Alaska's most productive king salmon sportfishery is located right in downtown Anchorage! Fish for salmon at Ship Creek even if you have only two hours. During the summertime derbies, specially tagged fish bring in $100-$10,000. Buy your tickets ($7-35) from the Derby Cabin next to Comfort Inn at Ship Creek and warm up your muscles-in 2002, a 41-pounder took grand prize! The More...
Crystal-clear Williwaw Creek and its bank-side trail system in Portage Valley at the head of Turnagain Arm offers exceptionally good conditions for watching spawning in action. Coho, sockeye and chum salmon converge on the creek as it winds through the brushy flats beginning in mid-August, with some late-arriving fish still present after first frost in the fall.
This spot, just north of Sterling, is primarily a boat launch, but it also offers excellent sockeye fishing. It’s located at the end of Bing’s Landing Road: There’s a parking lot, but when the fishing is hot, you can expect to park alongside the road, up to half a mile away from the boat launch site. (Another reason you might park on the road: The lot near the boat launch has a fee.)
This spot is particularly good for anyone who's mobility impaired, since you access the river by a flat, metal boardwalk—and the actual fishing area is also from the boardwalk. This makes Moose Meadows one of a very few places where anglers can fish for sockeye without having to be in the water—you can do excellent even from a wheel chair.
Thousands of pink salmon converge on Indian Creek each July and August, just about filling this shallow, easy-flowing stream south of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm from bank-to-bank. This amazing natural spectacle occurs in one of the easiest places to view spawning salmon in the region: No steep banks, crystal clear water and fish so close they could almost be touched.
Located down Beaver Loop Road, just outside of Kenai, Cunningham Park is a great, easy-access location for sockeye and silver salmon. The shoreline here is a mix of gravel and mud, with the mud being more prevalent below the tidal zone. That said, this spot is very tidal dependent, so you’ll have to continually adjust your bait setup as the water rises or falls.
This unique fishery, about 25 miles north of Anchorage, is comprised of a small, artificial eddy of water that comes down from a power plant and connects to the main stem, Knik River. The glacial-fed water looks murky and blue-gray, and there’s very little current. While you won’t find much solitude here, you can usually find a spot to set up a lawn chair for some lazy fishing. There’s abundant parking, too, as well as restrooms.
This spot in Sterling—at milepost 82.3 at the Isaak Walton Campground—is where the Moose River meets the Kenai River, and the two rivers’ differing paces are drastic. The Moose River is very slow and wide, with almost no current—so much so that it feels more like a lake. The Kenai River, on the other hand, flows fairly swiftly in comparison, and the confluence can play strange tricks on your tackle.
The six-room B&B, in a log building, is strictly no-frills, but you’ll find clean, comfortable rooms with one double bed and one twin bed. While they may be basic, you won’t find more affordable lodging in the area—there’s even a continental breakfast. It’s the perfect choice for hardcore fishermen and adventurers who want a warm, clean, affordable room to return to in the evening.
This tributary of the Kenai River flows alongside the Sterling Highway, just north of Cooper Landing (from milepost 40-45). There are plenty of designated pull-offs along the highway—like Quartz Creek Road, which leads to Kenai Lake, as well as the popular access point at the Quartz Creek Bridge.
This confluence is one of the most popular fisheries in South Central Alaska. Located about 60 miles north of Anchorage on the Parks Highway, it offers excellent fishing for four of the major salmon species: kings, silvers, chums and pinks. It also features big rainbows (up to 30 inches) and Dolly Varden, as well as Arctic Grayling. You’ll also find, in small numbers, burbot and whitefish.
Soldotna Park, in downtown Soldotna, offers all Kenai River species—but most people are here for the sockeye. That means it can get crowded during peak sockeye season, but it's also a good place to learn how to fish for sockeye. The combination of easy accessibility, hard-packed gravel and a shallow grade make the fishing enjoyable.
This fish-filled creek rushes out from Far North Bicentennial Park and through the center of town. Cast for rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, or silver salmon-all within walking distance of your car. Throw on a pair of hip-waders and head up the creek or angle from the shoreline trail.
Directions: Park at one of the lots on Campbell Airstrip Rd. to access the creek from Far North More...
A two-hour kayak ride up Mitchell Bay toward Hasselborg Lake takes you through a serene, pristine wilderness. You’ll share the area with water birds, eagles, salmon and of course, brown bear. Portage at a U.S. Forest Service cabins to stay awhile and take in more of the incredible Tongass National Forest.
