The former capitol of Alaska, under Russian rule, modern Sitka is a small town of nearly 9,000 people, perched on the western edge of Baranof Island. It is served by the Alaska Marine Highway system, local commuter airlines, and daily jet service that puts you in either Anchorage or Seattle. Sitka receives about eleven feet of rain a year, most of which falls in the fall and winter months. Summers in Sitka can be incredibly beautiful.
The Sitka Management Area includes Baranof Island, Kruzof Island (and all islands west of Baranof) along with the western portion of Chichagof Island.
Baranof Island is a throwback to ancient times when it was one of a few pockets of fish and wildlife habitat poking up through a vast ice sheet that covered all of southeast Alaska. It's freshwater fisheries developed over thousands of years, and today, as your float plane soars through the crystal-clear blue sky you can see dozens of clear lakes nestled in spruce forests below, just waiting for the swish of your line through the air and the easy tempo of a day spent plying the shallows for rainbows, cutthroat trout, brook trout and grayling. The outflow of some of these lakes also hosts runs of king, sockeye, pink and chum salmon, along with steelhead, according to the seasons.
Tucked in the seaward edge of virgin spruce rainforest on Baranof Island lies the beautiful coastal town of Sitka, Alaska. Formerly the home of Alaska's Tlingit natives, the city was a stronghold against the Russian military led by Alexander Baranov, but was later conquered by the Russians when the Tlingit warriors ran out of gunpowder. Sitka was renamed New Archangel and was known as the capital of Russian America until the purchase of Alaska by the United States in 1867, 53 years after Baranof's victory over the Tlingit.