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...
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 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.)
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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...
The Susitna River is a major drainage system in the Denali region. The river flows south from the Susitna Glacier and the Alaska Range and eventually turns west to flow through the Talkeetna Mountains and then south to Cook Inlet. The Susitna is not floatable because of Devil’s Canyon downstream. Access to the historic Valdez Creek Mine is on the More...
When silver salmon are running up Montana Creek by the thousands, fishermen are running up the Parks Highway by the hundreds to go “combat fishing.” They stand elbow to elbow along the creek, casting their lines and catching everything from fish to coat sleeves. Up and down the creek, you can hear people holler “Fish on!”
If you like to fish for Silvers and Kings with a bobber and eggs, Ship Creek's mouth is a great option. Though you may have to deal with a little bit more mud along the banks, bring a packable chair, and once you're about 100 meters north of the road, you can claim a grassy area to settle in.
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...
If you like to fish, you've come to the right place. This is the Kenai/Russian River Access and Sportsman's Access Site (ADF&G) and the Kenai-Russian River Ferry. The ferry takes you across the Kenai River to the mouth of the famed Russian River for some of the best fishing in Alaska.
An underwater video camera has been set up in Steep Creek to film salmon, trout, and charr entering the creek from Mendenhall Lake. Summertime visitors can watch live footage of this fishy environment in the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's pavilion.
Fishcam images can also be viewed at:
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 the largest lake you will see on the Dempster Highway. It was named for Ernest Chapman, a trader, trapper and prospector. There are many other smaller lakes in the vicinity and together they support a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. The lake is also home to a variety of fish, including arctic grayling, burbot, round whitefish, and long nose sucker. The Porcupine Caribou More...
This is the largest lake you will see on the Dempster Highway. It was named for Ernest Chapman, a trader, trapper and prospector. There are many other smaller lakes in the vicinity and together they support a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. The lake is also home to a variety of fish, including arctic grayling, burbot, round whitefish, and long nose sucker. The Porcupine Caribou Herd More...
Although this can be a busy spot, it is a lot less congested than the Homer Spit. Things to do here include: taking small day hikes, paddling in the lagoon, camping, staying at one of the three nearby public use cabins, and the most popular, fishing for Kings during the month of June.
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...