Alaska Small Business Development Center

Highlighting Salmon River Sportfishing

October 21, 2020

Salmon River Sportfishing

Natalie Vaz owns the only freshwater fishing guide service in Gustavus, Alaska, the “gateway” to Glacier Bay National Park. In addition, to fly fishing and spin fishing, she also guides river kayaking, sea kayaking, and packrafting tours. Her goal is to guide trips that are as personal as possible and commits to customizing each excursion to meet each individual client’s interests.

Entrepreneurship runs in the family as Vaz’s mother and uncle are both successful small business owners. She credits growing up and watching them immerse themselves in entrepreneurship to giving her the confidence she needed to do the same in an industry that she is passionate about. Vaz started Salmon River Sportfishing at 17 years old and in her first season offered only one trip option: freshwater spin fishing trips. Each year after, she has added new components to her business: fly fishing, river kayaking, sea kayaking, and as of this year, packrafting. 

When asked what she loves most about small business ownership she divulged that it has to be the “wide variety of skills it has taught me. I have learned about bookkeeping, marketing, website design, gear maintenance and repair, and ‘people skills.’ There is always more to learn as a small business owner, so it is hard to get bored.”  Read the rest of the story here!

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