Anglers flock to Alaska each year, and many use Anchorage as the base camp for their journeys. Anchorage is the state's largest city and a convenient place to fish south-central Alaska. Out-of-state anglers will need valid Alaska fishing licenses to fish any of the state's waters. Licenses can be purchased at sporting goods stores in the city. Due to the sheer size of Alaska, day trips and fishing trips out of Anchorage can include driving times of up to two hours. From the Kenai Peninsula and saltwater fishing to the rivers and creeks north of the city, there are a variety of options for fishing around Anchorage.
Willow Creek offers myriad species to drop a line after. There are four different salmon runs at the creek each year. King salmon run between June and July, silvers run in August and chum salmon run between July and August, as do the reds that come to Willow Creek each season. Anglers can try for dolly varden and arctic grayling anytime in the summer. Willow Creek is off the Glen Parks Highway at milepost 70. Anglers should be "bear aware" as grizzly bears fish the waters during the salmon runs. Bring bear spray and know how to use it effectively. The towns of Willow and Talkeetna are near the creek. Anglers can find bait, tackle, groceries and other sundries in either town.
Anglers heading to Montana Creek can try for king salmon between June and July, silver salmon during August, and pink and chum salmon during their runs in July and August. Rainbow trout are sought by fly-fisherman on Montana Creek during the summer. Montana Creek is at milepost 94 of the Glen Parks Highway. Talkeetna is a 20-mile drive from Montana Creek. Anglers can find bait, tackle, groceries and restaurants in the village. Moose are frequently spotted around the creek. In late summer and early fall, trumpeter swans can be seen at the creek. Bald eagles and osprey are frequently spotted trying to catch fish out of the creek.
Saltwater Fishing - Whittier
The town of Whittier is an hour's drive south of Anchorage along the Seward Highway. In addition to the salmon and halibut fishing, Whittier is a gateway to the western side of Prince William Sound. There are several charter operations out of Whittier Harbor. Most charters provide all the needed fishing and foul-weather gear, snacks and nonalcoholic beverages. Whittier is accessible by car or the Alaska Railroad. During the drive or train ride to Whittier, keep an eye on Turnagain Arm for pods of beluga whales. Dahl sheep are frequently seen on the mountain sides off the Seward Highway. While fishing out of Whittier, humpback whales, orcas, stellar sea-lions, harbor seals, sea otters and puffins are frequently spotted. Many charter operations offer filet, smoking, freezing and shipping services for the daily catch.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.