We put a lot of work into researching, visiting, and curating these fishing spots (over 500 in all!), so you can spend your time filling the freezer, not searching for fish. Alaska has over 800 marked fishing spots on the road system alone, and unearthing the best ones was a labor of love.
When choosing these spots, we considered popularity, accessibility, and how much is known about the location. Places like the Russian River see a lot of anglers, while other places are seldom-visited; for both, we’ll tell you what makes the location unique how to fish it. But we also go beyond the usual information, offering knowledge that can only be acquired by visiting—like water clarity, soil type, and other insights specific to the location.
A lot of work, too, has gone into mapping these fishing locations. Most were mapped to their respective parking areas, which often required an on-location GPS reading. Other locations were mapped using digital satellite imagery, and this also required careful planning to ensure they were properly marked.
See Fishing Spots by Species
Red (Sockeye) Salmon | King (Chinook) Salmon | Silver (Coho) Salmon | Pink (Humpy) Salmon | Chum (Dog) Salmon | Rainbow Trout | Dolly Varden | Northern Pike | Arctic Grayling | Lake Trout | Steelhead | Burbot | Arctic Char | Whitefish | Land Locked Salmon
See Fishing Spots by Area
Upper Copper - Upper Susitna Drainage Fishing Spots | Anchorage Fishing Spots | Knik Arm Fishing Spots | Prince William Sound Fishing Spots | Susitna River Drainage Fishing Spots | Tanana River Drainage Fishing Spots | Kodiak Island Fishing Spots | Southeast Alaska Fishing Spots | Yukon River Drainage Fishing Spots | Homer Fishing Spots | Kenai / Soldotna Fishing Spots | Mat-Su Valley Fishing Spots
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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! Want to fish Ship Creek? 6th Avenue Outfitters (907−276−0233) sells… ...more
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.)
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.
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.
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.
The trail along Hamilton Creek is busiest around 5 in the morning, as savvy anglers know that’s when the fish are biting! The trail is about 2 miles round-trip, but you can follow the creek for miles, fishing and picnicking along the way. You will be sharing the experience with bears, so secure your snacks, and any fish you catch.
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 Bicentennial Park, or head west on 76th off of Old Seward to King… ...more
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.
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.
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.
This is one spot you don’t want to miss. July through September you’ll witness a spectacular run of Silver Salmon. Fishermen from all over the world come into Alaska to cast a line here. There will be hundreds of people coming and going from Bird Creek on any given day. In their hands will be the days bounty; a nice big silver salmon that is delicious when smoked and even better when grilled and coated with lemon and a honey mustard glaze.… ...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!)
A good dirt road, with plenty of pull-outs, leaves the main highway on the south side of the road. The “Alascom Road” runs four miles across the valley floor. There are several lakes, stocked with trout and grayling, for fishermen, and plenty of camping spots. It’s quiet, and there’s great canoeing and bird watching on the lakes. It’s a popular weekend destination for Anchorage folks, so you might not be alone. And in the fall, you’ll see… ...more
Milepost 17.7, Seward HighwayKenai 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 Pass along Canyon Creek to the gold rush towns of Sunrise and Hope. ...more
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.
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.
These popular trails lead to two beautiful, pristine lakes. Even better, they’re both easy hikes, which makes them perfect for people of all ages. Bring a fishing pole and angle for stocked trout in Meridian Lake or grayling in Grayling Lake.
On the north side of the bridge is a turn out with good access to Caribou Creek Bridge. It’s a good spot to stretch your legs, let the kids skip rocks, or contemplate flow. As Thoreau said “He who hears the rippling of rivers utterly despairs of nothing!” If you’re a river runner, this is the launch for the Lion’s Head whitewater run. Class III and Class IV water awaits, and you can run this with Nova Guides.
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.
Located towards the head of Tutka Bay on the north side is Tutka Bay Falls. The beach in front of the falls is a good spot for clam digging, pink salmon fishing and just lounging around. Explore along the trail that parallels the waterfall and take a backcountry shower in one of the pools. Be courteous of private property in this area.
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 east side of the Susitna River. The mine is now closed and the land is being reclaimed.
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 spinner or fly caster, you’ll find good game in this… ...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.
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!”
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.
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. Birding is good year round, but it’s especially great during the winter.