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Our 10 Favorite Fishing Rivers in Alaska

by ATJ Posted in I ♥ Alaska |
This photo by Caitlin Marr is used under Creative Commons License

This photo by Caitlin Marr is used under Creative Commons License

It’s no secret that Alaska offers some of the finest fishing in the United States, if not the world. But the state itself is huge and over 12,000 rivers call Alaska their home. So how do you even begin to discover your favorite fishing hole? Don’t stress. Just get your gear ready as you consider these top 10 fishing rivers in Alaska.

1. Kenai River

The Kenai River sits in south central Alaska in the state’s Kenai Peninsula. The river is quite arguably the state’s most popular sport fishing destination for Chinook (also known as King) salmon. In fact, the world record king salmon, weighing in at 97 lbs, was caught in the Kenai in 1985. In addition to salmon, the river houses trophy size rainbow trout and Dolly Varden.

2. Kasilof River

The Kasilof River is located just minutes away from the Kenai River. While the Kasilof provides for excellent fishing, its popularity often gets overshadowed by the Kenai. This is why many consider the Kasilof River to be one of the best kept fishing secrets in Alaska. It’s mostly known for its King salmon population that can easily range from 20 to 40 lbs.

3. Ship Creek

If you’re still envisioning that monster king salmon on your line, then you may want to take a look at Ship Creek. It’s located in downtown Anchorage (yes, downtown) and is known as one of Alaska’s most productive and unique spots for catching king salmon… salmon with an urban edge, of course.

4. Bird Creek

Bird Creek is located about 30 miles south of Anchorage and receives visits from anglers across the globe. The creek enjoys a spectacular run of silver salmon from July through September.

5. Willow Creek Confluence

Approximately 60 miles north of Anchorage is a gem of a fishing spot known as the Willow Creek Confluence. The confluence offers excellent fishing for salmon (Kings, Silvers, Chums and Pinks), and also holds big rainbow trout, Dolly Varden trout and Arctic grayling.

6. Copper River Delta

The Copper River stretches for 300 miles in the south-central portion of Alaska. The river’s delta, near the fishing town of Cordoza, provides anglers with fantastic opportunities at catching trout, Dolly Varden trout and salmon. In terms of angler traffic, the delta is a quiet spot where fishermen can enjoy top notch fishing among peace and tranquility.

7. The Pasagshak River

The Pasagshak is considered one of the most outstanding sport-fishing streams on Kodiak Island. The river is fed by Lake Rose, which is a prime spawning area for Sockeye salmon. The river also enjoys excellent runs of Pink, Chum, and Silver salmon as well as Dolly Varden trout.

8. Buskin River State Recreation Site

If the Pasagshak isn’t quite what you’re looking for, try the Buskin River State Recreation Site, also on Kodiak Island. The Buskin River is best known for its excellent catches of Sockeye, Coho and Pink salmon. For non-fishermen, the site also provides for great wildlife viewing and bird watching.

9. The Chena River

If an Arctic grayling is on your “to-catch” list, the Chena River should be included in your fishing adventures. The Chena runs through Fairbanks and is easily accessible. The river delivers grayling in the 18-inch plus size.

10. Togiak River

Togiak River is a 48 mile stream that flows in the southwestern portion of Alaska. It’s a very popular and productive river that produces quality catches of all five species of Pacific salmon. It’s also known as a good fishing river for Dolly Varden and rainbow trout. The scenery along the river is also fantastic and the area is enjoyed by anglers as well as brown bears, caribou, moose, eagles and beavers.

With a destination like Alaska, it’s difficult to find a bad fishing location. Even if a hook goes unnoticed, anglers are sure to at least catch glimpses of amazing scenery, wildlife and local customs. But it’s true; all avid fishermen still want a story to tell their friends. Just visit one of these sure fire rivers and you’ll be spreading your hands wide in no time while uttering the words, “it was this big!”

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