Fishing trips from Anchorage, Alaska.

When visiting Anchorage there are several options for fishing in town or just out of town.

Ship Creek – Ship Creek flows form inside Joint Base Elmendorf – Richardson, a military base within the city limits of Anchorage.  While fishing is restricted for civilians inside the base, Ship Creek flows out of the installment into Cook Inlet, providing opportunities for all anglers.  Ship Creek is heavily stocked by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, providing great sportfishing opportunities within the “big city.”  The William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery, is located right on Ship Creek and is responsible for stocking multiple species of salmon annually.  The species stocked into the creek by the state include, king salmon (chinook) and silver salmon (coho).  The first salmon to return to Ship Creek are kings starting middle to late May each year and run through July.  Kings are the largest of all Pacific Salmon are by far the most popular salmon to target and receive a strong run annually due to stocking efforts.  This provides a great sport fishery for locals as well as tourists visiting Anchorage.  The accessibility to the creek is great and provides the best DIY opportunities in the city limits.  Coho or silver salmon begin to run in July and also provide a great sport fishing opportunity.  Both of these salmon species are great to eat as they come in fresh daily on the tides! 

Dustin at The Bait Shack has you covered for all your Ship Creek fishing needs!

More info on Ship Creek

Bird Creek – Bird Creek is located just out of town on the Seward Highway heading south.  Bird Creek opens July 14th annually and is closed to king fishing.  After the opener anglers are able to target both coho and pink salmon.  While pink salmon are fun to catch they are less than desirable to eat once they make it into the creek system.  Silver salmon or coho however, provide anglers with a great sport fish as well as a forage fish.  Silver’s are great to eat and are aggressive biters as well, they come in on the tides daily and will run through the month of August.  Bird Creek has great access but is limited to a short section of creek which leads to fairly heavy pressure and crowds.  A low incoming tide is preferred for fresh fish that have just entered the system from Cook Inlet.

More info on Anchorage fisheries

The Upper Kenai River – The Kenai is within a two hour drive from town and provides the best opportunity for fishing from Anchorage, AK.  The upper river opens June 11th annually and will have sockeye salmon by the time of the opener.  The drive from Anchorage to Cooper Landing is one of the most beautiful commutes in North America.  Most of the drive down the Seward Highway is within the Chugach National Forest, America’s largest National Forest.  In June the Kenai River receives its early run sockeye salmon, most of whom are headed to the Russian River.  Trout fishing is also great on the Upper Kenai River after its annual opener.  The famous Russian River, a Kenai River tributary, provides great access for sport fishing and outdoor enthusiasts alike.  The Russian will soon fill with sockeye salmon and provide a target rich environment for do it yourself anglers.  Great accessibility and numbers of fish does also generate large crowds of anglers looking to fill stringers with salmon.  The Upper Kenai and Russian River’s are home to an amazing array of wildlife including brown and black bears.  Bear viewing opportunities are great in these locations but you must be bear-aware and proceed with great caution.

More info on the Upper Kenai River

The Lower Kenai River –  Located in the town of Kenai and the City of Soldotna, the Lower Kenai River provides the Kenai Peninsula’s best opportunity at the freshest salmon in Alaska.  Run timing is important for fishing success, mid july to mid August marks the peak of sockeye salmon timing for sport fishing annually.  Peak numbers of sockeye usually enter the river late July and early August.  With limited access and intense current the Lower Kenai is best fished with a sport fishing guide.  Booking a guide is the best way to ensure fishing success as well as safety when targeting late run sockeye salmon.  The limit for sockeye in July is six fish per angler and provides quite a daily take of fresh ready to eat salmon.  Sockeye or red salmon are by far the best eating of all the Pacific Salmon, they both freeze and travel well once processed, letting you enjoy your catch with friends or family for over a year.  The Kenai also receives a great run of silvers that start in August and come in through the fall and winter, though silver salmon fishing closes November 1st.

More info on the Lower Kenai River

The Kasilof River –  The Kasilof River is located about three hours south of Anchorage and hosts great runs of salmon as well!  The Kasilof receives a strong run of king salmon due to a hatchery supplementation program.  The hatchery program allows anglers to target and retain kings that have been planted by the state’s Department of Fish and Game.  These fish have had their adipose fin removed as juveniles, which is the indicator of a safe to keep king salmon.  Wild fish that still bear their adipose fin must be safely released without being removed from the water to ensure the future return of wild chinook.  Kings are available in the Kasilof River May through July and are closed starting August 1st annually.  The Kasilof also receives a very strong run of sockeye salmon June through July.  Very large groups of sockeye pulse in daily on the tides and can swim the length of the river in as quickly as a day.  This fast paced red salmon fishery is also a great way to gather fish and fill the freezer!  After the sockeye run comes silvers and pinks, as previously stated, pinks are great fun but not great table fare whereas silver salmon are both.  Silvers are typically targeted close to tidewater on the Kasilof where they are as fresh as it gets.    

More info on the Kasilof River

There’s lots of options for fishing while visiting Anchorage Alaska, right in town or a quick shot down to the Kenai Peninsula, the fishing as well as views improve once you make it out of town but the angling opportunities in the city are very impressive!