Alaska Rainbow Trout Fishing Spots

Rainbow trout are a very popular game fish and are prevalent in Alaska. They can be found in lakes, rivers, and streams throughout the state thanks to both natural and introduced populations.

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Rainbow Trout 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.

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.

At mile 10.7 McCarthy Road, there is foot access to Sil­ver Lake where you can enjoy a relax­ing after­noon fish­ing for trout.

ATV Trail from Tanana Lp Rd

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.

80-site RV Park (no hook-ups) and camp­ground, with water, shared flush toi­lets (a lux­u­ry in Alas­ka camp­ing!), and pic­nic tables and fire pits at each camp­site. Very pop­u­lar fish­ing spot for rain­bow trout, red (sock­eye), and sil­ver (coho) salmon. Also a very active area for bears — some­times there are restric­tions on tent camp­ing and soft-sided trail­ers due to bear activ­i­ty in the area.

North Knob Lake is acces­si­ble via the ALAS­COM Access Road off of the Glenn High­way, just across the road from the Chick­aloon Trail­head Sys­tem. You’ll first past North Knob lake before reach­ing South Knob Lake. The lake is stocked with rain­bow trout.

Mir­ror Lake is a beau­ti­ful spot to relax, play, and pad­dle. Just off the Glenn High­way in the town of Chugiak, about 25 miles north of Anchorage.

Sun­shine Creek flows into the Susit­na Riv­er. There is an access road off of the Parks High­way. Most pop­u­lar for fish­ing for sil­vers late August through September.

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 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 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.

Access point to fish the Russ­ian Riv­er near the con­flu­ence of the Kenai and Russ­ian Rivers in Coop­er Land­ing. It also pro­vides park­ing for anglers using the Russ­ian Riv­er Fer­ry which is right next door. Fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for red (sock­eye) and sil­ver (coho) salmon, as well as dol­ly var­den and rain­bow trout.

Long Lake is locat­ed with­in the Matanus­ka Lakes Recre­ation Area. Park at the Long Lake Trail­head and fol­low the trail that fol­lows the shore­line. There are mul­ti­ple access points. The lake is stocked annu­al­ly with rain­bow trout.

Pop­u­lar loca­tion to fish the Kenai Riv­er from a raised plat­form along the water and to launch boats. Large park­ing area and boat launch are both avail­able for a fee. Check web­site for cur­rent rates. Vault toi­lets. Depend­ing on the sea­son can fish for rain­bow trout, dol­ly var­den, salmon (King, Sock­eye, Coho). Check the ADF&G web­site for regulations.

Love­ly neigh­bor­hood lake in Palmer, just off of Trunk Road. There’s a pub­lic access point on the north side of the lake off of E Turn Dri­ve. There’s a small grav­el park­ing area. The lake is stocked with rain­bow trout. Locals come here to fish and paddle.

Wad­ing access and boat launch. Grav­el park­ing area and boat launch are both avail­able for a fee. Check web­site for cur­rent rates. This is a small­er park­ing area than some near­by access points for the Kenai Riv­er. Depend­ing on the sea­son can fish for rain­bow trout, dol­ly var­den, salmon (King, Sock­eye, Coho). Check the ADF&G web­site for regulations.

Pop­u­lar lake due to its close prox­im­i­ty to Sol­dot­na to fish for rain­bow trout and coho salmon. There’s also a boat launch, and on sun­ny sum­mer days locals will be kayak­ing, boat­ing, jet ski­ing, and tub­ing. There’s a paved park­ing area.

Rain­bow trout fish­ing spot off of the Alas­ka High­way. A dirt road at MP 1348 leads to the trail­head for the 12 mile hike to Robert­son #2 lake.

Day use area for fish­ing (stocked rain­bow trout and coho) and trail access, with pic­nic shel­ter and toi­lets. Access is just off the Ster­ling High­way and W Scout Lake Loop Road.

Fish for rain­bow trout at this small lake acces­si­ble via a 14 mile trail off of the McCarthy Road.

Access point to fish the Kenai Riv­er between the Russ­ian Riv­er and Ski­lak Lake. Species found here include trout, dol­ly var­den, and salmon (kings, sock­eye, and sil­vers — depend­ing on time of year). There is a grav­el park­ing area and a boat launch point. Check with Alas­ka Depart­ment of Fish and Game for reg­u­la­tions and limits.

