Copper River

Homer, Alaska

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Alaska has two Copper Rivers. Glacier-fed, the first carries some steelhead and rainbows in its tributaries, the second is the one everybody raves about. Alright, the first thing you gotta know about the Copper River in Alaska is that there are at least two of them. The closest one to civilization flows into Prince William Sound in a big delta east of Cordova. The other is a much smaller river that drains a trio of lakes in the narrow isthmus that separates Iliamna Lake from the salty waters of Iliamna Bay, at the southwest end of Cook Inlet. The former is more challenging and if you’re making the trek to Alaska by car from the Lower 48, it might just be worthwhile to poke around on that Copper’s tributaries before heading into Anchorage and points west. The far more famous Copper is the object of our attention here—the one down in the Iliamna region. Mack Minnard calls it “a beautiful piece of water with all the attributes of a first-class rainbow river.” He should know. An Alaska Fish and Game biologist, he worked in the drainage for 18 years. Species: Rainbow, Pacific salmon. Angling methods: fly-fishing only.
America's 100 Best Trout Streams

DESCRIPTION FROM:

America's 100 Best Trout Streams

by John Ross (Falcon Guides)

Alaska has two Copper Rivers. Glacier-fed, the first carries some steelhead and rainbows in its tributaries, the second is the one everybody raves about. Alright, the first thing you gotta know about the Copper River in Alaska is that there are at least two of them. The closest one to civilization flows into Prince William Sound in a big delta east of Cordova. The other is a much smaller river that drains a trio of lakes in the narrow isthmus that separates Iliamna Lake from the salty waters of Iliamna Bay, at the southwest end of Cook Inlet.

The former is more challenging and if you’re making the trek to Alaska by car from the Lower 48, it might just be worthwhile to poke around on that Copper’s tributaries before heading into Anchorage and points west. The far more famous Copper is the object of our attention here—the one down in the Iliamna region. Mack Minnard calls it “a beautiful piece of water with all the attributes of a first-class rainbow river.” He should know. An Alaska Fish and Game biologist, he worked in the drainage for 18 years. Species: Rainbow, Pacific salmon. Angling methods: fly-fishing only.

©  John Ross/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Fishing, Fly-Fishing
Nearby City: Homer
Access: Limited
Season & Limits: June through September
Local Maps: Alaska DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer
Driving Directions: Directions to Copper River

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May 2018