Fishing Near Anchorage Alaska
Although there are literally TONS of places to fish in Alaska, we found our little favorites within a 2-hour radius of Anchorage, and let me tell you, it was a BLAST! Although Anchorage isn’t the best place to fish, it does have a couple great creeks and places nearby! Plus, we did a ton of driving for our sightseeing, so we didn’t want to spend more time driving just to fish. Especially when we can just fish at basically any creek we pass and catch a salmon or two!
The months of July and August are great for Salmon fishing! More specifically, the end of July and the beginning of August. We ended up going just days before we were allowed to fish for King Salmon, so that was kind of a bummer, but we still had tons of Coho/Silver to go for! Before I get further in, I’d like to explain a little bit about the types of Salmon, just so you have an idea/reference when I use a specific type. There are 5 main types of Salmon, the biggest and best being Chinook/King. This is the expensive one on the menu when you go to a restaurant. It has the best flavor and the best look to the meat. Then there are Coho/Silver, which are named Silvers because of their exterior color. They taste similar to King, and are a wonderful salmon/orange flesh color. Sockeye/Red is another salmon option, which is one that you can commonly find at the grocery store. They are super vibrant orange and red, hence their name. Another common salmon you find at the grocery store is Atlantic Salmon. It is named Atlantic because it is the only species of Salmon you can find in the Atlantic, although ALL of the Atlantic you find at the grocery store will be farm raised. And lastly, is the Pink Salmon, which is the most common in the Pacific, and definitely the most common in Alaska. We were catching Pinks left and right! Unfortunately, this is the salmon that doesn’t taste as good as the others. You will typically find it in a can near the canned tuna. It is still tasty, but the locals in Alaska only keep them to feed to their dogs. And from what I hear, the dogs LOVE it!
Now that you know a bit about the types, and can kind of visualize the difference, I can go on to say that we wanted Kings, fished for Silvers, but mostly caught Pinks. It is just how it goes. But fear not! We caught quite a few Silvers. And they are SOOOOO devilishly delicious! Where we caught the most were in Bird Creek, Willow Creek, and Ship Creek. So, let me explain those a little bit, PLUS a BONUS: I’ll let you know where the best creek fishing is, even though we didn’t get a chance to go there [this trip].
In order of succession:
This is about 20 minutes from Anchorage and offers an unlimited amount of Salmon if you are there at the right time. It is almost too easy. I caught 29, and Cody caught 1. Which is 1 more than he usually catches, so you KNOW it’s great. Hehe Jk. But we really did catch our limit every day.
This is right there in downtown Anchorage. It is a fantastic option if you are staying nearby or only going to be in Anchorage for a short time. It also has tons of Salmon, but we didn’t feel it was as “good” as Bird Creek. Definitely the 2nd best option in the area though.
Lastly, Willow Creek was another great option. Definitely not as many Salmon when we went, but we heard from the locals that once they make their way up further up the river, Willow becomes a fantastic option. We did catch a few here, but it took some time, and we really needed to switch up our bait a few times to get the color right! Once we had the right color, we started to catch them much faster.
Which leads me to which bait we used. We used Blue Fox Classic Vibrax Spinners, Size 4. These aren’t just my recommendation, but also the clear-cut winner for the locals up there too. We went to Bass Pro to grab a few extras and the biggest section was for these very spinners. It took up more than half of an aisle, JUST FOR THESE. Just a variety of different color and sizes. And guess what? They were SOLD OUT of all except 3 colors. So, we passed on those colors, since the locals didn’t go for them, why would we? And we went to a different store to stock up. And we’re glad we did because as you read above, we needed to change colors pretty often! Anyhow, we used flies a few times, but only caught a few and they didn’t work nearly as well as the Vibrax spinners. In addition, we tried using some Salmon eggs, since they like to eat their own kind (to kill off other bloodlines), but that didn’t help too much either. I can’t vouch for other creeks, but in these, the spinners worked well. If you are fly fishing, flies are the way to though, since you are pulling your line in and out of the water every few seconds.
Bonus: What we found out the best place to fish was at – Kenai River. They have float planes that will take you there to fish all day, or even half the day and have lunch in a beautiful place for a few hours, or so many options! But from what we read and heard; Kenai is absolutely the best Salmon fishing in that region of Alaska. If you are looking to catch some mambo fish, like Halibut are a great option in Alaska. We didn’t get a chance to charter this trip [definitely going to next trip] but we spoke to a group of 4 visitors from Michigan who went home with over 150 lbs. of fish fillets EACH. One of the guys had well over 160 lbs.! And after speaking to them, they explained that they fished in Kenai for 4 days and caught loads of Silver Salmon, and then chartered two separate days and each caught at least 1 Halibut that weighed over 70 lbs! Holy Macaroni! I’m googly eyed just thinking about it! Lol.
Hint: Make sure you get your license before fishing, because the authorities will walk around in normal clothes and ask for your credentials, so it is easy to get caught fishing without a license. Additionally, make sure you aren’t snagging, which is when you just pull your line hard and catch a fish anywhere besides in its mouth. That is illegal in most places and will get you a fine, and your gear taken away from you. It’s not worth it, just catch them in the mouth, you will get more than enough.
So, if you are into outdoor activities, specifically fishing, then Alaska is a dream come true! I highly recommend and hope this post helped out a bit! If you have any specific questions, feel free to drop a comment below and I will give you my best advice!