One of the most pop­u­lar areas in the state for dip­net­ters to fish the Kenai Riv­er in the month of July. There’s a large paved park­ing area, and camp­ing is allowed July 10 — 31 dur­ing the sock­eye salmon run. Restrooms available.

Lake stocked with rain­bow trout. Acces­si­ble via Bon­nie Lakes Road off the Glenn High­way just north of Chick­aloon. There’s a grav­el pull-out park­ing area on the right hand side of the road to access the lake.

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.

There are rain­bow trout and dol­ly var­den in Eklut­na Lake. Check with Alas­ka Depart­ment of Fish and Game for regulations.

Acces­si­ble via a 1‑mile trail from the park­ing area just off the Alas­ka High­way. The lake is stocked with rain­bow trout by ADF&G. This trail is man­aged by the Tetlin Nation­al Wildlife Refuge.

Eas­i­ly acces­si­ble lake just off the Alas­ka High­way. Fol­low Jan Lake Road for about 14 of a mile. Rain­bow trout.

Desh­ka Land­ing is a boat launch on the Susit­na Riv­er that pro­vides access to the Susit­na, Yent­na, and Desh­ka Rivers. The land­ing is open year-round (win­ter snow­mo­bile use) and is man­aged by the Desh­ka Out­door Asso­ci­a­tion, LLC.

Eas­i­ly acces­si­ble fish­ing spot off the Glenn High­way near Palmer, Alas­ka. There’s a small paved park­ing are at mile 37, and a trail down to the lake. Anglers will find rain­bow trout and land­locked salmon.

This area opens to dip net­ting for sock­eye salmon only if escape­ment of salmon is beyond a cer­tain lim­it. Vis­it the ADF&G web­site for more information.

Stocked lake with park­ing area just off the Parks High­way, but major­i­ty of the shore­line is pri­vate prop­er­ty. Rain­bow trout. Beau­ti­ful view of Mt. Denali, Mt. Forak­er, and Mt. Hunter on a clear day.

W on D st., right on Loop Rd, left on Otter Lake Rd

Beach Lake is a local gem locat­ed in the Eagle River/​Chugiak area, 20 miles north of Anchor­age. Enjoy a qui­et, uncrowd­ed view of the Chugach Mountains.

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.

Avoid the crowds and explore a local favorite. This 6.2‑mile out-and-back trail, locat­ed in Wil­low, Alas­ka, takes trav­el­ers on a wind­ing jour­ney along bore­al for­est floor. The pay­off is at the turn­around point, which fea­tures views of Red Shirt Lake’s shore­line. At the lake, fish for north­ern pike and keep an ear out for loons, which fre­quent the area.

Large road­side pull­out beside the Alas­ka High­way at mile 1391.8 is the Don­na Lakes Trail­head. Fol­low the trail 3.6 miles to Big Don­na Lake Cab­in, and con­tin­ue anoth­er 1.3 miles to Lit­tle Don­na Lake Cab­in. Both cab­ins are man­aged by ADF&G.

Love­ly lake acces­si­ble from via Bon­nie Lake Road off the Glenn High­way just north of Chick­aloon. A small dock juts into the lake, as well as a grav­el boat launch area. Fish for rain­bow trout and grayling.

Qui­et lake in Wil­low where you can fish for rain­bow trout. It is stocked by ADF&G.

Part of the Tal­keet­na Lakes Park trail sys­tem. There’s a trail­head on Whig­mi Road with a short walk to access the lake, and there’s about a 2 mile trail around the lake that con­nects with the Z Lake Loop. The Lake is stocked with Rain­bow Trout.

W on D st., right on Loop Rd, left on Otter Lake Rd

Upper Sum­mit Lake is one of the most beau­ti­ful views along the Seward high­way. Sum­mit Lake Lodge is at one end, open sea­son­al­ly May through Sep­tem­ber. Behind the lake is Ten­der­foot Creek Camp­ground. Fish­ing avail­able for Dol­ly Var­den and Rain­bow Trout.

This lake is part of the Nan­cy Lake Canoe Sys­tem. There’s a paved park­ing area to access the trail­head at about mile 4.5 of the Nan­cy Lake Park­way. The lake is stocked with Rain­bow Trout.

North Knob Lake is acces­si­ble via the ALAS­COM Access Road off of the Glenn High­way, just across the road from the Chick­aloon Trail­head Sys­tem. There is a small grav­el pull­out for park­ing. The lake is stocked with rain­bow trout.

