Alaska Bear Viewing & Fly-In Fishing At Big River Lake And Wolverine Creek

Sockeye Salmon Fishing & Bear Viewing: 6/10 - 7/31
Silver Salmon Fishing & Bear Viewing: 7/15 - 8/31

Two Bear Cubs at Big River Lake

The Big River Lakes and Wolverine Creek bear viewing and fishing excursion is one of our most popular fly-in trips, combining bear viewing and fishing in a breathtaking Alaskan wilderness setting. Situated 80 miles southwest of Anchorage on the west side of Cook Inlet, the crystal-clear waters of Big River Lakes offer a unique opportunity to witness schools of salmon swimming near the shore. Of course, where there are salmon, you’ll also find bears eagerly fishing. This close interaction with these majestic creatures is a key draw for those seeking fishing, wildlife viewing, and bear photography experiences. 

The scenic flight to reach Big River Lakes and Wolverine Creek takes approximately 30 minutes. En route, you’ll have the chance to spot various wildlife, including bears, moose, seals, and even whales. The journey also treats you to stunning views of glaciers, volcanoes, and Alaska’s unique landscapes.

Our bear viewing and fly-in fishing trips to Big River Lakes provide an excellent opportunity to observe both brown and black bears. While the larger brown bears are more commonly seen along the lakeshore, black bears may be encountered further inland. Additionally, this area is a thriving habitat for millions of waterfowl, featuring eagles, hawks, falcons, ducks, and more. 

Your adventure begins with a float-plane flight to the lakeside, where you’ll land and then transfer to a boat. This vessel will take you to the mouth of Wolverine Creek, offering you the perfect vantage point to fish, observe bears, and admire other wildlife in their natural habitat.”

Bear viewing at Big River Lakes, Alaska, offers an extraordinary wildlife experience, presenting opportunities to witness brown and black bears in their natural habitat. These remarkable creatures are drawn to the area primarily by the annual salmon runs, especially sockeye salmon, which serve as a dependable food source during the salmon season.

Visitors at Big River Lakes often have the unique privilege of observing bears from relatively close quarters, making it a haven for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. Safety is a top priority, ensuring visitors can enjoy up-close views of these magnificent animals. Both brown and black bears can be spotted, allowing you to appreciate the contrast in their size, behavior, and characteristics.

In this pristine setting, watching bears in their natural environment is akin to attending a live theater performance, with the bears taking center stage. Their interactions with the salmon and their surroundings create an unscripted spectacle of nature’s drama.


Big River Lake Bear Viewing and Fishing showing a young bear cub

Big River Lake Bear Viewing & Fly-In Fishing Salmon Dates

Sockeye Salmon Fishing & Bear Viewing:  6/10 – 7/31
Silver Salmon Fishing & Bear Viewing:  7/15 – 8/31

The prime time for iconic bear sightings at Big River Lakes aligns with the salmon runs, typically occurring during the summer months. The peak bear concentration typically spans from June 15 to August 3. 

Two different species of salmon migrate into this watershed. Big River Lake provides some of the best early summer sockeye fishing around. The sockeye salmon fishing at Big River Lake is excellent from June 10 – July 31. The sockeye salmon start arriving at Big River Lake around June 10 and the fishing stays good and consistent all the way up to July 31 and often later.

As a side note, the other two areas that will have good early season sockeye fishing, approximately at the same time as Big River Lake are the Kasilof River and the Russian River.

As the sockeye salmon run comes to an end, the annual migration of silver salmon begins. Like the sockeye salmon at Big River Lake, the silver salmon arriving are some of the earliest arriving silver salmon throughout the area. Fishing at Big River Lake for Silver Salmon is usually excellent from July 15 – August 31.

Our Planes

Our de Havilland Beaver is an aircraft that’s bound to get your heart racing with excitement. This legendary plane is a true marvel of aviation, known for its incredible versatility and rugged reliability. The Beaver’s Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) capabilities that make it the ultimate adventurer’s dream.

But that’s not all – the Beaver can handle a hefty payload, carrying both passengers and cargo with ease. Its floatplane capabilities mean you can touch down on water, offering an entirely new world of exploration over lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. This iconic aircraft comes with a rich history, having connected remote and inaccessible regions for decades, and its legacy is carried by its timeless charm. If there were any airplane to deserve the recognition as Alaska’s workhorse if would be the de Havilland Beaver.

Our de Havilland Beaver has 7 passenger seats, and with headsets for every passenger, you’ll be able to clearly hear as your pilot highlights the active volcanos, glaciers and more that you’ll see on your round-trip flight.

De Havilland Beaver used in our Bear Viewing and Fly-In Fishing Trips
Big River Lake Bear Viewing Boat - 24 ft Custom SeaArk

Our Boats At Big River Lake

Once we land at Big River Lake we will transfer to one of our 24′ river sleds. We operate some of the finest boats for our bear viewing and fly-in fishing trips. These boats lets us get up close to the bears and maintain safety and appropriate distance. Our boats feature a number of amenities to make sure your experience is as pleasant as possible.

  • 24 ft. in length comfortably carries 6 passengers along with your guide

  • A covered canopy for those rainy days keeping you dry during the bear viewing portion of your trip

  • The canopy is easily unzipped and folded down to make plenty of room for fishing

  • Chairs with proper backrests for comfort. Chairs can be easily added or removed from the boat based on the number of passengers.

  • Heater for any rainy, cold, days.

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