mobile and disabled visitors with advance notice.

Baranof Fishing Excursions

Baranof Fishing Excursions, out of Ketchikan, AK, allows personal caregivers or aides to ride along on fishing trips free of charge. Captain Jack Finnegan has been a lifelong fisherman with dreams of serving disabled anglers on the water. Their commitment to inclusive fishing is cemented in their motto “Fishing has No Boundaries.” They are partnered with Southeast Alaska Independent Living which maintains an all-terrain wheelchair that can be acquired with advance notice.

For those with disabilities that affect upper body strength, they can provide electric reels on a first come first serve basis and will also set their boat up for any equipment you might choose to bring along. Their company also encourages disabled participants to give them advance notice if they have any questions or concerns and they will do everything in their power to accommodate your needs.

The Last Frontiersman

The Last Frontiersman is a fishing and sightseeing company on the Kenai River in south-central Alaska. The Kenai is considered the most popular river for sport fishing in the state. While its salmon run is not the most prolific in the state, it is known for having the biggest fish. Owner Dan McDowell has been at it since 1983 and stresses the importance of inclusiveness and accessibility when it comes to getting out on the water. He is a former Coast Guard Captain and trained in CPR. McDowell specially designed his boat to be barrier-free by including a wheelchair-accessible ramp that can push right up to the shore or dock. 

wheelchair accessible fishing spots in alaska

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Project Healing Waters

Disabled veterans should look into Project Healing Waters. This non-profit brings the sport of fly fishing to disabled veterans and active duty military throughout the nation. In Alaska, their program has offices and affiliates in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Wasilla. They partner with various tourism and fishing businesses to serve disabled veterans in all aspects of the sport. They pride themselves on getting former and current military members out on the water, catching their own fish on flies they made themselves.   

Fishing Licenses at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Make sure to remember to check the rules for fishing permits and licenses required by state law. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is a great place to find out everything you will need to avoid issues during your excursion. In addition, Alaska grants free fishing permits to eligible residents who are disabled veterans or over 60 years of age. Special rules often apply to disabled anglers and low-cost permits and licenses are available. If you are looking for more information on those programs, click here.

Accessible Fishing Gear in Alaska

If you are looking for specialized gear it is a good idea to look into adaptive fishing gear. These items involve braces that can help grip a fishing rod or electric reels for those that want assistance reeling in a big catch. There are also a number of different attachments for wheelchairs that allow a friend to cast for you, if necessary, so you can handle the rest. A list of these items and where to find them is available thanks to the United Spinal Association.

wheelchair accessible fishing spots in alaska

Wheelchair Getaways’ locations span the lower 48 states as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. If you are in need of transportation for the fishing excursion of your dreams, you can get a quote on wheelchair-accessible rental vans by clicking here. Can’t wait to see you on the water!


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