Upper Copper - Upper Susitna Drainage Fishing Spots

This region marks the headwaters of the Susitna and Copper Rivers, the two major rivers of southcentral Alaska. All five salmon species can be caught in this region, as well as many excellent places for trout and burbot. Lake Louise offers trophy class lake trout while Paxson/Summit Lakes offer similar action for lake trout and burbot. The upper Copper, Gulkana, and Klutina Rivers offer excellent salmon opportunities, while the Gulkana is also a popular destination for whitewater rafting. As with most interior regions, arctic grayling abound in most bodies of water.

Available Species: King Salmon, Silver Salmon, Red Salmon, Pink Salmon, Chum Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Lake Trout, Arctic Grayling, Northern Pike, Burbot, Whitefish

Hot Spots: Paxson Lake, Summit Lake, Copper River, Klutina River, Gulkana River, Tonsina River, Crosswind Lake, Lake Louise

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Fishing Spots

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

MP 46.9 Denali Hwy. North Side of Road, Lake & out­let excel­lent for large grayling.

Short hike down steep hill to South; Sum­mer Fish­ery. MP 10.4 Denali Hwy

MP 171 Richard­son Hwy. Pull-off’s present; best fish­ing at outlet.

Spring fish­ery & BLM Campground

Small pull-off, short hike down to out­let; sum­mer fish­ery. MP 10 Denali Hwy

This Alas­ka State Fish and Game stocked lake pro­vides a qui­et and pic­turesque lit­tle stop for the fish­er­man or camper. There’s a good chance you’ll have the lake to yourself.

Pull-off present and sign post­ed at MP 168 Richard­son High­way. There’s a 14 mile trail to reach the lake.

Clear­wa­ter creek par­al­lels the Denali High­way and offers excel­lent fishing. 

Small lake stocked with rain­bow trout acces­si­ble just off the Glenn Highway.

Road­side lake just off the Glenn High­way with a small grav­el park­ing area. Lake is stocked with rain­bow trout.

Access stun­ning views of Land­mark Gap Lake by hik­ing the Land­mark Gap Trail North.

Grav­el road from the Richard­son High­way leads to a point where you can access the Lit­tle Ton­si­na where it meets the Ton­si­na Riv­er. Arc­tic grayling, Dol­ly Var­den, sock­eye salmon, king salmon, and coho salmon depend­ing on the sea­son. Check with ADF&G for cur­rent regulations.

Access from the Glenn High­way via Tol­sona Lake Road at mile 170 just before Glen­nallen. There’s a lodge, as well as a pub­lic access point. Can fish for grayling and burbot.

This swift, glacial­ly-fed riv­er deliv­ers one of the top sports salmon fish­eries in the Cop­per Basin, with pro­duc­tive bank­side fish­ing for famed Cop­per Riv­er reds and decent oppor­tu­ni­ties to land a big king salmon. You’ll find good park­ing and direct access to pub­lic ease­ments along the riv­er in Cop­per Cen­ter. Many pro­fes­sion­al guides also oper­ate in the community.

Acces­si­ble via the Richard­son High­way. There’s a large park­ing area near the bridge. Pop­u­lar salmon fish­ing spot when in sea­son. Refer to ADF&G for cur­rent guidelines. 

Lake vis­i­ble from the Richard­son High­way at junc­tion with the Edger­ton High­way. There’s a pub­lic access with an unmain­tained boat launch. Good fish­ing for rain­bow trout.

An alter­nate, and much more dif­fi­cult, option involves start­ing on the Tan­gle Lakes along the Denali High­way, and pad­dling south, portag­ing from one lake to anoth­er to a point where the Mid­dle Fork begins.

Acces­si­ble via Lake Louise Road, then fol­low turn for Old Lake Road Trail. Rain­bow trout fishing.

Small lake to fish for grayling at mile 7 of Lake Louise Road.

Acces­si­ble via Lake Louise Road, then fol­low turn for Old Lake Road Trail. Rain­bow trout fish­ing. Across the street is Old Road Lake.

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

Fish for grayling and rain­bow trout. Sign vis­i­ble from the Glenn High­way. Fol­low road to a small grav­el park­ing area.

BLM camp­ground at mile 175 of the Richard­son Hwy. Lake fish­ing avail­able for rain­bow trout, grayling, bur­bot and whitefish. 

If you’re not head­ing right back to Anchor­age, here’s anoth­er great side trip. A scenic 19-mile dri­ve north takes you into the park. Lake Louise is known for its trout and grayling fish­ing, views of Tazli­na Glac­i­er and Lake, and berry pick­ing — har­vest wild straw­ber­ries and blue­ber­ries in July and August, or cran­ber­ries come September.