Best Times & Seasons to Fish in the Yukon (Full Guide)

Today we discuss Best Times & Seasons to Fish in the Yukon. The Yukon, located in the northwestern part of Canada, is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Its pristine rivers, lakes, and abundant fish species make it a dream destination for anglers.

However, to make the most of your fishing trip, it is crucial to understand the best times and seasons for fishing in the Yukon.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various factors that influence fishing success, highlight the prime fishing seasons, and provide tips to maximize your catch.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, this article will equip you with the knowledge you need for a successful fishing adventure in the Yukon.

Best Times & Seasons to Fish in the Yukon:

Understanding Fish Behavior and Factors Influencing Fishing Success:

To determine the best fishing times and seasons in the Yukon, it’s important to know what affects fish behavior and your fishing success. Consider these factors:

Water Temperature:

Water temperature plays a vital role in fish activity. Different fish species have different temperature preferences, affecting their feeding patterns and movement.

Understanding the preferred temperature ranges for your targeted fish species can significantly increase your chances of success.

Spawning Season

During spawning season, fish are focused on reproduction rather than feeding. It is generally advisable to avoid fishing during this time to allow fish populations to reproduce and replenish.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions, such as temperature, wind speed, and atmospheric pressure, can impact fish behavior.

For example, shifts in barometric pressure can trigger feeding frenzies in some species, while others may become more lethargic during adverse weather.

Time of Day

Fish are more active during certain times of the day. Generally, early morning and late afternoon tend to be the most productive times for fishing as fish are often more active during low-light conditions.

Moon Phases

The moon phase can influence fish behavior, particularly in freshwater environments. Some anglers believe that fishing during specific moon phases, such as the new moon or full moon, can increase their chances of success.

Spring Fishing in the Yukon:

Spring is an exciting time for fishing in the Yukon as rivers and lakes start to thaw after a long winter. Here’s what you need to know about spring fishing:

The arrival of warmer temperatures leads to increased fish activity. As ice melts and water temperatures rise, fish become more active in search of food after a period of dormancy. Spring is an excellent time to target species such as Northern Pike, Lake Trout, and Arctic Grayling.

One popular spring fishing destination in the Yukon is Teslin Lake. As the ice thaws, Lake Trout becomes more active and moves closer to the surface. Anglers can have great success using spoons, jigs, or trolling with baitfish imitations.

Another productive spot during spring is the Yukon River. As water levels rise with the melting snow, migrating salmon species like Chinook and Coho start their journey upstream. This presents an incredible opportunity for anglers looking to hook into these prized gamefish.

Summer Fishing in the Yukon:

Summer is the peak fishing season in the Yukon. With longer days and pleasant weather conditions, anglers can enjoy extended fishing trips. Here’s what you need to know about summer fishing:

The summer months offer diverse fishing opportunities in the Yukon’s lakes and rivers. From trophy-sized Northern Pike in Fox Lake to feisty Rainbow Trout in Marsh Lake, there’s something for every angler.

One of the highlights of summer fishing in the Yukon is the abundance of salmon runs. The Yukon River witnesses several salmon species returning from their oceanic journeys to spawn. Anglers can experience thrilling battles with Chinook, Sockeye, and Pink salmon during this time.

If you prefer fly fishing, summer is an excellent season for targeting Arctic Grayling. These beautiful fish are known for their acrobatic jumps and willingness to take dry flies. Rivers like the Big Salmon and Bonnet Plume are renowned for their Grayling populations.

Fall Fishing in the Yukon:

As summer fades away and leaves start changing colors, fall ushers in a unique fishing experience in the Yukon. Here’s what you need to know about fall fishing:

Fall is an excellent time for targeting trophy-sized Lake Trout in the Yukon’s deep lakes. As temperatures cool down, these fish move closer to shorelines, making them more accessible to anglers. Trolling with large spoons or using live bait can yield impressive results.

Another fall highlight is targeting Northern Pike in backwater sloughs or shallow bays. These aggressive predators feed voraciously before winter sets in, making them highly active and responsive to various lures and baits.

If you’re up for a challenge, fall is also the time when Arctic Char starts their migration upstream to spawn. These elusive fish offer a thrilling angling experience but require patience and skill to hook into.

Winter Ice Fishing in the Yukon:

For those who crave a unique fishing experience amidst frozen landscapes, winter ice fishing in the Yukon is an adventure worth undertaking:

Once lakes freeze over, ice fishermen flock to popular destinations like Tagish Lake or Lake Laberge. Ice fishing provides an opportunity to target species such as Lake Trout, Northern Pike, and Whitefish.

To ensure a safe ice fishing experience, it is essential to check ice thickness regularly and carry appropriate safety equipment. Ice augers, portable shelters, and tip-ups are some of the essential gear required for successful ice fishing.

When targeting Lake Trout through the ice, using baitfish imitations or small jigs tipped with cut bait can yield positive results. For Northern Pike, larger spoons or tip-ups with live bait are highly effective.


The Yukon offers incredible fishing opportunities throughout the year. Understanding the best times and seasons for fishing in this region will significantly enhance your chances of success. Whether you prefer casting from a boat during summer or drilling holes through thick ice in winter, there’s a fishing adventure waiting for you in the Yukon. Remember to familiarize yourself with local regulations and practice responsible angling to preserve this beautiful ecosystem for future generations of anglers. Happy fishing!

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