Anchorage is Alaska's largest city. It is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. The city has a unique landscape, where you can hike an urban trail and see bald eagles and moose on one side and beluga whales swimming on the other. Anglers often come to the state to fish for salmon. An Alaska fishing license is required and can be purchased at sporting goods stores in Anchorage.
Bird Creek is 25 miles south of Anchorage along the Seward Highway. Bird Creek attracts local and out-of-state anglers for the yearly silver salmon run. The silver run takes place between mid-July through early September each season. There are a limited number of primitive camping sites at Bird Creek. Brown bears frequently roam and fish the creek, making for photo opportunities. Anglers should be aware of the bruins' presence and bring bear spray (and be trained on the proper usage). Get to Bird Creek early in the morning on weekends, as the creek becomes near shoulder to shoulder with anglers by mid-afternoon.
Ship Creek is on the far north end of the city and is unique as an urban king salmon fishery. Anglers head to Ship Creek for the king salmon and silver salmon runs each year. Kings run between June and July and silvers run between mid-July through September. Ship Creek is a popular area for fishing and the creek will fill up quickly during weekends. Get there early and stake out your small section of the creek. There are paid parking areas and vendors selling bait and tackle. There have been reports of car break-ins on vehicles not parked in the protected parking areas, as of March 2010, so do not leave valuables in the cars.
Willow Creek is at mile 70 of the Glen Parks Highway going north toward Denali National Park. Willow Creek is near the community of Willow. In addition to the fishing, Willow Creek has class I-IV white water for rafters. There is a king salmon run between June and July, a silver run in August and a pink run between July and August. Dolly varden and arctic grayling are possible anytime in summer. Grizzly bears patrol and fish the waters of Willow Creek. Bring bear spray and know how to use it. Moose, bald eagles and fox can be spotted while fishing the creek.
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.