Area Sport Fishing Reports
September through October Season
Small numbers of silver salmon continue to be available in Northern Cook Inlet fresh waters through the end of the third week of September. Best success comes from the Talkeetna River drainage, with most anglers concentrated at Clear Creek.
Willow Creek, Montana Creek, and the Eklutna Power Plant tailrace also usually see a few late silvers trickling in through mid-September. Jim Creek also has a late run of silvers through October.
In early September, fair to good silver fishing can be found in the tributaries and sloughs of the Yentna and Skwentna rivers. Most anglers try at Moose, Indian, Bottle, or Hewitt creeks. Fishing success tails off by the end of September.
Fair to good silver fishing should continue through mid-September in such West Cook Inlet streams as the Theodore, Chuit, and Lewis rivers.
NOTE: Starting September 1, no bait is allowed in most of the Mat-Su valley flowing waters, and in the West Cook Inlet area flowing waters. This does not include the Eklutna Power Plant tailrace (Knik River drainage). Also starting September 1, many waters go to single-hook, no treble/multiple hooks allowed. A single hook has only 1 point, with or without a barb. Check the regulation booklet for a complete description of the area before you go fishing.
Pixees™, Vibrax™, and the “yarn fly” are perennial Alaskan favorites for silver salmon. Good single-hook fly choices include flesh flies, sparkle shrimp, and egg-sucking leeches, sizes 2 through 6. Popular colors for both flies and lures are pinks, oranges and chartreuse/greens. Early morning usually providing the best catch rates.
Rainbow Trout - Flowing Waters
Rainbow trout fishing should be good to excellent until water levels drop and it's just too cold to fish. When water levels go down, look for trout in the deeper pools and side-sloughs, or in lakes. Keep in mind the single-hook, no bait restrictions for much of the flowing waters. Remember, Montana Creek, Willow Creek and the North Fork of the Kashwitna River are catch-and-release only for rainbow trout and grayling, except that in Willow Creek upstream of the Parks Highway bridge, 1 rainbow trout less than 16 inches long is allowed daily.
Once lake ice is safe enough for travel (6 inches of clear ice for foot traffic, 12 inches for vehicle), ice fishing is usually great on the area's many stocked lakes. Travel on the ice is at your own risk. Ice thickness can vary widely from system to system. ADF&G does not monitor ice thickness. For ice and snow pack conditions on state lands, call Alaska State Parks in Palmer at (907) 745-3975.
A few lakes are stocked specifically for winter ice fishing, usually sometime in late October or early November. Anglers can check the status of the lake by using the stocking database on our website. The web pages also have links to maps of the area's stocked lakes. You can also find 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).
Jig lures or bait (if allowed) near drop off areas for rainbow trout and catchable salmon. For lake trout/char, fish the bottom of the deepest hole you can find. Some lakes have more restrictive tackle and bag limits, please check the regulations before you head out to fish.
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 fishing success will improve until water levels drop, then taper off until ice fishing season. For road-accessible pike fishing, try South Rolly, Tanaina, and Memory lakes. For fly-in or snowmachine-in pike fishing, it's hard to beat Alexander and Trapper lakes. Pike are also to be found in Sucker and Eightmile lakes.
Pike respond well to decoys, jigs, and lures through the ice. Check the regs before you use bait.
There are certain lakes where using 5 lines through the ice is legal for pike. Check the reg book, or click on the pike pages on our website.
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 handout describing the Pike Fisheries in the Mat-Su area is available at department offices in Anchorage and Palmer.