Large, paved, road­side pull­out just off the Alas­ka High­way. Park and hike the 34 mile trail to Lisa Lake. Fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for rain­bow trout and land­locked salmon. There’s also a pub­lic use cab­in avail­able to rent from ADF&G.

Pull-off’s present; best fish­ing at outlet.

Good spot to fish for rain­bow trout.

Sev­en­teen­mile Lake is stocked with rain­bow trout and arc­tic char. It’s a tran­quil lake with views of the sur­round­ing moun­tains. The lake can be accessed from the Glenn High­way, just before Sut­ton, via Mile 58 Road. There’s a small grav­el park­ing area and unde­vel­oped boat launch off of Wish­bone Place.

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 (9072760233) sells…  ...more

Stretch your legs at this pic­turesque stream and per­haps drop in a line. At Dav­es Creek you’ll find good fish­ing for dol­ly var­den and rain­bow trout. Salmon can be seen spawn­ing here in mid-July through September.

Access Cen­ten­ni­al Lake by dri­ving Tuste­me­na Lake Road. There’s a sign for the lake on the left-hand side. There’s a sandy beach area and some spaces to park a vehi­cle or RV. There are no restrooms. The lake is stocked with land-locked salmon and rain­bow trout.

This is a week­end only salmon fish­ery that is very pop­u­lar with locals. The creek is more of a slough, with thick-glacial silt mud.

A qui­et spot to fish for Rain­bow Trout locat­ed with­in the Nan­cy Lake State Recre­ation Area. The lake is acces­si­ble via a short trail from the Nan­cy Lake Parkway.

Parks Hwy access to this lake just north of the junc­tion with the Tal­keet­na Spur Road. Fish for rain­bow trout.

There’s a pri­vate­ly run camp­ground here and access to fish­ing on Wil­low Creek. There’s also a fish­ing char­ter oper­a­tor offer­ing guid­ed trips on the creek.

Most of this lake is lined with pri­vate prop­er­ty, but it there is a small park­ing area and pub­lic access trail off N. Windy Bot­tom Road. The lake is stocked with rain­bow trout.

Qui­et lake in Wasil­la most­ly lined with res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties. There’s park­ing and a grav­el boat launch off of S. Beaver Lake Road. The lake is stocked with Rain­bow Trout.

Kasilof Riv­er per­son­al use salmon fish­ery. Per­mit and fish­ing license required. Dip­net­ting avail­able to Alas­ka res­i­dents. Con­firm sea­son with ADF&G.

Fish for rain­bow trout on Bar­bara Lake. There’s a boat launch on the south side of the lake off Pipeline Dri­ve, and a park­ing pad (room for about 3 vehi­cles) and walk­ing path to the lake on the north side off Bal­lard Drive. 

Eas­i­ly acces­si­ble lake in Tal­keet­na, Alas­ka that is part of a pop­u­lar chain of Lakes X”, Y”, and Z” lakes. They are pop­u­lar with canoeists who portage from one lake to the next. The lake is stocked annu­al­ly with Rain­bow Trout. There is a short trail to the lake from Com­sat Road.

Large road­side pull­out beside the Alas­ka High­way at mile 1391.8 is the Don­na Lakes Trail­head. Fol­low the trail 3.6 miles to Big Don­na Lake Cab­in, man­aged by ADF&G.

A beau­ti­ful, 2‑mile-long lake that’s a pop­u­lar place to come for activ­i­ties year-round. In sum­mer, you’ll find kayak­ers, canoers, and pad­dle board­ers, as well as the Kenai Cruis­ers Row­ing Club, which uses the lake for dai­ly prac­tices and a year­ly row­ing regatta.

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.

The Stormy Lake boat launch and day use area is locat­ed with­in the Cap­tain Cook State Recre­ation Area. Anglers can fish for rain­bow trout and Arc­tic Char in Stormy Lake. There’s a pic­nic shel­ter, water, and toi­lets avail­able on site.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

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.

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.

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.

W on D st, right on Loop Rd, st on Route Bravo

SE on N Eagle Riv­er, SE on Eagle

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

Cast your line for some rain­bow trout, or maybe a sil­ver salmon. Here you’ll find pub­lic fish­ing access. A short walk on the .3 mile trail north to Strel­na Lake puts you in the right sport for some angling.

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!”

Walk in pub­lic fish­ing access to Sil­ver Lake and Van Lake; you’ll find won­der­ful scenery and good rain­bow trout fish­ing in both lakes.