The Yukon is known as Canada’s “land of the midnight sun”. In June and July, you’ll experience round-the-clock daylight, which means round-the-clock fishing opportunities. Later in the summer and into the fall you will be treated to the most beautiful light show on earth: the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. From rugged mountains, hills covered in thick forest to crystal clear lakes and raging rivers full of fish, this piece of paradise is an angler’s dream.
According to Environment Yukon, the region has one of the highest rates of participation in sportfishing in Canada. Whether you’re looking for a productive fishing hole along the highway or treating yourself to a Yukon fly-in fishing vacation to the territory’s more remote areas, you’re going to love fishing here!
The Yukon River is the longest river in the Yukon and Alaska and is the third longest in North America. Its water system is massive and includes many fish-rich tributaries and lakes, surrounded by pristine wilderness. The river is one of the most important salmon-spawning rivers in the world and each year it supports an incredible return of Chinook (King) salmon, among other salmon species. In fact, the Yukon River basin is home to the longest salmon runs in history. Expect to find an abundance of Chinook, Coho (Silver) and Chum salmon.
The best time to fish for Chinook salmon is June and July. Sockeye (red) salmon starts to run in early June and can be caught through September. Coho salmon is most abundant in the late summer and early fall.
Your Yukon fishing lodge will offer access to some of the most remote lakes and rivers in the territory. Fish for salmon, lake and rainbow trout, arctic grayling, northern pike, lake whitefish, kokanee and burbot. Apart from salmon, all of these species are generally available from late May through early October, but populations of kokanee will thin after July. June to September is the best time to fish for lake trout and Dolly Varden.
Join the Klondike Gold Rush in Dawson City
No trip to the Yukon Territory is complete without a visit to Dawson City. Take a journey back in time at the Klondike National Historic Sites of Canada, located right in this small city and encompassing many of its historical buildings and landmarks. You’ll walk along dirt roads on old-timey boardwalks, passing restored frontier buildings and an impressive sternwheeler river boat that now rests along the shores of the mighty Yukon River.
The city is famous for the gold rush that occurred along the Klondike river, which flows into the Yukon River at Dawson City, between 1896-1898. Nearly 100,000 gold-seeking prospectors rushed to Dawson City at this time, creating a booming place for business. In those days you would find saloons packed with patrons paying for their drinks with gold dust waiting for the next show featuring live music and dancing can-can girls.
You can experience much of that history, thanks to Parks Canada. Many of the buildings have been restored by Parks Canada and are open to the public for viewing, with a “Parks Pass” of course. You’ll find costumed interpreters walking the boardwalks in Dawson City sharing stories about the gold town’s rich and interesting past. Visitors can see the now-barren goldfields, the elegant Commissioner’s residence, theatre hall, old saloon, step aboard the S.S. Keno sternwheeler and visit the cabin of poet Robert W. Service.
Gold isn’t the only thing they found in the Klondike river. Expect to find plenty of fish too! Take a break from the bustling town and fish for arctic grayling, northern pike and lake trout from this river’s tributaries and nearby lakes. Salmon spawn along the Yukon and Klondike rivers late in the summer, making Dawson City an even better place to be.