Whether you’re looking for a campsite or fishing hole, glassing for birds, watching for bears, or beachcombing, this recreation site is a great spot to experience the wonders of Kodiak Island without traveling too far. There are camping sites for everything from tents to large RVs, which are given on a first-come, first-served basis with prices from $10-$28. There are also More...
The Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon (aka The Fishing Hole) is a popular park with both locals and visitors. The lagoon is stocked with fry that grow up to provide sport fishing. The fishing hole has a handicapped accessible platform and ramp. King salmon return mid-May to early July followed by an early run of silvers mid-July to early August and a late run early August to mid-September.
King salmon enter Deep Creek during late May and early June and continue to spawn into early July. Watch for their dark red bodies in the riffles and deeper holes. A very limited fishing season is provided during the early summer for kings and steelheads.
This easy trail winds along the banks of three lakes. There is a camping area on the side of the trail. The trail climbs a saddle and drops down into the valley. It can be dangerous to cross the rivers, as they are glacier-fed and you cannot see the bottom. The rivers are lower during the beginning of the year, but they are also colder.
Milepost 17.7, Seward Highway
Kenai Lake offered a flat treeless path to travel in winter. This trail was one of two overland routes to Sunrise and Hope. (The other overland route was through Portage Pass.) Miners traveled by dogsled from Seward to Snow River and on to Kenai Lake. At the other end of the 17 mile lake, travelers would follow Quartz Creek north through Turnagain More...
One of the easiest beaches to access from town, this park has a nice overlook and excellent waterfront with picnic sites. In late July through September, you can fish from the beach for silver and pink salmon. Wander down the beach to a small creek (on the left side) that is filled with salmon in late summer. Surfers ride storm waves here, and some locals even scuba dive in the cove More...
Drive to the end of Thane road and park at the dead end, where a nice waterfall sets the mood for this three-mile hike through a beautiful rain forest. Mud and exposed roots make for difficult footing, but the trail is flat—a rarity around here. Fish for dollies where fresh water enters the channel. If hiking in early summer, look for big chunks missing from the huge, unfurling More...
Ever gone ice fishing? Caribou lake is a great place to enjoy this cold and unique experience. You can spend a quiet day to yourself, fishing for Dolly Varden and Kokanee. Or if you're feeling more competitive, you can participate in the Snomad's (Homer's snow machine club) annual ice fishing contest. (Either way, dress in warm layers and be prepared to sit or stand in the cold!)
King salmon enter during late-May and early-June and there are always some fish spawning in areas near the highway during early-July. Wear polarized glasses if you have them and watch for dark red kings in the riffles and deeper holes. A very limited fishing season is available on these streams during the early summer for both salmon and steelhead.
This is a popular boat launch for drift boaters fishing for king salmon. The Kasilof River red salmon dipnet fishery is here, but only open to Alaska residents. It's worth a look if you've never seen dipnetters in action before. There are 16 campsites, water, tables, toilets, hiking trails, a boat launch and fishing.
There is parking at the trailhead for passenger vehicles and one or two campers. The trail is half a mile long and takes you through a mature birch forest that is carpeted with devil's club and watermelon berry plants. It's an easy walking, ideal for small children, and ends at a small camping area on a slight bluff that overlooks Bishop's Beach and Bishop Creek. There is More...
This river flows past a primitive campsite (first-come basis, free) and empties into the bay. Only three miles long, the river is fed by Lake Rose Tead, which is a prime spawning area for sockeye salmon. The river also has runs of pink, chum, and silver salmon, as well as Dolly Varden. Fly fishermen love the challenge of fishing in the tidally-influenced lower stretch of the river; but More...
Chena Lake has two distinct personalities: The Lake Park and The River Park. The two parks were created at the same time an earthfill dam was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in response to devastating Chena River floods in 1967. The dam is 7.1 miles long and controls nearly 1,500 miles of watershed that would otherwise freely flow into Fairbanks.
Stop at Long Lake, at mile 45.2, to see a popular spot for sockeye salmon to spawn. Every year, 18,000 sockeye salmon swim up the Chitina and Copper Rivers to spawn in Long Lake. This is a very unique run, salmon begin entering the lake as late as September and spawn until April.
Stop at Long Lake, at mile 45.2, to see a popular spot for sockeye salmon to spawn. Every year, 18,000 sockeye…