Sport Fishing In Alaska


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Sandy Sonnichsen, former biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game gives great tips for fishing in Southcentral Alaska.

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Sport Fishing In Alaska

  1. 1. Sport Fishing in Alaska<br />
  2. 2. Alaska is really big…<br />
  3. 3. So let’s stick with affordable trips on the road system.So where to start?<br />
  4. 4. Where to Begin?<br /><ul><li> Fly or drive to Anchorage and continue from there.
  5. 5. Look for a variety of experiences.
  6. 6. You can even fish in downtown Anchorage.</li></ul>Fishing in Ship Creek for King Salmon<br />
  7. 7. How much Time?<br />Remember this is vacation, so don’t try to do too much.<br />Need a day for driving to anywhere. <br />Figure at least 10 days.<br />Assume you will come back.<br />Chena River<br />
  8. 8. When?<br />Lower Cook Inlet king salmon<br />What do you want to catch?<br />There is good fishing all summer and fall.<br />Best weather is generally June, July, and September.<br />
  9. 9. What to bring?<br />Clothes for all weather <br />may be 35º or may be 90º in the same day.<br />don’t rely on cotton-plan for cold and wet.Pile and wool is best.<br /> good raingear. <br />Gulkana River<br />
  10. 10. The water is always cold. Bring and wear a PFD !!<br />
  11. 11. What to bring?<br />Fishing Gear –<br /> Assume you will go with a charter for king salmon or halibut.<br /> Bring your own gear for other salmon and trout.<br />Gulkana River rainbow trout<br />
  12. 12. Fly Fishing Gear-<br />4 wt and 8 or 9 wt fly rod<br />Reel that you can palm or that has a good drag<br />Flies:<br /> Gold ribbed hare’s ear<br /> Elk hair caddis<br /> Egg sucking leech<br /> Flesh fly<br /> Streamer (Micky Finn)<br /> Wooly bugger<br />Outlet of Upper Russian Lake<br />
  13. 13. Spinning Gear-<br />Light wt (6 lb test) and heavier wt (17 lb test)<br />rods<br />0 and 1 spinners<br />Pixies in various colors for salmon<br />If you have treble hooks, cut off all but one of the barbs. <br />Swan Lake Canoe System rainbow<br />
  14. 14. What can you catch?<br />All five species of North American Pacific salmon<br />
  15. 15. What can you catch?<br />Trout, char, grayling and more…<br />
  16. 16. The Rules<br />Know where you are.<br />Know what you are fishing for.<br />If you aren’t sure of the regulations, get help from the local Fish and Game office. <br />
  17. 17. Where to stay<br />Campgrounds<br />US Forest Service Cabins<br />Alaska State Parks Cabins<br />In all cases you must make reservations far in advance<br />Anchorage Kincaid Park beach<br />Maybe not here.<br />
  18. 18. State , Federal, and City Campgrounds<br />Reserve spaces at some Federal campgrounds 180 days in advance.<br />Spaces are especially hard to find on the Kenai Peninsula. Consider Dolly Varden Lake or Ptarmigan Creek. <br />Homer, Seward, and Valdez have good city campgrounds.<br />Deadman Lake campground, Tetlin NWR<br />
  19. 19. Russian River Campground<br />Seward City Campground<br />Notice how very clean this camp site is.<br />
  20. 20. We keep camp sites clean , not because of raccoons, but because of …<br />
  21. 21. BEARS<br />My heart goes boom boomboom<br />
  22. 22. Bears<br />Make human noise as you hike through the woods.<br />Keep a spotlessly clean camp.<br />Don’t eat bacon, steaks, or sardines in camp.<br />Wash with unscented soap before you go to bed.<br />Cut your line and back away if a bear<br />comes by when you have hooked a fish.<br />Never, ever run from a bear.<br />Don’t worry, they don’t like you either.<br />
