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Fishing Report: Pulling Dolly Varden out of Pullen Pond in Skagway

On the surface, Skagway looks like the perfect fishing town, but after a little asking around, fishing doesn’t appear to receive top billing.
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 1:41 PM AKDT
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SKAGWAY, Alaska (KTUU) - On the surface, Skagway looks like the perfect fishing town, but after a little asking around, fishing doesn’t appear to receive top billing.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get a line in the water though — you just need to rely on the locals to tell you where to go.

The focus of this fishing report is Pullen Pond, a small pond just outside of downtown Skagway that is around two to three feet deep in most places, but has a deep spot right in the middle that measures closer to eight or nine feet.

Robert May, who works with the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, fishes the pond regularly and said that it is great for pink salmon once they start to run.

However, in mid-June, the only species that frequent the pond are the beautiful Dolly Varden. May said that fishing isn’t great when rain is falling, and in Skagway, it averages 162 days per year of precipitation, so your window for catching fish are pretty small.

“You can catch fish, yes, (but) you’re not going to catch any trophies or anything that you are going to send home and say, ‘Hey look what I caught!’” May said.

May was casting a bronze Kastmaster lure on the end of a Fenwick Eagle fishing rod and surprised himself when he caught a very small Dolly on his first cast.

The shock continued when he caught a good-sized Dolly on the second cast, even as the rain began to set in.

May says that there are the occasional silvers that find their way into the pond during the summer, either looking for rest or getting lost on their long journey to spawn. The pond is perfectly placed just outside of downtown Skagway; a decent fisherman could almost hit the shops and restaurants with a good cast.

The fishing season in Pullen Pond is open most of the year — it’s closed off from Sept. 15 to Nov. 30 — and you can catch four Dolly Varden daily with four in possession and no size limit. The two that we caught on our trip were too small to keep, but will make for a great fishing story for years to come.

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