Bucket list King salmon fishing trip? BC or Alaska

If I had a unlimited budget for getting the best salmon fishing in the world I would choose BC.

Alaska gets the press. It funny that most people who were thinking of coming King (Chinook) salmon fishing and choose BC over Alaska generally hear it by word of mouth and often from fishing guides  in Alaska.

I will give you my opinion on my I think King salmon fishing is much better in BC using data, experience and knowing the likely route Chinook salmon take from the river as a smolt and back to the river as a mature salmon.

By the numbers

  • The total return for the Yukon River and Kenai river for 2023 was 75,000 Chinook (Kings), up from 2022.
  • The total Chinook returning to the Columbia RIver in 2023 was over 500K. The forecast for 2024 is about the same.
  • The total Chinook return to the Stamp River system close to Ucluelet was around 200K.
  • The total return for Chinook in all other rivers in BC is over 800K
Chinook swim to the places where they get large before returning to the river. Where do they go?  Most go either to the west coast of Vancouver Island, northern BC and southeast Alaska.

But the salmon return through BC waters to get to BC rivers, Washington rivers, Oregon Rivers etc.

If you ask Chat GPT where the top 10 Chinook salmon fishing spots, maybe 1 or 2 will be on the west coast of British Columbia.

Its a good thing Chat GPT doesn't have to catch King salmon for clients wanting their bucket list salmon fishing trip!


Alaska vs British Columbia in the US  press

Alaska is a beautiful place. Denali was one of my favorite trips. I even enjoyed seeing how many boats were fishing out of Homer.  If you type in best halibut fishing into Google it will probably give you results for Homer.

I won't argue that Homer doesn't have very good halibut fishing.  My point is that the majority of the media in US with 350 million people will tell you Alaska is the place to go for salmon and halibut.

But if you were looking for your bucket list place to catch Chinook (Kings), Coho (Silvers) and Halibut, where would you go?

Personally I would choose BC.

Check out our page on why Ucluelet is my choice for fishing hot spots in BC.

If you are curious about how Ucluelet stacks up in comparison to halibut fishing hot spots check here.

Fishing Resorts vs Fishing Charters

Remember I asked where I would go if money wasn't an object?

Well consider this. When you go to a fly in resort you do go to a location limited in travel methods.

But often there are other resorts close by so when you are fishing, its not just your resort boats in the area. And when you come back to the lodge you are confined to staying in one spot.

We have a page about choosing to come with fishing with us instead of a fishing resort.

One you see how beautiful it is in the Ucluelet area, I think you may look at fishing here. Not only have we been getting record numbers of Chinook salmon coming through Ucluelet waters,  there is lots to see and do here.

If you would like to consider one of our fishing packages, make sure you book soon!