Mat-Su Valley Fishing Spots

Stretching from the Alaska Range in the north to the Talkeetna and Chugach ranges in the east and south, the massive Mat-Su borough covers an area roughly the size of West Virginia.

Starting in Anchorage, you’ll head north on the Glenn Highway. The first major fishing spot here is the Eklutna Tailrace, a popular spot to to catch Kings in early May (if permitted by ADF&G) as well as silver salmon later in the summer. After passing the Palmer Hay Flats, stay on the Glenn by taking on off-ramp towards Palmer. The lakes in the Matanuska Lakes State Recreation Area are stocked. Continue on the Glenn toward the Matanuska Glacier and you'll find other accessible lakes from the road system for a quiet afternoon of fishing.

Northbound? The same junction where the Glenn heads east is also the start of the Parks Highway. The Parks Highway passes through Wasilla. Beyond Wasilla lie the more rural communities of Houston, Big Lake, and Willow. You'll find a mix of neighborhood lakes to fix, as well as access points for some of the most popular fishing areas in the state, such as the Susitna River, Little Susitna River, Montana Creek, and more.

Need gear or a guide? Contact the Bait Shack in Anchorage. Or connect with Phantom Tri-River Charters in Talkeetna.

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Fishing Spots

Glenn Highway & Palmer

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.

Pop­u­lar for sock­eye in ear­ly August, and sil­vers from Mid-August with late runs through Octo­ber. From the park­ing area at the Jim Creek Camp­ground, it is about a 1.5 mile trail to the riv­er. This area is extreme­ly pop­u­lar for locals to explore on ATVs and dirt bikes.

There are 10 sites here, good for RVs or tents. They all over­look the lake, which is open to canoes, kayaks, and fish­ing. You can rent a boat here, or moun­tain bike/​hike the trails, which con­nect to the Matanus­ka Green­belt system.

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.

Small lake in Palmer, Alas­ka with great pub­lic access, includ­ing a park­ing area (with fee sta­tion) for about 4 – 5 vehi­cles, and pub­lic toi­lets. Fish for rain­bow trout and arc­tic grayling.

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.

Annu­al­ly stocked lake for land­locked salmon (silvers/​coho) with­in the Matanus­ka Lakes State Recre­ation Area. You can reach the lake via the Matanus­ka Lake Trail­head or the Long Lake Trailhead.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 plenty  ...more

Wasilla, Big Lake, & Willow

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.

Large camp­ground in Wasil­la, Alas­ka man­aged by the city of Wasil­la. There’s a 57-spot camp­ground, 3 large pavil­lions, fields, a play­ground, and a boat launch for water­sports. The lake is stocked with Rain­bow trout and is pop­u­lar in sum­mer, as well as for ice fish­ing in winter.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Small, qui­et, water­front camp­ground on Rocky Lake in the com­mu­ni­ty of Big Lake. The lake is stocked with Rain­bow Trout so it’s a fun spot to angle, espe­cial­ly with kids.

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

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 great camp­ing option close to Wasil­la or Palmer, this lake­side camp­ground fills up on the week­end with Alaskans. The lake is a great place for kids to learn to fish; there are plen­ty of arc­tic char, rain­bow trout, and grayling in the waters. It’s also a good place to canoe or kayak (you can rent from a place just a few lakes away); while the lake is open to motor­ized craft, it’s not over­run by jet skis or powerboats.

Camp­ing by this 108-acre lake inside the Nan­cy Lake State Recre­ation Area near Wil­low feels like you’ve reached the end of the road. To the west stretch­es unbro­ken wilder­ness to the Alas­ka Range and beyond. And yet, the 97 sites in this friend­ly, heav­i­ly treed camp­ground offer all the reg­u­lar camp­ground ameni­ties of out­hous­es, fire rings, pic­nic tables and water pump. South Rol­ly con­tains pike and stocked rain­bow trout. 

Parks Highway

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 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.

Pop­u­lar camp­ground man­aged by the city of Hus­ton across the street from the Lit­tle Susit­na Riv­er Pub­lic Use Facil­i­ty. This camp­ground also has a day use area, a pavil­lion for rent, play­grounds, and access to fish­ing on the Lit­tle Susit­na River.

Pop­u­lar launch­ing point for boaters fish­ing the Lit­tle Susit­na Riv­er. There is a fee for dai­ly park­ing, and there are sev­er­al sites avail­able for overnight camp­ing. This is a pop­u­lar site for fish­ing guides to launch day char­ter trips. There’s a great wood­en sign near the riv­er to proud­ly hang your catch for a pho­to. It’s pop­u­lar to angle for Kings in May and Sil­vers clos­er to August/​September.

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.

Large camp­ground and pop­ualr fish­ing spot where the Kash­wit­na Riv­er meets the Susit­na Riv­er. Dai­ly park­ing, overnight camp­ing, and boat launch.

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.

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.

Talkeetna Area

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.

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.

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