Alaska fishing guide


Triston Chaney, 2018 academy graduate and fly fishing guide at Bear Track Lodge in Bristol Bay, teaches fly fishing to a new batch of academy participants in 2023. The Bristol Bay Guide Academy, which was recently featured in the short film School of Fish produced by Trout Unlimited, Orvis, and others, connects local youth to jobs in guided sport fishing. For Alaska Native youth especially, the work entwines traditional connections with salmon and today’s lucrative tourism industry. “The idea for the academy came from Luki Akelkok, traditional chief of Ekwok, and Tim Troll of the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust,” says Nelli Williams, Alaska director of Trout Unlimited, which helps sponsor the academy. Williams explains that many Bristol Bay residents work in commercial fishing but that the guides at local fishing lodges are often hired from outside the area. One barrier to hiring residents has been a lack of experience…