Area Sport Fishing Reports
Remember, with the exception of the Little Susitna River, the streams crossing the Parks Highway are closed to king salmon fishing and fishing is not allowed downstream of their Parks Highway bridges until after the 13 of July.
Providing good to excellent action in early July would be Talkeetna River tributaries such as Clear Creek and Lake Creek. Another good place to try in early July would be the Talachulitna River. The general area king salmon fishing regulations, which establish a five fish seasonal limit and prohibit the use of bait, remain in effect. Anglers must record all king salmon harvests on the back of their fishing license or on their harvest record card.
If you can get upstream, the Deshka River also provides good catches through the season closure July 13. There are plenty of good fishing holes between the weir at River Mile 7 and Chijuk Creek. The Deshka River is open to the retention of king salmon for the first 17 miles, which is indicated by a marker at Chijuk Creek. Please slow down when crossing the weir! If you are uncomfortable running your boat over the weir a fishery technician will be available to guide you. Weir counts are available on our web pages.
The remainder of the NCI streams close July 13 for king salmon fishing, so if you haven't caught your Northern Cook Inlet king salmon by then, you'll have to fish the Kenai.
The Little Susitna River near the Parks Highway bridge also provides early July fishing opportunity for kings, sockeye salmon, and chum salmon. A few sockeye salmon are also available during the Saturday to Sunday weekend-only fishery at Cottonwood Creek.
A few silver salmon may start showing up by mid-July, but silver fishing is not usually good until at least the third week in July. Early season anglers try Eklutna tailrace and Jim Creek, or at the Deshka or Alexander river mouths. By the third week of July, a few silvers also show up in the weekend-only Cottonwood Creek fishery. Also by the third week, a few silvers start to be caught from the Parks Highway roadside streams (Willow, Little Willow, etc.) Silver fishing heats up the last week of July, and can be good all the way through September.
Traditionally the peak fishing for Little Susitna River silvers near the Public Use Facility (Burma Landing) is not until the first few days in August
Rainbow Trout - Flowing Waters
Rainbow trout and grayling are available in the majority of Northern Cook Inlet drainages. These streams are often a fly-fishers paradise, if you can hike above the salmon anglers and do a good roll cast.
Remember, only catch-and-release fishing is allowed year-round when fishing for rainbow trout and grayling on Montana and Willow drainages, and in the North Fork Kashwitna River.
Lake fishing in July is excellent, especially in early morning and late evening hours. Check the web pages for the latest info on where the stocking truck has been. There is a listing of stocked lakes in the regulation booklet. Remember the limit for rainbow trout in stocked lakes is 5 fish per day (of which only one may be over 20 inches).
Only 2 trout may be harvested in lakes having native trout populations. A stocked lake handout is available from Department of Fish and Game offices in Palmer and Anchorage to assist you in finding good angling opportunities.
Pike are generally found in shallow water areas. Water temperatures in these shallow areas tend to be fairly warm throughout the day. As the water warms, pike become lethargic and are usually off the bite. For better success, try fishing for pike early mornings or late evenings. Try top water weedless lures and flies in the heavily vegetated bays and sloughs.
In July, pike fishing continues to be good. For road accessible pike fishing try the Nancy Lake Canoe System lakes, or Memory, Long, and Prator lakes. River anglers can try the slow side sloughs of Willow Creek. For fly-in pike fishing try Hewitt, Whiskey, Figure Eight, Vern and Donkey, Alexander, Eightmile and Sucker lakes.
There is a slot limit in Alexander Lake. Anglers can retain all pike less than 22 inches in length, pike between 22 inches and 30 inches may not be retained, and only one pike greater than 30 inches may be retained daily and be in possession. Anglers may not use bow and arrows and spears to harvest northern pike in Alexander Lake. A Pike Fisheries in the Mat-Su area is available at department offices in Anchorage and Palmer.