  23. 23. US Forest Service Cabins<br />Crescent Lake Cabin<br />For cabin information:<br /><br />Barber Cabin at Lower Russian Lake<br />Reserve FS cabins 180 days in advance<br />
  24. 24. West Swan Lake<br />Devil’s Pass<br />
  25. 25. Alaska State Parks Cabins<br />James Lake in Nancy Lake Recreation Area<br />Quartz Lake<br />
  26. 26. Reserve AK State Parks cabins up to 7 months in advance<br />North Fork cabin, Chena River<br />Spruce Creek cabin, Thumb Cove<br />
  27. 27. A Few Good Places to Fish<br />Kenai Peninsula<br />Bird Creek<br />Russian River <br />upper Russian River<br />Crescent Lake <br />Kenai River <br />Seward<br />Homer<br />Clam Gulch<br />Kenai River king salmon<br />
  28. 28. Bird Creek<br /><ul><li>Stocked coho salmon
  29. 29. Pink salmon in even-numbered years
  30. 30. Be careful of tides and shifting sands</li></ul>Bird Creek coho salmon<br />
  31. 31. Pink salmon Valdez<br />
  32. 32. Russian River sockeye salmon<br />Fly –fishing only, but not your typical fly fishery.<br />No room to play the fish, so use strong line, a reel with a star drag, and a sturdy rod.<br />Use weights to keep your fly bouncing along the bottom.<br />
  33. 33. Russian River at its confluencewith the Kenai River<br />Very crowded, very crazy, but lots of fish.<br />
  34. 34. Russian River in the river<br />
  35. 35. Russian Lakes and Upper Russian River<br />3.3 mile handicap-accessible trail to Lower Russian Lake.<br />USFS Barber Cabin with a boat. <br />Dolly Varden char and rainbow trout.<br />Lots of peace and solitude.<br />
  36. 36. Lower Russian Lake<br />
  37. 37. Upper Russian River<br />Russian River trail follows the river<br />Between Lower and Upper Russian<br />Lakes<br />Rainbow trout<br />
  38. 38. Crescent Lake Grayling<br />
  39. 39. Crescent Lake grayling<br />Fishing opens July 1.<br />USFS Cabin with boat.<br />Trail is 6.4 miles to lake.<br />
  40. 40. Kenai River king salmon<br />
  41. 41. <ul><li>Significant fishery restrictions in some years, so have a back-up plan.
  42. 42. Highest success rate is from boats, so get a charter.
  43. 43. Fishery is crazy-busy so don’t expect a pristine experience.</li></ul>Kenai River king salmon<br />
  44. 44. Most Kenai kings are 25-50 lbs<br />World Record king salmon<br />97 lb 4 oz<br />Two runs of Kenai River king salmon:<br />Early run mid May to early July<br />Late run early July to late July<br />
  45. 45. Also try…<br />Lower Kenai Peninsula weekend king salmon fisheries<br /><ul><li>Anchor River, Deep Creek, Ninilchik River
  46. 46. The Ninilchik River is stocked
  47. 47. Fishing from shore with stout gear</li></ul>Lower Cook Inlet marine King salmon and Halibut<br /><ul><li>Marine boat charters
  48. 48. Launch from the beach at Deep Creek
  49. 49. In May you might catch a halibut and a king salmon on the same trip!</li></li></ul><li>Seward MarineCoho Salmon<br />
  50. 50. Seward marine Coho Salmon<br /><ul><li> Fish both from shore and from boats
  51. 51. Seward Silver Salmon Derby in August
  52. 52. Two good city campgrounds and lots of B&Bs in Seward</li></li></ul><li>Homer Halibut<br /><ul><li>Charters
  53. 53. Harvest limit is 2 halibut/day
  54. 54. Could also fish for halibut out of Seward </li></li></ul><li>Halibut Fishing<br /><ul><li>Choose days to fish with the leastdifference between the height of the high tide and the low tide
  55. 55. Dress in lots of wooly layers & wear a hat.
