Captain Mark Ledden fishing Salmon River

Over 20 years experience

Driftwater Fishing

Salmon River & Lake Ontario

VIDEOS. Stellwagen Media and Captain Mark Ledden present two videos celebrating local steelhead fishing: Oarsman and Pulaski.

Guide Profile

I have been a devout fisherman as far back as I can remember. I started salmon fishing at a very young age. I was fortunate to grow up a few minutes walk to a stream that had a healthy population of migratory king and coho salmon, as well as large steelhead, rainbow, and brown trout. By the age of twelve, I had caught more salmon than most will in a lifetime. While most kids idolized sports figures, I grew up watching and reading about the legends and fishing greats like Del Brow, Lefty Krey, Flip Pallot, Jose Wejebe and countless others. As my friends were tackling dummies at football practice, I was roll casting into a river that had a fresh push of steelhead in its tail-out. Fishing has stayed with me through out my life. I have fished everywhere my travels have taken me: countless places along the Northeast coast, the Florida Keys, the South West, West Coast, Alaska, Canada, Japan, and all over the Caribbean.

I was also fortunate to grow up on the East Coast of Lake Ontario in the summers, where I spent most of my time on the water fishing out of anything that would float. At eighteen I started chartering and navigating a twenty-eight foot fishing charter boat through a massive salmon troll fleet that once blanketed Mexico Bay and Lake Ontario area during late August and early September. This was the hay day of the Lake Ontario fishing charter fleet, before the poor salmon and steelhead returns in the late nineties that diminished this fleet to only a handful.

This came at a good time because it allowed me to focus on something besides fishing. I took time off from fishing and guiding to attend and graduate from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Political Science. After college I moved to Manhattan for a year and tried a few different jobs. My last job was at the Orvis fly fishing store on 44th St and Fifth Ave. It was their flagship store and a mecca for fly fishermen living in the city or passing through. Some of the best guides, big game fishermen, sport fishing writers, long distance fly casters, famous fly tiers, and a whole bunch of others came through the shop, selling books, trips, or giving seminars and talks. As much as I enjoyed being around some of the greatest people in the fishing industry, it made me miss guiding and being on the water everyday.

One day I woke up and wanted a change. That week I heard striper guides talking about some fishing they had done in Alaska and how a few of the lodges were under staffed for guides. I did a little research, found an area that fished similar to the way I did at home, and started calling lodges in Alaska. I worked for a great lodge for three months until my contract was up. I bought a boat before I left Alaska and opened my own business the following year. With guiding on the Salmon River and chartering on Lake Ontario in Upstate New York, Alaska helped diversify and strengthen my businesses. Since the opening of the Alaska business we are able to be on the water three hundred and sixty-five days a year, offering you the best Salmon and Trout fishing anywhere in the world.