  56. 56. Don’t do this if you get sea sick!</li></li></ul><li>Clam Gulch razor clams<br />
  57. 57. Razor clams<br />Need at least a -2 tide at Clam Gulch.<br />Don’t drive your car down to the beach!<br />Use a shovel or your hands.<br />Prepare to get very muddy.<br />
  58. 58. Must keep every clam you dig.<br />Don’t take more than you want to clean!<br />
  59. 59. Cheap Canoe or Raft Trips<br />Swan Lake canoe system<br />Swanson River canoe system<br />Nancy Lake recreation area<br />Gulkana River<br />Swanson River<br />
  60. 60. Swanson River <br /><ul><li> In Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
  61. 61. Canoe Rentals and shuttle service available in the town of Sterling.
  62. 62. Takes about 2 days.
  63. 63. Coho Salmon
  64. 64. Rainbow trout
  65. 65. Mostly very slow water, but rapids at the end.</li></li></ul><li>Swan Lake canoe trail<br />Series of lakes connected by short portages<br />Best fishing is around the reed beds in Swan Lake<br />Lots of birds and wildlife to enjoy<br />Same rental companies as for Swanson River<br />
  66. 66. Nancy Lake RecreationArea<br />Invaded by northern pike.<br />Several lakes connected by short portages.<br />Many state park cabins.<br />Canoes available to rent at <br />the lakes or trailheads-arrange the rental before you arrive.<br />Red Shirt Lake<br />
  67. 67. Lynx Lake<br />Red Shirt Lake cabin<br />
  68. 68. Gulkana River<br />
  69. 69. Paxson Lake<br />Gulkana River float trip<br /><ul><li> National Wild and Scenic River managed by BLM.
  70. 70. Put in at the BLM campground on Paxson Lake.
  71. 71. Take out 47 miles later at BLM Sourdough campground.
  72. 72. Could do it in 3 days, 5 is better, 7 is nice.
  73. 73. Grayling, rainbow trout, salmon.</li></li></ul><li>
  74. 74.
  75. 75. There is a good, well marked portage around these class III-IV rapids<br />
  76. 76. Chena River<br />
  77. 77. Chena River<br /><ul><li> Easy raft or canoe trip from one bridge to the next along the Chena Hot Springs Road outside of Fairbanks.
  78. 78. State Parks cabins available.
  79. 79. Chena Hot Springs resort at the end of the road.
  80. 80. Catch-and-release for grayling.</li></li></ul><li>Big Ticket Items<br />
  81. 81. If you have the money, you can charter a small plane and fly out to areas with spectacular scenery and amazing fishing. <br />
  82. 82. Talachulitna River <br />Fly into Talachulitna Lake from Anchorage<br />Take out on Yentna River<br />About 5 days<br />Catch and release rainbows<br />king salmon<br />
  83. 83. Wood River Lakes <br />A series of large lakes connected by short rivers. <br />Great for kayaking.<br />Fly scheduled jet service to Dillingham, then charter out a small plane.<br />Lake Aleknagik rainbow trout<br />
  84. 84.
  85. 85. Goodnews River<br />Fly to Goodnews Lake from Dillingham<br />Take out at the village of Goodnews<br />Scheduled small plane service in Goodnews<br />About 7-10 days<br />
  86. 86.
  87. 87. Pilgrim River<br />Fly scheduled jet service to Nome<br />Shuttle service along the road to start and end points<br />
  88. 88.
  89. 89. Remember This:<br /><ul><li> Plan ahead,
  90. 90. Don’t camp in Wal-Mart,
  91. 91. Get out!
  92. 92. Don’t be greedy,
  93. 93. Spend money in Alaska,
  94. 94. Be nice to the Fish and Game biologists,
  95. 95. Come back soon.</li></li></ul><li>For more information:<br />Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Sport Fish Division<br /><br />Click on fishing brochures and then the region you are interested in.<br />Public Lands Information Center<br /><br /> Good starting point for cabin and campground information.<br />BLM Gulkana River information<br /><br />